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Home » Scanners » Best Photo Scanner 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Photo Scanner 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Photo Scanners

Are you in the market for a photo scanner? Then you’re probably confused about which one to buy with so many brands and models around.

To make the choice easier for you, we’ve reviewed six of the best photo scanners you can find.

Comparison Table

Scanner

​Maximum Optical Resolution (Pixels)

Flatbed

Automatic Document Feeder

Epson Perfection V800

6400

Yes

No

Epson Fastfoto FF-680

600

No

Yes

Epson Perfection V39

4800

Yes

No

Plustek ephoto Z300

600

No

No

​Canon CanoScan Lide 400 ​

4800

Yes

No

Flip-Pal

600

Yes

No

​Doxie Flip

600

Yes

No

The 6 Best Photo Scanners in 2020

1. Epson Perfection V800

Epson Perfection V800

The Epson Perfection V800 has a maximum scanning resolution of 6400 DPI, which is pretty high. You can scan large photos and edit them without worrying about losing detail.

The V800 is quite versatile. It can scan prints, film, slides, and documents.

Moreover, the V800 features a built-in transparency unit that’s capable of scanning 8″ x 10″ films.

Additionally, you also get a built-in film holder that can be used to hold four types of film.

Another good feature is the slide holder which can accommodate up to 12 slides so that you can scan multiple photos at once.

There are three scan modes available on this scanner. The Auto mode, the Home mode, and the Professional mode. Each one gives you different levels of control over your scans.

That’s not everything, the V800 also features image restoration technology which corrects dust and scratches in your photos. 

What We Like

  • High resolution, 6,400 dpi
  • Highly functional, can scan photos, film, and documents
  • Image restoration
  • Slide holder for quick and convenient scanning

What We Don’t Like

  • No photo editing application

High-quality photo scans are guaranteed with the Epson Perfection V800. You also get film scanning, something the V800 excels at.

2. Epson FastFoto FF-680W 

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

The Epson FastFoto FF-680W is one of those scanners that get the job done as fast as possible with minimal effort.

It allows you to scan your photo in no time effortlessly. Just place your photo on the flatbed and let the FastFoto FF-680W do the rest. 

After that, the photo is saved to your computer, then you have the option to upload it to a cloud service of your choice.

The FastFoto FF-680W is quite compact, measuring only 11.8 x 8.7 x 8.1 inches (HWD). It should fit into your work environment pretty easily.

Moreover, you can use Wi-Fi to scan your photos to avoid dealing with cables every time you need to do a quick scan.

The software is quite versatile, offering you a wide range of tools that you can use to organize your scans.

That’s not the whole story, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W also features Optical Character Recognition (OCR), allowing you to save your documents as Docx files for editing.

Unfortunately, due to the maximum resolution of 1200 dpi, the quality of the scanned photos isn’t the best you can find. Some other scanners offer resolutions of up to 4,800 dpi.

What We Like

  • Easy to use and highly efficient
  • Easy setup
  • Can scan documents in addition to photos

What We Don’t Like

  • Due to the low resolution, the photo quality can be low
  • Relatively high price point

If you’re looking for a reliable photo and document scanner, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W will serve you well. Just don’t expect super great detail in your scanned images.

3. Epson Perfection V39 

Epson Perfection V39

The Epson Perfection V39 offers you a resolution of up to 4,800 ppi, which allows you to crop in on a much smaller portion of a photo and resize it without sacrificing much detail.

At 1.5 by 9.9 by 14.4 inches (HWD) and 3.6 lbs, the V39 is pretty portable and won’t take up much space on your desk.

The setup process is simple. All you have to do is connect the USB cable that comes in the box and install the software.

You can either place the scanner horizontally on your desk or use the integrated kickstand that allows you to place it at a near-vertical orientation.

The V39 doesn’t come with many applications, so you’ll have to use third-party resources to manage and edit your photos.

The scanner features a scan utility that lets you save your documents in Docx format using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

The software provides you with four scan utilities, including Epson Scan, Scan to PDF, Document Capture Pro, and Arcsoft Scan-n-Stitch Deluxe.

Additionally, you also get a Twain driver. This driver allows you to do direct scans from any windows application conveniently.

Epson’s scan driver offers you multiple modes that you can choose from, including a fully automatic mode and an advanced mode that gives you more manual control over your scans.

What We Like

  • Automatic mode for convenient scanning
  • Scans in many formats
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Versatile software

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t feature film-scanning
  • Doesn’t come with pre-installed applications

The Epson Perfection V39 flatbed scanner is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable scanner that can also be used to scan short documents. 

The scanning quality is quite satisfactory, and the OCR is accurate.

4. Plustek ePhoto Scanner Z300 

Plustek ePhoto Scanner Z300

The Plustek Photo Scanner Z300 is another option for those who don’t like flatbed scanners and prefer a sheetfed setup.

Setting up the Photo Z300 requires installing the software using the provided CD before you start using the scanner. The software is compatible with Windows and Mac OSX, and it has Optical Character Recognition.

The software is pretty easy to deal with. It allows you to select the scanning format, view scanned photos, and save or upload them.

The ePhoto Z300 can automatically detect whether you’re scanning a photo or a document, and it can scan in multiple formats, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Multi-Page PDF, and searchable PDF.

Another thing the scanner’s software is capable of is restoring faded images. You can either set the scanner to do this automatically or adjust the image yourself manually.

Additionally, the scanner is compatible with VueScan, a software for scanning images. Some users are familiar with VueScan and prefer to continue using it with their newer scanners.

Scanning with the Photo Z300 is pretty simple and straightforward. There are no buttons to push. All you have to do is place the photo or document inside the roller, and it’ll be scanned automatically. 

This setup is more convenient than a flatbed setup, where you have to open the top cover, place your photo on the bed, close the cover, and push-buttons.

However, keep in mind that this scanner lacks an Automatic Document Feeder so you’ll have to feed each photo into the tray manually. Nevertheless, the ease of scanning makes up for that.

What We Like

  • Compact and portable
  • The software comes with photo editing capabilities
  • Easy to use compared to flatbed scanners
  • Regular software updates

What We Don’t Like

  • Document scanning quality may not be the best around

The Plustek Photo Z300 is a excellent scanner that’s both fast and affordable. The software offers you a high level of functionality, and the scanner is easy to use.

5. Canon CanoScan Lide 400

Canon CanoScan Lide 400

A versatile scanner that works for both photos and documents, the Canon CanoScan Lide 400 is another option on our list for those who love tech pieces with a slim form factor.

We love how compact it is. This scanner offers you a whopping maximum resolution of 4800 dpi and a color depth of 48 bit. 

The amount of detail and vibrancy you can get out of this scanner is among the best you can find.

When it comes to speed, the CanoScan Lide 400 is a racing machine. It takes a mere 8 seconds to scan one photo or document. Additionally, you can run it using a USB Type-C cable.

After uploading your files, you have the option to upload them to the cloud service you want.

Furthermore, the scanner has image restoration capabilities, allowing you to get beautiful digitized versions of your precious moments. 

You can either place this scanner in its horizontal position or use the attached kickstand for upright positioning.

Unfortunately, this scanner lacks wireless connectivity options. Another thing worth noting is that you can’t scan files from your mobile device directly with this scanner.

What We Like

  • Vibrant photo scans
  • Excellent software bundle
  • Easy to use and set up

What We Don’t Like

  • No Wi-Fi or other wireless connectivity options
  • Some images may turn out to be darker than their original versions

The Canon CanoScan Lide 400 is a budget professional scanner that allows you to scan your photos and documents at a high quality easily. 

With a high resolution and super-fast scanning, it’s hard not to recommend this scanner.

6. Flip-Pal 

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

What makes the Flip-Pal scanner unique is that it’s quite compact and portable, weighing only 1.25 lbs. 

It’s similar in size to a large-sized book, which means you can easily carry it around with you. It also comes with four AA batteries, allowing you to scan anywhere you want without being dependent on cables.

You can either save your photos to a card or a USB stick, so no need to have a computer nearby to use this scanner. Just charge the device, and you’re ready to scan. However, you can still connect it to a computer when you want to.

There’s a small LCD screen on the scanner that allows you to check your scans before saving them.

The Flip-Pal is a flatbed scanner, so you’ll have to do without an Automatic Document Feeder. You have to rely on manually feeding your photos individually into the scanner.

Nevertheless, the scanning speed is quite fast. It takes only seven seconds to scan a photo which makes up for lacking automatic feeding.

One feature we like is that the scanner allows you to stitch many photos together. This is especially helpful when scanning extra large images.

What We Like

  • Four batteries that provide an extra-long battery life
  • LCD for previewing scanned documents
  • Doesn’t need to be connected to a PC
  • Easy setup and usability
  • SD card and USB support

What We Don’t Like

  • No Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
  • Limited scanning resolution

The Flip-Pal scanner is one of the best portable photo scanners you can find on the market today, especially if you usually need to scan on the go. It comes at a very attractive price too.

7. Doxie Flip 

Doxie Flip

Another compact portable photo scanner on our list is the Doxie Flip. The scanner is quite compact, measuring only 10.2 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches. At 1.26 lbs, the scanner is also pretty lightweight.

The Doxie Flip features a rechargeable battery that allows you to scan your images when you’re travelling wirelessly.

Moreover, it’s equipped with an LCD that allows you to check the number of remaining scans and battery status. 

The Doxie Flip is quite intuitive to use, especially with the help of Doxie’s brilliant software that allows you to organize and edit your photos in a convenient manner. It also lets you upload your scans to cloud services like dropbox 

The Doxie Flip is suitable for scanning postcards, coins, and pictures on the go. You can also scan large photos thanks to the AutoStitch feature.

Multiple scanning formats are available, including JPEG, PDF, and PNG.

Furthermore, it comes with a 4GB SD card and a USB card reader.

What We Like

  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with Mac OSX and Windows

What We Don’t Like

  • Mediocre scan quality
  • No photo editing applications

The Doxie Flip is a fantastic portable scanner that allows you to easily scan your photos and documents without having to deal with cables. Just don’t expect super-high quality scans out of it.

Buyer’s Guide

There are a few things to look for before buying a new photo scanner.

Connectivity

If you prefer to get things done wirelessly, get a scanner that supports Wi-Fi next to USB.

Image Quality

A good photo scanner should preserve the quality of your scanned photos to a great extent. Choose a scanner with excellent color depth and a high maximum resolution.

Some scanners can also restore old and damaged photos into more enhanced versions.

Portability

Do you find yourself constantly having to scan photos on the go? If that’s the case, then you may want to invest in a portable scanner with a battery that doesn’t need a computer to operate.

Flatbed Vs. Sheetfed Scanners

Choosing between a flatbed and Sheetfed scanner is usually a matter of personal taste. Flatbed scanners are the more conventional ones, and many people are used to them, preferring them over roller scanners.

On the other hand, Sheetfed scanners are usually faster and easier to use. Some of them even come with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), allowing you to scan multiple photos at once.

What is a Photo Scanner?

A photo scanner is a device that digitizes your photos into a computer file that you can edit or upload.

This method is much more convenient than simply taking a picture of the photo with your smartphone. You’ll get a much higher quality with a photo scanner.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick as the best photo scanner is the Epson Perfection V800. With a scanning quality that’s nothing short of incredible, highly functional software, film-scanning, and easy setup, you can’t go wrong with this scanner.

Another good option on our list is the Flip-Pal. It won’t only save you money due to its low price tag, but it’ll also allow you to scan your images on the go thanks to the compact size and the four batteries.

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