Quick Photo Scanners

If you've got boxes of old photos lying around, there are now easy-to-use photo scanner to help you get organized. They'll digitize your old photos in seconds.

Consumer Reports tested four.

Diane Bradsell has been taking pictures since grade school. She has thousands in albums, but she also has boxes and boxes of loose photos.

She'd love to keep them in her computer, but she says scanning is not an option.

Bradsell says, "It would probably take me 200 hours."

Portable photo scanners promise to make the job quick and easy. Consumer Reports' Bernie Dietrick tested four costing $80-100.

You just pass a photo through the scanner and either it gets saved onto a memory card or you can connect the scanner to your computer and save the image there.

All of the scanners Consumer Reports tested come with a plastic sheath, which helps protect older, fragile photos.

The best part-you can use these scanners anywhere, and they're fast.

At the lowest resolution, testers scanned 100 photos in 15 minutes.

But don't expect picture-perfect results. With the photo of a dog, for example, there's a white line that runs right through the image.

And some of the scanners couldn't handle photos with darker backgrounds.

For example-the scanner cut off the left side of the photo.

In the end, the $80 Kodak P460 had the least problem with over-cropping.

It can scan up to a 4 x 6 photo and can also scan negatives and color slides.

But to get a really good picture, Consumer Reports says you're better off with a regular scanner for the same price.

Dietrick says, "You can scan at higher resolution and typically the quality is better."

In fact the $80 color scanner Consumer Reports used for comparison in testing did a nice job on all the photos. It's the Epson Perfection V300 Photo.

Another option, instead of buying a separate scanner, you can get an all-in-one printer, which can also do a great job with photos.

Consumer Reports says the Canon Pixma MG6120 is a good choice for photos and wireless printing.

It goes for $140.

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