Scanning Old Photos to Digital

How to Convert Old Photo to Digital Format


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When you have a large stack of photo albums, it is time to convert photo into digital now. As for digitalize old photos, it is not only to save space for closet, but also preserve the memory in photo. Just learn the important tips when you transform photo to digital from the article, and then try the best way to preserve them well.

There are several methods to digitalize the old photos for your parents or grant-parents. In order to preserve the best quality of the old photos without any image noise, here is the ultimate method to convert photos to digital formats as below.

Scanning Old Photos to Digital


Part 1. Prepare photos before digitalize

In order to digital old photos, you have to organize beforehand. It should be a nice method to protect the old photos. Here are some necessary tips to prepare the photos before digitalization.

  • Group the photos into different categories.
  • Make sure the photos are plat without wrinkle.
  • Protect photos from water damage, discoloration and more.
  • Choose the desired photo scanner and formats.

Old Photos


Part 2. Scan for the Best Result

Just as mentioned, there are several ways to convert old photos to digital. You can take a photo with camera or scan the photo to digital. Scanning all the photos is a time intensive operation, but it preserves the details. Just keep in mind for the following tips before converting photos to digital files.

  • Clean the Photos beforehand for a better quality. Just use a soft brush to remove the dust from the photo tenderly. Even if you keep the photos in album, the photos should also be cleaned before scanning.
  • Wipe the scanner to avoid any noise or damage caused. A microfiber cloth or alcohol based cleaning wipe is a nice option to scan photo to digital in a great quality.
  • Well organize the photos for a batch scanning.
  • Pick a resolution for converting photo format to digital.
  • Lie plat on the flatbed to get a good scan for the photos

If you have a good scanner, it should be a plus to turn photo to digital in a good quality. Are these all you need to do? Definitely No. It is only the first step to convert photo to digital. You can do further action to get better results and preserve them well.

Organize Photos


Part 3. Convert photo to digital

Some extra steps you do to convert photo to digital is more important. As for converting photo to PDF, you might require every detail for business. When you change them to digital, it is better to preserve more detail as well.

  • Just imagine you are converting photo to digital in a RAW format with every detail. But it is impossible to upload the file to social media or view on your smartphone. You have to change photo to JPEG, which can be used for most situations.
  • Batch process is very important when you have a large number of photo albums. And then you can save a lot of time for converting photo to digital or other formats.
  • There are some dusts and scratches for the old photos. What is more, you can find some image noise due to the original camera. Photo Converts can fix the blurry images with ease, it helps you to turn photo to digital with a better quality.
  • Most of the old photos are portraits, which have a darken skin color compared to the original skin. You need to further retouch photos to optimize the photos with stunning effects.
  • Choose the best scanning quality and output format. In order to get all the details for the photos, you have to choose the suitable quality for scanning photos.

Scan Photos


Part 4. Optimize the digitalized images

In order to get the best result for digitalize old photos, you should further edit the photos with some excellent program. What should be the best method to retouch photos? WidsMob Retoucher is the photo beautifier you should take into consideration.

Download for Win VersionDownload for Mac Version

Step 1: Reduce noise for old images. The Denoise feature is able to reduce the noise of images. Due to the technology restriction, the old camera or the time will add grains to the pictures.

Fix Image Noise with Retoucher

Step 2: Optimize portrait images. Once the program detects the portrait of the image, you can optimize the images with skin smoothing or skin whitening without any imperfection.

Selfie Photo Beautifier with Retoucher

Step 3: Adjust the parameters. As the time remove the original color of the photos, you can adjust the saturation, contrast, brightness, temperature and tint for the photos.

Artistic Effect with Retoucher

Step 4: When you need to discover the effects for analog film, you can also use the film pack function, which is able to add different photo filters with stunning effects or show the artistic photos for the digitalized photos.

Retouch with Film Pack Effect

It should be an ultimate step to convert photos to digital. What is more, you can also discover the different effects for the photos. After that you can share the photos to social media websites.


Part 5. Top 5 Photo Scanner Applications for Smartphone

As the popularity of smartphones, digital photos have become a principal way to save memories and moments. For scanning printed photos to your smartphone with photo scanning application would be easier than using a professional scanner connected with computer. In the following, we will introduce top 5 photo scanners that utilize the smartphone camera to capture the print photos for your reference.

1. Genius Scan

Genius Scan is a scanner in your pocket. The application is able to turn old photos into PDF or JPEG files. Just as the other photo scanners, you can also access to the smart page detection, perspective correction and image enhancement features. When you need to scan a large amount of photos, you can also use the batch process to scan photos in a matter of seconds. And then you can organize your documents with titles, tags and powerful search with the photo scanner.

It is a PDF scanner as well as image scanner, which offer some excellent features to the scanned photos. You can add watercolors, tags and signatures to the photos as well. It is one of my favorite photo scanners that can digitalize photos and share to social media within the program with ease. And it also works with Dropbox, Box and other application, once you scan the photos, you can use another application of your smartphone for further editing.

Genius Scan

2. Pic Scanner

Pic Scanner is a free photo scanner on iOS. It can scan up to four photos at one time. After scan photos, this photo scanner will crop the photos with perspective correction automatically. When we scan over the photos with our smartphone, Pic Scanner will check the focus automatically. When the photo is framed exactly, Pic Scanner will display OK. Pic Scanner is smart enough to capture the print photos. And of course, the quality of the scanned photo also depends on the camera of your iPhone.

But if you want to capture a high quality photo, you should scan it in a well-light room and put the photo on a plain, single-color background. Pic Scanner could capture four photos at one time. And if you take multiple photos at once, remember to leave at least a half of inch gaps between them. Then Pic Scanner will crop the photos and enhance automatically. The Photo Scanner also offers some filters. You will surprise that Pic Scanner could do such thing on smartphones, although the quality of the photos is not as well as hardware scanners. There is also a paid version that will not limit the usage and offer more features.

Pic Scanner

3. CamScanner

CamScanner is one of top rated scanners in Play Store. It is famous as a document scanner instead of photo scanner. But we can use it as a photo scanner as well. The most useful feature of CamScanner is Gray Mode. When we capture print photos in a room, it is unavoidable that the light will reflect on the surface of the photo. But the Gray Mode will weaken the reflection and make it unnoticeable. Other features of CamScanner include cropping and control tools. We can correct the crook part with cropping tool and adjust contrast with control tool. The photo scanner also supports various third-party storage devices including Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Evernote and Google Drive.

Although CamScanner allows users to enhance color, it is a utility app not an art tool. Unfortunately, as a document scanner, CamScanner will save all the files as PDF. But the high quality and powerful features is strong enough to let us ignore that. If you want to extract the text from the photos, you can also take advantage of the excellent OCR (Optical Character Recognition) features of program.

CamScanner

4. Shoebox

Shoebox is an interesting photo scanner app. It is the extent of Ancestry.com that is an online family tree service. You can register an account on Ancestry.com and upload the scanned photos to your family tree from your smartphone directly. When we capture old photos by Shoebox, it will detect the edges of the photo and correct the perspective automatically. After scan the photo, Shoebox allows us to edit the information of the photo, like adding a name, the place and a caption. The photo scanner does not offer the features of editing the photos, like adjusting color and contrast, or filters. But that makes it a simple tool and easier to use.

There is a tip about Shoebox: do not share the scanned photo from Shoebox directly. Save them to your Camera Roll and share the photos from there. You will find that Shoebox saves a better resolution in Camera Roll. What is more, the photo scanner also carries every photo you’ve ever taken in your pocket or on your tablet without taking up space on your iPhone or iPad.

Shoebox

5. PhotoScan

PhotoScan is developed by Google and makes digitizing printed photos easier. This photo scanner is totally free and available in Play Store and App Store. Before shoot the old photo, place it on a plain surface. PhotoScan will find the frame of the photo automatically. To obtain more data, it will instruct users to move their phone around the photo. After pass successfully, this photo scanner will capture the photo and reduce the light reflection spontaneously. Users could save the result on their phones or to Google’s cloud service directly.

The most powerful feature is PhotoScan will analyze the photo and shoot it multiple times. The scanned photo is high quality, because this photo scanner will merge the different versions of the same photo. To simplify the process, PhotoScan will crop, stretch and rotate the photo automatically. It will also remove the glare from the photo. And after capture, users could also adjust the photos.

PhotoScan

Based on the introductions above, you can see that the photo scanner on the smartphone is strong enough to capture the old print photos and transmit them to digital ones. All you need to do is to place the photo on a flat surface. And the photo scanners will do all the work for you, like finding the edge of the photo, stretching and rotating the photo, and removing the glare and light reflection automatically. So the next time, if you want to scan a photo, just take out your smartphone and shoot it.


Conclusion

In order to convert photos to digital, you have to prepare the photos, scan the photos, choose the best result, and optimize the photos with some professional retoucher. In order to have the best results for digitalize photos, you can follow the guide to get the desired image with ease.

Download for Win VersionDownload for Mac Version


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Peter Wood
Peter Wood
Peter Wood, a senior editor, focus on photography design and editing software and devices.

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