One of the big problems with finding the best slide scanner is that there are so many options available to choose from. There are dozens of different slide scanners on the market from pretty much every company that makes consumer electronics. They come in a wide, wide variety of prices with an even wider array of options.
This is compounded by the fact that what might be the best dedicated slide scanner for me may not necessarily be the best slide scanner for you. You might need to scan in an entire archive of slides and negatives that need to be crystal clear, while I just want a scanner that will allow me to put in a few of my my old vacation pictures.
What would be right for me wouldn’t even come close to being enough for you, and what would be perfect for you would be way too much machine and money for what I need. This makes sorting through reviews of slide scanners tricky, because reviews are going to vary depending on what the reviewer needed.
Having said all that, we decided to try and find out who makes the best slide scanner on the market, so we reviewed ten of the most popular models on the market. We chose from a variety of prices, from inexpensive to high end, so that no matter what you’re going to use your scanner for, you should be covered.
VuPoint Solutions Digital Film and Slide Converter
This was the least expensive of the scanners that we reviewed, so we weren’t expecting a lot from it; if it scanned the pictures in reasonably well, we’d be happy. Fortunately, it turned out to be a handy little machine.
Since it is such an inexpensive piece of machinery, (Click here for latest price) it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. You need to set the resolution and picture type with each batch, and you can only scan three pictures at a time. Within those limitations, though, the thing works more or less automatically, which makes it great for people who don’t like to monkey with technology.
One thing that we did like is that this scanner doesn’t require you to be hooked up to a computer. You can slide in a memory card and move it where you want, which is really handy when you need to scan a lot of slides. If this isn’t the best slide scanner for the money, it’s very, very close.
Pacific Image Memor-ease PLUS 35mm Film & Slide Converter
The Memor-ease is a little more expensive than the VuPoint, and as such it has a few more options that make it a little easier to use. One of the biggest differences is that it has dust and scratch removal technology built in, which is good for the casual user or for people who have older slides and negatives that have taken a beating.
This little device is also a very fast scanner, which we liked. The downside is that in terms of picture quality, this definitely isn’t the best slide scanner. For many people, it’ll be perfectly fine, but anybody who is into photography is going to find it wanting.
Plustek Opticfilm 7500 or 7600
This scanner is getting into the mid range of prices, so it’s probably better suited for people with an interest in photography or small business owners who need to extra quality for their photos. Not surprisingly, the big attraction with this is the fairly ridiculous resolution it gives you; up to 7200 dpi.
With that kind of resolution, the picture quality and color replication are about as excellent as you’d expect, and the images are reproduced with startling fidelity. The Plustek is also pretty close to being an automatic system, and it gives you a wide array of choices when it comes to colors, file formats and everything else you’d need for scanning in your slides.
The two models are similar, with the difference between the 7500 and the 7600 is that the Plustek 7600 uses instant-on LED light while the 7500 uses cold cathode lamps that have to warm up when first powered on. All in all, we’d say this was the best slide scanner in its price range.
Nikon LS 2000 Slide Scanner
Nikon is a big player in the camera world, so it’s no surprise at all that they also make slide scanners. The Nikon LS 2000 is their higher end scanner model and the best slide scanner they make for the price.
One of the big draws with the Nikon 2000 is that it uses the Digital ICE technology to remove scratches and smudges. If you’re scanning in old slides or negatives, you’re going to find that a big plus.
Picture wise, the scanner reproduces images and colors pretty much flawlessly, and the pictures look great. It gives you a full range of options in terms file formats, color options, and even allows you to do some editing.
This is a high end machine that’s primarily designed for people that are serious about their photography. If you’re just a casual user, there’s probably more machine here than you need, but it does everything you could ever want it to do. If you would like more information about the Nikon LS 2000 scanner, get further details, customer comments and latest special price on this page at Amazon
Braun Multimag Slide Scanner 4000
If you’ve got a bunch of slides that you need scanned in a high quality format, this is the best slide scanner we’ve found. It’s expensive, but the magazine will hold up to a hundred slides and scan them without much input from you.
It also comes equipped with the Digital ICE (Digital Image Correction and Enhancement) package to get rid of scratches and smudges, as well as automatic color restoration. ICE’s technology works from within the scanner, so unlike the software-only solutions it does not alter any underlying details of the image.
This machine is really, really useful for restoring large batches of old slides, and it’s surprisingly user friendly.
The best slide scanner, in terms of balancing price with function, is the Plustek Opticfilm. For 99.99% of people that need a scanner, it will do everything they want and more, and the price is within reach for almost everyone that might need a slide scanner. It is available on Amazon with savings up to 48% off list retail price. Click here for more details
The overall best slide scanner has to be the Braun Multimag Slide Scanner 4000, which is professional quality, high end machine, and it shows. If you need something that powerful, this is the slide scanner that will do pretty much anything you want. The Nikon Super Coolscan 5000, a slide and negative scanner, should also be considered. (See our review here) Though it has been discontinued, it is still available in some locations in limited quantities.