Are there any great photo scanning apps out there?

Are there any great photo scanning apps out there?

Here’s a question Debbie asked this week: “Do you know of any good photo scanning apps? I was just in the App Store and there are 1 million of them. My son wants me to scan some old photos for him and I was going to download something but thought I’d see what you know first. Thanks.”

Thanks for asking Debbie! There are really two great apps, PhotoScan by Google and Apple notes, both are free, but let me give you a caveat. As a serious photographer who cares about resolution and archival quality, I wouldn’t use a smartphone scanning app to take any photo I care about unless you’re in a situation where there’s no other alternative.

Like when I was visiting a cousin in Columbus, Ohio and saw some cool family photos on her wall. It is clear that the smartphone was the savior back then. But I would leave everything else to the professionals. (Three popular choices:, iMemories and Legacy Box.)

However, for contracts, receipts, business cards and other documents that we want to save or keep a copy of, smartphone scanning apps are invaluable. And if you want to scan a few photos at once, I would definitely use a photo scanning app.

New York Times Wire cutter recommends Adobe Scan, but I haven’t found it very useful for photos. (It doesn’t even save files as JPGs, but as PDFs, which shows where Adobe’s intentions lie.) I prefer PhotoScan from Google, which does a great job, and best of all, reduces the glare that often occurs on framed wall photos. (I had a lot of thoughts about the Adobe app.)

See also  The 7 Best Free Invoicing Apps for Small Businesses and Freelancers

How can Google get rid of glare? By creating and merging four images. We are asked to line up four circles for each shot to avoid reflections. Adobe uses a similar process. It worked for me with Google, but not with Adobe.

The Adobe app is really useful for documents like receipts, contracts and the like. But as someone firmly in the Apple universe, I have to give the nod to Apple’s Notes app, which many of us have used to jot down quick things. Hidden feature: you can also scan documents by clicking on the photos or documents tab within the application. Scanned materials are fed directly into the roll.

I took a photo of my business card below using Apple Notes and I’m impressed. The picture below shows a card that was on my desk surrounded by pieces of paper. Apple’s AI eliminated that confusion, so my scan was just the card. Perfect.

This means that anything important from a photographic point of view, I turn to the professionals. Photos are too important to be used as low-resolution smartphone scans.

You have to pay for the services and they are not cheap. The price of the three most popular scanning specialists:

  • Legacy Box: $160 for 250 scans or $36 for 50 photos.
  • iMemories: 50 cents per scan, plus $15 to order a box to store photos with free downloads or $40 for a USB drive.
  • Average $200 for 1,800 photos in a box with no postage, plus a $15 download fee, says company co-founder Mitch Goldstone. You can do it individually for 23 cents each plus postage, $25 minimum.
See also  This is what happens when your phone is spying on you

All three are similar in that you order a box, put your photos in it, send it off, have it scanned, and send the photos back after they’ve been processed.

At, you should pay attention to the different resolution qualities that are offered. It starts at a very low 72 DPI and goes up to a higher resolution of 600 DPI. Goldstone says that many of his clients prefer to pay less for lower-resolution files that are displayed on social media and “the quality is adequate.”

Most customers prefer 300 DPI, he says, but if I want to archive my photos forever, I want the highest resolution possible, even if it costs more and adds $60 to the big box order. This is your professional photography tip from me.

One more tip: When you submit your photos, Goldstone recommends filling out index cards to put different photos under similar file names, such as Holiday 2022 and Europe Vacation. This will help you archive them with a better name than scan01 when you get the 1800 digital files back.

We talked about scanning applications in the live stream Photo walk talks this week. Kim McCallister was my guest. You can view the section above.

This post originally appeared in the PhotowalksTV newsletter

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *