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best film slide scanners

The Best Film Scanners in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our big slide scanner test. Here we present you all slide scanners that we have tested. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you to find the best slide scanner for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a slide scanner.

  • There are three different types of scanners. Hybrid scanners, film scanners and camera attachments. These are differently well suited for different purposes.
  • Depending on the type of scanner, different slide formats and other media can be scanned. There are also scanners that can automatically scan entire magazines.
  • Important features are a high resolution, scratch correction and image editing options. This also includes the software offered

Best Film Scanners

KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner

KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
  • SAVE OLD PHOTO MEMORIES: 14/22MP Digital Film Scanner Lets…
  • 5” LCD DISPLAY WITH GALLERY MODE: Features Large,…
  • CONVENIENT EASY-LOAD FILM INSERTS: Quick-Feeding Tray…
  • EDITING WITH A SINGLE TOUCH: Advanced Capture Software…
  • SUPER CHIC. UBER COMPATIBLE: Device Handles All Your Old…

KODAK SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner

 Our Pick
KODAK SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner
  • FILM TO JPEG IN SECONDS – Powerful 14/22MP KODAK Film…
  • LARGE, BRIGHT 3.5” TFT LCD – High Definition Built-In…
  • AN ADAPTER FOR EVERYTHING – Unit Arrives w/Multiple Film…
  • INTUITIVE USER INTERFACE – Includes Helpful Tray & Insert…
  • CABLES & EXTRAS INCLUDED – Mac & PC Compatible Converter…

Rybozen Mobile Film and Slide Scanner

Rybozen Mobile Film and Slide Scanner
  • 【Foldable and Space Saving Design】This scanner is…
  • 【Relive Those Old Memories】Compatible with 35mm Slides…
  • 【Simple and Super Easy to Use】Insert a slide or negative…
  • 【FILM TO JPEG with Your Phone】 Rybozen mobile film…
  • 【Free APP to Scan Edit and Share】Use free Rybozen App to…

Wolverine 8mm & Super 8 Film Scanner

 Our Pick
Wolverine 8mm & Super 8 Film Scanner
  • A fully automated apparatus to digitize 8 and Super 8 movie…
  • Stand-alone machine, no computer, no software or Drivers are…
  • Converts 8 and Super 8 movies into 1080P mjpeg-4 (MP4)…
  • Compatible with all windows, Mac and Linux operating…
  • Playback direct to tv’s using the included TV cable.

DIGITNOW 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Scanner

 Our Pick
DIGITNOW 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Scanner
  • Converts 35mm/135, 110, 126Kpk and super 8 films, slides &…
  • Stand-Alone and no computer required, tranfers your old…
  • With software interpolation, digitized photo quality up to…
  • Mac & PC compatible, transfers High resolution Images to…
  • View the scanned photos directly on integrated 2. 4” color…

ZONOZ FS-3 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Converter Scanner

DIGITNOW! 135 Film Negative Scanner

 Our Pick
DIGITNOW! 135 Film Negative Scanner
  • Includes adjustable rapid slide feeder; Once you digitize…
  • 5/10 Mega Pixel Stand alone Film/Slide, scan film to your SD…
  • USB 2.0 interface Convert Video Cable to TV out feature:…
  • Display is 2.4 inch TFT LCD screen (480×234)on the bottom,…
  • Operation system: Windows XP, VISTA, 7, 8,10,Mac OS

Frequently Asked Questions: Film & Slide Scanner

What are the advantages of digitizing slides?

The aim of digitization is to be able to use slides like normal digital photos. In times of Instagram and Pinterest, it would be a shame not to be able to share the beautiful memories in slide form.

Probably the biggest advantage is the editing options for the images. Tone corrections, color balancing and contrast adjustments can highlight the advantages.

The reduction in the range of contrast is sometimes a necessary evil. However, there are methods to largely preserve the contrast range of the slides.

Advantages

  • Open process
  • Many file formats (TIFF, RAW, etc.)
  • Dust and scratch corrections
  • Many editing options

Disadvantages

  • Possibly large amounts of data
  • High costs depending on the device
  • Requires space

How does the digitization process work?

The digitization of slides is similar to the scanning process in a typical flatbed or photo scanner, which specializes in digitizing photos. By scanning the object line by line, the information is processed and different brightness values ​​and colors are converted into signals pixel by pixel.

Depending on the resolution of the scan, large amounts of data are generated. The maximum resolution for devices from the amateur sector is around 46oo dpi. (The definition of the term dpi can be found in the category guide.)

Semi-professional devices achieve up to 7200 dpi. Higher values ​​can only be achieved with so-called drum scanners. Today, drum scanners are mainly represented in the professional area of ​​prepress technology. For home use, they have been replaced by flatbeds and transparency scanners.

Another point is interpolation. With this method, slides with a lower resolution can be scanned and then projected. However, such a high-quality result can rarely be achieved with this as with a high optical resolution.

In addition to the correspondingly high resolution (or point density or dpi), essential criteria for good scanners are a high color depth. A high level of detail is therefore crucial to get high quality results.

Modern methods of dust and scratch correction offer particular advantages. With an appropriate slide scanner, such effects can be eliminated during the scan. There are various methods for doing this, which we will explain below.

To put it simply, scanning gives you various information about the slide. This information can be used to digitally recreate the image.

What does the term contrast range mean?

The term contrast range is often used for slides. This is because, among other things, they have a particularly high level of contrast differentiation. But what does it exactly mean?

The greatest natural contrast is between the dead of night and bright sunlight. The range of contrast means the range between one contrast (the night) and the other (the sun). The high contrast differentiation makes an image appear sharp and detailed.

Due to the different levels of a slide, a special depth can be achieved, which ensures the excellent contrast. In order not to lose this advantage, it is important to use the appropriate method to duplicate slides. Contrasts can also be adjusted to a certain extent with image editing programs such as Photoshop.

What is meant by resolution or dpi?

When choosing a suitable scanner, these terms play a major role. Dpi means “dots per inch” or “points per inch”. A digital image can be thought of as a grid or a mosaic. It is made up of many individual points.

Dpi is the number of points that make up a digital image and is the unit of measurement for resolution. Quality criteria for photos and slides include color depth and contrast. The information in the slides is transmitted point by point.

In the case of high-resolution images, these values ​​can be displayed more precisely. To get good results, slide scanners must also work with color calibration. The higher the color depth per dpi, the more efficiently the slide scanner works.

The intended use also plays a major role. Images for the Internet require a lower resolution than images that are used for printing. Depending on the resolution and file format, the file size or storage space requirement also changes.

After considering all the details, one would like to buy a suitable scanner immediately.

Types of Film Scanners

When it comes to slide scanners, a basic distinction is made between the following types of devices:

  • Hybrid devices
  • Special film and slide scanners
  • Digitization with camera attachment

In the following, we will explain the terms, the advantages and disadvantages of the respective type of device and explain to you which type of slide scanner is best for you.

Hybrid Device: Advantages & Disadvantages

Hybrid devices are flatbed scanners with a transparency attachment through which the slides can be scanned. The slide is illuminated from behind by the attachment. The resulting projection is scanned and converted into signals.

The process works manually here. This means that the optimum setting can be made for each slide, as there is no scanning in the magazine. With magazine capability one means the possibility of digitizing several slides in one process. The scanning speed is of course influenced.
The attachment for slide scanning is usually supplied with the flatbed scanner or is already integrated.

Such hybrid scanners offer a good option if you don’t want to set up your own device for slides and films. So if you want to opt for a multipurpose solution, a good hybrid scanner is perfect.

Advantages

  • No own device necessary
  • Attachments allow different sizes of diagrams
  • Settings are individual for each slide

Disadvantages

  • Automatic corrections aren’t just aimed at slides
  • Mostly not magazine-compatible

Special Film & Slide Scanners: Advantages & Disadvantages

Special film and slide scanners are built in such a way that straight slides can be optimally scanned. The advantage of pure film scanners is the ability to scan not only slides but also photo negatives.

This scanner is well suited for both of these media (slides and photo negatives). Of course, there is also the option of digitizing negatives with some hybrid scanners. With a film scanner, however, you are completely on the safe side. However, a separate scanner is required for other documents.

With these scanners slides can usually be scanned in the magazine. This means that an automatic feed mechanism enables a smooth process, while with hybrid scanners each slide has to be processed individually.

Advantages

  • Particularly suitable for slides and photo negatives
  • Scanning of magazines is often possible

Disadvantages

  • A separate device is required for documents

Digitization With Camera Attachment: Advantages & Disadvantages

This special method of digitization does not actually count as a slide scanner. During a scan, the image is scanned line by line. With this technique, however, the slide is photographed. So that a good quality can be offered here, you need an attachment or a lens for the digital camera.
 
This method is recommended if you have a high-quality camera with good resolution, since such attachments are usually cheaper than your own slide scanners.
 
There are some drawbacks, however. The effort is comparatively high and the photographed slides only have to be edited afterwards, as no automatic scratch corrections and cleanups can be made.
 
The right camera is important. Not every digital camera is compatible with other lenses.
 
Advantages
 
  • Comparatively inexpensive
  • Procedure in itself is straightforward
  • No settings required during the scan
Disadvantages
 
  • Images have to be post-processed
  • High quality camera (e.g. mirror reflex) required

Facts about Film & Slide Scanners

How do slides work?

Slides are photographic films that show gray values and colors in a natural view after their development. After the film is divided, the individual slides are created. Projection onto a screen or screen are the most popular display methods.

The greatest advantage of the slides is their high image quality. Due to the different layers, slides are characterized by a very high contrast range. The particularly natural coloring is also an essential feature. Due to their nature, slides still set a high quality standard.

However, a slide also has certain disadvantages. Dust and scratches can reduce the projection quality. Slides consist, among other things, of a gelatin layer. This makes them susceptible to mold and bacteria. Digitizing slides can lead to better durability and greater editing options.

Last product update on 2021-04-10 | Source: Amazon Affiliate