There's an abundance of photo scanners currently on the market, each promising to give you what you want: clear images, quick scan time, and a reasonable price. But what works best for you? Size, price, and quality all come into play in this roundup of the best options available now.
Canon CanoScan LiDE400
Canon's CanoScan LiDE400 slim flatbed scanner comes at a great price and has a feature ideal for the average user. It scans quickly, it offers a max 4800 dpi resolution, and it handles documents up to letter size. Connect to your PC with USB-C and take control of operations with five physical buttons on the front of the scanner.
While the other scanners in this roundup are best suited for life in an office, the Flip-Pal mobile scanner is a compact, portable device that runs on its own battery power. It comes with a 4GB SD card, it scans up to 600 dpi, and EasyStitch software lets you piece together larger photos than the flatbed can fit.
Epson Perfection V800
The V800 flatbed scanner brings a dual-lens system (4800 and 6400 dpi) to better work with different media. It's ideal for film and photos, and included ICE software heals damaged prints to have it looking new again. It's fast, it handles up to letter size, and it connects back to your PC with USB-A. If you're dealing with a lot of scans and want a professional result, this is a great option.
Epson FastFoto FF-680W
Able to scan photos at a pace of one per second at 300 dpi (it's capable of up to 1200 dpi), Epson's FastFoto is for people who have a lot of photos to get through in a short time. It handles new photos, old photos, Polaroids with its pull-through scanner, and included software that makes it easy to touch up damaged documents.
This Plustek photo scanner has a neat design and the capability to scan up to 8x10 photos and standard A4 paper. It's fast, it has a pull-through scanner rather than a flat-bed build, and it won't take up much space on your desk. Imaging software is included to help with retouching old photos and expect scans up to 600 dpi.
Epson Perfection V600
The V600 is far cheaper than the V800 but still offers a variety of scanning functions. Your old slides, negatives, and panoramic film can be scanned, and included software can fix damaged photos. If not working with photos, it's still an excellent option for your usual documents, thanks to a quick speed. A 6400x9600 dpi delivers crisp scans of anything you place on the flatbed.
If we're making some suggestions
Whether you need something that's cheap but gets the job done, something high quality that will genuinely represent your physical photos in the digital realm or something in between, there's a photo scanner for you. If you're still wondering where to turn, we can make some suggestions.
Unless you're looking for professional-grade scans of your photos — which something like the Epson FastFoto FF-680W offers for an elevated price — the Canon CanoScan LiDE400 will handle just about everything other than film, and it's available for a great price that will appeal to most people. It's quick, it fits most documents, and it offers scans up to 4800 dpi to keep things looking crisp.
If you'd rather not be tied to a PC and don't have space for a desktop photo scanner, the Flip-Pal mobile scanner is a proven and versatile option. It runs on battery power, it comes with SD card storage, and it includes software that helps deal with photos that are too large to be scanned in one pass. It's fast, it provides high-quality scans, and you can take it just about anywhere and not have to worry about a power supply or a connected PC.