Epson FastFoto : Bulk Scan Precious Family Photos Without Sending Overseas

I love to scan old photos.
Seriously, being able to scan negatives and slide from my archives is one of my favorite evening pastimes. Set it up, scan and store. It almost becomes a treasure hunt, especially with the negatives.
One thing I was not scanning much were all of the 4×6 photos in my storage boxes. You know, we all have them. The personal records of our lives.
The neg sleeves from the commercial labs, like Fromex, had a short cut to the strips, and was, honestly a bit of a pain to deal with.
There are services where you pack all of your precious family photos into a box, and send them overseas to be scanned. Scared the heck out of me, so never did it.
The I saw a demo of the Epson FastFoto 640

When I first saw the Epson FastFoto last year, I had a feeling that this was a breakthrough product. Being able to bulk scan my family snaps, with speed, AND scan front and back for the older ones (people used to put notes on the back) was a win. And sitting on a small bit of a desktop? Worked for me!
Until I get to try these things out myself, I can’t truly comment.
After having one to test for a bit. I’m convinced.

Pure winner.
There is one downside that I’ll broach later.

OK, first of all, you stack the photos, and pick your resolution,

and then decide where they should go after you scan. Add the image info for that batch. After you scan one batch, you can continue to add more batches with the same info/set-up if you like. These images can all be saved to the same folder, or destination. I have different folders for birthdays, holidays, etc.,

They can be sent into a named folder, or even on-line.

Then, hit a button on the front of the unit, and your snaps get scanned, in a bulk rate fashion. and no negatives left the sleeves!
Digitized, tagged, and ready to share.
Sweet!
You can also use it for documents, and make searchable PDF’s.

I did it with 4×6 prints, 5×7, and even long panoramics. On the pano’s, once I brought them into lightroom, I just did a mass rotation to get them in the proper orientation. For odd size photos, they include a folder to keep them held correctly to scan. Can you throw a random stack of odd sized prints in at one time? Not advised.
The color was great, it can do auto enhancement, saving an original so you can tweak, the resolution is superb, and the ease of operation was as advertised.

I’ll call it portable, as it’s small enough, although not battery powered. (11.8 x 8.7 x 8.1 in)
Well built, great software included, and very easy to use.
So what’s the downside?
The price.
When i first saw the unit at a press event, I thought perhaps it was a suggested price. Nope.
It’s a hefty $650.
BUT……
It serves a huge purpose, and it does exactly what it said it would, and does a great job of it.
I suggest this:
Share it with your family. Yep, that’s right. Buy one, and share the cost with family members. Have each family get the scanner for a bit, and scan in their collection of family images. If you amortize the cost with your family members, you can create a massive digital history of your family photos, to share online or in hard files.
The family that scans together, stays together.
As far as shipping it to out-of-town relatives, the box I got the review unit sent in, was the box it came in. No outer packaging, so that’ll work.
The software is very easy to download and use.
When my mom turned 80 we all shared photos of her from across the familial network, and created a book of her life. Wish I had this then.
With companies like ancestry.com popping up to detail your families birth lineage, here is a perfect tool to document your families visual history.
Win #TBT every week!

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