The practice of capturing landscapes, nature, and people’s image has been going on for millennia. However, the earliest versions of modern photography began in the 1830s. 

From the simple black and white pictures, images eventually evolved to the vibrantly colorful portraits of today.

And due to the sentimental values in the printed photos that we love, preserving them is important. One of the best ways to do this is done is by turning them into digital copies through photo scanners.

High-quality, reliable photo scanners can digitally save rare and valuable photos from being lost to time. To that end, check out these five amazing machines that are highly recommended. They offer excellent performance, provide fantastic value for money, and are extremely reliable.

Also, be sure to click the buttons below to see their best deals on Amazon! With that, here are five of the best options that we rounded up especially for you.

Best Photo Scanners Comparison & Rating

Photo Scanners

Features

Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner For PC and Mac, Color Duplex Scanning, Easy Setup For Office Or Home Use, Includes Scanning Software
  • up to 40 photos and documents a minute
  • 60-page automatic feeder
  • Windows and Apple compatible
Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner
  • 6400 x 9600 dpi for enlargements
  • accommodates photos of up to 17 x 22 inches
  • Ready Scan LED light
Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner with Rechargeable Battery & Amazing Software
  • up to 400 scans
  • rechargeable battery
  • no computer required
Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner with Scan-To-Cloud & 4800 Optical Resolution,Black
  • 4800 dpi optical resolution
  • restores color
  • Google Drive and other cloud services compatible
Brother Easy-to-Use Compact Desktop Scanner, ADS-1200, Fast Scan Speeds, Ideal for Home, Home Office or On-The-Go Professionals
  • easy-to-transport design
  • simultaneous side-to-side scanning
  • dedicated card slot for plastic cards

1. Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner

Canon ImageFORMULA R40 Office Document Scanner For PC and Mac, Color Duplex Scanning, Easy Setup For Office Or Home Use, Includes Scanning Software
Specifications:
96% Overall

Dimensions

11.14 x 9.9 x 9.6 inches

Weight

11.23 pounds

Connectivity

USB

Scanner Type

Photo, Paper, Business Card

97%
Performance
97%
Speed
95%
convenience
96%
versatility
Pros:
  • Easily converts documents and photos into digitized copies.
  • Incredibly easy to use by feeding from top to bottom.
  • Great for receipts, photos, business cards, reports, contracts, long documents, and thick or thin documents.
  • Scans both sides at the same time.
  • Scans up to 40 photos and documents a minute.
  • Comes with a 60-page automatic feeder.
  • Good for both Windows and Apple computers.
  • Easy to set up and detach from devices.
Cons:
  • The features could be a challenge for non-tech savvy individuals, but it works well once it’s done.
  • The file names cannot be restarted back to zero, but they are still in sequence.
  • Not ideal for documents in long sizes.
Final Take:

You are going to absolutely love this photo scanner if you have a lot of photos to scan. It’s incredibly quiet and fast, so it can go through stacks of pictures quickly. It can also do so by batches, which makes things a lot easier. The quality of the scanned documents and photos are top-notch for future preservation. You can also use this for your standard desktop or your Macbook Pro.

2. Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner
Specifications:
95% Overall

Dimensions

19 x 11 x 4.6 inches

Weight

9 pounds

Connectivity

USB

Scanner Type

Film, Photo, Document

93%
Performance
95%
Speed
96%
convenience
94%
versatility
Pros:
  • Provides up to 6400 x 9600 dpi for enlargements.
  • Accommodates photos of up to 17 x 22 inches.
  • Helps remove the appearance of dust and scratches from films.
  • Fixes tears and creases on photos.
  • Accommodates slides, negatives, and medium-format panoramic films.
  • Features a Ready Scan LED light for quick scanning.
Cons:
  • Scanning the slides requires holding them in place.
  • Unable to scan full-portrait photos.
Final Take:

This is an efficient, simple, and fast photo scanner that you’ll want to have at home. It’s quite efficient and works with pretty much any photo. What’s more, you can actually restore photos to pristine conditions so they don’t look muggy or murky. Using this scanner is quite straightforward, as well. You just need to plug it in, install the software, and start scanning.

3. Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner with Rechargeable Battery & Amazing Software
Specifications:
94% Overall

Dimensions

12.25 x 2.25 x 1.75 inches

Weight

1.96 pounds

Connectivity

USB, Wi-Fi

Scanner Type

Photo, Paper, Receipt

95%
Performance
92%
Speed
93%
convenience
95%
versatility
Pros:
  • Amazingly compact and easy to transport.
  • Super simple controls and use.
  • Sync anywhere with no computer required.
  • Comes with a rechargeable battery and no wires required.
  • Features seamless, wireless connections.
  • Each charge allows up to 400 scans.
  • WiFi compatible
Cons:
  • Photos need to be completely smooth in order to be fed into the slot.
  • The wireless connection can take a while, but the process itself is very straightforward.
Final Take:

This is the perfect solution for those who want to bring their scanner with them to scan photos anywhere. You can carry it with you to any place as long as it has an internet connection. You don’t even need to use an outlet since this is a battery-powered device. The photos themselves are always scanned with excellent resolution. Once it has been set up properly, you can smoothly feed dozens of photos through it for efficient scanning.

4. Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner

Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner with Scan-To-Cloud & 4800 Optical Resolution,Black
Specifications:
92% Overall

Dimensions

14.4 x 9.9 x 1.5 inches

Weight

3.4 pounds

Connectivity

USB

Scanner Type

Photo

92%
Performance
91%
Speed
93%
convenience
90%
versatility
Pros:
  • Features 4800 dpi optical resolution.
  • Guarantees scanning for photos and documents.
  • Perfect for restoring, archiving, and sharing old photos.
  • Compatible with Google Drive and other cloud services.
  • Accommodates photos, documents, and artwork.
  • Restores color to faded photos.
Cons:
  • Makes quite a bit of noise when scanning.
  • Scanning extremely faded photos can take a while, but the results are stunning.
Final Take:

This is a great machine to have when you have family photos that you want to save. It helps clean up fading details and brings back the vibrancy of old pictures. The scanner itself captures every intricate detail in the photo. The fact that it is easy to set up and use is a boon for non-techie users. It can even be used to scan thousands of photos as part of a business.

5. Brother Easy-to-Use Compact Desktop Scanner

Brother Easy-to-Use Compact Desktop Scanner, ADS-1200, Fast Scan Speeds, Ideal for Home, Home Office or On-The-Go Professionals
Specifications:
91% Overall

Dimensions

11.8 x 4.1 x 3.3 inches

Weight

4.24 pounds

Connectivity

USB

Scanner Type

Photo, Receipt

90%
Performance
90%
Speed
91%
convenience
92%
versatility
Pros:
  • Comes in a compact and easy-to-transport design.
  • Scans both sides of photos and documents at once.
  • Features a dedicated card slot for plastic cards.
  • Can be connected to a PC or via a flash drive.
  • Photos can be optimized for storage, sending via email, or printing.
  • Enhances and adjusts scanned photos.
Cons:
  • The software requires familiarization to use optimally.
  • Not compatible with some devices and platforms.
Final Take:

This photo scanner is direct, easy to use, and can accommodate any type of photo. It will scan both pictures, colored or otherwise, with considerable detail. You can use this scanner for documents, as well as any other type of flat sheets. The photos themselves are enhanced so that they look less faded. For headshots with details at the back, this scanner can easily capture both sides at the same time.

Best Photo Scanners - Buyer's Guide

features

Many photo scanners are not just for scanning photos. They can also be printers, photocopiers, fax machines, and so on. Naturally, the number of features will also increase the prices of the scanners themselves relative to the quality and the brand. So be sure to get only the machine that has the feature you need.

type

There are different types of photo scanners, with some being solely meant for photos while others also being able to accommodate paper, business cards, and the like. There are also scanners that are intended more for film negatives rather than the printed photos. Aside from there, there are scanners that have the shape of wands rather than standard printers.

size

Photos come in all shapes and sizes, so it only makes sense that you would want to take this into consideration too. That is to say, you need to make sure that the photo scanner that you get will actually be big enough to accommodate the photo you want to scan. Ideally, you want to have a scanner that can at least fit an 8.5 x 14-inch photo.

resolution

Photo resolutions can vary greatly depending on what type of camera was used to take them. Naturally, pictures that were shot using high-end DSLR cameras will have better quality while those snapped by cheap, disposable options would be more blurry. As such, you will need to have a photo scanner that can accommodate the resolution of the printed photo comfortably.

compatibility

Most photo scanners should work well with practically any major device but this is not always the case. There are many machines that are made specifically for particular brands, types of devices, or types of connections. Using the wrong type of USB, for example, can either make the process incompatible or challenging to perform properly.

Best Photo Scanners - FAQs

What’s the importance of having a photo scanner?

Even though most people these days take photos using their various smart devices, there are still many existing physical copies from decades past. Photo scanners can essentially preserve these copies much better than their current form allows. A digital version of a physical photo can be kept in storage for a long time while real pictures can fade in due time.

Can document scanners also be photo scanners?

It depends on their intended features. There are certainly document scanners that can also work as photo scanners but not all of them do. There are also photo scanners that are specifically intended only for pictures. There are even photo scanners that are actually meant to take film negatives to save them as digital copies. It’s important to check these features ahead of time.

How do photo scanners work?

In its most basic function, a photo scanner takes an image of the picture that is being scanned using a series of mirrors and lights. This would then allow the scanner to convert the captured image into digital data that can be stored as-is. This works much the same way as a photocopier would but instead of printing the information, it stores it in a drive.

Can any photo be scanned with a photo scanner?

Photo scanners are designed to be able to replicate photos of any type, from any film, and captured by any device. Naturally, the results would vary wildly depending on the quality of the photo and the scanner itself. It should also be expected that photos that were taken with poor resolution will stay that way unless a copy of the negative was obtained and re-printed.

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Author

Santi Bongco is an editor at SolidSmack which is the leading site for 3D CAD, robots, cool product designs, and other technologies. For the past seven years, he taught robotics and developed innovative 3D printer ideas with his students. He also helped in developing some innovative digital ideas and products for various digital marketing businesses and big companies in Asia. Now, aside from exploring buffet restos in California, he enjoys leading groups of our in-house experts in trying some of your favorite products and electronic brands to write insightful reviews for you. PS: He loves reviewing appliances and taking them home to personally ‘try’ them.