With these apps you can digitize your physical photos and negatives


You can take it for granted that you are walking around with a high-quality camera in your pocket that can hold thousands of photos. We’ve become so accustomed to taking pictures without worry, knowing that they’ll look great without having to tinker with camera settings.

Your smartphone makes it easy to share a photo with anyone at any time. But unless your phone is your first camera, you might have some old negatives lying around. You can take them with you to develop or scan them to your phone for easy viewing and sharing. Tap or click here for tips on converting your old film negatives to digital photos.

A physical scanner is one route you can take to digitize your photo collection, but (surprise, surprise) you can also use an app. Here are three great options.

Photo scan by Google Photos

Google’s PhotoScan is a free app for iOS and android which scans your photos multiple times and then pastes all the images together to remove glare and improve the quality of the final image. The app works on matte and glossy prints and photos inside or outside albums.

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You take the first photo of the photo with your smartphone and then take four additional photos according to the app’s instructions. The app uses an algorithm to detect and crop the photo area, automatically detect the edge, correct the rotation and correct the perspective to display a front view.

PhotoScan is as easy to use as taking a photo with your camera:

Open the PhotoScan app and hold your phone over a photo. Tap the capture button to take a photo, which will be saved to your device. Move your phone to get the circle over each of the four dots. After the photo is processed, tap the photo thumbnail. Select a photo to rotate, adjust the angles or delete.

You can use Google Photos to save and organize your scans. From there you can edit your images and share them with others.

Microsoft lens

Microsoft Lens (formerly Office Lens) is a free business-focused scanning app that works with documents, whiteboards, business cards, receipts, menus, signs, handwritten memos, or anything else that contains text that you want to import to your phone. It’s definitely better than typing everything out by hand.

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The iOS and android app also works with photos and automatically corrects things like shadows and strange angles.

With Microsoft Lens, you can easily digitize your photos in a few steps:

Open Microsoft Lens and swipe left or right at the bottom of the screen and select Photo. Place your camera on the photo you want to take and make sure it is in the orange frame. You can turn the flash on and off before tapping the camera button to take the photo. You can now add a new image to your scan, apply a filter to the image, crop, rotate, or delete the image, or annotate it with the pen or text. Tap Done when you’re done.

You can save images to your phone’s gallery.

Best Option for Negatives: FilmBox from Photomyne

FilmBox is a smart scanner app for iOS and android that digitizes your old camera film negatives using just your smartphone. You can view, capture and save film negatives for easier browsing, organizing and sharing.

FilmBox inverts the negative colors of the image into positive ones and then improves the overall appearance.

All you need is a light source and your smartphone to get started:

Place your negatives in a dark or dimly lit room and open the FilmBox app. The only light source should be a backlight, which you can get by opening a white screen on a tablet or computer. You can also use the photomyne.com/backlight link in the app. Set your backlight device to the highest brightness setting. Hold your filmstrip vertically in front of the light and keep it steady. Make sure that the perforated edges are included in the scanning screen. Hold your negatives about two inches from the light source and tap the app’s record button. You can also activate the voice control and say “Go”. Remark: Voice control is only available for iOS.Your image will be saved as a digital photo in the app.

The first few scans are free, but if you want to capture more, you’ll need to subscribe. A two-year subscription costs $39.99 and gives you unlimited access to the app and its features.

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