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Old 12-04-2007, 08:13 PM   #1
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Converting Slides To DVD

My parents-in-law have roughly a couple thousand slides spanning several decades that they'd like to have put on DVD. They're in their mid-80s and anything but tech-savvy, so for a couple years now they've been dropping hints that while happy to foot the bill, they'd really appreciate it if someone else would take care of the actual work for them (not as simple as it sounds, since they live halfway across the country from all their kids). But later this month, we'll have an opportunity to visit them, so I thought we'd collect the slides while we're there, have them put on DVD out here, then do as much of the chronological ordering of the files ourselves (apparently the slides aren't presently in good order) as we can figure out on our own. I think that in theory, my mother-in-law would prefer to personally preside over the ordering of every last image just so (whereas his attitude is basically, "Oh hell, just slap 'em on DVD any old way, who cares"). However, in practice we're afraid that even if we visited them a second time to facilitate that, the reality would be that we'd all be ready to kill each other within half an hour. My mother-in-law is still sharp as a tack when it comes to recalling details of specific incidents, but her ability to stay focused and follow through a linear, orderly thought process has declined badly over the last few years, and we really doubt that she's in truth up to that task.

Anyway, so today I called around to a few local photography stores whose ads indicated they offered slide conversion services, to check prices and timing and all that. I assumed there was some fancy specialized machine they used to do this. To my surprise, both informed me that nope, they just use an ordinary scanner, and that in fact their advice, given the large quantity of slides, would be for us to save money by doing it ourselves, either with the scanner I already have (Canon MultiPass F60 printer/copier/scanner), or else they could sell us one of the scanners they use (various grades of Nikons, none of them more than $1000).

So...has anyone else in here tried doing this before? How high-quality a scanner do you need? Is it substantially different in any way from scanning ordinary photos? Are there any tricks or pitfalls involved that we should be aware of? Are some image processing programs significantly better suited to this particular task than others?

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Old 12-04-2007, 10:35 PM   #2
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My dad has done it. He talked to our friend, who is a successful professional photographer (has won artistic awards and such), and he recommended simply taking digital pictures of the slides while they were projected, lol.

My dad did this with all his slides (we have a projection screen) and made a PowerPoint.....I was honestly surprised at how well they turned out! They didn't look bad at all. As long as he doesn't print them bigger than 5x7s (maybe even 8x10s) or so, I really don't think what he came up with would look any worse than our normal digital pictures.

I did the same sort of thing when I was making a computer slide show for my wedding. I took digital pictures of printed pics from my childhood. Honestly, using my digital camera is a LOT faster for me than scanning all those pics in and the quality is better, but I guess that would depend on your scanner vs. your digicam.
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