As technology moves us in an ever-more-digital direction, some objects don't make the journey. Your old photographs and slides don't have to waste away in boxes or files, though. With slide- to-digital-image converters, also called slide scanners, you can bring your slides into the modern age. The following are some of the best slide scanners you can have for less than $100.
Slide-to-Digital-Image Converter Basics
Not all slide-to-digital-image converters are created equal. For the best results, seek out one that's easy to use and operates quickly. Unless you have unlimited space in your home office, you'll also want to look for a compact machine. Finally, be sure to seek out a converter that offers a reasonable preview of your photos and can scan at an image resolution that meets your film-preservation needs.
ION Film 2 SD Plus
Priced at about $91, the ION Film 2 SD Plus is a top pick for slide-to-digital-image conversion, especially with its 14-megapixel resolution. Not only will this device transfer your 35 mm slides to digital media, but it will also convert your film negatives. Like most converters, this one is a stand-alone machine that works independent of your desktop or laptop computer.
The process is streamlined, transferring an image of your slides or film directly to an SD card, which you can then use with your PC. The ION Film 2 SD Plus has a USB port, so you can also transfer image files directly to your computer and with the included analog connectors, you can even preview images on your TV screen.
Pacific Image Memor-ease ST
Just under $100, the Pacific Image Memor-ease ST converts a variety of physical media including slides, 35 mm film, and 120 mm film to 9-megapixel images. This scanner also features automatic color correction, which makes image cleanup faster and easier. The device's Magic Touch technology lets you clean up images as they're converted, but that process also slows down conversion time.
Be sure to purchase a separate SD card for use with this machine; it doesn't have built-in memory or include an SD card with purchase. Using an SD card, however, the device s file transfers to your computer go quickly.
Costing less than $70, the ImageLab FS9T is one of the most affordable slide scanners on the market. It is also one of the most streamlined. You simply insert your slides or film into the holding trays and press one button to convert. The FS9T produces 9-megapixel images. Unlike flatbed scanners, which move much more slowly, this device captures your slides with a quick digital photo for simple slide conversions.
Although you can save some images directly to the machine, thanks to 16MB of internal storage, you'll more likely want to load them right onto an SD card or transfer them by USB connection. This basic device doesn't have any image correction features; you'll need to move them to your PC for editing.
When shopping for a slide-to-digital-image converter, look for a device that gives you images of the quality you need while providing the speed you desire. Fortunately, several inexpensive options can help you preserve the memories on your analog media.