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Can I Digitize my Films Myself?

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By Katy Sommerfeld

If you’re like most of us, chances are that you have a shoebox full of old home movies that is collecting dust in a closet somewhere in your home. Those special memories shouldn’t be left to the tests of time and other damages.

It’s time to bring them into the 21st century and get them digitized!
You may be wondering what options you have when it comes to digitizing your film. Maybe you have questions, like, “What can you do to save the most money during the process?” Or, “What is the most convenient or time-sensitive way to scan films to digital?” The answer comes down to choosing whether you will digitize at-home or use a professional digitizing service to transfer your films to digital media.  

 

You can digitize films at home if you have specialized digitization equipment. If you are thinking of using an at-home film-to-digital converter, there are some factors that are important to consider before purchasing. First, the convenience of at-home conversion should be weighed against the scanner quality. Secondly, the price should be compared to that of other digitization options. 

 

There are a few models of film-to-digital converters on the market with a spectrum of ratings that we’ll take a closer look at. 

 

KODAK Mobile Film Scanner

This scanner from KODAK has the capability to convert 35mm slides and film to digital by using your smartphone camera to record each frame of film and then converting the negative films to positives. 


Pros: The price. This scanner costs only $39.99.

Cons: The quality. Any time a smartphone is used for scanning analog media, the quality of the scans is poor. This conversion device provides no exception. Also, this type of scanning is very time-consuming.

 

KODAK Scanza Digital Film and Slide Scanner

Another KODAK scanner, the Scanza converts 35mm, 126mm, 110mm, Super8 and 8mm film negatives and slides to JPEG files. It has a screen so that you can watch as the scanner converts each frame from analog to digital. 


Pros: The convenience. This scanner produces decent digital copies of media, according to reviews, and it can all be done in the comfort of your own home. 

Cons: The time. This scanner is reportedly slow and takes quite a lot of time to digitize films. Considering it requires supervision while operating, the attention it must be paid is very inconvenient. Also, some reviewers report that their scans were of less than satisfactory quality.

 

DIGITNOW Film Scanner

The DIGITNOW film scanner is comparable to the KODAK Scanza in many ways. It scans films, slides, and negatives to JPEG format, and has an LCD screen for viewing media.


Pros: The price. The DIGITNOW scanner is very similar to the Scanza, but is significantly cheaper. 

Cons: The quality. Compared to the Scanza, however, the DIGITNOW suffers greatly in the quality department.

 

Wolverine 8mm and Super8 to MovieMaker Scanner

This scanner from Wolverine takes 8mm and Super8 film reels and converts them to MP4 files. It has a small screen for viewing film content. 


Pros: The quality. Compared to many of the other converters on the market, the Wolverine is above standard. 

Cons: The price. Although the scan quality of the Wolverine is good, it is not worth the hefty price tag of $300 if you are only digitizing a few reels.

 

Wolverine Titan 8-in-1 Film to Digital Converter

The Titan 8-in-1 converter is a compact film, slide, and negative scanner. Produced by Wolverine, the small scanner has a 4.3” screen for viewing media. 


Pros: Convenience. This scanner allows for at-home digitization that is of decent quality. 

Cons: The time. One reviewer who used this scanner for converting 6,000 slides said it took them 17-20 hours to complete the entire process. This is highly inconvenient. 


As you may be able to tell, the convenience of at-home digitization is often not worth the poor quality scans it produces and the seemingly endless hours it takes to convert films to digital. The fact is that no at-home scanner can compare to the quality and convenience of a digitization service like Southtree. The trained digitization professionals at Southtree work diligently with each piece of media, ensuring the highest quality scans are produced. Southtree sends packaging to each of its customers so that they don’t have to purchase their own packaging, and they pay for each leg of shipping as well. Digitization through Southtree requires the customer to leave their house only once to drop off the Southtree box filled with original media at the post office, making the process super easy. Lastly, digitization through Southtree starts at only $50! You can’t beat that level of convenience, folks. 


While you can digitize your films at home, why would you when a digitization service like Southtree can do it professionally and affordably for you? You shouldn’t waste your time digitizing old memories yourself. You should be spending your time making new memories with the ones you love most. Let Southtree take care of the work for you.

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