Digital cameras have all but eliminated the need for the memory boxes of the 1970s-usually ripped shoeboxes of family photos, old negatives, and other odds and ends stored underneath the bed. Recently, new document and slide scanning devices available to retailers are finding a home for those memories by helping customers scan and digitize their old images or slides. These devices are also enabling professionals to archive their slides and negatives from yesteryear, in an orderly fashion.
Although scanning isn't new, there are document and slide scanners that allow for quick, automated scanning of large orders. Such scanning services allow retailers and labs to sell add-on products to increase profits even more.
The latest scanning models, such as the Kodak s1220 document scanner (shoebox) and Braun's Multimag SlideScan 4000 are so fast that they enable dealers to automate the work rather than having to take time out to sit at a flatbed or film scanner, respectively, and conduct the work by hand.
Not quite considered a shoebox scanner, the Braun slide scanner, manufactured in Germany, is already being used by dealers nationwide in the U.S.
"[Because] it frees up employee time, and at the same time increases a dealer's or lab's services, it is a very cost-effective way to add considerable profit to the store or lab," said Bob Solomon, HP Marketing Corp., the U.S. distributor for the Braun scanners. "The scanning is so automatic [that] the store/lab only has to load the slide tray and tell the computer (Mac or PC) which slides to scan and at what resolution, output/input size, etc. The user can then go do whatever else needs to be done, and the scanner will do the rest automatically."
In fact, some retailers who have invested in the machines are already experiencing a buoy in their bottom line, helping to replace revenue lost from film processing.
Francy Paquette, owner of Allied Digital Photo in Germantown, WI, purchased a Braun slide scanner a little more than a year ago after searching the internet for a U.S. dealer. She has already seen a profit.
"We needed a system that wouldn't tie up our big printers for scanning slides," she said. "The [Braun] system offered us everything we were looking for in a scanner."
Specifically, Paquette is able to load as many as 100 slides into the carousels and have them ready for scanning. Her clients (professional photographers and consumers) bring in anywhere from 100 to 1,000 slides at a time. After digitizing, she often sells photo slideshow DVDs, memory books, prints, archiving CDs, photo montages, and panels, some as large as 44x72-inches. Because the scanner is fully automatic, employees are free to do other tasks.
Kodak's shoebox document scanner, the s1220 photo scanning system, scans prints or documents to digitize them-perfect for those customers with "long-lost negatives."
The Kodak system is sold through authorized resellers like Brooke International, EDAC, Insight, Lucidiom, PC Connection, Hyde's Distribution, Foto Source Canada, CDW, Cord Camera, HPI International, Ideal Scanners, Rimage, and WorldSoft.