This hard gear post is topical in a way because I've been busy scanning all my transparencies during the past 4 months or so, saving the resultant TIFFs on my LaCie drives, and burning copies unto DVDs. I'm justifiably sick of scanners, of scanning and have had my fill of digitizing.
While I used my reliable Canonscan to scan these slides, I was intrigued by a recent "no name" device which claims to easily convert old 35mm slides and film negatives into digital images. Slides and negatives are placed into a tray that aligns each properly; the touch of a button scans the image instantly. It has a 5MP CMOS sensor that provides 10 bits per color channel for data conversion, and uses fixed focus and automatic exposure control and color balance, resulting in clear digital images without loss of resolution. It can scan images up to 1829 dpi and uses three white LEDs as a back light source. It has a USB cable that plugs into a computer for photo transfers and power.
It sells for less than $100 and might be a viable answer to photographers who decide that it's time to digitize slides or negatives. I suspect that it's painfully slow (I don't buy the 'instantly' in its description) and that its 1829 dpi scans will not satisfy professional or advanced enthusiast. However for less demanding others, this device -which is called a digital picture converter- might be ideal. Why it's not called a scanner? I have no idea.
If it sounds interesting, click here