In scanning old family photos I am using my MacBook Pro and an 8800F that I think will do fine but I am open to purchasing newer technology . . . The default program is Image Capture, but I was wondering if VueScan would be a better alternative and why? Some of our photos date back into the 1800s and have seen better days.
. . . On another note: Would one use 600 dpi vs. 300 dpi? My eye does not seem to see a difference.
As a booksetter, I scan in a lot of old pictures for archival and reproduction purposes.
Between the different scanning apps, I see no difference. 300 dpi from one app = 300 dpi from another.
When I'm scanning heirloom pictures, I scan at 600 dpi. Frequently there is fine detail and I use my old Epson 4490 at 1200 dpi or even higher, to capture Grandma Sallie in the background of a pic. But normally, 600 dpi on my HP all-in-one is sufficient.
You won't see a difference between 600 and 300 dpi on your screen until you zoom in. If you have a monitor that is displaying 120 dpi (the old CRTs were 72 dpi) then what you're seeing at 100% is 120 dpi . . . not 300 or 600.
But printing on today's color inkjets, you'll see the difference. Most laser printers are 600 dpi.
This is where your photo manipulation apps come in. The original is (for instance) a 2.5×2.5-inch brownie image from the 1940s. You scan it in at 600 dpi. At this point, forget dpi. you have a digital grayscale image at 1,500×1,500 pixels
You crop the image (1,000×900)
You print it four inches wide (250 dpi)
On the web site (200×150)
Print an 8×10 for Uncle Max. (100 dpi) Horrible!
If your original was scanned at 300 dpi, Uncle Max would have received socks for his birthday.
If you had scanned in that same photo at 2400 dpi Max would have received the picture of his sainted mither at 400 dpi!That
is a family heirloom worth keeping.
My point is this: Always
scan in heirloom pictures at 1200 dpi at least. You never know when you'll need those extra dots and gigabytes are cheap.