My father was a good photographer. One of the few not-so-frugal purchases he made was a decent 35mm camera. He carefully doled out pictures as he documented holidays, birthdays, and vacations. That caution ended once grandchildren arrived. Entire rolls of film were devoted to getting a good shot of a toddler picking green beans in grandpa’s garden. The benefits of digital cameras didn’t entice him. He was getting his money’s worth out of a 40-year-old camera.
Now that my parents are gone, my siblings and I are left with a bounty of these images. We have 17 containers of slides and countless boxes of photos, most carefully saved with negatives. We agreed to scan and share them but the prospect is daunting.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to receive a review model of Ion’s PICS2SD. This surprisingly compact, lightweight unit doesn’t need a computer to work. It scans prints, slides, and negatives directly onto an SD card or, if preferred, can be connected to a Mac or PC.
Now I’m the least technologically savvy person around. So it’s no surprise that it took me a while to get the hang of the PICS2SD. Instead of sliding photos into the side of the photo holders I tucked them in the top, which explains why one photo slipped out and scurried around inside unit until I cajoled it out. And it explains why I kept forgetting to check the screen to adjust the scan for the correct photo size. My father probably didn’t cut off my son’s head in the photo above but I’m too lazy to rescan. But I’ve caught on. I’m not entirely thrilled with the photo resolution (see what you think of the images included with this review). I do like the freestanding nature of the unit. I’m not stuck at the computer using a flat scanner. I scanned about 50 photos in one sitting right in our family room, holding up pictures and telling my kids about them.
That, however, is the biggest glitch I’ve found in scanning pictures. It has nothing to do with the PICS2SD. No, it’s a beast that grabs hold and won’t let go. We call it “memory” but surely it deserves a word more fierce. A simple pile of photos brought me laughter and sorrow. It transported me through time to long-ago campfires and birthday cakes and people now gone. I find myself lingering over a bagel that was worn before it was eaten and to relaxed kids on a worn-out back porch. I know we need to hold on to each moment as it’s happening. I’m glad the moments my father captured on slides and film can now be easily shared with everyone in the family.