I recently took a class at my local computer store.  While there, I asked my instructor if he had any recommendations for a personal scanner.  I wanted to be able to put all my family photo albums into a digital format.  He recommended the Pandigital Photo Scanner. He told me that this was the exact photo scanner that he was using to scan all his family photos beginning in the 1930’s.

There are three great things about this scanner: 1) it is $85; 2) it doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer to use; and 3) it is so simple to use.  Simple.  Oh and fast, super fast.  The scanner will scan anything from a wallet size photo to an 8 1/2 x 11 size.  A memory card is included with the scanner.

I purchased mine from Amazon (free shipping), and started scanning photos immediately.  In less than 10 hours I had scanned over 2000 photos! TWO THOUSAND! The quality is unbelievable.  I could not be more pleased with my scanner.  I have already called my brother and told him to bring our family photos next time he comes to visit so I can scan them to distribute to my other family members so we all have a set.  I have also told my son to bring his scrapbook over. You know, the one that cost me a lot of money to make the old fashioned way before digital photobooks, so I can actually scan it and make a digital photo book! Genius.

I’ll give you the quick run down on how I used it.  There are two settings on the scanner.  300 dpi (dots per inch) or 600 dpi. The 300 is faster, but the 600 is the best quality.  To me it seemed to be the difference between 5 seconds vs. 10 seconds to scan.  Not an issue for me. I went for quality. I scanned each album and then downloaded onto my computer.  My instructor told me he would separate the photos by scanning index cards through with the photos to keep track of the dates, events, etc.

I will tell you that I think I did it not a moment too soon.  As I was pulling my photos out of the albums, the albums were disintegrating right in front of me.  Made me feel about 100 years old.  I feel so much safer knowing all my photos are backed up.

I’m sure if you do an internet search you can find companies that will scan all of your photos for you.  If you want to trust someone with your prized photos, and don’t care about money, you may want to go this route. I cannot tell you though how easy it was to scan.  And, it was fun going down memory lane again.

I did the same thing a few years back with all my family VHS tapes and converted them to DVD.  Technology!