PictoScanner set up on desk

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Now available in the UK and Ireland, PictoScanner is a portable scanner that turns negatives and slides into digital images using any smartphone. Created by a Danish professional photographer, PictoScanner provides an easy way to bring old photos back to life. Purposefully low-tech, it is a carboard, AA battery-powered backlight that uses a smartphone camera and simple app to scan and digitise negatives and slides. It is available on Amazon.

Many people have taken up new hobbies over the last year or used the time to organise and declutter their homes. At the same time, the lockdowns have made many people nostalgic over thoughts of family and friends. Pictoscanner is a simply brilliant way to digitise images from film negatives, ideal for families with drawers full of forgotten images and a great last minute father’s day gift.

PictoScanner was created by Danish photographer, Simon Lautrop, as a response to the challenges of digitizing old photographs simply. When Simon’s mother passed away, he was left with boxes overflowing with old negatives and film: memories of his mother and his own childhood. Simon began a long process of digitising all the old photos but wanted to make it easy for others that didn’t have photography equipment.

“I wanted to create a device that would let everyone rediscover and enjoy their old photos. Smartphones have impressive cameras, so I decided to see if this could be useful to create my mini scanner. After many tests aiming at the quality I was looking for, I finally created the PictoScanner and I hope that this small and simple tool will allow people to revisit their memories endlessly,” said Simon Lautrop about his invention.

How it works

PictoScanner main photo

The PictoScanner is fun and can be set up in seconds. The principle is based on a photographer’s light table, the LED backlight diffuses an equal light across the whole negative or 35 mm slide. [Note: it can also be used with a DSLR].

The PictoScanner app turns any smartphone into a scanner. The app will ask what you want to scan (negatives, positive colour or Black & White), the user then positions the camera lens of the phone on the small hole on the top bed of the PictoScanner and takes the picture. The negative or slide is then digitized and can be shared instantly.

The app also has editing tools and filters to modify the frame, exposure, contrast, saturation and temperature of the images.

Key features: 

  • Made of cardboard and folds nearly flat when not in use (40x110x150mm)
  • Assembles in seconds
  • Designed to be used with PictoScanner’s free Android or iOS app
  • AA battery-powered
  • Simple to use and does not require a computer or need to be plugged in

Where to buy: Amazon, priced at £39.90

Download app: Apple AppStore and Google Play

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Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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