Scanning photos & # 39; s to digital copies is not just for old photo albums. Nowadays you will often have to decide whether you want to buy an expensive digital version of school photos, not to mention weddings. But why spend extra money if you have a photo scanner in your pocket?
Google PhotoScan is an app for both Android and iOS and works with the camera of your phone to take different photos of a print photo, using intelligence to sew them and mark the edges of the photo. The photo stitching also works to eliminate glare from the flash of your phone, although a well-lit photo with natural light gives the best results.
To be honest, a native digital image will produce the clearest, sharpest results. And if you have a special scanner, or a multifunctional printer with a scanner attached, that option should definitely be investigated. But scanners cost money, just like the rights to digital images ̵
(Make sure you understand what rights you have to share those images, and whether the photographer assigns rights to the photos in question. If you've made the photos in question yourself, it would must be good.)
Scan a photo with PhotoScan in 3 simple steps
First download Google PhotoScan for Android or PhotoScan for iOS. Google does not limit which devices you can use with PhotoScan, although you need Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Of course you naturally need a photo, glossy or not. Google apparently does not limit the size, although I have only used smaller prints of 3×5 and 4×6.
Second, start scanning. When you launch the app, PhotoScan shows you what to do: make the full print within the frame of your camera. PhotoScan will then place four smaller circles on the image of the print and ask you to move the "point" crosshairs of PhotoScan over each of them. (Again, the short tutorial clarifies this nicely).
Don't worry if you don't align the reticle precisely to each of the targets, because it didn't seem to make a difference in the brightness of the finished image. The circles tended to jump a little while I also aligned them.
With PhotoScan you can also define the corners of the image after the image is created. This only came in handy when I used PhotoScan with a print against a light background, making it harder to distinguish the edges.
What does seems to influence the image, however, is the lighting. I shot the same photo into an unlit, draped room and used the light from my phone to illuminate the image. I then went outside and photographed the same print in the afternoon shade, with clear differences in color. The outside air looked more faded in some places, although the color also seemed to be more lifelike. It might be worth experimenting to determine what works best. Note that there is a "magic wand" icon to enable or disable PhotoScan's ability to compensate for the camera's flash.
PhotoScan also seems to lower the resolution. Although I took the photo with a 12.2 MP camera on Google Pixel 3, the scanned photo was saved with a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000
Third, post-processing . Just kidding! There is no step three, at least in the PhotoScan app. PhotoScan saves the photo to your phone, which means it can be automatically backed up in Google Photos, Microsoft OneDrive or Apple & iCoud. Any post-processing – adjusting the contrast, color, or red eye – must be done with an app such as the Windows 10 Photos app, Google Photos, Lightroom, or the like.
But it is. PhotoScan is designed to be simple and intuitive, and it is. Try it for yourself with an old photo. The results may surprise you – and be good enough to save some money on future photo shoots.