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Top Photo Scanners for Digitizing Your Photos

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Photo scanners come in a variety of styles, including flatbed (where you can scan objects such as a book on a flat surface), sheetfed (in which, as the name suggests, you can feed in a stack of documents), and dedicated photo scanners, which come with specialized software to help you scan and restore photos. No matter what kinds of photos you work with, or whether you're a professional photographer or just have some old photos you'd like to restore and save, photo scanners can make things easy for you. Here are some of the best ones I've tested.

1. Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection photo scanner
Photo © Epson

The Epson Perfection V500 photo scanner is not expensive, coming in at less than $200, but it offers some great extras. For example, Adobe Photoshop Elements, a consumer version of its high-end Photoshop photo-editing software, is included. On the hardware side, Epson has included slide and negative holders, making it easy to scan from almost any format. You'll have to figure things out for yourself since there's not much in the way of instructions, but that's a fair tradeoff.

2. Pandigital PhotoLink One-Touch Photo Scanner

Pandigital PhotoLink One-Touch Photo Scanner
Photo courtesy Pandigital

You won't find too many great additional features with the Pandigital Photolink One-Touch Photo Scanner, a modestly priced photo scanner. But you will get a conveniently small and easy to use scanner that performs well. Keep in mind that if you need to scan slides or photo negatives, there are no frames with this scanner to make that possible.

3. Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection photo scanner
Photo © Epson

Epson again! The Perfection V700 has multiple lenses depending on what kind of resolution you want in your digital image. Included software makes removing dust and other imperfections easy. Want to scan slides and negatives? No problem--the V700 comes with slide holders for 12 35-mm slides or 24 35-mm film strips. It's not a cheap photo scanner, as you can tell from the extra features it offers. But if you want a great scanner and don't mind spending over $500, this one is worth a look.

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4. Plustek OpticFilm 7400 Film / Negative Scanner

Plustek OpticFilm 7400 Film / Slide Scanner
Photo courtesy Plustek

As you can tell from the name, the Plustek OpticFilm film / negative scanner is only for slides and negatives, not for snapshots. That's great for those of us who have tons of slides from years past that are impossible to share and difficult to scan. You'll find the Plustek easy to use and the results excellent, and without you having to do a lot of the hard work. One note to the photo pros: only standard 35mm slides / negatives are scannable with this scanner.  

5. CanoScan LiDE 210 Photo Scanner

CanoScan LiDE 210 Photo Scanner
Photo © Canon

Another very small photo scanner, the Canon CanoScan LiDE 210 performs way above its size while making things easy for the novice scanner. It does all this without breaking the bank as well. It does a fine job for photos but really excels in document scanning (it's a bit lightweight so you can scan hardcover books but only carefully). 

6. Epson Perfection V330 Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection V330 Photo Scanner
Photo courtesy Epson

Whether you want to scan photographs, negatives, or documents, you'll find that the Epson Perfection V330 Photo Scanner does an excellent job. It has on-board software that make restoring photos an easy process; you can even join multiple scans together for large images.

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