The 9 Best Slide Scanners

Slide Scanners example

Slide Scanners

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Electronics > Camera & Video
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To help you find the perfect slide scanner, our team is putting in a lot of effort to gather information and to present it in a neatly arranged way.
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Published by grex on August 9, 2018.
Our Picks
Canon CanoScan LIDE120 icon Canon CanoScan LIDE120
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i icon Plustek OpticFilm 8200i
Ion Pics 2 SD icon Ion Pics 2 SD
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Plustek OpticFilm 135 icon Plustek OpticFilm 135

Our Picks in Detail

Beside our list of slide scanner alternatives, we provide you with a small list of our favorite 5 hand picked slide scanners.
If you have any questions regarding an item, please refer to our comments section for this article.
Canon CanoScan LIDE120 image

Canon CanoScan LIDE120

Our first pick: The Canon CanoScan LIDE120 from Canon
Ion Pics 2 SD image

Ion Pics 2 SD

Our third pick: The Ion Pics 2 SD from ION Audio
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Our fourth pick: The from Jumbl
Plustek OpticFilm 135 image

Plustek OpticFilm 135

Our fifth pick: The Plustek OpticFilm 135 from Plustek

* Last update of prices was on 2019-01-18 09:26:45 via PA API. Prices or conditions may have changed in the meantime.

9 Best Slide Scanner Alternatives

Kodak Kodak Digital Film Scanner image
Top Pick

Kodak Digital Film Scanner, Converts 35mm, 126, 110,...

  • Film TO jpeg IN seconds - Powerful 14/22mp kodak Film Scanner Converts Old ...
  • Large bright 3.5 tft lcd - High Definition Built-In Color Display Features ...
  • AN adapter for everything - Unit Arrives w/Multiple Film Inserts & Adapt...
Epson Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo image

Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Nega...

  • Create extraordinary enlargements from film - 6400 x 9600 dpi for enlargemen...
  • Scan slides negatives and medium-format panoramic film - built-in Transparency...
  • Remove the appearance of tears and creases from damaged photos - digital ic...
kinzd Slim Wallet RFID Front Pocket Wallet Minimalist Secure Thin Credit Card Holder image

Slim Wallet RFID Front Pocket Wallet Minimalist Secu...

  • Crazy Horse Leather: 6 cards slots 1 ID Window and 1 central cash/receipt ...
  • Rfid Blocking Wallet: Keeps your vital information in cards from being stole...
  • Sturdy Wallet: The stitching and leather is very sturdy Very compact with c...
Epson Epson Perfection V370 Color Photo image

Epson Perfection V370 Color Photo, Image, Film, Nega...

  • Scan 35mm slides and negatives - Built-in tpu for enlargements up to 13 x 19
  • Access documents from mobile devices - Document Capture Pro software included
  • Achieve exceptional clarity and detail - 4800 x 9600 optical resolution Temp...
Epson Epson Perfection V550 Color Photo image

Epson Perfection V550 Color Photo, Image, Film, Nega...

  • Create sharp vivid reproductions - 6400 dpi optical resolution (1) for enlar...
  • Scan 35mm slides negatives and film - built-in Transparency Unit
  • Achieve robust photos restorations - Digital ice technology removes the appea...
Kodak KODAK Mini Digital Film & Scanner image

KODAK Mini Digital Film & Slide Scanner – Conver...

  • Amazing miniature film scanner - All-in-One Device Lets You Scan View Edit ...
  • Multiple adapters for fast loading - Enjoy Maximum Compatibility & Ease ...
  • Updated user interface with 2.4 lcd - Dedicated Scan & Home Buttons Pro...
zonoz ZONOZ FS-3 22MP All-in-1 Film & Converter Scanner image

ZONOZ FS-3 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Converter ...

  • Scan your old 35mm 110 126 Film Slides & Negatives and Super 8 Film
  • High Resolution 22mp Image Output
  • Speed Loading Adapters Included
* Last update of prices was on 2019-01-18 09:26:45 via PA API. Prices or conditions may have changed in the meantime.

Slide Scanner Buying Guide

When you want to preserve your old film, slide scanners are handy tools. These devices come in a massive array of models with unique features. Before you purchase yours, however, there are a few things that you ought to understand.

Slide Scanner Essentials


Slide scanners, also known as film or photo scanners, make it simple to transfer your analog images straight into a computer. In the old days, you would have had to make a print and then scan that, but slide scanner technology lets you cut right to the chase.

Why not just work with a regular office scanner? The problem has to do with the large image scanning beds that these machines use. You’ll have to align your tiny film strips and negatives with extreme precision to get consistent results. Even if you have faith in the steadiness of your hands, however, you’ll still need to repeat the process hundreds or thousands of times depending on how many slides you want to replicate. Using a machine made for the task dramatically reduces your workload.

Features That Are Worth Considering


Not all slide scanners are the same. Pay attention to the following characteristics so that you can make a smart choice for your next photo preservation project.

Media Compatibility


Are you scanning original 35 mm film negatives or a reel of 120 mm film? Do you want to replicate microscope slides or photo prints? Always pick a scanner that can accommodate the different media formats that you’re interested in preserving.

Film scanners typically feature various holders that ease the process of aligning your originals. For instance, the Epson Perfection V800 Photo Scanner has holders for 35 mm slides, 35 mm film strips, 4 x 5 inch prints and
6 x 20 cm medium format media. Canon’s CanoScan LIDE120, on the other hand, lacks a special film holder, so it's better for scanning photo prints.

Resolution


To reproduce the fine nuances of photographic prints and small slides, you need a scanner that can capture images at extremely high resolutions. The 1,200 dpi high setting on your regular flatbed may be okay for things like your kid’s drawings or your personal documents, but using it on photos and film will result in flaws, artifacts and lost details.

Choosing Your Hardware Capabilities


Is there such a thing as a perfect resolution? It all depends on the photos that you’re trying to scan. For example, if you’re copying an image produced by a camera that was slightly out of focus, then no amount of resolution can overcome the soft edges and blurriness present in the original. On the other hand, you’re almost sure to notice the effects of low-resolution scanning when you’re trying to duplicate an image that was initially clean and sharp.
As a general rule, some photography buffs recommend starting at around 2,400 dpi and higher for stills. When converting movie film to video, people report being able to create quality HD content by starting at around 800 dpi for 35 mm formats.
It’s important to remember that these are just guidelines. Even within the world of once-commonplace formats like 35 mm, different manufacturers produced film products with unique dimensions and aspect ratios.
Leaving yourself with wiggle room is always best, so many people go for scanners with the highest resolution capacities they can find and then use software to downsample the resolution as needed. This strategy reduces the amount of image information that you lose along the way. For instance, the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i scanner has a steep learning curve, but it captures images at a whopping 7,200 dpi. It also includes optimizations for 35 mm film.

Computer Compatibility


It’s entirely up to you which side of the PC vs. Mac vs. Linux debate you fall on, but at the very least, make sure that your scanner is on the same team. Not all devices that claim to operate fine with Macs or PCs do so flawlessly, so if a manufacturer says that their software is compatible, don’t just take it on faith. Always be certain to check which versions of your operating system the software is verified to function with before buying.
Scanning images is a data-intensive process. Although USB 2.0 connections are fine for transferring limited amounts of information to your computer, you may want to choose a FireWire- or USB 3.0-equipped scanner to speed bigger batches along faster. Or go with an option like the 2,500 dpi Ion Pics 2 SD for built-in SD card data recording. Using self-contained scanners means that you don’t even have to fiddle with installing drivers or software.

Workflow


When you’re scanning many images, it pays to have assistance. Unfortunately, you might not be able to convince your friends or significant other that they should spend their weekends helping you load film into a scanner.

In such cases, options like Jumbl’s 22MP All-In-1 Film & Slide Scanner can make life much easier. This model accepts continuous film reels and incorporates a speed-load adapter system that makes it possible to feed in slides and negatives at much higher rates. It also features an LCD screen that lets you see what you’re scanning and perform some basic error-correction functions on the spot. The Plustek OpticFilm 135 offers a motorized solution for moving large batches of film through the system to save you the hassle.

Image Quality: Software vs. Hardware


Dust and scratches are hallmarks of classic prints and movie reels. Scanning images at extremely high resolutions, however, transforms these subtle aesthetic touches into huge blemishes. Although despeckle tools and other kinds of software filters can help correct problems after the fact, it may be easiest to work with a scanner that just eliminates problems in the first place.

Different scanners work around these issues in unique ways. Some, like Konica’s Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400, use digital infrared scanning to distinguish scratches and dust from valid pixels and correct them mid-scan. Professional-grade slide, transparency and film scanners commonly use a combination of infrared cleaning and other techniques to produce higher-quality images.

Digitize Your Collection


There are many ways to scan your slides so that future generations can enjoy them. Let us know which one you pick in the comments below, or give us your suggestions about the photography-related products you’d like us to cover next.
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More Research on Slide Scanners

New: our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about Slide Scanner reviews, pros & cons and similar products.
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