Want to quickly scan family photos? Epson's FastFoto FF-680W may be the answer

I know a lot of Mac users who are in the same boat that I am -- they have hundreds or thousands of photos that are in albums collecting dust, and they've somehow inherited an equal number of photos from elderly relatives. It would be wonderful to scan those images for use in Apple's Photos app or a similar third-party Mac program, but flatbed scanners are slow and scanning services are ridiculously priced. Epson's new FastFoto FF-680W (US$599.99) looks like it may be a reasonably priced solution to get those priceless images into a digital format.

Image via Epson

Image via Epson

The FF-680W is Wi-Fi enabled, so the scanner doesn't need to be sitting next to a computer. It can handle a variety of formats -- regular prints, Polaroid photos, postcards, folded cards, and even panoramic photos (remember the APS panorama format?) up to 36 inches wide. 

Images can be loaded into a feeder for scanning at speeds up to 1 photo per second at 300 dpi resolution. Once scanned, the FF-680W's software allows restoration of damaged or old photos, and can make organization and sharing a snap. If 300 dpi isn't high enough resolution, you can also choose 600 dpi archiving mode or 1200 dpi for enlarging. 

The imaging system allows for auto enhancement of printed photos, color restoration -- important for those faded old pictures -- red-eye reduction, de-skew, cropping and rotation. Files can be auto-uploaded to Dropbox and Google Drive as well, and although there's nothing about it in the press release from Epson, I would think that you could probably scan directly to an iCloud folder. 

For photos that have handwritten notes or date information on the back, the scanner captures both the image and the notes in one scan. The FastFoto FF-680W is available today from most major retailers.