3 Ways To Scan And Digitize Old Photos

Have you stumbled across your picture boxes again and wondered if you should finally digitize the old photos Absolutely! No matter whether you made them yourself in analogue times or whether they are old family pictures – you probably have no overview of how many there are and what can be seen on them. But that can be changed Now read why you should digitize your photos and how it works best!


You must also have some treasures from the era of analog photography.

Why digitize photos

Of course, it is much more convenient to store your paper pictures in boxes or albums than to digitize them. Perhaps it is exactly this feeling that you hold a photo in your hand, what you like about it. Still, there are a few reasons why you should digitize your photos .


Old photo media are now out of date, but often still have nostalgic value.

Protection against damage

Water damage, discoloration, a nostalgic tear – all of this can ruin your analog photos forever. If you have also saved your photos in digital form, you no longer have to worry. Your precious memories are kept safe even in the event of fire or flooding.

save space


Paper pictures are often unsorted and take up valuable living space.

Like most people, you probably know the feeling of just having too many things lying around. Countless picture frames, albums and boxes full of unsorted photos certainly don’t make it any better. It is much easier to store hundreds of thousands of images in digital form on a hard drive. It doesn’t take up more space than a card game!

Share memories

It’s a shame if all the cute baby photos and family portraits embellish the apartment of one person. In digital form, however, the whole family has access to it and you can send them to each other as you please.

post processing

Trying to remove a pimple on a paper photo, correct the exposure , or cut out the ex gives a rather poor result. With digital image processing this is not a problem! Even old photos can be corrected and upgraded using image processing software .

Did I convince you of digitizing photos  Well! Even if you have to invest a little time and money in the beginning, it is definitely worth it to protect your favorite pictures. Next, let’s consider which digitization method is best.

TIP You  don’t have to digitize ALL of your photos right away . It is best to first choose the most important and most beautiful ones and then gradually go through the others.

3 options for digitizing photos

Now let’s take a look at the three best methods for digitizing photos.

# 1 Scan photos


Location home  Costs € – €€  Time expenditure +++



Digitizing photos yourself takes a lot of time, but can also be entertaining.

If you want to digitize your photos yourself, you should prepare for a few long evenings in front of the computer. It is certainly the most time-consuming method, but on the other hand, you have the greatest control over how your photos are digitized and then sorted . Maybe you can also consciously enjoy this time – after all, it can be nice to reminisce.

Which photo scanner is best

Basically, I would recommend you to use a photo scanner that is aimed at mass scans of photos. Your sensitive photos are best protected with these models. Depending on your budget, there are some suitable devices. I recommend the following.

Small budget

The Canon CanoScan or the Epson Perfection V39 are suitable for those on a tight budget. With them you can scan photos up to 20 × 27 format.



Canon LiDE 400 scanner CanoScan flatbed scanner A4 …

  • SHARP AND FAST – Fast, high-resolution scans of photos and documents thanks to the first-class LiDE …
  • EASY SCAN – Precise scans of magazines, books or documents up to 21 mm thick with the …
  • VARIETY OF DETAILS – 48-bit internal color depth for photo scans with exceptional detail and precise …

EUR 80.99

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Medium budget – slide scanner

If you want to take a little more money in hand, I recommend a scanner that can process not only photos, but also old negatives and slides. The Epson Perfection V600, for example, has these functions and also some other advantages such as automatic color correction and a very short warm-up time. The Kodak Scanza is also a great option if you need a film scanner. It is also easy to transport.



Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner (Event Manager, Copy …

  • Features Flatbed scanner; Resolution 6,400dpi (horizontal x vertical); Optical Resolution Main 6.400dpi x Sub …
  • Interface USB 2.0 type B
  • Scan without waiting and unnecessary consumption thanks to Epson ReadyScan LED technology; Refresh films and photos with …

EUR 329.90

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Bigger budget – scan a lot of photos

Our photo equipment

Are you wondering what equipment we take photos with You can find our equipment here.

Show equipment

Do you want the best of the best There are some models that scan whole batches of photos quickly and in high quality. The Epson FastFoto is the fastest scanner of all and processes up to 36 images at once. It only takes one second per picture. Since it works wirelessly, you can use it directly with cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox . A more portable and slightly cheaper photo scanner is the Doxie Go SE. It scans the photos directly onto an SD card and is battery operated. It is only about the size of a rolled-up magazine.  FF-680W



Epson FastFoto FF-680W Scanner (Scans 10 x 15 photo in one …

  • Fast automatic feed scanner – scan up to 30 photos in 30 seconds
  • Easily batch process photos, automatically crop, rotate, and optimize colors and contrast
  • File sizes according to intended use – Creates JPEGs for sharing or large TIFFs for optimal image quality

EUR 389.90

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The bestseller

This scanner is highly praised and has won several awards. You’re definitely not doing anything wrong.



Plustek Photo Scanner – ePhoto Z300, German Design Award …

  • The ePhoto Z300 scans images developed or printed on photo paper, but not real film material, such as …
  • Quick and easy, 2 seconds for a 3×5 4×6 photo and 5 seconds for an 8×10 photo format. You can on …
  • More efficient than a flatbed scanner. Simply insert the photos one by one and scan them. That makes the …

199.00 EUR

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Tips Digitize photos at home

If you are immersed in such a large project for the first time, you should keep the following advice in mind

Think of a system

Are you going to edit your photos chronologically Or according to urgency How will you sort them on your computer or hard drive Make up a system beforehand that you can use to name and save the images so that you can find them again later. Perhaps you can even mark which person can be seen in which photo.

Sort out

Most likely, not all of your photos are masterpieces. Think carefully which one you really want to pick up and sort out the rest. You don’t have to spend as much time and energy on every snapshot.

Keep the scanner clean

It can happen that the glass of your scanner is smeared by fingerprints etc. Then it is best to use a dry, clean cloth (microfiber or a tissue) to clean it. Under no circumstances should you use paper towels or paper towels. They like to lose fibers or scratch the glass. If the stains cannot be removed with the dry cloth, dampen them a little. Let the surface dry completely before using the scanner again. When using the scanner, you should clean it regularly to protect it from dust and dirt.

Also keep your photos clean

Not only the scanner, but also the images should be absolutely clean and dust-free. This is the only way to get optimal results. Compressed air is the best cleaning tool for your photos. Under no circumstances should you leave paper towels, water or cleaning agents on the sensitive images.

Don’t try to remove kinks

Of course, it’s annoying when paper pictures are dog-eared or wrinkled. Still, it’s best to just lay the photo as flat as possible and scan it. Bending or ironing could increase the damage. With the right editing software , such flaws can be easily remedied. Alternatively, you can have the kinks professionally removed.

Save time with the right workflow

Although you can only scan one image at a time, it is worth placing several images side by side. You can then separate them into individual files in a later step. Don’t be frustrated if your first scanning experience takes a lot of time. You will first have to familiarize yourself with your device and software and find the best settings. Little by little you will find your rhythm and will soon be able to work much faster with a little routine.

Write down your experiences

The hardest thing about scanning photos is surely how to use the software. Which one you use depends on your scanner, accessories and the operating system of your computer. When you start finding your way around, make notes of your successes and mistakes. So you have a reminder for the next scan project and save a lot of time.

Do colored scans

With a few exceptions, you should always scan in full color. You definitely need this setting for sepia photos, and black and white images wo n’t harm them unless they’re damaged. In the case of ink blots, glue damage, etc., scanning in grayscale can be better because it makes it easier to play with post-processing.


Even old sepia portraits work best with the full color setting.

Check your settings

The different settings have a big impact on the result of your scan. For photos, you should use at least 300 dpi as the resolution . If you want to enlarge an image, you can increase it up to 600 dpi. Always think about the postprocessing of your photo when you choose color setting and resolution.

Make yourself comfortable

As already mentioned, this method is quite time consuming. So be prepared to comfortably endure it for a few hours. Pick out nice music, run your favorite series in the background or just turn it into a scan party for family or friends!

# 2 Digitize photos via app


Location home  Cost €  Time required ++


If you don’t want to invest in a scanner, have little time or only have your mobile phone available, I recommend a scanner app. Of course, you could also just use your cell phone camera. However, you risk unfavorable shadows, distortion or gloss. With the help of an app, you can get these problems out of the way. You will also receive instructions for the entire scanning process.

One of the best apps for this purpose comes from – surprise! – from Google and is called PhotoScan . The application is free, is suitable for iOS and Android and fits perfectly into the other options of  Google Photos . She takes multiple shots of each photo to get a high quality and best corrected result. There are also the following alternatives to Google.

Andoid Photo Scan App


DownloadQR code

Photo scanner from Google Photos

Developer Google LLC

Price Free


iOS Photo Scanner Plus


DownloadQR code

Photo scanner Plus

Developer Photomyne LTD

Price € 1.09 +


More scanner apps for iOS

  • Memories for iOS Idea Solutions (free)
  • Pic Scanner for iOS from AppInitio Ltd. (€ 4.49)

# 3 Photo digitization service


Location at the provider  Cost €€€ Time expenditure +


The most time-saving and most relaxed alternative to digitizing photos is to hire a professional service. However, this also has some disadvantages

  1. The financial effort is much higher.
  2. You have to hand over your valuable and unique memories, maybe even send them by post.
  3. Strangers will deal with your private pictures – maybe a pre-selection is worthwhile …


Different formats and media are no problem for digitization services. (@freestocks, Pexels)

If you still want to opt for such a service, I recommend the following providers

providers             Price per photo Supported formats         Additional services


depending on the quantity and quality level between € 0.26 and € 0.39  Photos, slides, negatives, video tapes    professional cleaning, color restoration, archiving options

Media fix

depending on the amount between € 0.08 and € 0.24     Photos, slides, negatives, photo albums, video tapes      High-end scans


depending on the quantity and quality level between € 0.10 and € 0.22  Photos, 35mm slides, negatives, video tapes, narrow films       Digitize albums, image editing, cleaning

Local options

In addition to the large providers where you may have to use the shipping, it is also worthwhile to search in your area. Maybe there are some photo studios in your city that offer digitization and that you can support. The prices may be a bit higher, but you save time and money on shipping and may feel a little more confident about handing over your treasures.

Digitized. And now

No matter which option you choose in the end, the result will surely satisfy you. Not only do you gain more space and a pleasant feeling of order and security, you now have all your pictures much easier! You are well prepared for the next birthday email, party slideshow or throwback challenge.

Conclusion digitize photos

As a reminder, the most important reasons to digitize your photos

  1. Physical photos can be damaged by a mass of factors and events, or simply by the ravages of time.
  2. Crates, albums and stacks take up valuable space in your apartment and are usually so unsorted that they are not fun.
  3. Unlike paper prints, digital photos can be shared around the world with one click.
  4. Unsightly details can be easily corrected using digital image processing.

The best options for digitizing your photos

  1. At home with the scanner. Time consuming, but personal.
  2. With a scanner app. Fast, cheap, but not the highest quality.
  3. Through a digitization service. Relaxed, professional, but more expensive and not private.

Did this article make your decision easier Which option did you choose and why What special memories do you associate with analog photos I look forward to your answer in the comments!

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