I have boxes and albums filled with printed photos over the years. So many travel photos, wedding photos, baby photos, and random photos. Things that have been handed down from older generations from days when digital photography didn’t exist or wasn’t the norm. Now it’s winter and we have no where to go since we’re in another round of semi-lockdowns here. This is the perfect time to finally take on the task of sorting, scanning, and organizing the photos.
Epson Canada recently drew my attention to the Epson FastFoto FF 680W and that bright-idea light bulb went off in my head. A quick glance at the description and it sounded like an ideal device to hustle me off the couch (after I finished Emily in Paris, of course). But oh, I didn’t realize how much fun it was going through the memories through the photos!
What is it?
Epson FastFoto FF 680W is a compact scanner that is great for home, and home office use. It will quickly scan many photos (as well as documents) and access everything from the touch of your device (with downloaded app).
How it works:
Set up is really simple. Connect the scanner to wifi and pair it to the app on your device. I loaded the app to my iPhone and made sure the software was updated on my phone (accompanying instructions walk you through everything). Then, take any printed photos you’d like to scan and sort by the same size to prepare for scanning. It is great for 4 x6 and 5 x7 sized photos. I tried a few smaller images individually and it worked as well. The device will scan each photo within mere seconds. (tech note: 1 photo per second at 300 dpi) Images are automatically saved into your photo files on your device.
There are additional features that can be selected within the app that help to colour correct, remove red eye, automatically enhance photos and even correct curled photo corners. All of which are on default but you can manually override editing tools.
Viewing and sharing:
Once the photos are scanned you can quickly view and share photos. Prior to scanning you also have the option to create file notes – year, month or time of year, and labels (family, dog, travel, food, etc). I noticed when I view them on my iPhone, all the scanned images are saved automatically in a Espon FastFoto album as well as the main photo album. Making this easy for me to glance at and separate from the 5000+ photos I already have on my phone.
You can also create a “story” or as grandpa would call it a “slide show” that can be a seamless photo sequence complete with music (from Epson’s existing music library or yours). Here you can also add in text or even a voice over and have photos moving, or not. Saved within your phone device, you can easily share on social media and with friends/family.
What else can it do?
Photos were my priority but I discovered you can also scan documents easily making this a versatile device to have handy.
Some additional thoughts:
The majority of the photos scanned came out crisp like the actual photos themselves. Some colour correction can be done automatically (or you can manually turn that off). I found that darker/heavily shadowed original photos were nicely lightened. If you don’t like the adjustments on the scan you can also revert back to the original. Older photos that weren’t sharp are slightly corrected but you won’t lose that graininess entirely from the original. We were really impressed with the speed in which this device can scan through piles of photos. Epson also suggests sorting out piles into categories just for easier labelling and sorting down the road. It was a good suggestion!
The software is smart as it will also remind you to clean the scanner after every 300 scans. Dust can adhere to the inner rollers and glass that can cause lines and specs to appear on scanned images. A microfibre cloth is included to help clean. Also, be sure to check if there are any sticky tape etc on the backs of your original photos – I wouldn’t recommend trying to feed those through the device as they can get jammed.
We’ve been having a great time going through the photos and even grandpa has given us a few to scan for him. This is also a great at home scanner for postcards too! My next project to tackle is to get all these digital images into a few photo books now that I’m feeling more organized and not overwhelmed.
So, the scanner is not exactly cheap at $799.99 (msrp) but, given all the technology built in, you may want to consider sharing this between family members to make this more accessible. Look around for some savings. (I did spot Staples.ca with a $100 off until January 13, 2022.) Learn more about the Epson FastFoto FF-680W here.