By Kendra Stieler
I own a lot of printed photos. In the past, I’ve attempted to digitize my seemingly endless collection of family photos with a flatbed scanner, but between scanning, labeling, organizing and colour correcting, the process always proved too time-consuming to finish.
That’s why I was intrigued by Epson’s newest high-speed photo scanner, the FastFoto FF-640. At about 30-centimetres long by 22-centimetres wide, the scanner resembles a small desktop printer. I loaded stacks (about 30 at a time) of similar-sized photos into the top feeder, and they were quickly (and quietly) fed through the machine, scanned at 300 dots-per-inch (the industry’s standard for printing images), and spit out. As Can Geo’s production coordinator, it’s part of my job to scrutinize image quality, and these scans looked great.
Satisfied with this initial test run, I decided to go into the advanced settings of the software, which was easily installed on my computer, and switch to higher quality scanning (600 dots-per-inch), enable colour correcting and allow it to scan both sides of the photo to capture my grandmother’s handwritten notes. I loaded another stack of discoloured photos from the 1970s and timed the process. In about a minute, the scanner digitized 30 very high quality, double-sided and colour-corrected photos. The previously reddish images now had realistic skin tones, faded photos were darkened and white balances were corrected.
I tried several more runs: small and damaged photos, which were easily scanned using a supplied carrying sheet, large images (up to 8-inches by 10-inches), faded black and white pictures, postcards and film photos from the 1990s. Everything looked wonderful, except for the photos from the ‘90s. I found the colour correction on those “newer” film photos to be a little extreme and some of the highlights were overexposed.
All in all, the Epson FastFoto FF-640 is a great product for photo collector, such as myself, to quickly scan, colour-correct, organize and preserve memories.