Photo Scanning Services recommendations? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-03-29, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 112
Photo Scanning Services recommendations?

Anybody know of any good/reliable photo scanning services. I have about 10 albums (about 1500 photos?) I want to get digitized. Preferably service in Toronto so I can avoid Canada Post. Came across a few through google (cheapest first):



Past Perfect

JonSS is offline  
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-03-29, 06:28 PM
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Just a note on - We are in a much different boat serving a different market than the three competitors you mention there. targets consumers looking to have photos digitized in bulk, quickly and in a cost effective manner (hence the guaranteed lowest pricing in Canada).

I'm sure the other three companies mentioned there are great at what they do - but they are most certainly going to spend more time on each image than we would. Our service is about scanning thousands and thousands of photographs (We've had orders >30,000 photos!) for preservation, while those companies appear to be looking to maximize image quality and details within each image. Along with this, they are between 5 and 50 times our price. I'll be the first to say that they will give you a higher quality image, but where we excel is in the bulk orders. I've actually sent a few clients to other services for a small number of photos (I.e. they get 1200 done with us, and take 10-20 that they'd like blown up for prints, or are very fragile, etc).

This being said, our service isn't "bad" quality, it just isn't the rolls royce. Here is an example of our service (left) compared with a scan from a Creo Eversmart scanner - these are raw scans, i.e. basically "full auto mode", not edited in PS, etc.

Click to view -

As you can see, the creo has a higher dynamic range, picks up shadow/highlight details better, and is sharper. That being said, 99.9% of our customers are very pleased with the quality of the scan they are receiving in comparison to the price difference. Now again these are both raw scans, no tweaking or restoration (which is a service that the companies above are likely fantastic at, and something we do NOT do)

Again I'd like to stress that the other companies are likely fantastic at what they do, but we're an apple where as they are an orange I know we've had a number of customers on local forums, so hopefully someone will be able to give you some first hand experience as well.
matdwyer is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-03-29, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 258
I recently used ScanCafe to scan about 600 slides that I had lying around. They are California-based but the scanning is done in India so there is a significant turn-around time (took me 5 weeks to get my slides back), however the price was good and the results were excellent. Shipping cost is included in the per-scan price.

There were a few things about the service I particularly liked:
1) They scan the images and post them online, and you get the option to pay for only the ones you want to keep as long as you take more than 50%.
2) They will scan to .tif as an option, which I prefer to jpg for archiving.
3) They actually do a decent job of colour-correcting and touching-up the images, which is something that a lot of places do really badly.
timmy1 is offline  
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-03-29, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 21
Why not purchase a good scanner and do it yourself? Once they're digitized I'm sure you'll want to review and label them so you know what they are - why not do it as you scan them? I just finished scanning 1000 slides for my parents ranging from 1959 to 1989. I purchased an Epson scanner for $200 that came with it's own software which worked VERY well.
I was impressed with the automatic color restoration and only felt the need to manually adjust a dozen scans.

There are independant scanner softwares out there that will automatically separate pictures so you can scan more than one at a time saving an incredible amount of time if that is a concern.

Just my 2 cents
warpdwhim is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-03-31, 08:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 209
+1 for purchasing a scanner. Although I have an all-in-one the ability to scan 4 pics at once wasn't that big of deal providing that you have the time to do it. It took me about 6hrs to go through 350 pics and another 2 to crop and rotate. Like Warpdwhim said there is software out there which will detect each photo and organize it which would cut down on a lot of time.

You can get a good Epson all in one for under $200. Providing you are willing to take the time to scan the pics it is much easier than sending them out and relying on someone else to do the jobs for you, as well as the risk of the pics getting lost in the shipping.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-03-31, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 112
Thanks for all the replies. Buying a scanner would be good but with all the time kids take up etc, I know I won't get time to do around 1500 scans! I don't need somebody to do any enhancements, just good quality scans.
JonSS is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-04-06, 01:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost in Leaside
Posts: 17
Hi all,

I recently got a couple of hits at my Pastperfectphoto site, which I followed back to this discussion. It looks like a good community and a friendly group, so I just jumped on board.

I'd like to say a couple of things about scanning and about my little company. First...YES, you can certainly scan your own images – even with good results. But be prepared to do some homework, and to spend a little time and money.

That's because of two things I hear from clients who'd gone the DIY route:
1. With scanning, you really do get what you pay for. There's no substitute for decent equipment and software.
2. It really pays to learn all you can, before you begin. After a few albums, you may end up wanting to start over again, knowing what you've just learned along the way. That's particularly annoying when you only want to do the family collection one time!

The closest comparison I can offer, is doing your own brake job. Sure you can, but you're going to get messy and spend more time than the pros. You might save some money, but as you drive away you may still be wondering if you've done everything correctly.

About Past Perfect – I scan materials that have been shipped, but prefer to work closer to home. To me, a scanning job begins with a discussion and examination of the images. And ends with a handshake from a satisfied client. I offer a high degree of flexibility when it comes to scanning services, including a lower cost photo scanning option which fits the bill for most digitizing needs.

Now, I didn't just come here to toot my horn, so if you've any scanning questions PM me. I'm always willing to share ideas and pass along any info that may help you get the job done right.


ScanMan is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 2010-04-12, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Have you checked out...

Digital Scan Canada

They are located in Winnipeg, Canada and have a shoebox special. Real cool website too!
RFCanada is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 2012-09-02, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost in Leaside
Posts: 17
Minor change to my URL since the original posting...

Thanks to all who've been visiting.

ScanMan is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 2013-04-28, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Smile Photo scanning in canada

I live in the north east end of Toronto Canada and we used for their photo scanning service. To be honest I would rate them good or 7 out of 10 because their office seems a little busy and they did say that their service takes around 3 weeks. The lady at the front office desk said they offer a rush service for $30 which would have it complete in 1-2 days. I opted not going for the rush service and had my photos complete in about 17 days.
The quality of their photo scans were excellent and we had them all transferred to DVD. Also when you get the DVD you own it and can make many duplicates as you wish. We used another company before and we couldn't duplicate the DVD. I've heard of other companies downtown in Toronto but for they have a special for 600 photos only $39. You can't beat that price. Well actually you can get a cheaper price on kijiji from someone working out of their home but my photos are precious and i would rather keep them with a professional company or retail location.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 2015-03-10, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1 - Fast and reliabale. Free pick-up/delivery within Halton Hills.
They scan photos, slides, negatives & documents to digital.
Halton Video is offline  

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