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Scanners on a Shoestring
See why budget scanners are a big deal for family historians.

See why budget scanners are a big deal for family historians.

A tip for scanner shoppers: Think cheap. Whether you're getting your first flatbed or looking to replace your old one, entry-level scanners should be at the top of your list. They don't have the commercial scanning prowess of top-of-the-line gizmos, of course, but they're definitely up to handling your family history tasks. You can get a surprisingly powerful scanner for less than $100: Introductory models now boast 600 to 1,200 dpi optical resolution—more than adequate for producing photo-quality images—and at least 42-bit color (the higher the bit-depth, or bits per pixel, the richer the colors). They come with all the software you need to create, edit and share digital copies of your family photos and documents.

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