FAQ

Q: I want my stuff scanned, but your pricing page looks too complicated.
A: Just call us on the phone or e-mail us and we’ll help you out. We do this every day, but you’ll probably do it only once in your entire life. The detailed pricing list is there in the spirit of full disclosure up front, as opposed to contacting you after we receive your photos and then surprising you with extra charges. We’re here to solve your photo problems and make this project easy for you, not hard.

Q: It takes me three or more minutes to scan just one of my photos on my flatbed scanner. How can you do the same job so inexpensively? Do you compromise on quality?
A: First, the hardware/software we use is the best the world has to offer. We spent two years researching and developing our existing setup. The resulting scans are every bit as good as your flatbed scanner, and often better because scanning is our life... we are scanning professionals. The systems we use are extremely fast. Just as in any other production business, if our sales are high enough, the economy of scale becomes large enough to share the labor savings with you and still make a profit. The bottom line is, we do not compromise on quality and our output level is extremely high.

Q: If I have both the slide/film and print of an image, which should I have scanned?
A: Slides/film always have more color information and detail in them than prints. If you can justify the higher price, have your slides/film scanned.

Q: Does that mean that scans from prints aren’t any good?
A: No. Scans from prints will look just as good as the print. If you like the print, you’ll like the scan.

Q: Can scratches and imperfections in my prints be removed?
A: Yes. We offer retouch and restoration services, and with today’s technology can fix just about anything in a photo.

Q: Will my original prints/documents/slides/film be damaged in any way?
A: No. We practice the pledge, “First, do no harm.” Our scanning processes leave the surfaces of your originals in exactly the same condition as we received them. During our research phase, we tested many high speed document/photo scanners from major manufacturers and found that they all created scratches (from minor to major) on photo originals, especially glossy photos; and those scratches were also evident in the resulting scans (solid green, red or blue lines running through the images). Scanning photos was obviously an afterthought for these machines that were designed especially for the “information only” business customer primarily interested in cost savings, not quality. We knew we had to do better, and we did. Our equipment was designed to feed, expose and image photos from the ground up.

Q: What kinds of documents can I scan?
A: Any single-page, unbound document is acceptable. For instance, old Christmas cards with sentimental messages written on them, drawings and paintings made by your kids, old letters, business cards, receipts; just about anything that has value to you. If you have a bound pamphlet, contract or whatever, cut the binding to make single sheets out of it.

Q: I like the ability to scan both sides at the same price, but I don’t want to scan both sides of all my documents. How would this work?
A: Just separate the items to be scanned on both sides from those to be scanned on only one side. It costs you only $1.00 each time we have to switch from single to double sided mode.

Q: What file formats do you offer?
A: Unless specified differently, we save files in High Quality JPEG format; there are no visible artifacts at that compression level and disk file sizes for a 4” x 6” photo tend to be about 1.3MBytes, which expand up to about 11MBytes when opened. Another popular format is TIFF, but that is uncompressed and takes up huge amounts of space. We offer many other formats; call us for specifics.

Q: What do I need to know about resolution?
A: The most important thing for you to know about resolution is how much you need in order to do what you want with your scans. For instance, if you want to enlarge some of your photos to twice their original size while maintaining the same quality as the original, you need to make sure you have enough resolution in your scan to do that. Also, resolution costs money because it requires more computer power (hardware and software), and takes up more space on disks. You want to balance the resolution of your scans with what you want to do with your scans, as well as your budget.

In order to maintain high quality, most photofinishers recommend at least 200dpi of resolution at the final print size, so a 4” x 6” print needs a file (4” x 200 dots by 6” x 200 dots) = 800 dots x 1200 dots. Our competitors scan prints at 300dpi, which allows you to enlarge a 4” x 6” photo up to only 6” x 9”; for higher resolutions they can charge you up to twice as much. Our standard print scan is at 400dpi, which allows you to enlarge a 4” x 6” photo up to 8” x 12”, and our prices are lower.

See our resolution page for more info, or just call or e-mail us.

Q: What do I need to know about quality?
A: It takes more than resolution to make a quality scan. It also takes a chain of high quality sensors, optics, lighting, automation and software, all controlled by a qualified technician. The weakest link in this chain determines the ultimate quality of the scan. We’ve spent over two years developing an extremely fast, high quality scanning system for your photos that leaves them in their original condition while giving you a very high quality scan to share with others, in the form of prints, slide shows, booklets and other photo gifts. In many cases, after our cropping/straightening/color correction services, your scans actually look better than the originals.