Depending on your age, there’s a decent chance you have an old shoe box full of older film negatives. Maybe you’ve been putting off digitizing those negatives for years because it’s too much of a hassle. Maybe you’ve tried DIY contraptions that let you “develop” them with your phone camera. Regardless, Kodak just introduced a much easier alternative, and it may be cheaper than third-party services if you have a lot of film negatives to convert.
The contraption is called Kodak Scanza, and it’s a tube-shaped film scanner that converts your film negatives into ordinary JPEG images. The scanner is small and relatively cheap at about $170 USD; it comes with attachments that support various common film types, including 35mm and Super 8. Users choose the right attachment, choose the scanning settings, and then feed the film negatives into the scanner. Simple.
Scanza has a built-in screen for controlling the scanner and adjusting the image scan settings as desired. Users who plan to post-process the images in Photoshop or Lightroom can connect the scanner directly to their computer and scan the images to it, no drivers necessary. Alternatively, users can insert an ordinary SD card into a slot on the scanner and save the JPEG files to it.
The scanner converts the film negatives (including film negative slides) into digital images with a 14-megapixel resolution, which is adequate enough for most casual needs (eg, uploading to Instagram and Facebook). If you need a higher resolution for printing a decent-sized print, though, Kodak’s product can boost the resolution up to 22-megapixels, though that sort of digital resolution increase could result in a slight quality drop.
Kodak was recently showing off the Scanza scanner at CES; it has announced its launch for the US market, where it will sell the product on Amazon. The scanner ships with the various adapters for different film types; you’ll need to supply your own SD card, as well as your own HDMI cable if you want to connect the scanner to an external monitor or television. The product isn’t available yet, but a listing is live on Amazon, so sales should start soon.