Monday, August 7, 2017

Scanning paper prints to digital photos on your hard disk

By Admin Baby Drivers  |  August 07, 2017

metimes you find yourself in a situation when you have to scan paper prints, negatives or slides and store them as digital photos on your computer. Although the reason for doing that can vary there are some common considerations to scanning paper prints. In this article we will go over some of them and try to make your scanning experience easier. There are three types of prints that you might be scanning:

  • Paper prints: the most common, usually at sizes like 4X6 and 5X7.
  • Negatives: also known simply as film. This is the processed film usually 35mm from which paper prints are made.
  • Slides: very similar to negatives used for projecting photos on a large screen.
    Scanning paper photos prints. Photo paper prints are easy to scan. You can choose to scan them yourself at home (purchasing a scanner that can do the job is usually cheap and costs less than a $100). You can also choose to mail them (or hand them) to a professional scanning service that will scan them for you and mail you back the originals and a DVD with the digital scans (such services include,, and many more) There are pros and cons to both scanning at home and using a professional service. If you have a small number of photos scanning at home is easier. If you have plenty of photos using a service might be easier but you can end up spending more money. When scanning at home consider the following: 
  • Resolution: the resolution of a scan is measured by the number of dots per inch that the scanner can produce. Most scanners can scan at 1200 DPI or more. Usually the scanner can be set to scan at different resolutions. The higher the resolution the slower the scan and the bigger the photo file size will be. For most paper prints scanning at 300 to 600 DPI is enough but you can experiment scanning at higher resolutions if you feel it provides better results. 
  • Speed: If you have a small number of photos speed is not an issue. If you have hundreds or more of photos scanning speed becomes important. To get fast scans you would have to scan at the lowest resolution possible that results in good enough scans – for most paper prints 300 to 600 DPI is enough.. Also if you’re going to buy a scanner check the scanning speed (usually measured in the number of scans per minute make sure that you check the speed at the DPI you’re going to use).
  • Photo feeding: if you only have a small number of photos this is not an issue. If you have many photos make sure that the scanner you buy allows fast and easy loading of photos. Some higher-end scanners will let you load a stack of photos and will automatically feed and scan them for you. These scanners are the right choice if you are planning on scanning hundreds or more photos.
    Scanning negatives and slides Scanning negatives and slides is harder than scanning paper prints. In most cases it is easier and maybe cheaper to use a professional scanning service (such services include,, and many more). If you want to scan at home your standard flat scanner will not be good enough. In most cases you will need to spend money on purchasing a film/slides scanner. Those scanners are more expensive than the flat paper scanners. Negatives and slides are small high resolution sources and thus require scanning at higher DPI than paper prints. In most cases 2400DPI or higher should be used. The considerations for scanning negatives and slides are similar to scanning paper prints. If you need to scan just a few negatives or slides speed and ease are not important but if you’re going to scan hundreds or more you should spend more money on scanners that can feed the negatives or slides automatically or can just load a roll of film and scan it.

    » Thanks for reading: Scanning paper prints to digital photos on your hard disk
    Author: Baby Drivers

    Never fear before trying it and never stop before it works.