Most people have albums and boxes full of old photos slowly deteriorating and being ignored in the digital age. The solution is scanning the photos into digital files, organizing those files, and making sure they are backed up. On the surface this sounds easy but one quickly finds there are an overwhelming number of choices that have trade-offs with cost, effort, and quality.
Scanning Options – Prints
Cheap and Fast – Smart Phone – Scanner Pro will find the edges to make sure the photo is rectangular. Cost $0/photo Effort 15 sec./photo Quality – Lowest
Cheaper with less effort – ScanMyPhotos.com
<$.10/photo where you fill a box with ~1000 photos, ship it to them, and they return in 6+ weeks the photos and a DVD with medium resolution digital version. Helps to bundle the photos with a rubberband and put an index card with the year and subject. Requires photos to be out of albums.
High quality but takes lots of time – Flatbed scanner
Higher quality but shipped overseas – ScanCafe – they will also allow photo albums
Scanning Options – Negatives & Slides
Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner – uses a smartphone to capture negatives. Quality is just ok.
Medium quality but takes time – Dedicated negative/slide scanner
High quality but takes lots of time – Flatbed scanner that support negatives
Higher quality but shipped overseas – ScanCafe