Thursday, December 22, 2011

Product Review: Imagelab Slide & Negative Scanner

I love technology.  I love new toys.  Fine ... I'll admit it.  I'm a gadget whore.

This one, I think, will prove quite useful.  I put this little item on my wish list some time ago, and when my mom asked me to send her my Christmas list, I simply copied the link to my Amazon wish list and emailed it to her.  I never thought she would choose this from that list.

The Imagelab Slide & Negative Scanner.  (cue ethereal music)

When I emptied everything out of the box, I was quite impressed.  The scanner is actually smaller than I was expecting.  It weighs a touch over a pound, and it's around 7-1/2 inches tall.  That's completely a guess because at the time I wrote this, I was unable to find my ruler.  The scanner is a little over half as tall as Meresa (my Barbie).  Don't judge.  I know for sure that she is 11 inches tall.  Ergo, the scanner is about 7-1/2 inches tall.
Meresa: Presenter and measuring standard
Instead of simply plugging everything in, turning it on, and figuring out how to use it myself (which I usually do), I decided to read the instruction booklet.  The first page is READ THIS FIRST!!  So ...

The first thing you should know is that you can only use 35mm slides or 35mm negatives.  Scanning other sizes could damage your originals.

The second thing you should know is that you should not get the scanner wet.  No scanning negatives in the bathtub!  You've been warned.

Whew!  Glad I read that part first.

You can use the scanner with the provided AC adapter, or you can use 3 AAA batteries.  I bought a box of 50 AAA batteries and have not one single thing in my house that uses them (I thought they were AA).  Today we're going to use the AAA batteries.

It also takes a standard SD card, or you can use the USB cable to scan directly to your computer.  I used the SD card that I use for my digital camera.  It's an 8 GB card, and the counter on the scanner says I have 8125 images worth of space.

I found some old negatives - I have no idea how old - and I can't tell by looking at them what the photos are, so I suppose it will be a surprise for all of us!  I opened one of the negative trays to place the negatives.  The tray was a little tricky for me to get opened at first, but that is probably user error (or what we call a PICNIC problem -- problem in chair, not in computer).

I got the negatives loaded up and slid the tray into the slot.  The images show up on the LCD screen (approx. 2-1/2 inches square).  I pressed the button that says "negative" on the top to scan the photo to my SD card.

Here is a completely unretouched version of what was on that negative:
That's actually a photo of the quilt that my grandmother made for my (now 21-year-old) daughter when she was very little.  This photo was probably taken around 14 years ago, judging by the background.

I don't own any slides, so I couldn't test out that feature.

Bottom line, the scanner is very easy to use.  It's a little difficult to get the negatives to stay locked on the little nubs that are supposed to hold them in, but I attribute that to the fact that my negatives were slightly curled.  The images are scanned at 9 megapixels, so they aren't too shabby.  The images are saved as .jpg, not .tiff, so if that's a feature you really want, you might want to check out other brands.

Now I just have to find the time to scan all the negatives in that box on the closet shelf ...

Disclaimers: I have not received any compensation from Imagelab, Amazon, Rayovac, my grandmother, or Mattel for this review.  I am not a professional reviewer -- I simply got a new gift and wanted to show people how it works, in case they were toying with the idea of buying one.


Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Thanks for sharing this. This will probably be one of my projects in 2012, since all my photographs are done. It's been on my "I Think I Want One" list for a few years. This exact product may make it to my "Wish List".

Jenny Lanctot said...

Very welcome, Julie! Now I just need to find the ultimate gadget that will create the time I need to actually get all my photos and negatives scanned!

Laura Aanenson said...

Laugh-out-loud funny as always! I am coveting your new toy (and Meresa) even if it can scan ALL sizes of negatives. Plus I have all those slides! Leave it to you to show me the newest and coolest things-I-didn't-know-I-needed-but-now-MUST-have-thanks-to-Jenny. :o)

Jenny Lanctot said...

I try to help where I can :P

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