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Top 16 Best Scanners Of Color Slides Of 2023

Brandon Forder
  Feb 1, 2023 2:55 PM

It's natural to question how to digitize negatives whether you're a film photographer or have thousands of undeveloped films tucked away. Having prints made is convenient, but they are vulnerable to loss or damage. It's impossible to lose any of the images you've captured on slides now that you've digitized them. This post takes a look at some of the top-rated slide scanners available right now.

Invest in a scanner like this and you may digitize your negatives without risking their destruction.

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Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide

Type of scanner

Among film scanners, flatbed scanners are the most widely available and reasonably priced option. They can be slower than conventional scanners and generate lesser resolutions when scanning.

When scanning film, you need a computer to do the job. It's more expensive, but the improved scan quality is well worth it.

In terms of cost, all-in-one film scanners are in between flatbed scanners and specialized film scanners. Furthermore, these film scanners have subpar scan quality.

Scan Quality

In the end, the quality of your scans—whether for commercial or personal use—will determine how your photos turn out, especially when you print them. When assessing quality, bit depth and resolution are two crucial elements.


The color quality of your scans will be significantly affected by the bit depth. The higher the bit depth, the more accurate the colors of your scan will be. For personal usage, you can settle for 24-bit, but if you need one for work purposes, don’t go lower than 30-bit. For greyscale scans, 12-bit grey is typically enough.

Ultimately, the sharpness of your scans will depend on the image resolution you use. If you’re into printing, don’t go below 3200 dpi (dots per inch) (dots per inch). If, on the other hand, you’re solely planning to utilize your scans for personal storage or for web reasons, 300-1200 dpi is fine.

Dynamic range

The dynamic range of a film scanner is defined by its capacity to vary its optical density. The optimal dynamic range is 4, with values between 0 and 4 being possible.

The finest film scanners include a dynamic range between 3 and 4. A greater dynamic range will result in a more colorful image.


To convert analog camera output to digital format, software is required for digital photography. Depending on the program, you may only be able to make changes to your photos while scanning them, or you may also have the opportunity to edit and save them.

The greatest film scanners have streamlined, easy-to-use software that streamlines the scanning process. The film scanner can have its own display screen or be connected to an external device like a computer or television.


Slide scanner speeds are expressed in terms of the number of pages per minute that the device can scan (ppm). Manual scanner outputs vary in speed depending on how rapidly you load your slides, while high-end machines may scan images at up to 7200 dpi in a matter of seconds. In the same way, variables like as print size and image resolution can affect the ppm.


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.

Number of Users

The number of people who will be using the slide scanner will determine whether you should get a home or office model. While flatbed scanners are ideal for shared usage in large families or offices, portable slide scanners may accommodate up to two users at a time.

Most flatbed scanners come with a larger LCD screen or can be connected to a monitor, making it possible for many people to view the photos at once.

Device Compatibility

As with file types, a scanner may only work with a certain OS. The best slide scanners should work with several operating systems, but at a minimum, they should be compatible with Windows and Mac.


Getting a film scanner at a discount might seem like a good idea, but you might be sacrificing performance, accuracy, and quality in the process. Reasons for the high cost of film scanners include their ability to scan multiple frames at once and their ability to handle fragile 35mm film negatives. Therefore, you should always invest in a scanner that guarantees the results you need without going into debt.


Can you scan film on any scanner?

Any scanner should be able to scan film in theory. On the other hand, the quality of the prints will be determined by how well the film is backlit.

Improved image quality and color saturation can be achieved with backlighting. Simultaneously, you can get the same result by using silver cardstock.

It's possible that you'll have some degree of image quality control and editing options with your film scanner. White-balance adjustments can also be helpful.

What kind of scanner do you need to scan film?

A film negative scanner is required for film scanning. A slide or transparency scanner is another name for this device.

The most advanced film scanners employ a pinpoint of light to scan each frame. Some cameras include an in-built motor that can automatically travel through the negatives to create an image.

Scanning a negative or slide yields high-quality digital images. These scanners are not only cheap but also simple to operate.

What is the best way to view old slides?

Viewing slides the old-fashioned way requires nothing more than a light table and a loupe. When I was shooting for magazines on film, that's how I decided which photos will be published. However, a scanner is currently your best bet because it can make a digital file of the image and ensure the photos' survival.

How much does a slide viewer cost?

From cheap $10 slide viewers to high-end scanners, the price of viewing slides varies widely. The most expensive option on our list costs around $169, which is less than what you would pay to have your photographs scanned by a third-party service. If you have any slides, all you need is a white or very close to white light to see the image clearly.


There are no rewind or fast forward buttons in life, but because to the invention of the slide scanner, we can relive treasured moments from decades ago. The price of a slide scanner reflects the fact that it has fewer basic functionality than a cheaper model, much like any other sort of consumer electronic. But if you follow this checklist, you can be confident that the final result will be excellent.

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