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Tara asked in another thread:

Can you give me advice on software for scanning pictures? I am currently using Picasa, but it is tedious because I have to go back to the import menu for each photo. Is there any good free software out there? Thanks.

And I thought we should have a place just to talk about scanners and techniques and such. I don't have much to add, since I don't really do much scanning, but I'm sure some of you do!

I think that would be a good idea. Technical advise is one of the things that is hard to get for free, so if we could share whatever we know we could make a down right "Knowledge Vault" for Scrappers/designers" smiley)


I have an Epson Perfection and then a large format scanner (Mustek, I think) and then an Epson All In One and all of them use their own proprietary software for scanning. I don't think it's really the software that completely does this type of "batch" scanning you are referring to. You generally have to have a piece of Add-On equipment to help with this process. What I would think, per my tech-savvy computer hubby. You would probably need to purchase a Scanner with the Auto Document Feeder (ADF) [batch scan photos auto feeding scanner] but those can be pretty expensive.

Hubby mentioned to me to check out Fujitsu Scan Snap possibly. Whatever way you go, be sure to check out reviews very closely and pricing. You learn a lot of the little flaws this way from people that have already purchased and had good or bad experiences with the claims of the ADF unit.

Good Luck

I started to use scanners when they only offered 300 x 300 dpi. At the time I thought it was great. I was able to get my pictures and documents onto my computer. The only problem was the resolutions was not very good to print the pictures.

Since than no matter what scanner I buy it must be at least 4800. This will give me a picture that will pick up all the flaws of the picture. I than do all of my corrections in Photoshop.

I always use the scanners utilities for scanning. The utilities allow you to correct the black and white points through the histogram. It is always best to get the best scan before doing any work on an image. It allows you to set the location of the file to scan to, so you do not have to import anything. The problem with scanning through programs is that you do not always get the advanced options that the scanner may feature. You may also be limited to what that program is able to handle. Some programs are not able to handle high resolution images as Photoshop or PSP can. And by the way you can scan into Photoshop, but I do not like to.

You also get the option to chose the file format that you want to save the image in.

To save time for smaller pictures I place a number of them on the glass. But I do not over crowd them.
I than scan the whole group at 300 dpi to get a contact sheet. I use this to document all the information about the picture, the names of people, the place, date, and any other important information. After that I scan each one of the images at 1200 dpi or higher to get the best scan as possible.

Note if you decide to take your pictures and scan them using a feeder you are going to damage the pictures. All home all in one printer / scanners have a feeder that turns the paper or curls it as it scans. That is how they are able to keep the size of the printer small. If you are scanning old pictures that are brittle or already falling apart, you will damage them even more.

I still have problems working with scanner, but I do like the fact that I can make copies of anything I want with my printer/scanner

i have a Canon 5000F...i love it. had a huge problem though when the computers went to Win 7 and Canon did not and will not upgrade the drivers. I finally got Win 7 Professional and worked it so that the scanner works in virtual machine mode (running the computer as an XP) so i am happy again. I suppose i could have bought a new scanner but why when this one is just fine? The thing to look for in scanning for digital designing is to scan as BIG as possible. i scan at 600 dpi and after extraction, i drop it to 300. It's easier to extract at 600. Also, get a CCD scanner which is better for scanning 3D images. I hardly have to do anything to the image except to clear it of DUST and scratches! I do scan directly into photoshop. Also, the hinge on the door is flexible and adjustable for those objects.

Judy makes a GREAT point about scanning directly through the scanner, not other software! When I worked at a print shop, I'd often end up with teeny-tiny image files people had scanned into Word or other strange things, and nearly always with jpg compression. The more software you run things through, the more chances of that software trying to alter your image, and downgrade the quality.

The rule of thumb I tried to give customers was, give me as original of a file as you can to work with! If it's from a digital camera, give me whatever file is ON the camera, without running it through other software; if it's a scan, send me the scanner's file, even if looks like something scary (.tiff! weird numbers! freaky!). Usually, I was trying to enlarge whatever photo they gave me to fit onto a banner - when you're handed a 4x6" photo, and need to crop to the person who only takes up about 2x3", and need to get it to 12x18" or so, you need every pixel of info you can get!! smiley

@Judy : Just out of curiosity, what kind of scanner are you using? Pretty sure the one I last used didn't have an editable histogram in the software (it was a pretty generic one), that would be SO helpful!

I've been on-again-off-again in the market for a new scanner for a few years, so reading everyone's feedback here is great! smiley

Thanks for the info Melissa, that makes sense. When I scanned to a program it just did not have the same quality as the scanner.

One time, I wanted a copy of an old picture but I didn't have access to a scanner. I did have my DSLR with me so I set it to jpg-fine, laid it flat in good non-direct light, stood directly over it as steady as I could, said a prayer and fired off a few shots. Works in a pinch and the resolution was better than my HP scanner. Wouldn't recommend it though for more than a few pictures!

I have an Epson Perfection V600. It works quite well and has it's own software. The software allows you to set up unique folders to scan the photo(s) to. It also allows for an auto scan or customized scan. Another feature that works well with older photos is to adjust for dust removal which can be helpful. My sister has an Epson Perfection V700 and the big difference between our is if you want to scan slides - on hers as I recall she can set 12 slides at a time to scan. Mine only does four (I believe-I don't have slides) They both will scan negatives and it does a great job of negatives! They have guides to use depending on which type of scan you are doing. I highly recommend the Epson Perfection. Oh and I will add that even my husband scans from our Epson so that will give you an idea of the ease of use - he is not terrifically computer literate!

I have the Epson Perfection V500, I love it, I mainly got it because it can scan 35mm negatives but it does awesome for photos or anything else smiley

I use my Epson, I love the software that came with the scanner. I cleans up dust and scratches and color corrects. It also scans negatives, a the standard size today and the larger negatives from the old box cameras, as well as slides.

I am about to buy a new scanner (my old one is useless since it's an all in one printer) but i have no ide what to get... My budget is tight so i can't get the professionals ones..

What do you think about THIS one?
Is it gonna "do the job"?? smiley

@Jessica there are many things to look at with scanners and they are really dependent on what a person wants to scan. I usually go to Amazon to look at the reviews that people provide to get a good idea of how a product is. I just looked the 210 IDE up and it has some really good reviews - solid 4 of 5 stars. You can read over the reviews here:

The first one appears to be really thorough. Hope this helps!

Thank you Janet smiley Yeah i was on amazon and read the reviews and it seems nice for what you pay for it so to speak smiley Ofc i would love to have a much more expensive option but right now i can't so i hope this one will "do the job" until i can smiley It will be an amazing upgrade from the one i have right now smiley

@Jessica from what I read if you consider the limitations that scanner seems to be a pretty good one. I use my Epson mainly for photos but it also has the capabilities to do slides and negatives. I understand the budgeting aspect and if the scanner will accomplish your current needs then from what I read it appears that the Canon is probably a pretty good choice. I have Canon cameras so it isn't as if the technology isn't there. I just bought a new camera and it is amazing the difference in the technology from over ten years ago and now in the camera. I am sure you will be happy with your choice!

I was given a mouse scanner for Christmas. It's seriously a mouse you use with your computer but it's also a scanner. It's from Brookstone. I love it. I don't use it to scan my textures but I use it to scan my lil mans daycare work so I can put them in his scrapbook.

WOW i have totally missed that one smiley How smart... To bad it's so old that the stores here have stopped selling it smiley

I use canon MP250 series..
It is easy to operate, and result of scanning is good quality.

I too use the software provided with the scanner. We recently had our printer go out and hubby went out and got a new one. He said it was an all in one, and that made me fearfull at the cost. It turned out to be about $30. We've still got our old scanner , but I love the new one...flat bed on top of the printer & it can also save or create PDF files . Complete password protection and multiply pages.

I have a wireless Canon scanner/printer we bought last year. I did not know there was any other way to import scanned photos other than through the utilities that come with the scanner, so that is something new to me! I might have to look into that - if I can scan directly into Photoshop that would save me a few extra steps perhaps!