Best photo scanners 2020: top picks for backing up your photographs

Here is our choice of the best photo scanners on the market today.

Each one allows you to digitise your precious photo collection – preserving them for years to come. Our selection of the best photo scanners out there are equipped specifically for use with photographs, which means they offer extremely high resolutions and capture every detail.

They won't offer the same level of features as the best scanners for business use offer, because – to be frank – you may not need them. Instead, they'll offer a simple and straightforward way of turning your traditional photos into digital ones, without over complicating things.

There are many reasons why you'd want to digitize your photo collection. As we mentioned earlier, by using one of the best photo scanners on this page to scan your photos and store them on your PC, you're making a backup of the photograph, which can save a lot of heartache if something happens to the original.

If you are using one of our picks of the best photo scanners to back up your photo collection, then we recommend you visit our best external hard drive, best NAS device and best cloud storage guides, as it's always wise to keep your photo backups somewhere safe and secure – and not just on the hard drive of your laptop or PC.

The best photo scanners of 2020

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

In our view the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is currently the best photo scanner you can buy. This is because it's built from the ground-up to scan photos, which makes the process fast an convenient. Its tray holds 36 standard photographs, which means you can load it up and leave it to scan in batches – which is a massive time saver. It can also automatically upload your scans to Dropbox or Google Drive, or save them on USB. Scan quality is very good, and it's speedy as well. However, it is very expensive, and its focus on photos means it's not great at other tasks.

Canon Canoscan 9000F Mark II

While the Epson FastFoto FF-680W above is the best all-round photo scanner, if you have the budget and want the very best results, then the Canoscan 9000F Mark II ticks all the right boxes.  This is because the 9000F offers a scanning resolution of up to 9600×9600 dpi for film/slides and a quarter of that for photo and documents, all at 48-bit. It can handle negatives and filmstrips thanks to a built-in adaptor. It doesn't require warm-up time and can also scan straight to a number of cloud-based services. That huge dpi in particular means you're scanning photos with hardly any loss to detail – though be prepare for very large file sizes at that kind of resolution.

Epson Perfection V600

The Epson Perfection V600 is another flatbed scanner that specialised in scanning photos, and with a high 6400dpi, you can scan your photos in the knowledge that you're getting excellent digital representations of your original photographs. It comes with holders that allow you to easily scan in negatives and slides as well, and the Digital ICE technology, automatically removes dust and scratches from older photos, which is a fantastic feature that ensures your photo collection looks better than ever.

HP Officejet 7612

Unlike the other scanners on this list, the HP Officejet 7612 isn't a dedicated photo scanner, and while that means it lacks some of the photo-centric features of other photo scanners on this list, it also means it's more flexible as well, and it's not only a great scanner for documents as well as photos, but it can double as a printer, photocopier and fax machine as well. This means you can easily create physical copies of your photos, or you can use the Wi-Fi connection to send photos you scan to people around the world via email. Plus, the high 1200dpi means scan quality is excellent, and it's very reasonably priced as well.

Epson Perfection V850 Pro

The Epson Perfection V850 Pro is the best photo scanner for professional photographers, or enthusiasts. Not only does it boast very high resolutions, it can handle pretty much any photo, film or negative, and its dual lens system automatically selects the optimal lens, with up to 4800 DPI optical resolution for reflective photo scanning and 6400 DPI when scanning using film holders. It features the Digital ICE technology found in the cheaper Epson Perfection V600, which automatically repairs old photos, and it has a high dynamic range for enhanced tone reproduction – so scanned photographs match the exact color, detail and dynamic range of the original, for impeccable accuracy. It's expensive, but for professionals this is by far the best photo scanner money can buy right now.