1. SAVE TIME - There is no doubt about it, if you have scanned photo prints, slides or negatives you know the task is time-consuming and tedious. Even with the most advanced high-speed scanners, it can take more than 5 minutes for a professional to scan and adjust a single photo. For example, digitizing a modest collection of 2,500 35mm slides could take more than 200 hours. Thats about a month of dedicated 10 hour workdays of scanning and adjusting images and that estimate excludes training, setup and necessary trial and error testing.
Mobile apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic have revolutionized mobile phone photography, transforming the lenses built into smart phones into retro-style cameras like the Diana, Holga and Lomo. They have not only created a unique niche of retro iPhonography but these free apps have morphed into online social communities structured around image sharing. The web site Inkstagram, which acts as a web portal for Instagram, and Hipstamatics site provide unique web-based sharing platforms with online albums and options for print fulfillment. Although the digital effects of these apps are unique to the mobile platform, the effect can be easily duplicated with basic knowledge of filters in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
So when converting traditional photographic prints, slides and negatives to digital - what are the factors and options impacting digital file sizes and storage requirements? Generally, image size is a result of original media size, scanning resolution (dpi or dots/pixels per inch), image content, image processing(including compression) and file type.
The tables below (one for each scan resolution) show estimates of how, on average, various prints scans will be sized and the resulting storage requirements.
There are other formats, typically used for commercial printing, photography, and in the graphics arts community. These formats tend to be used for specific purposes apart from the general use JPEG file format. Often, these other formats are ultimately converted to JPEG in their final form to maximize usability. These formats include TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), RAW (family of minimally processed image formats), PNG (Portable Network Graphics), GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), and BMP (Windows bitmap).
At FotoBridge, we provide JPEG files as the standard file format delivered with every scanning package. We also include a free duplicate "Web Ready" JPEG file which is useful when a full sized JPEG is not ideal - such as when emailing or loading a large number of images to a digital frame. Whether delivered on DVD or CD, all the delivered JPEG files are fully open and unrestricted for copying, editing, renaming, resorting, slideshow/movie making, uploading - you name it, you can likely do it with JPEGs.
FotoBridge also offers TIFF files (in addition to the two included JPEG versions) as an option for slides and negatives packages, ordering this option means you receive three files for every photo scanned (TIFF, JPEG, and Web Ready (small JPEG)).
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So whether your launching your own scanning project, reveiwing digital images for enjoyment or about to engage a scanning service to finally archive your vast, treasured family photo collection - we believe there are ways to maximize the benefits of digitization. Knowledge is key. Thats why we'll endeavour to share tidbits about what we've learned about creating great digital images in the Scan Tips Series. The series will cover common problems, how to best reproduce tone, filters and settings, resolution, color balance, bit depth considerations, minimizing noise, effective sharpening, common terms and much, much more.