For some time now I have been faced with the daunting task of scanning several thousand family photos. I finally decided to embark on a quest to find a good, reliable photo scanner. I will share my journey of this quest with you below. (these are only my personal experiences and yours may vary)
The requirements for the project were that the scanner have an ADF (auto document feeder), One touch scan button, scan at a minimum of 600 DPI and last and most important it must scan duplex.
You ask yourself, why do you need a duplex scanner for photos… The answer is simple, having several thousand family photos to scan I don’t have the time to name the files and did not want to lose all the details on the back. My family was very attentive to detail with photos, the backs of many of the photos listed times, dates, locations names etc. To me this information is just as important as the image itself.
I spent a day or so researching my options and came up with two choices, the Xerox DocuMate 3125 and the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500.
At first glance they appeared very similar, however the ScanSnap offered a few more features including wireless scanning, which I did not need, and was $100 more expensive.
In my opinion Xerox is the big name in the copy industry, after all when you go to make a copy at work you are going to the xerox machine… Even if its a cannon 🙂 Needless to say I chose the Xerox.
Initially the scanner worked flawlessly. It was fast and did just what I needed. However, after only a few hundred photos scanned the images appeared to have vertical lines in the photos (obviously these did not exist in my source images).
I know that these scanners need to be cleaned from time to time, so i cleaned the feed wheels and glass. Sadly the issue did not improve, in fact over the next few scans it became progressively worse. I will also note that several times the scanner would miss-feed and I would have to rescan a group of photos.
I tried to find a solution for the Xerox scanner issues, but could not. While the Xerox had very good reviews online, I did not have a good experience with it. My specific unit may have been defective and another may have worked fine; I however, was not willing to chance it and waste more time. I had already wasted two days trying to find a solution to the lines appearing in the scanned images.
I ended up having to return the Xerox and purchased the ScanSnap. I have made several thousand scans on the ScanSnap and have not had a single issue. Not one time has the ScanSnap had a misfeed. I have had to clean the scanner a few times but its been no big deal and works as good as new, after.
Originally the default configuration for the ScanSnap was clunky and popped up after every scan (using the one touch scan button). I was able to disable the popup in the software and have my images directly saved to a location of my choice on the local drive. This resolved the clunky interface issues and made the one touch scanning a breeze.
In my opinion the ScanSnap is the clear winner! At $100 more expensive its definitely not the bargain scanner, however, some of the extra features I originally thought I would not need have come in handy. Additionally its extremely reliable build construction has proven to stand the test of thousands of photos with out a single issue.
I wholeheartedly recommend the ScanSnap IX500 from my experiences with it. I welcome feedback from others and to hear what your experiences are with the Xerox 3125 or the ScanSnap IX500.