Before most of us used our smartphones to capture our lives, photo albums and boxes of unlabeled family pictures piled up in attics and storerooms. Protect those memories from deterioration and weather-based calamity with one of these top-notch photo scanners.
Best overall: Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner
WORKS WITH MAC AND PC
High-quality with an LED light source. Amazon
If you have photos or documents that need careful handling due to age or damage, this Epson model allows you to capture images on its flatbed surface one at a time. Convert a range of formats into image files at a resolution up to 6400 DPI and take advantage of the machine’s transparency unit and media holders to scan slides, negatives, and medium-format panoramic film. The scanner also comes with Epson software for PC and Mac, with features like Digital Ice for removing defects from dust and scratches and ArcSoft PhotoStudio, which makes it easier for non-photographers to save clearer, brighter versions.
High volume capacity: Epson FastFoto FF-680W
WIRED OR WIRELESS
Great for big projects. Amazon
Quickly digitize both the fronts and backs of photos in the same file and upload them wirelessly to Dropbox or Google Drive with this Epson scanner. Forget the tedium of scanning one at a time and place a whole stack of prints from Polaroids to panoramas in the feeder. You can include different sizes in each stack if you like, and at a resolution of 300 DPI the machine can scan at a rate up to one image per second. Create TIFF files at 600 DPI for archival quality, or enlarge your originals up to four times, to 1200 DPI. When you’re done scanning your high school graduation photos, consider saving your first attempt at a novel too. Edit your hard work—and even crop out a frenemy—with Epson’s FastFoto software.
Travel-friendly: Doxie Go SE
NO COMPUTER REQUIRED
Create a multi-media history. Amazon
If you’re fascinated by genealogy, this innovative scanner will help you preserve both images and a first-person narrative. It weighs just over a pound, so it’s easy to take with you to your next gathering of relatives. When the family photos inevitably come out, open the lid of this flatbed scanner and flip it over to frame and scan directly on a photo album, without the need to remove the picture. You can also place items directly on the flatbed. Scan and save images onto an SD card at 600 DPI.