Quick photo scanners put to the test

Quick photo scanners put to the test »Play Video
If you have boxes of old photos lying around, easy-to-use photo scanners can help you digitize those photos.

If you have boxes of old photos lying around, easy-to-use photo scanners can help you digitize those photos. Consumer Reports' tested four portable photo scanners costing from $80 to $100.

You just pass a photo through the scanner. The image can be saved onto a memory card, or you can connect the scanner to your computer and save the image there. All of the scanners Consumer Reports tested come with a plastic sheath that helps protect older, fragile photos.

The best thing about portable photo scanners is that you can use them anywhere and they're fast! At the lowest resolution, testers scanned 100 photos in 15 minutes. But don't expect picture-perfect results. Testers found a white line ran through some of the images. And some of the scanners couldn't handle photos with darker backgrounds. Or the scanner over cropped and cut off part of the photos.

Testers says the $80 Kodak P460 didn't over crop as much as the other scanners. It can scan up to a 4x6-inch photo and can also scan negatives and color slides.

But to get a really good picture, Consumer Reports says you're better off with a regular scanner for the same price. You can scan at higher resolution, and the quality is usually better. In fact, the $80 color scanner Consumer Reports used for comparison in testing did a nice job on all of the photos. It's the Epson Perfection V300 Photo.

Rather than buying a separate scanner, another option is an all-in-one printer, which can also do a great job with photos. Consumer Reports says that the $140 Canon Pixma MG6120 is a good choice for photos and you can print wirelessly.