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What Is a Digital Photo Converter?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A digital photo converter is a device that can be used to scan physical photographs and create a digital photo file on a computer of that image. These devices are somewhat similar in concept to a scanner, but are intended specifically to function with photographs and often provide other features aimed at that purpose. This type of converter can be designed in various ways, though they often have a frame that holds a picture, which is then placed into the device and scanned to a connected computer. A digital photo converter can also offer some other features, such as scanning of negatives or slides.

Also called a digital picture converter, a digital photo converter is usually relatively small so it can easily fit onto a desktop or other area for use. These devices differ from flatbed scanners in that they often do not create some of the difficulties with hair and dust appearing in the scanned image, which can occur when using a flatbed device. Though different designs are used for these converters, most of them allow a photograph to be inserted into the device, and once inside, the image is scanned to a digital file on a computer.

A digital photo converter usually comes with a number of frames, into which photographs can be placed and then loaded into the converter. This allows the photograph to be held in place during scanning, better ensuring the image is straight and allowing for easy insertion and removal of the pictures. Since these converters do not necessarily come with frames for every size of photograph, however, some users of these devices may not be able to scan all of their photos. The resulting digital image size and resolution depends a great deal on the digital photo converter used, and some devices may allow for better image quality than others.

There are also other features that can be provided with a digital photo converter, depending on the device that is selected. Many of these converters come with software that can be installed onto a computer, to make transferring the digital photos easier and even providing utilities for editing or cropping the converted images. A digital photo converter can also be designed to scan and digitize photographic negatives and slides. These converters often have additional frames for these other types of media, or feature adapters that connect to the converter and scan the negative or slide to create a digital image file.

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