Scanning old photo prints and digitizing them for posterity has become a critical exercise in recent times.
Though photo prints were meant to last for a hundred years, many of our old albums have now started to deteriorate and disintegrate. The result is priceless memories on the verge of getting lost in the sands of time. Thus, a high-quality photo scanner is a must-have for every home.
Today we are going to look at some of the best Epson photo scanners that you could buy. This list is not expected to be a comprehensive one. If you have any suggestions for other scanners, feel free to share it with us in the comment section.
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Scanning old photos with a flatbed (or even AIO printers) is a long drawn and extremely time-consuming process. The thought of having to feed thousands of photo prints (if your family is like mine) to a scanner and waiting for it to make a pass and digitize the memory, for days on end, can send shivers down the spine of any strong individual. The best Epson photo scanners, however, can be a big help here, making short work of an otherwise tedious chore.
✔ Our Picks (Best Photos Scanners)
Our Pick for Best Photo Scanner: Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner
Best Budget Photo Scanner: Epson Perfection V39 Photo Scanner
1. Epson FastFoto FF-640 High-Speed Photo Scanner (Easy Instal & Setup)
The Epson FastFoto FF-640 is a lightning fast scanner. It scans images of the size between 8.5” x 120” (for Windows users only) to a minimum of 2” x 2” at a maximum resolution of 600 DPI. Mac users can scan only scan up to the largest size of 8.5” x 14.5”. You can choose the standard 4” x 6” print, and the scanner will scan them at a maximum speed of 60 ppm at 300 DPI.
Though speed isn’t always the operative word here, resolution certainly is. You can scan larger documents at a speed of 45 ppm at a resolution of 300 DPI.
The scanner has the capability to render colors 48-bit internally and 24-bit externally. No matter how many colors your prints have the FastFoto FF-640 is capable delivering them accurately.
Moreover, the Single-step technology (which is a secondary scanner inside the scanner) is capable of scanning both the image and any handwritten notes on your images in a single pass.
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Even when you are scanning documents, you have the ability to scan both sides at the same time which saves a considerable amount of time. Speaking of saving time, the built-in ADF has a capacity of 30 photo prints or about 80 documents. That saves you from the hassle of having to sit and feed the prints to your scanner. You can do other things while the scanner digitizes your prints/documents.
Some users have noted issues while scanning old Polaroid photos, but overall the FastFoto FF-640 is a good solution for scanning old photos. Certainly one of the best Epson photo scanners around.
The scanner comes with an installation disk and an array of services. The installation process is simple. While scanning you can specify details like where you took the photos, which folder to store the photos too, what application to load up after the scan is done etc.
Entering a year allows the application to create an appropriate file name and entering a small description for each batch of photos ensure that the files are properly filed according to the year you took them and the keywords.
The utilities can even make minor adjustments like correcting red-eye or restoring colors that have faded over time. Everything happens seamlessly and smoothly.
Later on, if you prefer to add more photos to the same batch, you can do so by importing them to the specific batch of photos.
- World’s Fastest Photo Scanner (1) — scan thousands of photos as fast as 1 photo per second (2).
- High-quality scans up to 600 dpi — scan precious images, from wallets to panoramic photos.
- Preserve what’s priceless — Restore, Save, Organize and Share images.
- (1) In its class, as compared to other consumer photo scanners priced under $1,000 MSRP USD (sold into the United States and...
- (2) Based on average speed from start of scan to end, using Windows driver, scanning thirty 4" x 6" photos at 300 dpi in...
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2. Best Negative Scanner: Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner
The Epson Perfection V600 is a color photo scanner designed to scan 35mm and medium format film, photo print and take care of other general scanning tasks.
The V600 is a flatbed scanner, and that means the design and its functionalities have certain disadvantages that outweigh the advantages.
By the company’s admission, the film scanning is not in the same league as some of the higher quality products that Epson makes, however, the overall package is a better bargain than traditional cheap flatbeds.
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The V600 is a model that is priced between the more economically priced V500 and the higher priced V700. We will discuss the V800 (the upgraded version of the V700) later in this discussion.
An important addition on the V600 is the Digital ICE technology. This is a hardware technology that is aimed at removing scratches and dust elements on prints and films that degrade the quality of the scans.
The V500 also has this feature. So, what’s new on the V600? Digital ICE on the V500 could manage this correction only for films while the V600 does the same for both film and prints. There is, however, a downside to this technology. It being that artefacts are introduced into the image due to the nature of the dust removal technique which involves multiple scans and comparing the images.
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But let’s first take a look at the bright side, namely the best features of this scanner. The maximum resolution at which the scanner can make copies of prints is 6400 x 9600 DPI. It can scan 35mm film as well as 120 / 220 film size (medium format).
On the downside, the V600 can scan only four 35mm slides at one go. There is no multi-feed option. This greatly increases the time frame if you have several of these films in your collection and you need them to be scanned.
The largest document width that the scanner can handle is 8.5” and the largest document length being 11.7”.
The integrated software comes with an array of Auto and Manual features. A lot of times poor exposure settings under difficult lighting situations can result in bright backgrounds and under-exposed faces. The V600’s Auto mode can automatically correct these. It can also do a professional of adjusting tones, restoring color and contrasts which is a major problem with old prints with washed out colors.
The surprising thing is that the V600’s scanner can pick up subtle details like the luster of fabric in direct light etc. much quicker than other comparable flatbed scanners.
- Create extraordinary enlargements from film: 6400 x 9600 dpi for enlargements up to 17 Inches x 22 Inches. Maximum Scan Area...
- Remove the appearance of dust and scratches from film: Digital ICE for Film
- Remove the appearance of tears and creases from photos: Digital ICE for prints
- Scan slides, negatives and medium format panoramic film: Built in transparency unit
- Achieve greater productivity: Energy efficient Ready Scan LED light source means no warm up time, faster scans and lower...
The Epson Perfection V800 is a flatbed photo scanner with a maximum scanning resolution of 6400 DPI. The V800 is capable of scanning prints, film, slides as well as documents.
Just like the V600 above, the V800 also has a built-in transparency unit. The one on the V800 can scan 8 x 10” films.
There is also a built-in film holder for four different types of films – 35mm slides, 35mm film strips, medium format 6 x 20cm / 4” x 5” film. There is also a film area guide that measures 8 x 10”.
The slide holder can accommodate up to 12 slides, allowing you to automate at least a dozen of scans. The 35mm film holder accepts up to three strips of film, each with up to 6 films, i.e., a total of 18 films.
The V800 is a flatbed scanner. It can scan both films and prints. However, it gives its best performance as a film scanner where it can produce excellent results with both negative and positive films. For anyone looking for a high-quality 35mm film and for that matter slide film scanner, the v800 can provide professional results.
It comes with 4.0 Dmax rating. In plain English, that means the V800 is capable of picking up even the smallest changes in the shading areas. That inherently promises a greater range of contrast between white to black. This feature works particularly well for the shadow areas of your images bringing out details that are difficult for other scanners to reproduce in the scans.
A noticeable difference between the older V700 and the new D800 is the new LED lamp. This practically eliminates the need for ‘warming up’. The scanner is ready in a jiffy to scan your prints/films. There is, however, no change the quality of scanning from the previous version of the scanner.
There are three scan modes on the V800, the Auto mode, the Home and the Professional mode. The names are self-explanatory. In the “Auto Mode”, the scanner sets all the settings on its own. Any contrast or color adjustment, any correction, etc. are all auto set. On the other hand the “Home Mode” is for slightly more advanced users. You would be able to manually adjust elements like brightness and contrast, reviewing the scan before saving it.
The Professional mode is for expert users who prefer to change all settings, much like RAW processing manually. Contrast, brightness tonal curve adjustments; all of these and more can be manually adjusted.
Color prints get faded over the years, and dust and scratch set it. The V800 has Digital ICE, a hardware based auto adjustment technology that tends to correct dust and scratches in your images. Digital ICE is available only in Home and Professional modes though.
The V800 could have won the race for the best Epson photo scanners but it’s not the final entry on this list.
- Precise color and detail - get extraordinary scans with 6400 dpi resolution. Grayscale Bit Depth: 16-bits per pixel internal...
- Remarkable tonal range - 4.0 Dmax for smooth gradations & fine shadow detail
- Exclusive Dual Lens System - selects from 2 lenses for optimum results
- Operating Systems: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Mac...
- Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for User Manual
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The Epson Perfection V39 is a flatbed photo scanner with a maximum resolution of 4800 DPI. The maximum scan area of the V39 is 8.5” x 11.7”. This is a photo scanner only with no ability to scan film/slides. When it comes to features, the V39 isn’t in the race for the best. It, however, is one of the best Epson photo scanners in the economy range.
Specialist Flatbed Scanner
The role of a specialist flatbed photo scanner is somewhat dubious as rarely do people look for one. They either go for an All-in-One which gives them the ability to scan and print or a flatbed that also comes with a transparency option for scanning slides and films.
The V39 in that sense is a rarity. It does one job and does it well. Color depth possible on the V39 is a respectable 48-bit giving you richer and smoother colors. It comes with Epson’ Easy Photo Fix Technology.
There are some drawbacks to the V39 like other cheaper flatbed scanners; the V39 does not come with too many utilities in an installable CD or USB drive. The application has included an Epson Scan, Scan to PDF, Arcsoft’s Scan-n-Stich Deluxe and the Document Capture Pro. We are, however, interested in the quality of the photo scanning feature.
The V39’s photo scanning utility – Easy Photo Scan gives you a simple interface to scan a photo, make some minor adjustments to it and then save to your preferred drive. There is not much regarding corrections or adjustments that you could do with it.
The Arcsoft’s Scan-n-Stich Deluxe utility comes in handy when scanning oversized documents / panoramic images. These images are difficult to scan in one run. This utility is, thus, very handy.
- High quality scanning for photos and documents : 4800 dpi optical resolution (1) for amazing clarity and detail
- Preserve priceless memories: Restore, archive and share family photos for generations to come
- Scan to Google Drive and other cloud services (2): Epson Document Capture Pro and Easy Photo Scan software included
- Convenient: Easy to use buttons for scan jobs, plus a space saving built in kickstand for vertical placement
- Scan over sized prints, documents and artwork : ArcSoft Scan n Stitch Deluxe 2 included (3)
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5. Our Pick: Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner
The Epson V850 is Epson’s top of the line photo scanner, a notch above the Epson Perfection V800 that we mentioned above. Interestingly, however, when it comes to photo scanning quality the V800 and the V850 are almost the same Both offer an optical resolution of 6400 DPI.
The V850 is capable of scanning prints, films, and slides. The largest image it can scan is 8.5” x 11.7”. It has a maximum color depth of 48-bit. There is a built-in transparency unit which can scan a maximum size of 8” x 10”. Internally a built-in film holder can hold up to two sets of film.
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These film holders can accept a variety of film types. These includes 35mm slides, cuts of 35mm films, a variety of medium format films and even 4 x 5” films. Additionally, there is also a separate film area guide that can hold extremely large films of a maximum size of 8 x 10”.
The convenience of these two set film holders is that you can continue to scan one set while loading film into the other. This greatly increases the speed of the film to digital conversion.
Performance wise the V850 has 4.0 Dmax rating means the V850 promises very high dynamic range. Dynamic range performance is best in the regions which are in shadow, and here the V850 performs admirably.
Our pick, the V850, just like the V800 we discussed above, comes with hardware-based Digital ICE technology. This technology helps correct scratches and dust in your old worn out photos as much as possible when scanned.
- Pro quality color & detail - get unparalleled scans W/ 6400 dpi resolution & Adv
- Remarkable tonal range - 4.0 Dmax for smooth gradations & fine Shadow detail
- Exclusive dual lens system - selects from 2 lenses for optimum results
- Operating systems: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows XP professional x64 Edition and Mac...
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your “master guide” here at PhotoWorkout.
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