In addition to the individual scanner reviews on this site, I have created a list of the best scanners for each category. If you are thinking of buying a scanner then a good place to start your research is by checking out some of the current bestsellers. The internal reviews as well as external customer reviews are linked to for each of the scanners that are listed here for further information. I have also provided some general buying advice on this particular category at the bottom of the page.
Here are some of the best photo scanners for 2014:
1. Canon CanoScan 9000F
Read our Canon 9000F Review
2. Epson Perfection V600
Read our Epson Perfection V600 Review
3. Epson Perfection V300
Read our Epson Perfection V300 Review
As far as photo scanners go, Epson and Canon are the two recognized leaders in the the field. Above I have given you the top scanners in this class but there are certainly cheaper models will also do an effective job. Both Canon and Epson make budget-priced image scanners if money is a factor and you won’t lose too much in quality if you choose to go that direction. In general, the cheaper photo scanners lack some of the fancier photo-editing features or bonus software but still provide good image quality.
If you need high quality scans of your photographs then a flatbed scanner is the way to go. There are some compact, portable photo scanners available which are great for speed and travel, but you will lose a fair amount in image resolution. In fact, speed versus resolution is usually the balancing act when it comes to both scanners and printers and is one of the things you will need to evaluate when deciding what kind of scanner is best for you.
Most photo scanners will also allow for scanning of film, slides and negatives. In fact, the reason that the resolution of many of these scanners is so high is to accommodate slide and negative scanning as you really don’t need 480o dpi scanning resolution for photo prints (learn more about resolution needs by reading Buying a Photo Scanner). If you hope to later print photos from your film or slides, then you will want the high resolution scanning function of a picture scanner as opposed to a simple slide converter.
Epson vs Canon
Of the three scanners listed above, the Epson V300 is the cheapest but it does not come with additional photo-editing software. Both the Epson V600 and the Canon 9000F come with Photoshop Elements so that you can edit your photographs, make cards, etc. The Canon 9000F offers the highest scanning resolution of these three scanners but again, that is really only necessary if you plan to scan film. But the Canon has been the consistent bestseller of the year and customers seem happy with it.
Comparing scanners can sometimes seem confusing but the good news is that any of these scanners are a great choice. That is why they are already bestsellers with high customer ratings. And make sure you check things like product dimensions as some people are surprised by the size of these flatbeds. The product images often make these items look a bit more dainty than they really are, so make sure you have enough space on your desk to accommodate a scanner before you buy.
If you need more help deciphering all of the various specifications and features, be sure to check out our buying guides listed in the sidebar. Also check out the individual photo scanner reviews to get a feel for the main features of each of the models available.