Ok—this might be one of the nerdier things I’ve ever posted about here on TOT, but I wanted to share one of the best things I’ve purchased this year, and it’s probably not something you would expect: a photo scanner!
Let me back this up and tell you how I found myself loving what is probably a mostly-retiree hobby. Back in January and February, I was going through those cold, dark days of winter, and given all the Covid restrictions, was spending a lot of time at home. Truthfully, I was a little bored and looking for something mindless I could do while watching TV after work at night. Before my grandpa passed away, he scanned a ton of old family photos and gave them out to everyone on a CD-Rom. (Ah, the 2000s!) I loved being able to see so many pictures from my dad’s childhood and made a mental note that I’d love to scan all the physical photos from my childhood and all the family albums from my mom’s side of the family.
Fast forward to 2020, and during a quarantine clean out, my family decided to use LegacyBox to convert the rest of our VHS tapes into digital video files so they’d be preserved—and easier to watch! (I worked with LegacyBox on a campaign back in 2015 and we had a really positive experience; last year, we paid for all the digitization ourselves.) So when I was looking for something to do this winter, I decided I would embark on what will probably be a years-long journey of digitizing all of my family’s physical photos. (I did briefly look into outsourcing this task, but it was so much cheaper to just buy a scanner and do it myself!)
In high school, I had an Epson printer and it had an amazing scanner, so when I started looking for a photo scanner online, I knew I wanted it to be from Epson. When I came across the Epson V39 photo + document scanner (also available for the same price from Best Buy here), I thought it would be the perfect scanner to fit my needs. Given it’s also a document scanner, it can scan photos that are larger than the normal size—or cut into awkward shapes, salvaged from scrapbooks! It also had thousands of great reviews, with other buyers noting it produced great-quality imagery. And, since I have a MacBook Air, it was necessary that whatever photo scanner I purchased was compatible with Apple products. I knew from reading the reviews that this one was—all I had to do was download the Mac-compatible scanner driver online and I was in business.
Like most categories, there are scanners on the market that cost more and scanners on the market that cost less, but for $100, I feel like the Epson V39 provides amazing value.
It’s also super easy to use the Epson V39—I plug the scanner into my computer, put the photo I want to scan on the scanner bed, open the scanner driver, press the “scan” button, and wait about 10 seconds for the image to appear on my computer. You can also preview and crop more complicated scans, change the filename or doc type, and set the resolution and color type of your scan.
Since January, I’ve probably scanned about 2,000 photos and have had so much fun walking down memory lane! (The easy part is scanning the photos—the harder part is figuring out a way to organize and label them digitally, especially since it’s hard to tell when some of the photos were taken!)
If you’re in the market for a photo scanner, I can’t recommend the Epson V39 scanner enough!