5 Best Scanners for Old Pictures: Digitize Old Photos

Old pictures are nothing less than a treasure for many of us.

Storing them in digital form is the best way to preserve them.

They may be worn out with time, with ripped sides and scratches from careless folding. The plastic cover of the album tends to stick with the picture over time, fading their colors forever.

Therefore, if you want to preserve them, you most certainly need  one the best scanners for old pictures.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

What are the Benefits of Scanning Old Pictures?

Even if you once shot your photos with negative film cameras, it is better to scan and preserve your old precious scans. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Pictures are saved forever
    You can create back up for your data so that even if you delete them accidentally, you can find them through back up.
  • Pictures are better organized
    If you have hundreds of old picture then finding one particular can become a time-consuming and hectic chore.
  • Pictures can be revitalized
    With better color contrast, shadows, and sharpness.
  • Easily share them
    With other family members or even through your social media platforms.

List of Best Scanners for Old Pictures in 2021

We have chosen following scanners for you.

  1. 1
    Plustek ePhotoZ300 – Recommended Sheetfed Scanner for Photos
  2. 2
    Epson Perfection V370 – Affordable Flatbed Scanner
  3. 3
    Epson Perfection V800 – Professional Flatbed Scanner
  4. 4
    Doxie Flip – Portable Flatbed Scanner for Photos
  5. 5
    Epson FastFoto FF-680W – High Speed – For High Volume

Brief Reviews

1. Plustek ePhotoZ300 – Recommended Sheetfed Scanner for Photos

Plustek Photo Scanner - ephoto Z300, Scan 4x6...
  • The easiest way to scan photos and documents....
  • Fast and easy, 2 seconds for one 4x6 photo...
  • More efficient than a flatbed scanner. Just...
  • Powerful Image Enhancement functions...

ePhotoZ300 is a scanner that is specifically designed to scan photos.

4×6″ is the standard size for most photographs. It scans photos using its sheetfed mechanism that scans in 2 secs.

The maximum scanning size of the device is A4 size paper. Therefore, if you have documents to scan, you can do so with it as well. A typical A4 sized document takes about 5 seconds to scan.

The device actually is just one part of the equation. Since this is a specialized photo scanner, it comes with a robust software that enables quick fixes, auto crop, slideshow creation etc.

One of the highly lucrative feature about this scanner is that it is designed to reduce physical harm to old photos. While typical sheet fed scanners can occasionally jam, this is designed in a way that your photos remain safe.

Basically, if you want the least expensive sheet fed option, then this is one of the best scanners for old photos.

2. Epson Perfection V370 – Affordable Flatbed Scanner

No products found.

Epson Perfection V379 is, hand downs, one of the best flatbed scanners not just for old photos but for all sorts of print media out there.

It is not just one of the cheapest flatbed scanners out there, it is also a robust machine.

Despite its low price range it features high quality photo scanning capability as well as the ability to scan 35 millimeter negative films and slides.

Of course you can scan documents as well, however, with an excellent 4800 dpi optical resolution, this is highly suitable for photos that require enlargement.

A high resolution as this can allow you to create enlargement as large as 13 x 19 inches. Therefore if you want to hang your old photos in a large frame, this scanner has enough DPI to ensure that your photos will not pixelate when enlarged.

Plus a flatbed scanner is excellent for all sorts of delicate documents including old photos.

While the scanner only has a maximum scanning area of 8.5″ x 11.7″ (A4/Letter), it comes with a software called scan and stitch for large photos.

Basically you scan parts of a large photo and then hit the stitching option in the software. The software will then automatically stitch the parts together to form the complete picture.

All in all, if you need an affordable flatbed option for your delicate photos, then this is one of the best scanners for old photos.

Also Read:

3. Epson Perfection V800 – Professional Flatbed Scanner

Epson Perfection V800 Photo scanner
  • Precise color and detail - get extraordinary...
  • Remarkable tonal range - 4.0 Dmax for smooth...
  • Exclusive Dual Lens System - selects from 2...
  • Operating Systems: Windows 8.1, Windows 8,...

While the Epson Perfection V370 above is great for home or for casual use, if you work in a photo studio then you need a professional scanner for your business.

Epson Perfection V800 is a very expensive machine. However, know that this is the cream of the flatbed scanners.

For starters, you must know that the scanning quality for a scanner, among other things, is measured by its dynamic range.

The higher the dynamic range, the more minute details it can capture from the scanned photo.

Dynamic range is the measurement between Dmin and Dmax. A Dmax of 4.0 is generally considered to be of the highest quality among flatbed scanners. The V800 is one such scanner that offers a Dmax of 4.0.

Learn more about dmax, dmin and dynamic range here.

Secondly, it offers a dual lens system. One lens has an optical resolution of 4800 DPI, the other has a DPI of 6400. 6400 DPI is extraordinary for a scanner to achieve.

Thirdly, the real charm of this scanner lies with its ability to scan negative films ranging from 35 mm all the way to 120 medium format films.

All in all, if you need professional quality photo scans, then this is one of the best scanners for old photos on 2019.

Also Read: Best Flatbed Scanners

4. Doxie Flip – Portable Flatbed Scanner for Photos

Doxie Flip - Cordless Flatbed Photo &...
  • Scan your story with Doxie Flip, the...
  • Doxie is lightweight and portable – about...
  • A unique removable lid lets you flip Doxie...
  • Doxie is built for capturing your history and...

Doxie Flip is a flatbed scanner that is almost entirely dedicated to photo scanning. Its flatbed has a size of 4×6″ and therefore it cannot scan large documents.

Despite those limitations, this is an able scanner.

Firstly, while this is flatbed scanner, it even doubles as a wand scanner. Basically, the top lid of the scanner is detachable. Thus, you can then use this to scan almost any surface by placing the scanner on top.

Secondly, this scanner is battery powered, therefore, you do not need to have this attached to a power source.

Thirdly, it is highly compact and therefore you can carry this around any where you go.

Finally, it comes with an SD card slot. You can use the SD card to store all your scanned directly in it without connecting to a computer.

Therefore, given all these unique features, this option is certainly one of the best scanners for old photos.

5. Epson FastFoto FF-680W – High Speed – For High Volume

Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed...
  • World’s Fastest Personal Photo Scanner (1)...
  • Preserve Your Priceless Photos — restore,...
  • Share Stories for Future Generations — use...
  • Perfect Picture Imaging System — bring new...

Finally, we have another professional scanner that is excellent for studios that deal with a huge volume of photo scanning on a daily basis.

Like the Plustek ePhotoZ300 above, this is also a sheetfed scanner, however, it offers a much coveted Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). The benefit of an ADF that is that it allows batch scanning jobs so that you don’t have to manually feed each and every sheet.

At a standard DPI of 300, this scanner can scan 45 A4/Letter pages per minute and 90 photos per minute.

However, since this is a dedicated photo scanner, it has a much higher max DPI of 1200 as compared to conventional sheetfed scanners that have a max DPI of 600.

Besides that, it also offers flexible connectivity including the standard USB connection as well as WiFi for scanning directly to your computer.

While this is a photo scanner, it can scan documents equally well. You can scan any loose sheets including A4/Letter sized sheets, receipts etc.

Unfortunately though, the price of this scanner is on the expensive side of the spectrum.

Nevertheless, if you are working in a studio or if you are a home archivist, then this is certainly one of the best scanners for old photos in the market.

Also Read: Best Photo Scanners with Feeder

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Some Tips for Scanning Your Old Photographs in Digital Form

It does not matter whether you get one of the best scanners for old pictures or not if you do not keep the right settings.

Here are some of the tips to help you.

Some of the following tips can help:

  • Get organized: sort out all photos you want to scan and keep them in order by dates or years.
  • You might like to finish the job in one afternoon but always check the duty cycle of your scanner and make sure you don’t exceed the limit.
  • Saving high-resolution pictures on your computer can take a lot of space. It’s better to choose a cloud service and make sure to create a backup.
  • Always check the scanner setting. For only storing a JPEG file at 300dpi and 24-bit color is enough. TIFF format is good if you want to edit the pictures later, but it will add the file size.
  • Create folders and add the relevant information beforehand. Scan the photos and save them directly to these folders this way sorting out photos will be easy in other software later.

Here is a simple video tutorial.

What are CCD Sensors?

You might have noticed that some of best scanners for old pictures featured CCD sensors. But what are CCD sensors and how they are important in scanning for old pictures?

CCD stands for Charged Coupled device, and it is a type of image sensor that is also found in digital cameras. It uses the lens to convert image onto the image sensor, and it’s a great method for capturing high-resolution pictures along with all details.

CCD scans provide better depth in pictures, and even folding lines are tweaked so that they do not appear as part of the picture. The result is a more vivid and sharp photo with no scratches.

You can read more about CCD sensors here.

What is ICE Technology?

Some of the best scanners for old pictures feature the ICE Technology. The quality of old pictures is often ruined by the dust particles on the surface. They might be having too many scratches, stains, or other blemishes.

The ICE technology in scanner uses infrared light, which detects dust, fingerprints and other unwanted stains on the picture. As infrared light is invisible, it cannot reproduce the color information of the photo and only send the information of defects to the scanner.

The photos are illuminated by cold light lamp and information is captured and delivered to the scanner. The information of infrared light is also delivered to the scanner. Both images are compared, and the defects are removed from the photos.

The result is a more vivid and clear image without defects. As this whole process is done inside the scanner, the image is reproduced with exact clarity and depth and no information or detail is lost in this process.


In this article we had a look at some of the best scanners for old photos in 2019.

We looked at affordable and expensive options, sheetfed and flat bed scanners and, portable as well as bulkier choices

In short, there are many types of photo scanners out there. The one you choose depends upon your budget as well as your intended use.

If you are casually scanning your old photos, you really don’t need to spend on expensive scanners.

However, if you are a studio, or an enthusiast home archivist, then you need a top of the line scanner to achieve the desired quality.