Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Scanning Old Photos with the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II

old camera and film with photos

Have a box of old photographs, negatives, or 35mm slides? Turn your old photos into digital files. Learn how in this review of the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner.

Do you have an old box of photographs and negatives hiding in a dark corner of your closet? Do you find 35 mm slides during your wanderings through the flea market? Wondering what you can do with that old photographic film in this electronic age?

Turn photos, negatives, and slides into digital files

Photography has been a hobby for me since the mid-1970s. Over the decades, my hobby has filled a box with 35 mm slides, negatives, and photos. When I decided it was time to make some money from my photos, I needed a color image scanner to turn those photographs into digital files.

After doing some shopping, I narrowed my choices to the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII and the Epson Perfection V600 based on these requirements:

  • Low price. I didn't have a lot of money to spend and couldn't afford a top-of-the-line professional scanner. Both of these scanners are priced below $200.
  • High resolution. Many of the products available through the print-on-demand services such as Zazzle or CafePress are large. The Canon scans film at a maximum resolution of 9600 x 9600 dpi and the Epson at a maximum resolution of 6400 x 9600 dpi.
  • Scan multiple formats. The Canon and the Epson digitize slides, negatives, photo prints, and printed documents. Files can be saved in JPG, TIFF, PNG, and PDF formats.

Digitize images with the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII

The Canon CanoScan has more than met my expectations. The setup was simple and the software drivers installed without a problem. Here are some of the features that I really enjoy about this image scanner:
  • It is simple to scan multi-page documents and convert those pages into a single PDF file.
  • The film guides hold slides and negatives securely.
  • The protective cover is easy to remove for slide and negative scanning.
  • The included software reduces image editing with automatic image enhancement features.

Enhance photos with the My Image Garden software

The Canon CanoScan includes My Image Garden software for scanning, enhancing, and organizing photographs. I'm not usually a fan of the software that comes with many electronic devices, but the My Image Garden software has saved me a lot of time. I especially enjoy using the ScanGear utility to scan slides and to correct imperfections.

Here's an example showing the settings for a 35 mm slide and a preview of the image.

The ScanGear image scanning utility gives complete control over images. As different resolutions and different levels of image correction are selected, the utility shows the output file size. Here are other ways to use this scanning software:
  • Remove dust spots. Images files from slides and negatives that are old, have been  handled over the years, and are dusty can be difficult to clean up. I estimate the ScanGear utility removes 95% of the dust spots from my scanned slides and negatives.
  • Fix over-exposed photos. It's heartbreaking when a well-framed shot is ruined from a bad exposure. Adjust the backlight and exposure options while watching the changes in the preview window.
  • Adjust the color. Sometimes the color in the photo isn't as vibrant as the memory because slides and negatives fade over time. Increase the color saturation, brightness, or contrast and see the adjustments in the preview window.

Preserve photos and documents with the Canon CanoScan

Scanning a variety of documents is made quick and simple with the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner. The scanner comes with guides for 120 format film, 35 mm slides, and 35 mm negatives. It also operates as a flatbed scanner and turns pages as large as 8-1/2" x 11" into PDF files.

I give this scanner 4.5 of 5 stars for ease of use, high quality scans, and image editing abilities.

If you have a large number of photos, slides, negatives, and other documents that you want to turn into digital files, I highly recommend the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II color image scanner.

Posted by Coletta Teske
Coletta Teske

About This Contributor

Coletta Teske writes reviews on books, business management, writing, crafting, cooking, and gardening. She is also an avid recycler and shares her tips on recycling. She delights in upcycling an old object, recycling or transforming discarded items into a new treasure.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. What a most excellent review! I purchased my first scanner over a decade ago when I started selling on Ebay and discovered a world of fabulous uses for one including scanning my older photos, printing them and giving them as gifts for Christmas. Some of our old family photos would be lost otherwise as they were fading fast. I was actually able to restore a lot of them using the photo software that came with the scanner. Scanners are not really very expensive when you consider the value of what they can do for your photos and business.

    1. Cynthia, I have over 1000 photos to scan which makes my cost less than 2 cents a scan (not including my time). And, because the software does so much photo touch-up, I save a lot of time. I couldn't be happier with my return on investment. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My daughter and son-in-law, both artists, use their scanner frequently to be ready to upload pictures to websites and to send finished artwork to publishers. I was not aware that one could scan slides with a scanner. I have a bunch from our early days of taking photographs that I'd love to preserve as pictures. Helpful to have this review, as the only scanner I currently have is on a 4-in-1 printer, which has limited capabilities.

    1. Elf, yes, you can scan slides as long as the scanner has the right film guides. With the Canon CanoScan, you can scan 4 slides at a time. I was amazed at some of the gems I found while sorting through old pictures. It's a fun project!

  3. I got a scanner so I could scan all my documents that I had in file cabinets for the IRS. No way would I save them if it weren't for needing proof for taxes. But when I put all my stuff in storage I needed a way to bring all the tax returns with me so the scanner came to the rescue. Left it in the USA though so will have to wait for the art projects. :)

  4. This is a very helpful review! These are the kind of items that many people need first hand opinions on, and if it wasn't for this review I wouldn't even know this exists. I don't have any 35mm film to scan, but I do have a ton of home videos I'm looking to transfer to DVD one day - try to find the cheapest way to do it.

  5. Very helpful review. I need to get a scanner for my old photos. I have two HUGE plastic tubs full of photos. I once owned a scanner and hated it. I'll have to look into Canoscan more closely.

    1. Dawn, I've scanned a few photo prints and had good success. It didn't take very long to do each scan, this is a quick scanner. Have fun!

  6. I wish I'd had this review around before I bought my last scanner. I really need a scanner over here, but am not sure where I'd put it or how I'd pay for it yet. The one I bought is supposed to do all those things, but I since I had an iMac, the software didn't work on my computer. What is the footprint on this scanner? I might be able to fit it on top of the file cabinet if I move a few things around.

  7. Hi Coletta Teske,
    You have done a good job here. Your posted article is so nice. I read and enjoyed much.Canon CanoScan is very nice for better service. Thanks a lot for your sharing.


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