Pics 2 SD by ION – Review
Do you have lots of old photos, slides and negatives lying around gathering dust ? I know I do. So I jumped at the chance to review the Pics 2 SD by ION. This device allows you to convert your pictures, slides and negatives into digital images. You can use the included USB cable to download them directly to your computer or put them on to a SD card (a 2GB card is included). It includes trays to hold photographs 3 1/2 x 5, 4 x 6 and 5x 7, as well as 35mm negative and slide holders.
The device is compact, lightweight, very simple to set up and includes an instruction manual with easy to follow directions.
It’s pretty simple to use: you load the photo into a tray, put in it and switch it on. Make sure the 2 sliders are set to photo, choose the right size image, pick 5 or 10 MB for the image, black and white or color. If you are doing a bunch of similar photos you only have to set it up once, then it saves these settings until you need to change it. In “capture” mode you press enter to see the image on the screen, press scan (which takes about a second) then save and it’s done. Negatives and slides are very similar but have a holder than can hold up to 5 slides or negatives at once. You manually advance the holder between images.
The Pic 2 SD has auto focus, auto exposure, and auto-color balance; you can adjust the settings on the scanner to change the color balance of the picture, but I found it easier to do this within iPhoto rather than trying to see the effect of the changes in the 2″ tall viewfinder window.
I had a lot of fun with this taking old photographs and turning them into digital images. Once they were in digital form I could easily edit or crop them and share them with friends and family, instead of leaving them hidden away in a box.
I had some old family photographs that must have been over sixty years old and as they showed my late grandmother, aunts, uncles and my dad it was really nice to able to scan them so all my siblings could have a copy. The original photographs were tiny – only about 2″ long so they didn’t fit any of the holders, but by being creative with a little double-sided tape I could scan them easily. Once they were in iPhoto I could enlarge and enhance them to see a lot of detail I missed in the old dark original prints. A note of caution: I would advise NOT to try putting in non-standard size pictures unless you make sure they are secured – I tried just putting a smaller picture in the holder (without the tape) and extracting it from the device was a very tricky procedure using tweezers !
As well as these really old family pictures I have also been enjoying taking pictures from my lifetime and digitalizing them. Pictures from long ago trips, old friends and family members have been scanned rekindling lots of old memories. One point to bear in mind is that digital image quality has come a long way in the last few years and image sizes are getting bigger and bigger, the maximum image size of a scanned picture with this scanner is 10MB, so if your orIginal picture is bigger than that it will lose some clarity. For older pictures like those I’m scanning this isn’t a problem as the images themselves have lower resolution than this, but if you will be primarily scanning newer high definition images you may wish to use a scanner with higher image resolution such as the Film 2 SD Plus .
The pictures above were all scanned using the Pics 2 SD, the black and white one is over sixty years old and the original was a 2″ poor quality image; the picture of the babies is about six years old; the picture of Bryce Canyon and the one of the Fife and Drum band are both about 20 years old.
Overall, I really liked how versatile this scanner is, I can use ut to scan old negatives, slides and photographs. The variety of holders than come with it are useful and make it easy to scan different size pictures (and with a little double-sided tape I could also adapt it to fit non-standard size pictures). As it scans onto an SD card you can download the images to your computer, take them in to be printed or watch them on a TV with an SD card slot. If you, like me, have boxes and boxes of old photo’s, negatives and slides sitting around gathering dust the Pics 2 Sd may be just the solution you need to digitalize them and bring them back to life.
Available from IONAudio.com, Amazon and other retailers. At the time of going to press it was available for $105-$150