Over 200 Million Images Saved. Save Yours By Scanning Them To Digital. Get Started Now!
Your old photos are in danger--danger of fading away, danger of being forgotten, and danger of being lost or damaged in a natural disaster. Photo scanning with ScanCafe can save them, safely and affordably:
All you have to do is ship us your photos and we start the important work of scanning your precious photos to digital images the moment they reach us.
A technician will manually review your photos and spend approximately four minutes per image to ensure quality. Your photos will be transferred at our Indianapolis lab with a 3-4 week turnaround time.
At the end, you will have all your photo memories safely scanned and corrected to a digital download or USB drive.
We know that your old photos are some of the most precious things you have (one of our customers wrote us once to tell us that the only thing she carried out of her home during a wildfire was her ScanCafe USB!). And the only reliable way to preserve these priceless memories is to convert your old photos to digital.
But spending hours scanning old photos spread across multiple shoeboxes is nobody's idea of fun. That's where our top-rated photo scanning service comes in. Given how much your photos mean to you, we know that when you send them to us to scan, you expect them to be treated carefully. We built our photo scanning service at Scancafe with this in mind. We handle your photos by hand and treat them with care at every step of the way. To start with, we scan photos one at a time, without the use of auto-fed scanning machines that can mangle them. In our experience, this really is the best way to scan old photos.
Where our handcrafted quality really shines is in repairing your photos. Where other services use a piece of software to guess its way through a batch of your most important memories, our service takes every single photo you send us and has it examined by a highly trained technician with a good eye and a terrific set of hands.
Essentially every photo we receive requires some correction for the effects of time. Photos on display are particularly subject to fading, and even those hidden away in photo albums are subject to color shifts (unless stored in subzero conditions), both from time and from possible reaction to the photo album itself. We routinely carry out the following fixes to make your digitized photos look their best.
In short, for our standard level of service, a technician will spend approximately four minutes per image addressing all of the problems above, and then some. In our experience scanning millions of photos, this produces outstanding quality almost all of the time, for just pennies per image. (Some photos may be so damaged they require our restoration service, but that's relatively rare).
Our photo scan service is not just affordable, it's much less expensive than many services with lower quality. We also give you the option of discarding scans (up to 20% of them) that you don't want to retain and that again helps to keep a lid on the final number in your bill. And yet we make sure that we are not cutting corners or compromising on quality in any way. So you don't have to make a hard choice between being able to afford to preserve all your memories, and being able to preserve them well. At ScanCafe, you can do both.
Most people think they can invest in a quality scanner and do the photo scanning themselves. They believe that if they gather all their photos from across shoeboxes and other places and start feeding them into a scanner, they can finish the project over a weekend.
Reality may prove to be a little different. There are significant hidden costs involved in trying to do this yourself. As this article indicates, the DIYer can expect to spend 7.5 minutes per image when scanning photos at home. That includes the time required for scanning as well as editing the digital image for color shifts, scratches, fading etc. And this is after they are past the learning curve involved with the process. According to reliable research, the average American adult has 3000 analog images in their possession. If you do the math and multiply that by 7.5, that's 22,500 minutes in total that are needed to complete the task! Put another way, that's 10 weeks or 47 Saturdays at 8 hours a day.
So, the DIY route may not really be the most cost-effective way to scan photos, especially when you are looking at a large collection. A better strategy might be to cull your photos to the extent that you can (remove duplicates, blurry prints, those that are not focused on anything in particular) and send it off to a reliable professional photo scanning service like ScanCafe who can get the job done - quickly and effectively
DPI is a common, often misunderstood technical term that stands for "dots per inch." DPI designates the number of pixels per linear inch that a scanner produces in a scan file. The higher the dpi, the larger the scan is in pixels and megabytes, which means larger files.
At ScanCafe, we think high resolution is important because you never know what scans might be used for in the future (e.g. making prints). In general, a scan needs to have high enough resolution to enlarge, print, and crop from the scan file. On the other hand, it's possible to scan with too high a resolution – in some cases, highly detailed scans can actually pick up and magnify the grain of the paper (if a print) or the film itself (if a negative or slide). We think our standard resolution of 3000 dpi for 35mm slides and negatives and 600 dpi for paper photos strikes the right balance.
Please only use secure and sturdy boxes to ship your precious images. DON’T use flimsy department store boxes (e.g. Macy's or Nordstrom), Kleenex boxes, thin paper/cardboard boxes, moving boxes, or shoeboxes. In addition, you should never use bubble mailers because the contents will likely be damaged. Always be careful to fully tape up the box on the top and bottom. The UPS store or your local post office has appropriate shipping materials. Here are UPS guidelines for proper packaging:
Soon after you update your cloud credentials, it will take 24-48 hours for your high-resolution images to get uploaded to your cloud account. You will receive an automated email as soon as the upload completes.
We use top-rated Epson 4490 flatbed scanners.