DVD or Thumb Drive?

We get this question all the time these days. “Should I have my 8mm films or videotapes transferred to DVD or Thumb Drive”? 

Our response is: “Thumb Drive“!

A few years ago everyone had a DVD player in the living room or in their computer. Not any more. Computer manufacturers stopped including them either to save money, or to force you to buy another of their products. However DVD players are still available as a stand-alone plugin unit and some stores still sell cheap DVD players. BUT… is it worth the money to buy one?

We ask: “Do you watch tv or movies on your computer? Do you store your music or movie files in the cloud?”

USB Flash Drive

Transferring your media to a thumb drive is your best choice these days. It provides the convenience of easily sharing it with family or friends or online. It’s on a media device that you can plug into any computer. The files are in a universal mp4 format that PC’s and Mac’s can read. Best of all the price of thumb drives have come down. Shop around because we buy them in bulk and might be able to give you a better price.

Editors Note: Please read our post: “How long will a USB Flash Drive retain its data when unplugged“?

How to Choose a Photo Scanner

Here are some helpful tips on How to Choose a Photo Scanner.

epson Scanner

If you have a box of old photos that you want to save and share with family or friends, a photo scanner can help you transform printed photographs into digital images. Professional photographers may also choose to invest in a photo scanner, in order to perform similar work for their clients. Learn how to choose a photo scanner that fits your needs and budget.

Steps

  • Know what kind of photos you will be scanning. Though you may change the format occasionally, most people prefer a certain type of photo, such as 4 x 6 pictures, 8 x 10 pictures, or negatives.
  • Flatbed scanners are most popular and vary greatly in cost, depending on the specific features they offer. These serve the purposes of the general public.
  • Film scanners cost more, but they scan at a higher resolution. This is a great option for photographers or other photo professionals.

Identify the resolution you will need. Resolution is simply the amount of detail a scanner pulls from a photo. Print images need to have a higher resolution so they print clearly and not get pixelated. Web images can have a lower resolution.

  • For general uses, many photos will scan perfectly fine at 300 dots-per-inch (dpi). The highest you will need will be 1200dpi.
  • For enlarging photos, you will need 3200dpi or higher.
  • For emailing or posting photos on the Internet, keep resolution low. This keeps the file size low, making it easy to email or publish to a website.

Decide how much color you need. Scanners scan images at different color depths (also known as bit depth). This determines how accurately the colors from photos translate over to the digitized image.

  • For general purposes, a bit depth of 24 bits works well. You may consider a 30-bit scanner if you want higher quality.
  • For scanning monochrome or black and white photos, a higher bit depth will give you a better image. Look for a high bit depth in both color and gray (i.e., 30-bit color 12-bit gray).

Determine how fast you would like the photo scanner to work. If you will be scanning photos regularly, finding a scanner that works quickly will save you a lot of time. Read product reviews to discover how quickly different scanners work at different resolutions.

Consider your budget. Photo scanners vary greatly in price. Determine how much money you are willing to spend on your scanner and find something that suits your needs that is in your price range.

Test different scanners. Though reading the specs of scanners will tell you some information, the only way you can really tell if a scanner is right for you is by testing it. If it does not work like you want it to, return it and try another one.

Tips 

  • Look for the scanner’s optimal resolution, not interpolated or enhanced resolution. These measure different things, and the optimal resolution is what really determines the quality of your photos.
  • Choose a photo scanner that is separate from an all-in-one printer. These offer higher resolutions and easier use than printers that have a scanning function.

all in one scanner

We provide scanning services for photographs and 35mm slides. For more information click here.

8mm vs Super 8 Film, What’s the Difference?

8mm film and Super 8 film look surprisingly similar at first glance, which can make it difficult to figure out which is which, especially if you have both types of film. Fortunately, when you get it up close and look at 8mm vs Super 8 film, it’s easy to spot a couple key differences which will make telling them apart much easier in the future.

As you can see from the above image, Super8 film has much smaller sprocket holes, and they are aligned to the middle of the frame, versus in between the frames on the standard 8mm. You’ll also notice that the size of the frame is 50% larger on the Super 8 film. Super 8 was an upgrade to the standard 8mm film which offered a sharper picture. This sharper picture can be attributed to the much larger frame size. Lots of times, people will have the first of their films shot in regular 8mm, and then over time switching over to the superior Super 8 format.

If your film is stored in film cans with leader tape, you can easily spot which film you have by examining the leader tape. Like in the actual film itself, the sprocket holes are much smaller. The leader tape does not contain actual frames, so the sprocket holes would be the only clue as to what type of film it is.

We can convert both 8mm and Super8 movie film to a digital format. Some Super8 film had sound, unfortunately we can’t transfer the audio.

Larry Dickinson
Fredericton, New Brunswick
(506) 455-2856

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