3 Problems with Scanning Photos to Digital at Home

Posted by Julie Morris on Thu, Jan 02, 2014 @ 07:11 AM

scanning photos to digitalThese days, it seems everyone is either a DIY-er, a technology buff, or both. That’s exactly why so many people take it upon themselves to scan entire photo collections – and besides, why pay someone else to do it when you can do it yourself?

Those determined to scan their photo collection themselves and to make a fun project out of it may make themselves take on this Herculean task just to prove to themselves that they can; or to prove every naysayer who’s ever said “scanning a lifetime of photos yourself is impossible." 

But is there truth to the common arguments surrounding scanning photos to digital on your own without using a professional photo scanning service?

The Truth About Scanning Photos To Digital Yourself

As it turns out, the common reasons many believe scanning photos to digital on your own is difficult are pretty accurate; there are even numbers to support it. As they say, numbers don’t lie, so what are the three biggest problems with scanning photos to digital yourself?

#1: Money, Money, Money

One of the biggest professional photo scanning myths is that using a professional photo scanning service is insanely expensive. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially depending on how many photos, slides, negatives, or other media types you need scanned.

If you decide to invest in equipment for scanning photos to digital on your own, you’re likely looking at a pretty big expense that could end up costing as much or even more than using professionals.

You most likely already have a computer, but you’ll need to purchase a film scanner, flatbed scanner, photo editing software, or scanner adapters if you want to scan slides or negatives. Flatbed scanners can cost over $1,500even used. If you need a film scanner for slides or negatives, you could be looking at $2,500 or above, photo editing software at roughly $150, and needed adapters for an average of $35.

#2: Time Is Money

It’s not just the money spent on scanning equipment and tools it’s opportunity costs, a concept older than digital photos.

GfK North America reports that the average person has roughly 3,000 print photos, and some scanners only scan one picture a minute! 

Add up the time spent gathering photos, buying equipment, learning how to use it, the actual and often tedious scanning process, trying to correct digitized images, and equipment costs, and you’ll be in debt – perhaps proverbially or realistically. You’ll also probably end up spending way more than if you’d used professionals.

Additionally, a professional photo scanning service usually offers many packages and options, offering something for anyone’s needs or budget.

#3: Quality

It’s likely you’ve heard someone say “you do your job, I’ll do mine.” Scanning photos to digital yourself versus using professionals is akin to having a lawyer switch places with a surgeon.

Optimizing photos is one of the main motivations for scanning photos to digital, and professional scanners know how to correct issues like fading, discoloration, or scratching, and have equipment aiding quality even more. Even if you bought the most expensive scanner in the world, if you don’t know how to fix digitized image issues, what have you truly gained by scanning photos to digital yourself?

Conclusion: Using a Photo Scanning Service is the Best Option

Scanning photos to digital is the only thing professional scanning companies do –let them do what they do best, giving you time to do what you do best. The end result is well worth it.


Photo Credit: GeekAlerts 

Topics: converting pictures to digital, scanning photos

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