When you are ready to convert your slides to digital images, it may be helpful to compare our Digital Conversion process with having your slides scanned at Costco. Costco will scan your slides for $0.32/slide, with a minimum cost of $19.99. For that price, you will get scans that have a resolution of a bit less than 2200 DPI - or to put it another way, it's the equivalent of converting your slides to 6MP images. We digitize slides at about 4200 DPI (24 MP images).
Another important difference is in how your slides, (or negatives, or photos) are handled. Every step of our process is manual, from the removal of your slides from the box you sent them in, through cleaning, scanning, and editing (if selected) - nothing is automated.
Their process is strictly a bulk operation - in effect they put your slides "into the hopper" at one end, and get a stack of slides and a directory full of image files at the other. Oh - and check to see whether you will even get your originals back.
We Provide Concierge Service (Free of charge): We provide (free) extra services that others don't. For example, we will customize your directory structures if you wish. If your slides or negatives from a roll of film are grouped together, we will digitize them in the original sequence. Perhaps most importantly, we will preserve all written information on or in the containers, and make it part of your photo archive. Our guiding principle is to provide personalized service, at a fair price.
Another service we provide, free of charge - if your slides are grouped with date information on the containers (carousels, boxes, etc.) we will do our best to process them in chronological order, so that your image archive is presented in the most logical fashion. In addition, when ever possible, when we process slides and negatives that are from a single roll of film, we process the images in the order in which they were taken, using the frame numbers on the film, or slide mounts (when present, and readable!).
One other important item: we can digitize ALL forms of photographic images: not just slides,but negatives, prints, filmstrips, albums, unmounted slides, what ever you have. If it is a photographic image, we can digitize it.
That's too bad, if you plan to go to Costco. They clearly state: "Please remove carousels, trays, sheets and binders". On the other hand, we will accept your slides in carousels, trays, binders, boxes, rubber bands, or any other containers - and at no extra charge. We also accept all types of slide mounts: cardboard, plastic, glass mounts, metal framed mounts, etc. Going to Costco? Sorry - plastic or cardboard ONLY.
If your slides are in some type of carousel, projector tray, or cube, you may want to consider taking advantage of ourSpace-SaverTM Option. After we digitize the slides from your carousels or trays, we will bundle them together (in order), and label each bundle with the information that was on the carousel or tray box for easy identification.
Then we ship your slides back to you (in a much smaller box!) and recycle the old carousels or trays. Let's face it - you are not likely to ever use that old projector again, so why keep the bulky storage containers? This option can save you a LOT of storage space.
If you have a large job - over 500 slides - Costco will hand you two or more DVDs with your slides on them. Their DVDs are limited to 500 slides. We, on the other hand, will load your slides onto a flash drive (up to 1TB capacity), DVDs, or to Blu-ray discs (conventional, or M-Discs) which can hold thousands of slide images - even at our much higher resolution. We have produced Blu-ray slide shows with over 3,000 slides on a single Blu-ray M-disc.
If you have a lot of slides, Costco will put all those images in a single directory - leaving you to sort them out. We subdivide images into Folios (directories) of about 70 images each (unless you have some other preferred organization). We provide an Index Image of the directory images as thumbnails, so you can locate photos easily. We preserve all information contained on boxes, envelopes, carousel boxes, etc. so that important information is saved along with your photos.
Our approach, as explained on the "Slides" page is, first, to handle your slides one at a time. We place the slide on a special illuminated stage, photograph the slide, and return it to the carousel, (if that's where it came from), unless you have opted for the Space-SaverTM Option.. Or, we restack it in it's box or container. As described on the Slides page, our process produces a 24MP image of a 35mm slide - that's more than 3x the resolution you will get from Costco.
We can't say whether Costco does anything to minimize dust and debris on the image, but we CAN say (from personal experience) that they do not produce totally clean images (see the comparisons below).
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We have shown below sets of image pairs. The one on the top of each pair of images is the scan that was obtained from Costco ($0.32/image) several years ago. The image on the bottom of each pair is the same image, after we have put it through our"Premier Service"processing ($0.89/image), including the "scan").
Of course, if keeping the overall cost as low as possible is your concern, then if you use our"Image Only"service at $0.39/image, the results you get will be better than what Costco would produce (much higher resolution) - for an increase of only $0.07/image.
We can't really do a true "head-to-head" comparison as we lack the original slides that were scanned by Costco to produce the images below. That means that we are stuck with the approximately 2200 DPI resolution of the Costco scans, instead of the 4200 DPI resolution for the images we convert in-house. What we can demonstrate, however, is the difference in the amount of dust and other debris that can spoil an otherwise great photo.
It is important to note that the differences will not show up if you view these images at small sizes. To fully appreciate the differences, you need to view the images at a width of about ten inches, as you would on a full-size monitor. You can right-click on the images and select "View Image", and then use the "zoom" feature to see the changes more clearly.
Note the improvement in the color (above)!
That ugly vertical stain is gone (Above)!
A time long ago (Above)...
You can trust Digital Conversions LLC to handle all yourslide scanningneeds.