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Restore Old Photos & Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

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The Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner was received for purpose of this review.

My Grandmother turns 80 this month and one of her gifts is a scrapbook that each family member added a page to with pictures and a note about special memories spent with her.

My sister came over to my Mom’s house and dug through many boxes and completely unorganized albums full of random pictures to try to find some that were relevant to this scrapbook. While shaking the dust off of all these old photos my Mom said it would be nice to scan them and save them digitally for the next generation. Being a photographer and very obsessive about my own backups, I couldn’t have agreed more.

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

Enter the Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner. This puppy is like the Cadillac of scanners. It will scan not only documents and photos, but also 35mm slides, negatives, and medium format film. And it will scan it at 6400dpi resolution for you to print enlargements as big as 17”x22”. That’s pretty impressive people!

It comes with the scanner, transparency unit, film holders for 35mm strips and mounted film slides, CD-Rom of software,  hi-speed USB cable, and a very handy startup guide. The software was easy to install off the disk and included a user manual and scanning program. I really like that the user manual is right there on my computer to access at any time. I hate having to save paper manuals and dig through the filing cabinet to find them.

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

Set up was very easy. The scanner has a paper with a quick set up guide showing what to plug in, which is basically just the power cord and connect it to your computer by USB port. Then I did the software install walk through and was ready to start scanning.

The software has several modes: Full Auto, Home, Office, and Professional.  I chose Home and started with some 35mm color film negative strips. This is what it turned up! The preview pane showed each photo individually instead of as a strip and saved them all individually also. I was thoroughly impressed.  (This is me and my dog circa 1994 ish.)

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

Now that my film strip curiosity was settled I moved on to my daughter’s art work. I once saw a wonderful idea where parents scanned their children’s art work and had it printed as a part of their yearly photo book instead of hanging on to piles of crafts. 

My niece is also very artsy and always making me pictures. I love that I can save them to look back on without having to worry about hanging on to the actual paper.

I tried previewing a few different document types and putting it as a photograph worked the best for this type of paper. One thing to note is that the scanner bed goes up to a size A4 paper. This particular paper is legal size so nearly 2 inches are cut off.

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

And now on to actual photographs.  There are many options on the scanning screen to choose from for changing the resolution, output size, and the destination such as for web or printer. You can also chose to scan it in grayscale or black and white if you choose. I chose some photos from different eras to give you an idea of the quality. 

This one is of my Grandfather and his brother from about 1940 and the print is in great condition. The scanner was on auto color correction and seems to have increased the contrast a touch.

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

This one is a 4 generation snapshot from 1989 of my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and me (the dork with my mouth open) and my sister. To me this looks the same as the printed photograph.

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

Lastly, this is a recent one of my family taken with my “big” camera and printed at a professional photo lab. I see some variation in the colors with this print. The first image is with the color correction selected and the second is with no color correction. The third image is my original digital file.

Restore Old Photos and Preserve Memories with Epson Perfection V550 Photo Scanner

Overall I’m loving this scanner. I do wish the scanning bed went up to legal size or would take a larger print as we do have some 11×14 prints around here.  This machine is very quick and I’m impressed with all of the options. I like that I can quickly scan a document for safe keeping or that I can take my time and be more particular with photographs I want to preserve.

The versatility of the Epson Perfection V550 Photo for scanning prints, slides, negative strips and even wide format film makes this a must have for making good use of your photos. People rarely go have prints made from negatives anymore and it’s such a pain to try and guess what they are pictures of. I can’t believe how easy it is to scan two strips of negatives and have them pop up on the screen as individual images all numbered and ready to be saved.

I’m excited to get my family’s picture history digitalized and made into books that everyone can enjoy before the prints are damaged or faded and before there is nobody around to tell us who the faces belong to.  It looks like I have a big project ahead of me.

For more information about the Epson Perfection V550 Photo, visit http://www.epson.com/

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About the author

Christina

Christina is a Southern California native and stay at home mother to 2 year old Katelyn and 6 month old Everett. Her hobbies include spending far too much time on the internet, sewing, crafting, reading, shopping, and all things photography.

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