GoPhoto Scanning will help you digitize your old photos, for a fee. It's a good service for anyone worried that their printed copies of photos are starting to degrade, as it will digitize them into a format that insures they'll be around for years to come. You can get photos, slides, negatives, and even VHS tapes converted by GoPhoto, so it's a good place to go for all your old media. It's on our list of the best photo scanning (opens in new tab) services right now, but has lost the top spot to ScanDigital (opens in new tab), which has improved a lot recently and has a far better website.
There's obviously a risk involved in photo scanning. GoPhoto handles not only standard photographs and video cassettes but also slide carousels, negative envelopes, and even entire photo albums... so you can send them pretty much anything. But you do have to ship your memories off to be processed, which can result in mishaps with the shipping couriers and lost photographs and video cassettes. GoPhoto does use a proprietary shipping system that can keep track of your photos and tapes every step of the way.
Each one of your photographs is scanned by hand as part of GoPhoto’s photo scanning services. If there are color issues or damage, the company repairs them, and it can also remove small scratches and dust. This usually leaves your photos looking their best, although large amounts of damage may not be repairable.
Overall, we found that the quality of the digital images produced by GoPhoto were good, and often better than the original. While you can achieve better results yourself, using one of the best slide to digital image converters (opens in new tab) and then employing editing software, most are not comfortable doing this process themselves. GoPhoto takes much of the hassle out of scanning.
Once your scans are complete, GoPhoto uploads them to an online album. This allows you to view your photographs from the comfort of your own home, and you get to keep the photographs you like and delete the ones you don’t. You only have to pay for the ones you choose to keep, which is a real boon for GoPhoto. While it's more expensive for bulk scanning than the likes of ScanCafe (opens in new tab), we feel it's still good value.
You can also preserve slides and negatives with GoPhoto’s scanning services, along with VHS tapes. Whether you have individual slides or entire carousels full, all you have to do is ship them to the company. The slides are cleaned in a clean-air facility before scanning, and you don’t even have to sort them first. This is also a great feature, as the sorting of images is often a big reason many of us don't digitize them in the first place.
We do take issue with GoPhoto's website, which looks like a throwback from the mid-2000s, but at least it's easy to use. We would like to see GoPhoto make some of its reassurances a little clearer, as they're dealing with your precious memories, but the service is fine.
Should you use GoPhoto?
Overall, we'd recommend GoPhoto. It's a little more expensive than some, and although the negative scans don't come back at the same resolution as some other services, we think the general image quality you get from scans of actual photos are great. Only paying for the ones you actually use is a superb feature, and we like that GoPhoto will sort through images for you at no extra cost. An update to the website would be welcome, but the service is very good.