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Best Scanners For Slides To Digital Of 2023

Gretchen Rubin
  Dec 7, 2023 4:50 PM

It's natural to question how to digitize negatives whether you're a film photographer or have thousands of undeveloped films tucked away. Even though having prints is convenient, they are often misplaced or destroyed. Slides that have been digitized prevent the risk of ever losing an image. This post takes a look at some of the top-rated slide scanners available right now.

You can protect your negatives and receive beautiful digital copies with one of these scanners.

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Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide

Type of scanner

A flatbed scanner is the most frequent and inexpensive option for scanning film. However, they often scan slowly and at poorer resolutions than competing technologies.

To finish the scanning process, a dedicated film scanner needs to be connected to a computer. There will be a charge to pay for the higher quality and increased detail of your scan.

The price of an all-in-one film scanner lies between that of a flatbed scanner and a film scanner designed specifically for scanning film. Conversely, the scan quality of these film scanners is subpar.


To get a clear scan from your film, you need invest in a scanner with a resolution of at least 3,000 dots per inch (DPI). Detailed images are achieved by the use of pixels in the resolution.


Resolution is the feature of a scanner that typically incurs the most cost. Even if the prices of two scanners are comparable, one with higher resolution is likely to be the superior buy.

Dynamic range

The dynamic range of a film scanner is its capacity to achieve optical density. A dynamic range of 4 is optimal, however values between 0 and 2 are acceptable.

A dynamic range of 3 or 4 is typical of high-quality film scanners. More dynamic range means more color in your photo.


Speed in slide scanners is measured in pages per minute (ppm). Manual scanner outputs vary in speed depending on how rapidly you can load your slides, while high-end machines can scan images at up to 7200 dpi in a short amount of time. Similar to ppi, ppm can be affected by image resolution and paper size.


If you require a flexible device that can link to HDMI cables, SD cards, and other systems, then connectivity is a major selling factor. However, if all you need is a simple slide scanner, many models now include USB connectivity.


You shouldn't buy a slide scanner if your facility has inadequate space for storing the scanned slides. Some scanners have large amounts of memory built in, while others offer removable media like SD cards or even hard drives.

File Format

Unfortunately, not all scanners will be able to read all file types. Some scanners may not be able to read TIFF files, thus you may need to convert the image to a JPEG or PNG before scanning it.

Device Compatibility

In the same way that some file types are only compatible with certain operating systems, some scanners may only work with certain OSes. The best slide scanners should work with a variety of operating systems, but they must be compatible with Windows and Mac at the very least.


In order to save money, you might be willing to sacrifice the speed, precision, and quality of your film scanner. There's a good reason why film scanners are so pricey: they're designed to safely scan fragile 35mm film negatives, and some can even scan several images at once. You shouldn't go into debt over a scanner, but you also shouldn't skimp on getting the results you require.

Color Depth

The bit depth of your scans determines how true to color they will be. For the most faithful image reproduction, a scanner with a higher bit depth is your best bet. While 24 bits is adequate for most people's tastes, 30 bits is recommended for pros. Scanners with 12 bits of color depth are enough for black and white or grayscale negatives.


Is it Worth Buying a Film Scanner?

Investing in a film scanner can be useful in a few different situations, but it also comes with a few drawbacks. The initial expense may be a deterrent if, for example, a film scanner must be purchased.


Buying your own film scanner is another way to cut costs. You may avoid paying a middleman to process your scanned photographs and retain full ownership of your files.

In addition to the film scanner, you have options for photo and film editing applications. As an added bonus, you'll have a way to monitor your film's whereabouts and store it safely.

When it comes to scanning film, film scanners are also more user-friendly than flatbed scanners. If the scanner you bought doesn't have its own built-in film holder, you'll need to buy a separate device.


Although, film scanners can be quite pricey. They often require more investment than just a couple of excursions to the camera store.

Furthermore, the size of these film scanners varies widely. A professional photo lab may also save you time and produce better quality prints.

Can you scan film on any scanner?

Theoretically, any scanner could be used to scan film. Still, how effectively the film is backlit will determine the final product's quality.

Photos taken under backlighting have better resolution and color accuracy. Silver cardstock can also be used for the same purpose.

The image quality and editing capabilities of the scanned film may be adjustable. Additionally, adjusting the white balance can be of assistance.


There are no rewind or fast forward buttons in life, but a slide scanner allows us to relive priceless moments from the past decade. A slide scanner's features, like those of any other electronic device, become increasingly varied with increasing cost. But if you stick to this list, you can be sure that the final result will be excellent.

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