Since its inception in 2006, ScanCafe says it has completed 175 million photo scans and counting. Ranking among the best photo scanning services (opens in new tab) in the US, ScanCafe promises that it can keep your memories alive for years to come, with services that include photo restoration, and VHS cassette tape and photographic slide scanning. The photo scanning services offered by ScanCafe also include restoring your old family photographs for printing or to be put on disc. It can also work with your old photographs to remove scratches and blemishes, including correcting color imbalances on old prints to get rid of fading and off-coloring.
To use ScanCafe’s photo restoration services, you usually need to upload your digital photographs for the company to offer a quote for the services you want. When it comes to photo scanning, and other media such as video tapes, slides and negatives, these have to be mailed to ScanCafe.
ScanCafe offers a value kit for its photo scanning services that helps you save money. When you choose this service, the company ships a value kit to your home, complete with tracking information via UPS. The company ships the kit within 12 days of you ordering it. Once you ship your tapes or photographs to ScanCafe, though, it takes between four and eight weeks for processing, and another two to three weeks to actually get them back. It's mid-range in terms of speed, and something like ScanMyPhotos (opens in new tab) is quicker.
As part of ScanCafe’s value kit scanning services, you are able to share your scanned photos on Facebook. However, you don’t have the ability to review or delete your scans, so you need to be careful what about you send in the kit. ScanCafe also spends only three minutes maximum on each photograph, so there’s a chance of getting back imperfect scans. The quality certainly wasn't as impressive as the likes of ScanDigital (opens in new tab).
We actually like the ScanCafe website, which is more than can be said for the majority of the other products we reviewed. It's clean, modern, and easy to use. Pricing is upfront, and there are reassuring pieces of information on the scanning process and how your photos are cared for.
The cost for using the value kit photo scanning service varies depending on the number of photographs you send in and the type of enhancement you request from the company. It also has a minimum order amount, which means you might have to spend more money than you really need just to use the kit. An alternative option is to invest in a slide to digital image converter (opens in new tab), but scanning images this way will likely time up a big chunk of time.
Under the value kit, you are looking at a minimum of 500 scans at a cost of $165.95, or 33¢ per unit; for 10,000 scans, the overall price is just over $2,500, which equates to a lower unit price of 25¢.
Should you choose ScanCafe?
If you have old photographs or home videos you want to preserve for your children and grandchildren, ScanCafe’s photo scanning services are definitely a great option. The value kit, in particular, is a great money-saving option, especially if you have a large volume of scans that you want done.