Comparing Pricing Among Online Photo Scanners

If you've got a huge amount of photos you'd like to scan, it's often faster and easier to trust someone else to do it--otherwise, scanning photos one at a time can be a very time-consuming process. But it's not easy to compare these services, since they all have lots of different deals and requirements. This comparison chart of online photo-scanning services should help you compare pricing between some of the biggest players.

To try to keep things easy, I've tried to compare prices to scan 2,000 photos at 300 dpi and 600 dpi. However, it's still not that simple because of different levels of service offered. For example, what exactly does "color correction" mean? For Scan My Photos, this service means "corrected skin tones, greater shadow detail, sharper images, fix abnormal tint, optimize exposure, restore color vibrancy and saturation."

For ScanCafe, these enhancements include "reorientations, cropping, scratch / dust removal, color correction, red eye removal," while for ScanDigital, they include color correction, minor blemish removal, and dust and red-eye removal. Without buying each of their services and comparing, it's impossible to tell if these all represent the same level of correction.

The size of the photos to be scanned also can alter the pricing. ScanCafe allows for photos as large as 8x10, while ScanMyPhotos allows for up to 8x12--while BritePix is more expensive when photos are larger than 4x6.

Finally, special deals can dramatically alter price. At the time of this writing, BritePix has a Fall 2009 Special offering 20 free scans for every 200 pictures scanned. And ScanCafe allows you to review your scans online--and delete up to 50 percent of them--before you pay. So before you buy, it's still a good idea to check around and see what everyone is offering.

This comparison chart of online photo-scanning services should help you compare pricing between some of the biggest players.

Comparison of Some Online Photo Scanning Services

 Prints (300 dpi)Prints (600 dpi)Basic Color CorrectionShippingPrice/2000 Color-Corrected Prints (300 dpi)Price/2000 Color-Corrected Prints (600 dpi)
ScanCafeN/A$0.29 eachIncludedIncludedN/A$580
Scan My Photos (fill the box)$149.95/boxN/A$109.95/boxIncluded$259.90N/A
Scan My Photos (pay per 1000)$64/1000 printsN/A$59.95/1000 printsExtra$247.90 plus shippingN/A
BritePix$0.24/each$0.29/eachIncludedExtra$480 + $18 shipping + 6 DVD$580 + $18 shipping +$6 DVD
ScanDigital (My Life, Digital pricing)$380 for first 1000; then $0.38/each$580 for first 1000; then $0.58/eachIncludedIncluded$760$1160