Overview - How It Works - ScanCafe

Well, maybe it's not that easy.

Before we even scanned the first image back in 2006, we spent a whole year designing our system. The result? The hardest part of using our service is just filling up your box. (And since you only pay for the scans you keep, even that's pretty easy.) learn more »

How it works

How Photo Scanning Works

Our photo scanning includes the ability for you to review the scans in advance of completing your order. learn more »

How Video Scanning Works

Our process for video transfer to DVD is more straightforward: you ship it, we scan it and send it all back. learn more »

Photo Restoration

A quote-based process. With restoration, you upload a digital file to us, then we evaluate it and let you know how much it will cost. learn more »

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated frequently, these are all the questions customers have asked us--and ones we've asked ourselves, too. learn more »

Packing Tips for Shipping to ScanCafe

The short answer: use a sturdy box, and nothing else, to ship us your images for scanning. learn more »

  • Value kit as low as $0.22 Per Scan

    "Not in a hurry? Have only standard media? Don't need our Pay for What You Want feature? Our Value Kit, starting with 500 scans, is
    just for you!"
  • USA Express: 8-10 Day

    USA ExpressFor an extra 10¢ get your standard media scanned in our California labs in 8-10 days.
    learn more »

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    • Can I use a service other than UPS to send my package
      There are approximately 4,200 UPS stores nationwide. In addition, there are approximately 40,000 UPS drop boxes, and another 1,000 UPS customer service centers. Chances are excellent that there is a drop off location near your gift recipient. Your recipient may also schedule a pickup with UPS, but a surcharge may apply. The phone number for UPS is included in the instructions inside the box. You can find the nearest UPS dropoff location here: http://www.ups.com/dropoff?loc=en_US
    • Should I scan photos or negatives?
      We recommend scanning negatives first because negatives provide the best resolution and quality. Negatives contain the maximum information about your image since they are fundamentally analog - and we scan (35mm) negatives at 10MP. When we speak of "information" we mean: clarity, sharpness, color depth, etc. The other advantage of scanning negatives versus photos is that is a better deal for you. You get higher quality negative scans, and it actually costs less than scanning photos. Similarly, we suggest scanning slides over photos if the image is the same. Again, like negative scanning, you scan at a higher resolution with slides than with photos.
    • How much time does the scanning process take?
      With our "USA Express Service" your order will be ready for online review in 8-10 days from the time we receive your originals (you will be able to download your scans 24 hours after that). With our "Standard Service", you will typically see your scans online for review in 4-6 weeks from the time we receive your originals. With our standard service, your DVDs and originals will be returned to you within 10-14 days after you have reviewed and checked out. USA Express service pricing is higher than the standard service (e.g., 35mm color slides and negatives cost 29 cents/scan for standard service and 39 cents/scan for USA Express). *These turn around time numbers are for typical orders that are less than 2000 photos. For larger quantities, please add approximately 4 days for every additional 1000 photos. Once we receive your order, you will be able to track progress online from day to day. For turn around time information on special media like medium format, 110 etc, please contact us.
    • How will the image files be organized on my CD/DVD?
      Your scanned pictures will be stored on DVD or CD in jpeg format. If you took the time to organize and label groups of images, this organization will be reflected in your scanned images. For example, if you have an envelope of photos labeled: “Sam’s 2nd Birthday”, we will store your scanned photos in a folder named “Sam’s 2nd Birthday”. You will see this folder during your online review process and this folder will be burned onto your DVD. These DVDs or CDs can usually be viewed on your DVD/View CD player or computer. However, we cannot test every model of player, and have found that some DVDs will not play in certain players. The DVDs are intended to be used with a computer, so they should work with all computers.
    • Will I be able to view my images and play them on a DVD player?
      With a jpeg compatible DVD player, you can enjoy viewing the pictures from the DVD in the comfort of your living room. The "slide show" feature of your DVD player will allow you to browse through your images just as you would on your computer. The recent generation of DVD players have the "slide show" feature. In order to determine whether or not your DVD player supports this feature, please visit http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers. You should look for "JPG" or "jpeg" under "video formats supported." We cannot test every model of player, and have found that some DVDs will not play in certain players. The DVDs are intended to be used with a computer, so they should work with all computers.
    • How many photos fit onto a DVD?
      Approximately 1200 paper print scans at 600dpi and 300 negative or slide scans at 10MP. The exact number is difficult to determine because of the digital size of the scanned image - for instance, a picture of a sunset over the mountains will have much more detail than a picture of a green leaf against a white wall and will, therefore, be larger in size.
    • What type of scanning equipment does ScanCafe use?
      For prints, we use the Epson 4490 and 10000. For slides and negatives, we use the Nikon 5000ED, Nikon 9000ED, and industrial-grade Noritsu scanners as well.

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