Create a digital archive with the help of these photo scanners

Preserve and share your family’s memories.

photos on a table
Digital files don't fade.Jon Tyson via Unsplash

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.

Epson Perfection V600

Epson Perfection V600

High-quality scans 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 x 9600 DPI (dots per inch) 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.

Kodak Scanza Digital Film and Slide Scanner

Kodak Scanza Digital Film & Slide Scanner

For people dedicated to saving everything.Amazon

This device is perfect if you’ve just inherited a treasure trove of film negatives and slides and you want to convert it all into digital archive for future generations. It works by taking a digital photo of your media from a built-in 14MP (mega-pixel) camera, so a flatbed scanner is a better choice if you want the highest quality. Capture old 35mm, 8mm, 126, 110, and Super 8 formats, and store them on an SD card so you can view them on your computer or projector. Just keep in mind that Super 8 film only converts to still images. After you’ve spent hours going through the snaps from the 1973 family reunion, preserve or print your favorites at the highest resolution possible by taking them to your local photo center.

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

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.

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

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 either 300 or 600 DPI. Then add audio that tells the story of the image and who’s in it by using the Flip-Pal Toolbox software on your computer or the ScanTools app for iOS and Android. This feature syncs audio and imagery into an mp4 video file—so you can see and hear about Grandma’s first haircut directly from Grandma herself.