There are many different slide scanners on the market today. They range from a simple film scanner to an automated scanning station. Each has its pros and cons, and finding a suitable scanner for your needs can be difficult. This blog post will help you find the best slide scanner for your needs by reviewing some of the top choices available in the market today.
What is a slide scanner?
If you want to scan old pictures or negatives, it is important to know what a slide scanner is. Typically, a slide scanner is a handy device whose role is to convert slides into digital form. Luckily, it is possible to store the slides safely on a memory card or a computer while preserving their quality.
What is a Good Slide Scanner?
In the market, there are many slide scanners you will come across. This makes the selection task of the best one quite difficult. Nevertheless, it is essential to know some of the great factors determining a good slide scanner. A good slide scanner should have the following qualities.
Have advanced features.
- Easy to use.
- It should have more connectivity.
- Compatible with slides and negatives.
- High scans quality.
Our Favorite Slide Scanner
Leading 10 Best Slide Scanner- Buying Guide
1. KODAK SCANZA Slide Scanner & Digital Film
One of the best slide scanners that you can get is Kodak Scanza. This device is simple to use and can scan your pictures. You don’t have to use any computer while using this scanner because it has a large TFT screen that allows you to see what the images look like without plugging them into a computer.
What’s more? This slide scanner lets you convert 35 mm, 126, 110, Super 8, and 8 mm negatives and slides into digital images. It comes with a flatbed design for standard 35mm film strips and 4″ x 5″ negatives.
This scanner is an excellent option for the beginner! Because;
- Very easy to use
- First scanning
- No need to use a computer or other devices to print
What’s in It
Aside from the scanner (in bubble wrap), the package contains HDMI, USB, video out connections, an AC adaptor, and a few plastic film holders. The materials used are plastic and feel cheap. I guess it goes with the price.
- Functional Keys
It comes with up to 3 functional keys with different prompts to foster more straightforward interface navigation.
- LCD Screen
It has a 3.5′ screen, which helps you view slideshows, operate the scanner, and edit images easily. You won’t have trouble viewing your photographs if your 3.5″ LCD is too small: Video-out and HDMI-mini ports (cables provided) allow you to view your scans on a TV or monitor. This Kodak device is so Kodak because having an extra connection makes you feel like using a slide projector.
It comes with a 14MP sensor that captures excellent images. Even though a 22MP scan option interpolates photos and increases the resolution from 4320×2880 to 5728×3824 pixels, the scanner only works at 14MP. It is reported that some users didn’t use the 22MP mode because it was superfluous.
- Integrated interpolation
- 3 numbered adapter trays
- Capture buttons
- Easily converts film negatives and slides into JPEG files
- Easy to use because it doesn’t require a computer for operation.
- It gives you a digital copy of your pictures saved on the computer
- The large LCD screen allows you to view your images without having to connect them to a computer
- Lacks in-build battery
- Scanning resolution is limited
- Only can save JEPG
- Sometimes crop images
2. Plustek OpticFilm 8200i AI Slide Scanner & Digital Film
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i AI should come to mind when thinking of a good quality scanner. This scanner has enhanced sharpness and image clarity, making it one of the best slide scanners today. What’s more? It is the software compatible with Mac and PC, so you can still use the scanner regardless of which system you use.
The Plustek OpticFilm 8200i Ai is one of the best slide scanners thanks to its advanced light source that lets you capture images with a resolution of up to 64-bit HDRIs.
This scanner comes with Silver Fast Ai Studio software, enabling users to scan and edit their images quickly.
The 8200i Ai ran on Vista. During setup, the USB and power cables needed to be connected and the application. Initial setup usually includes calibration. LaserSoft provides a comparison file for the scanner’s slide that should be downloaded first to calibrate the scanner. Using SilverFast, scan the calibration slide for the IT8.
You can scan either six-frame film or slides by inserting them in the side carrier slot of the scanner. Aligning the carriers is simple with the click of a button. The carrier must be moved for each scan. Press the QuickScan or IntelliScan button on the scanner’s front to scan. Instantly scan and save files with the QuickScan button. You can use this button to launch SilverFast on your PC.
It is impossible to create a high-quality scan with any tools due to their complicated pre-scan algorithms. This will result in a terrible image. Try SilverFast instead of QuickScan, which has limited options.
SilverFast’s settings should be adjusted over time. Workflow Pilot in Silverlight may be used until you better understand the program. It may skip some phases if the Workflow does not permit it. Consider researching before scanning photos if you are unfamiliar with SilverFast.
It comes with a powerful 7200 DPI resolution for quality images. Actual 7200 dpi optical resolution is available on this 35mm film scanner, producing pictures with vivid colors and clarity. It produces files that compare to full-frame digital SLR cameras, which may have as much as 68.9 megapixels!
It is possible to print up to 36″ x 24″ on your computer.
- Built-in ICC Profile
This feature helps manage color for input and output. On original negatives and slides, infrared detectors detect dust and scratches. Using this method, defects are removed without editing the photographs.
- Expert Mode
This gives you more control tools and enhanced functionality for expert users.
- Silverfast HDRI
- 16-BIT Histogram
- Windows 7/ 8/ 10 and Mac supported
- It is a high-quality scanner that gives you sharp and clear images
- Software compatible with Mac and PC
- The advanced light source enables you to get 64-bit HDRIs resolution.
- By using hardware, dust and scratches are eliminated.
- Automatic grading of colors.
- The scanner’s price is way too much compared with its features.
- The scanning gadget can scan a single slide or frame of film.
- There are limited opportunities for software automation.
3. KODAK Slide Scanner and Slide N SCAN Film
This scanner from Kodak is designed to make slide and film conversion incredibly fast. It comes with an easy-load design to load your slides or film easily into the machine.
The KODAK Slide N SCAN has a large 5″ LCD screen, making it easier to view your pictures before converting them. It also has a black and white IRIS adjustment mode which allows you to adjust the exposure to ensure that your pictures are high quality. The scanner comes with standard adapters for scanning 35mm, 126, 110 film negatives and slides in 4″ x 5″ format.
- Single Touch Editing
This is advanced software that resizes, enhances, and converts images.
It works well with colored negatives and B&W to deliver clear and crisp photos.
It has a 5′ LCD, a gallery mode for a crystal-clear screen.
- 14 or 22MP
- Super CHIC
- It is an easy-load slide scanner
- It comes with a 5″ LCD screen to easily view your pictures before converting them.
- Great resolution
- The inbuilt black and white IRIS adjustment mode allows you to adjust your picture’s exposure.
- Easy to use
- Slow processing when transferring images or videos to a computer
4. Wolverine F2D Slide Scanner & Saturn Digital Film
This scanner is great because it can easily convert medium format, 127 films, and high resolution 35mm devices to digital. It comes with a large 4.3″ LCD screen, so you don’t have to connect the device to your computer to preview what the picture looks like.
It is the software compatible which means that you can easily convert your pictures using the software that comes with it.
The Wolverine F2D Saturn Digital Slide Scanner comes in a compact and sleek design that allows you to carry it around from place to place without any problem.
This bundle includes 120 film adapters, 127/135 slide adapters, 135 negative inserts, USB Power Adapters, USB Cables, and Wolverine’s 1-Year Warranty.
- Scanning Films & Slides Digitally
You can scan and print film negatives and slides using the Wolverine F2D Saturn Digital Film and Slide Scanner. With Saturn’s ability to capture high-resolution digital JPG images, you can preserve priceless items such as historical relics, cherished memories, and family photos in a matter of seconds. It is now easier than ever to scan and upload lost photos from film rolls and slides using the digital scanner.
- Push-Button Controls with an HD Display
It comes with a 4.3-inch LCD screen with 5 push buttons. This LCD monitor has a 4.3-inch HD color screen that allows you to view photos and scan them easily—there is no need for a computer or software. Despite its single-pass conversion, the Saturn offers the flexibility to change the exposure and color either manually or automatically, allowing for the highest level of control and ease.
It has fast loading adapters, so each negative or slide will take only 3 seconds to scan
- For 120 Film and Other Formats
The scanner offers convenience and versatility. Aside from being designed explicitly for 120 films, the Saturn can skillfully convert a variety of 120 (medium) professional film formats, such as 2.75 by 1.75 inches, 2.25 by 2.25 inches, 2.25 by 3.25 inches, and 2.25 by 3.5 inches.
The Saturn can also convert 35mm slides, 127 slides, and film negatives in addition to 120 films.
- This is an easy-load slide scanner
- The large LCD screen makes it easy for you to preview your pictures
- It comes with software that is compatible with Mac and PC
- It comes in a sleek design that allows you to carry it around from place to place.
- Not ideal for a professional photographer
5. Magnasonic Film Scanner All-in-One 22MP
This slide scanner by Maagnasonic is a device that allows you to convert your pictures and old slides into digital. It can preserve old memories and handle film formats such as 35mm, 126, 110 negatives, and 126, 110 films. The scanner also supports a 4″ x 5″ format for 135/126/110 slides.
This slide scanner comes with a large LCD, making it effortless to view your pictures. It comes with a mini USB cable that can easily connect to your computer so you can transfer the images and videos to your device. Interestingly, it has an SD card slot and built-in memory of up to 128GB.
This scanner uses a high-quality CCD sensor, making it possible for you to get clear pictures and videos.
In the box, you’ll get an FS71 film scanner, a 110 film insert, a 110 slide insert; a 126 slides insert, a super 8 film insert, a slide adapter, a USB power adapter, a USB cable, a negative film adapter, and a cleaning brush.
- Large Scanning
It’s tailored to scan different varieties of slides and films. This scanner can scan your precious negatives and slides into 22 Megapixel jpeg images. It takes a few seconds to scan and convert 35mm, 110, 126, Super 8, and 135/126/110 slides. With 5 second scanning, you can scan stacks of film and slides in no time.
- Multiple View
Using the extra-large 5-inch LCD screen, you can view your scans as they are transferred directly to the scanner. Your scanned photos can be viewed immediately on an HDMI-compatible TV or monitor through the HDMI output. Enjoy reminiscing with your family and friends in the slideshow mode.
It can check up to 50 photographs before downloading them to a PC/MAC via a USB connection, as it has 128MB of internal memory. You can expand memory space by using an extra SD card (128GB0). You can scan and save several images up to 20,000 here.
- Enough storage
- You can flip it easily
- It offers easy and fast scanning
- This is an easy-load slide scanner
- It has an in-built memory
- The USB port makes it easier to transfer images and videos to your computer.
- Little features
6. Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Slide/Film Scanner
This slide scanner deserves to be on the list of best scanners because it will convert your pictures and slides into digital. The Plustek OpticFilm 8100 Film & Slide Scanner comes with a high-quality resolution of 7200 DPI and 69MP, making it possible to take crystal clear pictures.
This scanner is compatible with Mac and PC, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right software for your device.
You will get free SilverFast SE Plus 8.8 & ICE 3 Module software with this device. It is a top-of-the-line image editing program that allows you to take your images and pictures to the next level by removing any imperfections from them.
The optical resolution of this slide scanner is 48 bit which means that it can transform your pictures and slides into high-resolution pictures.
It comes with a high resolution of up to 7200 DPI for high-quality slides and negatives.
It’s compatible with MAC and PC
- Built-in ICC Profile
This is a color management feature that focuses on input and output colors.
- High Dynamic Range
This feature helps take lots of shadows and highlight information.
- It is easy to use the scanner
- Uses own memory
- It is compatible with Mac and PC
- It uses high resolution to produce crystal clear pictures and videos
- You can enhance image quality thanks to SilverFast software
- Somehow expensive
7. KODAK Mini Digital Slide & film scanner
If you’re looking for a scanner that offers high-quality results, this is the product you need to go for. The Kodak Mini Digital Slide and Film Scanner can convert your slides and negatives into digital images or videos, which will allow you to share them with others with just a click of a button.
This slide scanner features a 22MP sensor to produce high-definition images and videos. With this scanner, you can easily convert your old memory into memories that you can cherish forever. It features a 2.4″ LCD screen, making it easy to preview the images and videos stored on your device.
The image data is then transferred directly into your computer thanks to its USB port, so you can easily share it with the rest of the world. It comes with one slide and film adapter, which can help you convert your pictures in just a few minutes. However, this product is unsuitable for scanning film strips longer than 4″ thick negatives.
It comes with several adapters for quick loading.
It comes with a 2.4′ LCD, which gives a more accessible user interface
It has an internal storage of up to 128GB and can use an SD card of 32GB.
- One-touch Navigation
This feature enables easier editing and other commands on the LCD.
- Several adapters to enhance faster loading
- Enough memory to store a lot of videos and photos
- The image enhancement feature makes your photos outstanding
- Easy to use
- Requires extra editing software to create incredible images
8. Magnasonic Film & Slide Scanner
One extraordinary thing about the Magnasonic Film Scanner is that it comes with 128MB of internal memory, which allows you to save your images safely. You don’t have to worry about running out of space because the storage in this device is more than enough. It features a 22MP sensor, making it possible to convert your pictures and negatives into digital files.
It features a 2.4″ LCD screen, making it easy to view your images. If you want to store more memories, this device is the right one because it has 128GB of in-built memory and a 32GB SD card, which means that it can hold as many pictures as possible.
- Faster Scanning
It offers a seamless and quick scan of all your slides and films without precutting.
It has a high resolution and a 22MP film scanner to give you the best quality photos.
It has a 2.4′ LCD screen for instant viewing
Excellent built-in memory of 128 MB, which can store up to 100 photos; you can also use an SD card of up to 32GB.
- Effortless to convert low-quality negatives into premium quality
- Enough space to store more photos
- It scans your film faster and effortlessly
- Very cheap
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and portable slide scanner
- Not durable
9. Rybozen Mobile slide & film scanner
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly and quality slide scanner, you must never miss out on this one. It comes with a 5X glass lens, making it possible for you to convert your slides into amazing pictures and videos. It is compatible with both Android and Apple devices.
This device offers the highest resolution of up to 7200dpi, which means that you can produce crystal clear images. In addition to that, it comes with a backlight which makes your film or slides more visible, thereby making the scanning process more manageable.
Another thing worth mentioning about this product is that it does not occupy much space. It has a size of 6 x 5 x 0.95 inches and can fit in your pocket.
- Great Design
It comes with a space-saving and foldable design, making it convenient to travel and store.
- Simple to Use
You only need to insert the negative or slide it into the tray.
- Free App
It comes with a free app that makes it easy to scan, edit, or share images.
- Small convenient size
- Simple and easy to use
- Lightweight and portable
- The screen is too small, so the user has difficulty reviewing what they just scanned.
- Sometimes results in blurred pictures or black spots on them.
10. DIGITNOW 135 Film & Slide Scanner
Another cheap slide scanner is the DIGITNOW 135 Film Scanner. This device is very light and compact as it weighs only 0.6 pounds, which means that you can even take it with you wherever you go because of its incredible portability.
It has a simple design which makes it easy to use. The images are loaded by just sliding film through the holes, and after that, the scanning process is done.
It features a 1800DPI resolution, which means you will produce decent enough images. It comes with SDHC 32 GB card slots where all the scanned pictures are stored.
- Slide Holder
This feature helps you convert your film or slides easily with one push.
- Fast Scan
Each image takes only seconds to convert.
Come with a 2.4′ LCD to view your pictures.
- Lightweight & portable slide scanner
- Compatible with various devices
- Conveniently make adjustments
- Sometimes this device doesn’t pick up the pictures, resulting in blurred images.
Buying Guide of the Best Slide Scanner
There is a lot to consider when buying a slide scanner, so the following ultimate guide should help you make a wise decision.
1. Viewing Options
The most important thing is to know how many people want to use the slide scanner. If it’s just for yourself, then a mini slide scanner will suffice, but if there are many users, you may need something like a flatbed (more on this later).
A multi-user device can be helpful in genealogy projects where multiple family members may want to take part, and a flatbed scanner would let everyone see the images simultaneously.
A megapixel is essential when scanning old family photos to zoom in on faces and fine detail. Most scanners will be compatible with photo prints up to 6×4 inches (or as close to this as possible).
Scanning on a computer will require the right size of hard drive, so check if the scanner you are interested in has an option that will store lots of images. It’s also worth considering how easy removing and replace external storage devices (for example, a memory card) if you need more space.
4. Scanning Compatibility
Check which image file formats the scanner supports because some file extensions are not compatible with all programs, and the final results may look different from what you expected. For example, some scanners can’t transmit Kodachrome images using TIFF file format, so you may have to convert them.
The resolution is often used when discussing the high-quality image produced by a scanner. Still, it’s also important to consider how much detail can be displayed with different resolutions:
If you want to scan your old photos, you may find a perfect cheap scanner. However, if you’re going to scan old negatives and slides, the price will likely be considerably higher because of the quality involved.
7. Sharing on Social Media
A scanner that can upload directly to your favorite social media platform (for example, Facebook or Twitter) is a valuable feature if you want to share images quickly and easily. However, we should say that most scanners will allow you to save the results and have options for storage, such as USB drives or external devices.
8. Scanning Speed
Scanning time may not be a concern for you, but if it is, then look for a scanner with a good scanning speed and one that has the option of choosing the resolution best suited to what you are trying to photograph. Some scanners have different settings that can produce high-quality photos, but the trade-off is the longer it will take to complete.
9. Other Features
Other features you may want to consider include; a touch screen option if you find it easier to navigate menus using this feature, plus color and black and white (full photo) scanning, duplex scanning (this is where both sides of a hard copy or photo can be scanned at once saving you time), and the option to scan old negatives with or without mounts.
How to Scan a Slide on a Flatbed Scanner?
Scanning photo slides is similar to scanning film negatives. Typically, you will come across a host of specialized adaptors, scanners, and software packages for optimal outcomes in the market. Nevertheless, if you have a flatbed scanner, use the following simple steps to help you produce excellent outcomes.
Step 1- Clean Up
First, you need to clean your scanner bed and the film slides thoroughly using a dry lint-free cloth. Doing this helps make a difference during the photo touch-up process.
Step 2- Get Backlighting
Like negatives, slides need backlighting. They show their image once the light is passed through them. You can use a bright white glossy paper piece like film paper to act as a reflector. Otherwise, you can use your backlight.
Step 3- Up the Resolution
Place your clean slide on the flatbed scanner and put your backlight box over it. At this point, you should set your scanner and the scanning software to the highest resolution possible. Doing this helps the most information on the slides be blown up to make full-scale photos. The best way you can do this is simply setting your DPI as high as possible and enhancing the brightness.
Step 4- Photo edit
It is possible to have a darker scanned image than you would like. If you use a photo editing tool like Photoshop, consider adjusting the contrast and brightness to make the image light. Besides, you may need to cut the image from the white slide borders and increase the size of the image to suit your purpose perfectly.
The best way to choose is by considering what you’re going to be scanning. An inexpensive flatbed scanner will do the trick if it’s only old photos. But if some negatives or slides need converting into digital images, consider buying one with transparency adapters and automated feeder systems.
When choosing a new model of the best slide scanner, think about how much time you’ll have to spend on each scan – because some models take longer than others but perform better quality scans (though they often cost more). Consider also whether you want something portable to bring around with your laptop or not.