ScanCafe Review 2019

Vendor: ScanCafe
Print Size: NA
Best Pricing:
Best Price: $0.22 per scan

Other Print Sizes Available: NA
Paper Surfaces Available: NA
International Shipping: NA
Photo-based Gifts: NA
Overall Rating for scancafe is 4.5 out of 5
Overall Rating

Ordering Process
Quality of Scans
Shipping Costs
Turn Around Time
Other Services


ScanCafe is a bulk scanning service which efficiently scans your old physical print photos to digital files that you can have on your computer, mobile or any other digital device. At Scancafe, you can scan prints, slides, video or negatives inexpensively especially if done in bulk. You can get all your old photos scanned professionally at their attractive prices. You have to simply box up all the pictures you want to have scanned, and send it over to them. The service includes high resolution and hand-scanning services for each of your photos: color correction, scratch & dust removal, red-eye removal, cropping, and re-orientation and organization of your scans into albums, according to the way you organize your order when you send it to them.

Ease of Use - Ordering Process:
ScanCafe’s website is quite good to start with and you will not have trouble in navigation. It has an informative collection of pages which will help you get to know their service better especially if you are a first time user. The ordering process in itself is pretty easy, you just have to log into your ScanCafe account and fill out an order form with approximate estimates of your order size. No need to categorize and organize your photos. At the time of order, you are also given the option to add on upgrades to your scanning service.
By default, ScanCafe ships your scanned media on CDs or DVDs, depending on size of your order. You can optionally add sets of disks for friends and family, go for external portable hard disks for an additional fee. You can also upgrade your pictures' resolution and format. You can go for uncompressed Tiff format images for an additional 19 cents per scan. Additionally you can have your pictures to be scanned at 4000dpi as compared to the regular 600 dpi scans for 9 cents per scan. So you have a range of options for your scans and can customize your scans to your liking. Once you have every thing in place, you have to pay half of your estimated cost plus shipping at time of order. After your order is processed (and reviewed by you), they will update your final cost and proceed with the scanning.

Quality of Scans:
Though some of us were initially skeptical about the whole scanning thing, we were very impressed with the results. Scans from negatives will always differ a little in color, depending on both the scanning equipment used and you display equipment you have at your place. We loved ScanCafe for its ability to get the color reproduction to be spot on. Even though no scanning service can reproduce the exact color of your photos due to technological limitations, you will not be let down by ScanCafe if you keep expectations reasonable and not expect wizardry. What we also appreciate is the effort that Scancafe puts in to get your negatives cleaned professionally. They also did a good job with some of our overexposed and under exposed negatives. Another simple but often overlooked point is that you will not need to rotate the scanned files to view them. This can be really irritating as with a few other scanning services.
The best thing about Scancafe is that you get a small preview of their work before shipment and you can eliminate some bad scans (both due to source discrepancies and their technological limitations) from your order if you are not satisfied with them. So you don’t have to pay for them. ScanCafe technicians also recommend their photo restoration service with comments in your scanned photos if there is a genuine need and if a fix is worth attempting. However, we did not review it.

The pricing is one of the most favorable reason customers prefer ScanCafe over competitors. Besides being industry leaders, they are the cheapest online scanning service. At $0.29 for each 35mm Negative (per image), 35mm Slide, or Paper Photo, the service is attractively priced and affordable considering the quality on offer. As with other services, the more you scan the lower the per scan cost. You will benefit substantially if you have hundreds of photos to scan. This is because you have to pay to and fro (not apparent) shipping fees.

Shipping Costs:
The shipping costs are slightly on the higher side and you have to pay both way shipping charges (to send you photos and get them back). Scancafe does not explicitly advertise this two way shipping cost which some customers might find as misleading. If you order more scans then your per scan price including shipping gets offset, thereby providing better value.

Turn Around Time:
Total Turnaround time (time to send and get back your original photos) is excruciatingly slow at around 2 months or so. But your scans are available for digital download in about 2 weeks time after they receive your originals and you can save over a month off their normal turnaround! Your originals & DVDs are returned via UPS Ground for orders of 1000 images or less.

Other Services:
Besides their standard service for scanning slides, negatives, photos, video & movies, Scancafe offers video tape scans, scans of home movies, pre-paid gift box (for those not comfortable with the Internet), Albums & Carousels and Pro scanning options like higher Resolution, TIFF format, USB drive (Western Digital "Passport") and more.

We recommend Scancafe just for the cost vs. quality on offer. Even more so if you are ok parting with your originals for the relatively long time duration. While it might not be as cost efficient for extremely small numbers of scans, it is certainly worth the effort if you a quite a number of photos to scan.

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A comprehensive list of features and a side-by-side comparison on every digital online photo printing and sharing service provider is available on our " Compare Services" Page.