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Home /DIY / Can I Digitize my Slides Myself?

Can I Digitize my Slides Myself?

By Christian Roemer

I was born in 1986. That means I’m about as millennial as they come. I like to think I grew up in the golden age of technological advancement. Video games, computers, cell phones, and digital cameras all debuted or got way better in my lifetime. Those new gadgets displaced a bunch of older types of media, and slides are certainly included in that group.

I can remember twice in my life where I even saw slides or a slide projector. One time was at my great aunt’s house, and the other time was in 3rd grade when my teacher couldn’t get the projector to work. Now that I think about it, I don’t think my aunt could get the projector to work either.


I’m sensing a pattern.

If my experience is any indication, slides are finicky. They’re kind of weird to put in storage, they’re really fragile, and they’re almost impossible to enjoy on a whim. All of those things combined mean they’re the perfect candidates for digitization.

But what are your options? I’m so glad you asked.

Option 1: Self Digitization

Full disclosure: this option has two sub-options, and they’re both terrible. I can think of basically two methods that you can use to digitize your slides yourself, and neither option is very good.

The first method is the “90s bootleg VHS method.” To capture slides this way, you’ll set up the slide projector in the room of your choice. You’ll set your digital camera or cell phone on a tripod, and you’ll take manual pictures of every side as you churn them through the projector. That’s a lot of work, plus the quality will be pretty bad.

The second method is a bit more legit, but it’s expensive and time consuming. First, you’ll need to order a slide digitizer. Once your new gadget arrives in the mail, you’ll need to go through all of your slides and scan them one by one. This method is going to be about as time consuming as the 90s Bootleg VHS method, but the quality will be better.

Option 2: Kodak Digitization

This method is simple and fast. All you’ll do is pack your slides into special Kodak packaging, send your slides to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and receive your slides back along with digital versions in a few weeks.

The Verdict

It’s not really close, is it?

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