Film scanners help bring the magic of analog photography into the digital world. There’s a look and texture to film photography and video that their digital counterparts can’t capture. However, you can’t deny the ease of editing and sharing digital photos. Enter the film scanner, which converts film images to digital format. Film scanners aren’t just for photography either. There are also film scanners that convert 8 mm and Super 8 film into easily edited and shared MP4s. The best film scanners preserve the look and feel of the original film and make it easier to edit, share, and replicate your work.
Film scanners come in different sizes, use different technologies, and may only work for certain types of film. Others work with several types of film as well as scan documents and printed photos. Consequently, your chosen film scanner will need to work for the type of film you use as well as offer the quality that works for your purposes. Professionals will need the manual control and versatility of a more expensive film scanner, while hobby photographers don’t need to make the same financial investment. Read on to get the lowdown on the best film scanners, along with tips to help you choose the best film scanner for you.
- Best flatbed scanner: Epson Perfection V600
- Best negative scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 8300i Ai Film Scanner
- Best for digital video: Wolverine 8mm and Super 8 Film Reel Converter Scanner
- Best professional: Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner
- Best budget: Kodak Slide N Scan Film and Slide Scanner
How we chose the best film scanners
Since there are different types and sizes of film scanners, we aimed to choose a wide selection that would fit the needs of most people. Beyond that, we looked at features such as maximum resolution, supported formats, usability, durability, and speed. We also picked scanners at a range of price points in order to make film scanning more approachable.