Top

Pandigital One Touch Photo Scanner

Reported by Jessica Ripley


If you’re a scrapbooker like me, chances are you have more photos on hand than the average person. We travel everywhere with our camera, and ignore the odd looks from passersby when we start snapping pictures in the grocery store, at the gas pump, etc. We know these everyday moments must be documented! Of course, thanks to digital cameras, we can take hundreds of photos anywhere, easily save and organize them on our computer, and then print them out when we’re ready to scrapbook.

But what about all those traditional film photos?

  1. They need to be scanned into a computer for preservation since they will eventually fade.
  2. Since you should never scrap an original photo, scrapbooking those on film takes extra time to scan and print copies first. My time is precious!

While photos on film that I, myself, have taken only range back to high school or so, I have rescued countless numbers of them from family magnetic albums. Also, when I got married, I asked for a few photos of my new husband’s family past and present. I was promptly presented by my sweet mother-in-law with thousands (yes, thousands) of photos in a huge Tupperware container with a sense of “here, you’ll give them a good home.”

“Yikes,” I thought, “this will be a lot of scanning.”

So, that was 8 years ago and I have barely started. Scanning photos in a traditional bed scanner just takes so much time! Open lid, carefully place as many photos will fit (3 or 4 tops), close lid, scan (wait!), repeat.

And then, I happened to run across the Pandigital One Touch Photo Scanner, and hoped I had found a solution. Santa was promptly informed that it was on the ‘must’ list, and he came through. And honestly, so does this product.

My first impression when opening up the box was that it looked like I had everything I needed to get started:

In the box comes:

  • The scanner itself (which is about 5 3/4″ x 3″ and very light)
  • An AC power adapter
  • A 512 MB SD memory card
  • Calibration card
  • Cleaners for the roller and image sensor
  • USB cable
  • Plastic sheath
  • Instruction booklet

The scanner itself is pretty basic and easy to understand what’s what. Other than the slot for the photo to pass through, there is the power button and status light (which blinks in different ways to inform you if it’s ready, the memory card is full, cleaning mode, etc):

There is also an adjustable guide for photos smaller than 4″ x 6″. I never used the guide and had fine results. But it is there for the perfectionist in you.

On the backside is the USB cable input (if you wish to connect directly to a computer, but entirely not necessary), the power cord, and the memory card slot:

The memory card which comes with the unit is an SD 512 MB. It is also compatible with many others, including MS (Memory Stick). Each photo is scanned in at 300 PPI (pixels per inch) with resolution around 1200 x 1800 (and smaller) depending on the size of the photo. With these things in mind, the card that comes with the unit will hold hundreds of photos before it is full. I found I liked to stop every 100 or so though to load them into my computer for organizing so it didn’t get too overwhelming (to organize photos once they are in my computer, I highly recommend ACDSee, which you can read a review on here).

The memory card storage feature, combined with the portability of the unit, is what I find most exciting. Since it doesn’t need a computer to work (you scan directly onto the memory card), I can carry this little unit with me to my in-laws that live hundreds of miles away, and simply scan while I’m there! No more huge Tupperware containers taking up my space.

The process of actually scanning the photos in is very quick and easy. In the box comes a plastic sheath which the instructions state should be used in order to get the best results.

For my first photo, I took this step.

The plastic sheath will hold a 4″ x 6″ photo and smaller, though the scanner will also take a photo up to 4.1″ X 12″ long. The black area around the photo will not be shown once the photo is scanned in, making it possible to scan smaller images than 4″ x 6″ (such as the one above) without the need for additional cropping. There is a drawback to this, just in the fact that if you have a photo with dark edges, the scanner will think those areas are to be cut off. I didn’t run across this problem, but it’s clearly stated in the instructions as a warning.

Just for comparison sake, I also tried to scan the same photo without the plastic sleeve to see if it would make a difference:


It really didn’t. In the comparison below, the top photo was scanned with the plastic sheath, and the bottom without. I can’t tell a difference:

Since the scanning process is so quick (about 6-7 seconds per photo), not having to load each one into the sheath before sending it through makes it that much quicker. What I found the sheath best for was if a photo had curled edges, old sticky tape on it, or was too small to stay straight as it went through the roller. Placing photos like these in the sheath first solved any problems those issues might cause.

I also used it for photos that were a little thicker than usual, such as old Polaroids. It took the scanner a second to get a good grip on the thicker photo, but it did feed through fine. According to the guide, it will take photos up to 1.0mm thick.

(P.S. yes that is me on the right. I figure if I’m going to write an article with old photos I have no right to embarrass anyone but myself when showing them… but don’t ask about the socks with the dress because I just don’t know either).

You can see in the photo above the little bit of black mat on the lower left that wasn’t automatically cropped by the scanner. This is easily cropped off, and didn’t happen very often. I haven’t adjusted anything on the photos other than size to post them on the web, so what you see is a good representation of the quality too.

The unit also comes with pieces to clean both the roller and the image sensor. This was super easy and took only seconds.

I just can’t tell you how much I love this product. Anything that makes my life easier and my crafty time more fun is a winner to me! At a MSRP around $100.00, it may seem pricey, but to me it is such a time saver I consider it a great deal. And the fact that I am finally taking steps to really preserve precious memories makes it all the more sweet.


To sum up:

Pros:

  • It’s portable and doesn’t need a computer! Scan here, there, everywhere there are photos you wish to keep. As long as you can plug it in to power, you’re good to go.
  • It comes with everything you need to get started (and keep going). The memory card holds hundreds of photos before it is full (and then just empty into your computer and start again).
  • The items that come with it make it work that much better. From the plastic sheath for scanning curled or small photos, to the easy cleaning tools.
  • It makes me feel great knowing I am preserving memories that might have otherwise been damaged or faded away.

Cons:

  • You do need to plug it in to a power source making it slightly limited in where you can scan. If it only had battery power, it would be amazing. (Scan at the beach? Why not?)
  • It won’t scan very dark photos very well due to the automatic cropping of dark edges.
  • Once you scan all your film photos in, you may not find it very useful. Also if you don’t have many film photos it may not be a good investment for the price.
  • It does only take photos up to 4.1″ wide, for 5″ x 7″ and larger, you will still need to use a traditional bed scanner.

So, do you think this would be a handy thing to have? Why or why not? If you have one and would like to share some tips we’d love to hear from you!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

The following two tabs change content below.
CC Contributor

CC Contributor

, , , , ,

20 Responses to Pandigital One Touch Photo Scanner

  1. Avatar
    Rachel February 26, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    I like the idea of using this to scan small pieces of art. I make ATCs and postcards that would all fit in this and would be so much easier to use than my flatbed!

  2. Avatar
    Tamara February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    After reading this review I looked online for other reviews and potential vendors of this product because I can see a great use for it. I tried to buy it from the Pandigital website, but they only ship to the US, so I went to QVC and found a newer version that is designed to take up to 5*7 photos. I can’t wait to get it.

    Thanks for the review on this awesome product.

  3. Avatar
    Marissa February 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi Jessica. Great review! I work with Pandigital and they have several other scanners too. There’s another 4×6 scanner that can scan negatives and slides, a 5×7 scanner and they are going to have a new 8×10 scanner that will scan photos and documents. http://www.pandigital.net.

  4. Avatar
    Jackie February 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I need this! I have SO many photos of my kids when they were little (my youngest is 25 now) and the thought of manually scanning all of those was just overwhelming. This sounds like the perfect solution! Thank you for such a comprehensive review.

  5. Avatar
    strent February 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I will be ordering this today!!! Thanks for the great review!

  6. Avatar
    Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I have one of these and I got it from QVC. I love it. but now they have a newer version that you can scan slides also. Anyway its very nice and I recommend it Karleen

  7. Avatar
    kkaisu February 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    This is going on my must have list! My grandfather recently passed away leaving me – the scrapbooker – one photo album for every 2-3 years since about 1930 – ALOT of album and ALOT of pictures. My great grandmaother carried her Browne camera everywhere and my grandmother , if she were still alive would be my best scrapping buddy as she loved to craft and scrapbook. I would love to be able to quickly scan all of these great memories and create quick digital creations for other members of our family.

  8. Avatar
    Btrflywmn February 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    This thing is very cool, I would love to have one to scan my photos. Very handy. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. Avatar
    Fabrizio February 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Tamara, you’ll like it. I bought one for Vince from QVC UK and it works fine. Only word of advice since they put on the SD card the software to make it work with your PC if you wish to so, just make sure you copy those folders across to your pc so that the SD card is empty. Otherwise you’ll alway get a red light and it won’t work for some reasons. If you have an extra empty SD card just use that instead. We figured that one out after a while when putting another SD card in the scanner. Hope that helps. X Fab BTW it’s perfect when visiting friends and relatives and they show you their pictures so you can chat and scan at the same time ! LOL

  10. Avatar
    debb February 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    This sounds wonderful thank you for all the info. I think I am going to invest in one that does the negatives too as I have tons of them as well! Hope they are as effective as this one!

  11. Avatar
    Vickie February 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Nice review Jess very well detailed…. oh and LOVE THE PICTURES!!! :p

    Love you little sister 🙂

  12. Avatar
    Jess February 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Hi Jessica,

    Thanks so much for sharing such a great product. I’m super excited to buy one. I planned on scanning all of my Grandmother’s photos of me and my family growing up but found the task so daunting. Now that project might not be so awful. Now to find somewhere that sells it… thanks again so much!!!!

  13. Avatar
    rxmom February 27, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    Got one from QVC a couple of weeks ago and love it. Simple to use and works great! I have some old photos of my mom and the Pandigital scanned them beautifully!

  14. Avatar
    shauna February 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    I do want to get one of these. I’m going to get the one on QVC that will do 5×7 also. They had it on today actually! I will use it for photos but even more I will use it for authentic ephemera that I want copies of to use in my art, to make collage sheets etc. My main thing is how fast it is compared to using a scanning bed. It will be really cool when they have them for really large sizes! You wrote a great review!

  15. Avatar
    klasickewpie February 28, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    Uh oh! Now I’m in trouble, as I definitely need one of these. Thanks for the great review.

  16. Avatar
    Kelley February 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I just ordered mine from Costco and $65.99 and that includes shipping and handling. Can’t wait to get it!

  17. Avatar
    Anonymous January 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    I have spent the whole day trying to scan my photos on this. All I end up with is one small part of the pictures. I used the sleeve and tried without it. I also tried scanning directly to my PC. Nothing seemed to work. I’m not thrilled with this. Maybe some one can give me a suggestion.

  18. Avatar
    sweetpeahiker September 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi. I read your review after I received my scanner. I love this product! I, too, have been handed down many photos and am scanning my life away. One thing I wish was easily available are replacement photo sheaths. We have a lot of Polaroids and photos that have been “cropped” the old-fashioned way (small, odd-sized, crooked, etc.)

  19. Avatar
    sweetpeahiker September 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    …one last thing…some people complain of lines and fuzzy photos after so many scans. This item includes a roller cleaner, sensor cleaning swab and a calibration card. I did this after about my 500th scan.

  20. Avatar
    Moi January 29, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Hi Anyone!!!
    I have just bought this and copied lots of photos successfully. Then I got some lines across top of the pics so decided to clean it. there are no instructions as to how to use the cleaning pad (or calibration card)- I have looked online but cannot find instructions. Found some for the 01 but this had different controls and even though I tried using those instructions the light sequence was not happening on the 02 model. Any advice urgently required