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In the challenge to go full-time we are dealing with the inevitable need to digitize records and lot of old family photographs. Remember those photographs before DSLRs!!!  Any one found an easy and quick way to deal with digitizing lots of documents and photographs? Beyond the one at a time scanning approach!

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I can scan in multiple ones and computer separates them into individual pictures.  For records, we used a feeder to load them in and scan.

Otherwise, look for someone local who does scanning (often a photo shop, etc).  That's what we did with our slides (7 trays of them) - scanned and burned onto CDs.

Barb

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Thanks Barbara. I do have a scanner with a feeder - OK for documents. Not so good for photos - different sizes and paper thickness appears to be the issue.  What scanner and software did you use? Or any recommendations.  Time to update our printer/scanner anyway!!

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The easiest way to send the pictures out to a professional.  Before we went fulltime I bought a slide scanner to scan my 35 mm slides.  I also used an HP scanner for pictures.  I placed multiple pictures on the glass and the software would separate them.  

For documents I used a document feeder that would scan both sides.  We scanned everything.  Now as we get more paperwork it gets scanned into PDF format.  

I do not use special software to store the files.  Just make folders and sub folders to organize your documents. Name each document so you can search for them.  I use Windows 10. Windows will index all the files.  You can do a search for the files in Explorer. 

Not sure about Apple indexing.

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We also have an HP all-in-one.  Software that came with the printer will see spaces between pictures and scan them in as multiples.  With the small 'snapshot' photos I can scan in 6 or so at a time.  

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Our camera would take photos of documents and turn them into data. We would, for instance, put all our wallet cards near one another on the desk and take a photo of the whole batch. Then turn them over and take the other side. We then printed those out and put copies in places like our bug out bags. Having a wallet stolen is less scary once you do that.

Linda Sand

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I have a HP all in one Printer/copier with automatic feeder, front and back. That has worked flawlessly for 5+ years. It gets hauled many miles each years. For photos, we have done both, used an Outside source and Do It Self. My daughter has photo copier (Cannon??) which does 5 slides at a time but only did about 700 slides and sent the rest out. For photos, that is slower as we are retaining more and adding some text. In the end the photos go to one of my daughter but I have every thing backed up on two Hard Drives for my use.

Documents like wise are copied for backup or primary use. Service records on vehicles are a must to keep. The only thing not scanned is charge slips which go in shoe box and tossed after the Credit bill is posted. I down load the bill for my records..

I sure have lost a lot of weight last couple years but I am finding things and storing them in much smaller box or should I say Laptop. My file system is by Subject/Year/Event.

Clay  Winter in Texas and Midwest in the summer

 

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While there are businesses that will do this scanning work for you, I found that it was very expensive and even when done it would still have required a lot of work on my part to edit the names of items so that we could find them again and to organize them into some system of documents so that it would make sense for us, or for someone else who needed access in the event of our passing. For that reason, we chose to do all of the scanning work ourselves and we also stored all of the originals of photographs and most important documents with our son. 

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We did our own scanning. We scanned over 3500 photos (26 years worth). The images an documents were placed into Dropbox and backed up on a external hard drive. We ended up with one shoe box of "keep sake" photos and overall we ended up with three book storage boxes of documents that had to be retained like (IRS records).  

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Any recommendation on a scanner - Brand, Model that can auto-feeds pictures? 3500!! We might  be up there too.

Kirk, others. Based on the feedback and cost of outsourcing, we will probably go the do it our self approach. May need a good movie or other distraction!!

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20 hours ago, TheLongWayHome said:

Any recommendation on a scanner - Brand, Model that can auto-feeds pictures?

We used the HP combination scanner/printer that we already had. For pictures, we set the resolution up to 600 dpi but most documents are fine at 300 dpi. The auto feed units are much more costly and few will do pictures so we just hand fed things. We probably scanned fewer than 500 documents as most of us really don't have that much critical paperwork, but I'm actually only guessing since I have never counted. 

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I have had good luck simply laying out photos and photographing them with a high pixel camera.  They can be tweaked later if need be. Can't think of the last time I used a fax as I usually just photograph the document and email it.  Have run into the requirement to have legal documents in pdf format so jpg's need to be convert to pdf.  Thanks Barb didn't know my HP all in one would separate photos. I will have to try this.

Later, J 

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LWH,

This may be more than you need but I will share what I have done.  I have digitized 3400 pictures (with 5k remaining), 1800+ Kodachrome slides and 30 cassettes of Sony Handycam video.  Let's leave the slides and Sony out of this conversation but I can answer questions on those if you'd like.

A basic flatbed is a good scanner but cannot only fit so many pictures at once. The other issue is getting the software driving the scanner to recognize individual pictures and make corrections (tint, contrast, scratch removal etc.) accordingly. My HP G4050 (under $200) could handle about 4-6 pictures per pass and had good software. The scan process was time consuming since you had to sit with the scanner for a minute or two then reload. Slow but very good output. Could scan slides as well.

To go faster requires a capable scanner, read $$$. I settled on a Kodak i2420 document scanner, $700 from Newegg.  Document scanners are straight through scanners to prevent jamming and allow faster scans. The Kodak I-series (i-22xx, i-24xx, i26xx and so on) is a double side scanner, loads at the top and feeds down to a tray. HP has similar models.  This is the tricky part: some document scanners will handle photos and some will not. Research is critical. A basic scanner will also require a desktop that can handle the digital processing and graphics.

Next is what software comes with it, meaning what will drive the scan process and make corrections. When the software and scanner are paired you may see this referred as photo batch scanning. My Kodak has the basic software to handle document to PDF and most photo scans that do not require too much correction.  The software is powerful and takes time to setup and tell the scanner what you want. Once set, mine will scan 15-20 per minute with good to very good quality. Scanning several hundred per hour is easy. Badly damaged, faded, or scratched will require something like a Photoshop that will work with a particular scanner.  This is more $$$.

Kodak and others have professional level packages that start about $1500 and rise rapidly with options. These do a superb job but require extensive setup with the software. Photoshop allows some presets that will make all the decisions and output very good or better scans.

Bottom line, basic flatbed easy to use, has good software, not too expensive but slow. Batch scanning, very fast, will require $$$ and setup time. More if pictures require big corrections.

Sorry for the long post but as short as I can make it.

happy scanning!

Stepchild

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5 hours ago, Stepchild said:

LWH,

To go faster requires a capable scanner, read $$$. I settled on a Kodak i2420 document scanner, $700 from Newegg.  Document scanners are straight through scanners to prevent jamming and allow faster scans. This is the tricky part: some document scanners will handle photos and some will not. Research is critical. A basic scanner will also require a desktop that can handle the digital processing and graphics.

Next is what software comes with it, meaning what will drive the scan process and make corrections. When the software and scanner are paired you may see this referred as photo batch scanning.

Bottom line, basic flatbed easy to use, has good software, not too expensive but slow. Batch scanning, very fast, will require $$$ and setup time. More if pictures require big corrections.

Stepchild

Stepchild,

Thanks for the wonderful detailed response and specific model recommendation - what I was seeking, because as you said getting the handing of the photos is the crux of the volume challenge. I want to get away from feeding 5-6 at a time and sitting watching it for hours (days/weeks). The trade off appears to be $$$ and the right software. I have the processing/graphics power. Thanks again for the recommendations.

Gerry

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Most copy shops have equipment and capabilities that are superior to home equipment.
Especially for a One-Time-Need.  I'd have some else do that kind of work including printing out pdf manuals.
For occasional use on the road: RW3_400px.jpg

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