The Best Photo Scanner for Mac

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A photo scanner is a great tool for anyone who has a lot of photos that they would like to digitize.

Many of us have memories on celluloid that are dear to us, but these have a habit of deteriorating or becoming lost or damaged. Scanning them means being able to keep them forever, not to mention creating more options for how you use them!

If you own a Mac computer, then it’s important to ensure that any extra hardware you invest in will be compatible.

This is an extra step when searching for a scanner. Therefore, all items on this list will be high quality and compatible with Mac computers, so you can buy with confidence.

Photo Scanner Reviews for Mac

Product

Features

Price

Plustek Photo Digital Kits – CCD Photo Scanner with Feeder

  • Combines scanner with photo frame
  • Fast and intuitive to use
  • Compact

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner

  • Slim size
  • No computer required for scanning
  • Wireless
  • Fast

ClearClick Photo & Document Scanner with 1.45" Preview LCD

  • Compact yet versatile
  • Great for photos or documents
  • Preview LCD a life-saver

Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner

  • Very versatile
  • Cloud support makes this quick to use
  • Creates high quality scans

Epson B11B207221 Perfection V370 Color Photo

  • Powerful software features make archiving photos a doddle
  • Excellent restoration features
  • Fast
  • Creates high quality images

Plustek Photo Digital Kits – CCD Photo Scanner with Feeder

Plustek Photo Digital Kits - CCD Photo Scanner with Feeder + 8" Digital Photo Frame (1024x768) + 32G USB Drive - Total Personal Photo Digitization Solution...

This product is not just a single scanner, but actually a “digital photo kit” that combines a photo scanner with a digital photo frame. This is an ideal match, as it essentially allows you to handle the transfer of your photos from one format to another and to start displaying them immediately!

The whole proves is extremely quick. Just take your 4×6 photo, run it through the photo scanner, and then transfer it over to the photo frame.

We would have liked to have seen connectivity between the scanner and the photo frame that would allow this transfer to be instant! But as it is, this is still a very fast process and you can digitize a whole album of photos in an hour or so. The scanner also supports 8×10 photos, though these take slightly longer.

What is also really nice is the included software that helps you to easily create a slideshow of your memories – complete with music and animations.

Pros

  • Combines scanner with photo frame
  • Fast and intuitive to use
  • Compact

Cons

  • Requires separate USB drive
  • Software can be fiddly
  • Won’t scan A4 paper

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner

Doxie Go SE Wi-Fi - The Smarter Wi-Fi Scanner with Rechargeable Battery & Amazing Software

The Doxie Go is not specifically a photo scanner. This is both a pro and a con depending on what kind of user you are. If you purely need a photo scanner for your Mac, then you might appreciate the simplicity of something like the Plustek. That said, if you want an all round scanner that will also work as a photo scanner, then you might prefer something like this.

While the Doxie Go doesn’t purely focus on one thing, it nevertheless manages to offer a great option for those with photos to scan. This is thanks to its extremely small size and very straight forward operation. The device is only 4.5cm deep and 31cm along, meaning you can slip it in a bag, or keep it on a crowded desk. To operate, you simply feed the photo into the device.

This one works with Macs but also iOS, PC, and a host of other options. The software is great too, letting you create multi-page, searchable PDFs from your scans.

Pros

  • Slim size
  • No computer required for scanning
  • Wireless
  • Fast

Cons

  • Not specifically intended for photos – can be more difficult to use with 4×6” images
  • Occasional scans come out crooked or with poor contrast

ClearClick Photo & Document Scanner with 1.45" Preview LCD

ClearClick Photo & Document Scanner with 1.45" Preview LCD, 4 GB Memory Card, OCR Software

ClearClick offers what many would describe as the perfect balance between the versatility and portability of the Doxie Go, and the photo-friendly form factor of the Doxie Go.

This is a portable document scanner that will take A4 sheets yes: but it can also scan photos to produce JPGs. What makes the latter particularly convenient is the built-in Preview LCD. This small window shows what your image is going to look like, which means you can avoid the problem of crooked or faulty images before you make the scan. This ultimately saves a lot of time, and means that you can create better photos every time.

The design is small, light, and compact. The battery life is impressive, and the device uses convenient microSD cards. The software included is great too, once again allowing you to create searchable PDF files with OCR (optical character recognition).

Pros

  • Compact yet versatile
  • Great for photos or documents
  • Preview LCD a life-saver

Cons

  • Eats through batteries a little
  • SD card fiddly to remove

Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner

Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo & Document Scanner with Scan-To-Cloud & 4800 Optical Resolution

This is the first flatbed scanner on this list, which will be a great fit for some users though not all.

As a flatbed scanner, you very much know what you’re getting here. You’ll load the photos and documents into your device face up and then hit scan. This process is a little slower than it is with many of the smaller scanners we’ve looked at so far, but it also allows for greater versatility and can save errors.

For instance, you can use a flatbed scanner to create photo collages by laying them carefully in the tray. The removable lid is also a great feature for scanning books and other larger items.

That said, this configuration does hurt portability, and is a lot slower to use than a dedicated photo scanner.

Ask yourself: are you looking for a document scanner that can also scan photos? Or are you looking for a photo scanner specifically? This question is what will guide you to the best option for your needs.

Unlike other options on this list that scan to an SD card or a USB stick, this scanner will scan to the cloud. This can be very useful for Mac and iOS users in particular, as it means the photos will almost immediately be available on your iPad.

Document capture software is included for more OCR goodness.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Cloud support makes this quick to use
  • Creates high quality scans

Cons

  • Not helpful if you don’t have a cloud storage solution
  • Small and light compared to a full flatbed scanner, but large and bulky compared to a true photo scanner

Epson B11B207221 Perfection V370 Color Photo

Epson B11B207221 Perfection V370 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner

Another relatively compact flatbed scanner. This one is a little taller than many of the other options on this list and certainly won’t fit into a shoulder bag.

That said, the device is specifically intended for scanning photos, with the option to seamlessly enlarge them up to 13×19”. The quality is also exceptional, while the software has some neat tricks such as restoring older photos and stitching images together.

Perhaps the best feature of all though, is the option to place multiple photos into the scanner and then have them automatically separated out by the included software.

Although this document scanner may not be as small and light as many of the others, all of these features make it great for quickly archiving old photos and restoring cherished memories.

The Epson is an ideal photo scanner for historians and creating family albums.

Pros

  • Powerful software features make archiving photos a doddle
  • Excellent restoration features
  • Fast
  • Creates high quality images

Cons

  • Larger than other options on this list
  • More complex than some options

Buyer’s Guide

So which of these photo scanners for Mac is best? Which is right for you?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to these questions. The question ultimately comes down to the specific use-cases you have in mind, and what you hope to get from the device.

There is a world of difference between a device intended to scan photos quickly into a photoframe, and a device that lets you scan multiple photos at once and then use advanced software to restore any blemishes.

Ultimately, the biggest decision will come down to whether you are looking for a document scanner as well as a photos canner, or whether you only need a photo scanner. Likewise, think about your technical skill, the amount of space you have, and your budget. Do you need extremely high quality images? Or are you happy with something that looks great in a frame?

Do you have another scanner? Or is this going to be your sole and only scanner?

Do you also want to use this scanner with your smartphone?

While all these considerations are important, any of these devices will offer you high quality scans that save you time and effort. We can highly recommend any one of them.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a photo scanner for Mac, then any of these options will provide you with the perfect starting place and a ton of flexibility. This way you can begin to archive those old photos, create backups, and use them in a variety of creative ways.

Be sure to read customer reviews and to check for example scans if you’re unsure. This way, you can get a good idea of the kind of quality the scanner will be capable of producing.

Think about issues such as portability, data storage, and software in order to find the best option for you.

Be sure to read the instructions to make sure you make the most of all the features. Then get to work restoring and saving those memories!