If you want to save photos from the pre-digital age safely and in a way that makes them simple to access, a home photo scanner is a must-have. There’s an array of models on the market and the best for you will depend on how many photos you plan to scan, how quickly you want to do it, the space you have available for the scanner, and your budget. We’ve found the top picks for every need.
Epson Perfection V39 Photo and Document Scanner (opens in new tab)
No warm-up needed
This neat flat-bed scanner offers 4800 dpi resolution for great results. Its software promises to improve old photos by removing dust, restoring faded colours, and correcting backlight. It’s a neat solution for a crowded desk with a stand that allows upright scanning to save space.
Plustek ephoto Z300 Photo Scanner (opens in new tab)
Restores faded images
This neat model has the capability to scan up to 8 x 10 inch photos and standard A4 paper. It's fast, has a pull-through operation rather than a flat bed, and it won't take up much space on your desk. It’s compatible with both Macs and PCs.
Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi Document Scanner (opens in new tab)
Rolled-up magazine size
At just 31.12 x 5.72 x 4.45cm and weighing only 862 grams, this model can be stashed in your bag so you can scan away from home, and slipped into a drawer when it’s not in use. The battery-charged design will scan all your paperwork as well as your photos, and can deal with up to 400 pages per charge. It’s no slouch either. Full-colour pages at up to 600 dpi can be scanned in just 8 seconds.
ScanSnap iX1500 Document Scanner (opens in new tab)
If you want a scanner to deal with all your paperwork along with your photos, this user-friendly design could be right up your street. It can cope with documents from A8 to A4, plus it has a manual A3 mode. It recognises what you’re scanning so it can group according to type be that photos, receipts, business cards, and so on.
Epson FastFoto FF-680W Document Scanning System (opens in new tab)
Able to scan photos at a pace of one per second at 300 dpi, this model is ideal if you have a lot of photos to get through and want rapid results. It handles new photos, old photos, and Polaroids with its pull-through scanner, and the included software makes it easy to touch up damaged images. It will recognise the handwriting on the back of photos, and capture this side, too.
Canon P-208II Mobile Scanner (opens in new tab)
Light and compact
Another portable design, this scanner has neat proportions and wireless operation. You can scan directly to your smartphone so you can easily get your favourite photos ready to view and show wherever you are. It promises to reproduce photos as close to their originals as possible and will cope with a variety of documents as well, including embossed card.
The best photo scanner will deal with the number of images you want to save digitally, and deliver the quality you need. The Epson Perfection V39 Photo and Document Scanner (opens in new tab) offers high-resolution results, software that can improve the quality of your scans, and speedy operation.
If you’d like a highly portable design, the Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi Document Scanner (opens in new tab) is easy to take with you and requires little storage space at home. It operates via a rechargeable battery and can scan documents as well as your photos.