The 10 Best Photo Scanners

Sara Mandeed
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I think you would agree that buying a scanner is not the most fun shopping trip you’ll ever have.

Can you blame us? Scanners are workhorses for graphic designers, scrapbookers, and other creative professionals, so they share the same space as more exciting products. They don’t have crazy designs that appeal to the average consumer, nor do they have the ability to play music and take pictures like our phones.

Because the money spent on a scanner in 2021 is on par with the price of a TV or a new computer, a lot of the industry focuses on making scanners faster and cheaper, rather than more stylish. And while the trend over the past couple of years has been to focus on making high-quality scans more affordable, don’t count on it. The HP OfficeJet 4650 All-in-One Printer is a perfect example of cheap, but competent. It is affordable and gets the job done, but it’s hard not to notice the clunky design and lack of features. It seems like the scanner has no place in the hi-tech, sleek world of modern electronics, but the age of the scanner isn’t over yet.

NameCategoryProduct
Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning SystemBest OverallEpson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System
KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide ScannerBudget PickKODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document ScannerUpgrade PickCanon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner

1. Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System

Our rating: 9 / 10

Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System

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Pros:

  • No need to connect to a computer – just scan and send
  • Simple to use – no training required
  • Scan photos, cards and documents within minutes
  • Print quality scans for cards and photos
  • Can scan up to 10 photos at .5 seconds per photo

We found this to be a very useful scanner for scanning documents and photos and sending them to clients. The quality is good for the price. The scanner runs through the photos quickly, and the automatic document feeder will allow you to scan multiple items. It is easy to size photos so they will fit postage, and the photos can also be adjusted for color correction.

The density settings are easy to adjust quickly as well. You can scan a strip of photos or choose to scan all photos on one side. It’s very simple to send photos to most social media platforms, to your computer, or to your printer. It comes with two CDs – one for the software and one for the manual. The scanner does not come with a cord. It is Bluetooth, and you will need an Android or Apple device to receive the images.

2. Fujitsu PA03656-B005 Image Scanner ScanSnap iX500

Our rating: 9 / 10

Fujitsu PA03656-B005 Image Scanner ScanSnap iX500

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3. Doxie Go SE

Our rating: 8 / 10

Doxie Go SE

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Pros:

  • Small, lightweight design
  • Easy to use
  • Award-winning Doxie software
  • 30-sheet maximum capacity
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons:

  • Inconsistent performance
  • Scanning speed disappointing
  • No option for Wi-Fi connectivity

Doxie is one of the best portable scanners on the market right now. It performs better than you can ever imagine, and it comes with a bunch of handy features. No more worrying about missing pages or images because the Doxie Go SE is an all-in-one scanner that lets you digitize receipts, books, magazines, handwritten notes, and business cards.

This is an ideal all-in-one office scanner that lets you do everything from editing to archiving in one convenient place. You can even send the scanned files wirelessly to your computer, smartphone, or tablet so that you can quickly make edits or upload them online. Even though it’s considered as a portable scanner, it has a very compact design and weighs just about 9 ounces which makes it highly portable.

The scanner is well-built with a sturdy feel and includes a good number of features. It can scan both sides of a piece of paper at once, and you don’t have to wait to scan a whole 10 – sheet of paper.

4. Plustek Photo Scanner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Plustek Photo Scanner

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Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Portable body design
  • Great for family use
  • Can scan film strips
  • Easy to operate

Cons:

  • Film scanning process is slow
  • Build quality could be better

This is a brand that you’ve probably never heard of before, but it’s a great option for starters. It can scan up to 35mm film strips without a hitch and the detection process is spot on. Even if you’re scanning something that’s not exactly 35mm, the software can resize it by cropping and enlarging, which is really neat.

The setup itself is pretty seamless. It doesn’t read color at all, so you’ll have to do the editing yourself. With that said, the results are great and this is better than those cheap manual home scanners by far. The model also has the ability to scan negatives, but unfortunately, it doesn’t support scanning slides.

5. Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo

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Pros:

  • Shutter button for quick and easy scans
  • Comes with color and resolution settings to scan film, photo prints, flatbed documents, and various other media
  • Drop-on-the-fly technology
  • Superb image quality
  • Affordable price range

The Epson Perfection V600 Scanner is a handy home scanning system that combines simplicity of use with excellent image quality. It comes with a professional-grade 3MP sensor that delivers up to 4800 x 4800 DPI resolution.

In terms of software, the scanner comes with Epson’s Perfection, Twain, Windows, and ColorSync. You also get scanning presets that allow you to calibrate the scanner according to the type of media you’re scanning. You can do both color and black-and-white scans with speeds of up to 12,000 dpi for 4:4:4 color resolution. As for the scan buffer, it can hold up to 35,000 images for continuous scanning. Other available features include color restoration, auto exposure, automatic color balance, and dust and scratch removal.

6. Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner

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Pros:

  • High optical resolution
  • Simple and easy to set up
  • Smart device functionality
  • One touch scanning
  • Photo editing is at the touch of the button
  • Affordable price point.

Cons:

  • Does not come with a stand.

The Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner is an excellent scanner for those looking for something affordable but with the capability of being used with technology. One of the best things about this scanner is that it comes with a hand grip that actually helps with the image alignment through the ten second preview scan.

The scan can then be done in just a touch of a button and still comes out crisp and sharp. This scanner can be used for various things including scanning 3-D objects and using it as a photo editor. One thing that many users talk about is how easy it is to use and it is very simple. There are buttons on the front and a screen that will allow you to navigate and see even when the lid is closed.

7. Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner

Our rating: 7 / 10

Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner

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Pros:

  • Scanning speed of 60ppm (black, white, color, and duplex)
  • Fully automatic document image correction
  • Two different scanning modes
  • Support Windows
  • Easy setup for home or office use

Cons:

  • Lacks document manager
  • Not compatible with Mac
  • Scanning size is limited to A4

If you are looking for an image scanner, a good quality scanner is a must if you want a productive office which will be useful in managing your documents. Canon has been one of the top players when it comes to scanners, and the ImageFORMULA R40 is certainly a great choice.

It offers a high-quality scan, can perform both the color and the black and white duplex scans for the maximum of 60 ppm. With the high speed scan, you can finish all of your work in a short time.

It also comes with auto document feeder (ADF) feature and different scanning modes. While it lacks the document manager or the batch function the software of this scanner is quite easy to use. And that remains a huge benefit when you are using the scanner.

8. ClearClick 14 MP QuickConvert 2.0 Photo

Our rating: 7 / 10

ClearClick 14 MP QuickConvert 2.0 Photo

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Pros:

  • Scan multiple formats
  • Accurate color
  • Automatic corrections
  • Easy to use
  • Large scanning bed
  • Durable

Negatives to JPG or PDF with USB.

"This scanner is AMAZING. I used it to scan all my old Polaroid type 110 film and got so excited AND SAD to see the people/places of my youth. Now I'm scanning all my 35mm negatives and slides. I've even had a friend scan a picture of me in the '70s and the image was so good I made a poster print of it."

"This scanner is durable, has many different ways to scan, and supports various formats. Use a cheap flash drive to transfer files to your computer. The software is confusing at first, but once you figure out how to use it, it's simple and the results are great."

9. KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner

Our rating: 6 / 10

KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner

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Pros:

  • Large display
  • 3200 dpi optical
  • Scanning resolution up to 35mb
  • Plastic tray slides in the scanner to load film… no need to lay down fragile film!
  • Can scan 35mm and medium format (up to 8" x 10") film
  • Film doesn't need to be scanned as flat as other scanners (yay!)
  • Uses AAA batteries
  • Automatic photo adjustments after scanning
  • Photo editing software from Kodak
  • Photos are stored in e-mail client

Cons:

  • No power cord or AC wall adapter included
  • Can't scan positives

The Kodak Slide/Negative/Film scanner gets our pick for being a good-quality scanner that combines a lot of functionality into one compact device. The scanner can digitize films up to about 3200 dpi, and can scan slides and negatives using Kodak's proprietary ICE technology.

The scanner includes software to organize and process your scans, and can store your photos in your e-mail client so you can view them on your computer or mobile device. The scanner uses 2 AAA batteries, so it can be used practically anywhere.

10. Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner

Our rating: 6 / 10

Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner

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Pros:

  • Lightning fast scanning
  • Easy to use
  • Good price point
  • Hardware buttons for scanning
  • Auto file management setting
  • Great customer care

Cons:

  • Software can be buggy at times
  • Scanning speed is very slow in comparison to other scanners

And White Prints, Text, and Photos, Auto Document Feeder: Holds Approximately 25 Sheets

The Brother DS-620 Mobile Color Page Scanner is our top pick based on its ease of use and incredible scanning speeds. It’s ideal for home or office use where you may be on the go and have little time to mess with the scanner. It’s powerful enough to scan double sided documents quickly and synchronize them with your phone with little to no effort on your part.

It has a 35-page automated document feeder, which can hold about 25 pages at a time. However, some users have indicated that the capacity may vary, based on the size of the pages. The scanner is very easy to use once you connect it to your PC or smartphone. You can scan documents directly to your phone or to a removable SD card. It also features a handy LCD display and hardware buttons for controlling the device. The text and image scanner can also detect the language you’re printing in and will format the output accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best scanner for photos?

The best scanner for photos is one that gives you the best image quality when you convert your photos into digital format.

What is a good scanner for old photos?

For the most part, any scanner would do if your only purpose is to get your old photos into a digital format.

However, if you are looking to have your old photos looking classy and better than they have ever looked before, then we suggest you look at our best photo scanner guide where we go in depth to those scanners that will give you the best results for your old photos.

What is the fastest scanner for photos?

The problem with criteria for fastest is that you have to find something to compare it to i.e. slower than what?

In the case of scanners, there are a number of different methods to scan including flatbed, auto feed, and dedicated photo.

Some scan faster than others by just doing one scan per sheet of photo paper instead of the normal two it takes to read a flatbed scanner.

Then there’s the question of whether the scanner is using LEDs, UV, CCD, or CIS? LED is the fastest scanning mechanism.

It’s confusing out there. If you have a specific question, then contact the scanner manufacturer or a photographer. There are several Internet message board forums that they are happy to answer your questions.

What should I look for in a photo scanner?

When we began exploring the world of photo scanning, we were overwhelmed by choices. Companies make scanners of all sorts of prices and with all sorts of bells and whistles. There are scanners for film formats, scanners for your cell phone or camera, scanners for slides and contact sheets, and even scanners that will turn your digital photos into actual 4×6 prints.

So, to answer the question ϬWhat should I look for in a scanner? we decided to boil it down to two factors, speed and quality.

Speed – If you want a photo scanner that doubles as a copier or printer, then speed may not be a big deal. But if you’re just scanning photos, speed is key. It helps you get through your entire photo collection faster and enables you to take advantage of the many file transfer programs people use nowadays.

Quality – There’s a difference between a photo and a scan.

Conclusion

There are numerous photo scanner options on the market. They range from the most basic flat-bed scanners that can be upgraded with a photo feeder to specialty scanner options that allow you to scan photos directly from negatives or slides. Some even have built-in software to scan in photos and organize them for you. Before you purchase a photo scanner, you’ll need to consider what features are important to you and how you plan to use them.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning SystemBest OverallEpson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System
KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide ScannerBudget PickKODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document ScannerUpgrade PickCanon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner