This page contains links to recommended cameras for scanning film and prints as shown in the book Digitizing Your Photos. The books describes a method to rapidly scan photographic prints and negatives using a digital camera.
In the book
Throughout the book, I use a Nikon D800 for principal scanning. I also use a D700 for the setup that is dedicated to scanning slide mounts as a “page.” Many other cameras will work, however.
Choosing a Camera
Many people already own a camera suitable for camera scanning. As I write in Digitizing Your Photos you’ll want at least 20 megapixels and you’ll need a good lens for the camera.
In many cases, the choice of a camera will hinge on what you already own. Even if your camera is not optimal for scanning, you’ll probably want to stay in the same system you’re using so the cameras, lenses and accessories can be used with each other.
Here are the current megapixel counts for major camera brands, along with approximate costs.
Sony a7r II 42 MP is about $2700
Nikon D810 36 MP is about $2800
Canon 5DSR 50 MP is about $3700
Pentax K-1 36MP is about $1900
Pentax 50mm f2/8 Macro Autofocus. Good user reviews on B&H, About $315.
There are also plenty of used and/or older generation cameras that would work well. When shopping for used equipment, you’ll want to look for a few things:
- Most important – can you test for a week or so and send the camera back if there is a problem.
- See if you can find out the number of “shutter actuations” – the number of pictures taken on the camera. Cameras keep a record of these. Shutter mechanisms can fail after too much use. Ideally you are looking for something in the low 10,000’s.
- Ask of the sensor has been cleaned recently. Check for dust or other gunk on the sensor using the methods described in Chapter 6. If there is dust you can’t get rid of, you don’t want the camera.
Nikon D800 and D800E. $1300-$1600 I’m using a D800, but the D800E should provide some additional sharpness. Neither of these is available new, but they are plentiful on the used market. These should be a good value for camera scanning.