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I want to scan a huge pile of photos (10,000+).

What hardware/software can I use to automatically feed and scan these photos?


  • The photos are 4 ¼” x 6”
  • No excessive bending of the photos
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What did you end up doing? – Geoff Dec 2 '10 at 15:41
Ended up buying 6 ScanSnap S1500, – Justin Tanner Mar 11 '11 at 12:31

You may want to look into outsourcing your work to a company that specializes in photo scanning.

MacWorld had an article in October 2009 reviewing 3 online scanning services:

I placed orders with these three scanning companies:,, and All three services have similar approaches to customer service, and each successfully completed the orders I placed, delivering scans and returning the original materials to me in good condition. However, the services did have varying strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: placing the order, ongoing communication, turnaround time, scan and retouching quality, after-order support, and pricing.


For ease of use and fast turnaround time, it's hard to beat, especially if you're archiving 35mm slides. They communicate well, provide free online storage of your images, and generally produce good output results. DigMyPics is also a strong contender, especially if you have lots of prints to scan, and you want to review the results online before making a final decision. But if you want the best scans and are willing to wait for them, then ScanCafe is my recommended choice.

You may even be lucky enough to have a local scanning service that you can work with face to face. That would certainly simplify using an outside vendor and help easy any anxiety you have about sending off one-of-a-kind photographs. So be sure to also look around locally when contemplating options.

I also found a few recommendations online for

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If you have 10,000+, you really have two choices and it is up to you:

  1. Get a multifunction device and simply get started - it will take ages, but the cheapest solution, typically the scan quality is very good but you can usually change/choose.

  2. Get an office-class scanner with an autofeeder such as this one (Just an example, You will have to compare yourself specification and features). Getting something like this will be a lot more expensive, but will cut down the time greatly. (Even if you just look at scanning speed, remember that you will probably not be waiting next to it - it takes time to go to the scanner, change page, line up e.t.c.)

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thanks for the answer! I forgot one important requirement: no bending of the photos as depicted in the epson GT 2500 – Justin Tanner Mar 2 '10 at 7:10
I'm sorry, I don't know any that don't bend at all - you will have to compare/ring manufacturers and ask... You may be best off buying 2-3 of the cheapest all in ones (just a cheap one with good resolution - the scanners are usually of similar specification and you will not be using the printer) and simply getting on with it... It will be a hard and annoying job, but the quicker you start,(and the more you can do at once!) the quicker you finish! – William Hilsum Mar 2 '10 at 7:25
just to clarify it the photos can bend a bit, they just can't take the 180 turn, like the epson gt 2500 – Justin Tanner Mar 2 '10 at 7:43

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