So here’s the story. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get an unknown quantity of slides from my father’s files scanned and into digital form without any undue risk. I didn’t want to hand this delicate job off to just anyone, with my family memories at stake. After some research, I finally selected Dijifi (spell out), located in Brooklyn New York. They had excellent Yelp reviews and a Superior Performer Award from Angie’s List.
They have an awesome web-site, full of technical details about their process, scanning equipment, and all the options available. They scan slides, photo prints, 35mm negatives, 110 negatives, video, you name it. One really nice item was a cost estimator page, where you can select from all the different options and get an idea of much it will cost.
There are two levels of scanning resolution: Standard which produces enough detail for viewing full-screen HD. This gives you slides in 2500 DPI and photos in 300 DPI. The second level, Full Resolution, will get you exactly twice that.
They offer three kinds of processing: 1) raw: They do the best possible scan, but no post-processing. 2) Direct: Adds rotation and hand cropping. 3) Complete: all the previous plus hand adjustments to color and contrast. I selected option 2 with standard resolution for $.68/slide.
I felt that, as an expert PSE user, I could do my own editing and not spend money for them to edit pictures I might not need.
Output options include JPEG or TIFF formats to USB drive or CD or DVD. Small orders (1 GB or less) can be sent via email or FTP. For the USB drive option, you can provide the device or they can, for an additional cost of $20 to $100 depending on the device you select. I opted to provide a thumb drive (formatted for FAT32) since I was shipping the slides to them anyway and that was OK for them.
Even with all the info on the web-site, I still had questions, like what was the basic process for getting this done? How big are the resulting JPEG files? What happens if I’m not happy with the results? I sent a laundry list to their contact email and within 12 hours, got a lovely response from Alex, the office manager. He answered every one of my questions, while relieving my anxiety with his quick response and detailed information.
One of the issues I wrestled with was whether to send all the slides at one time or just send a few to see how well Dijifi would work. Alex explained that, if I put a note in with the slides, they could just scan 3 or 4 and email me the results so I could get a preview of the quality. Note, however, this is not free. I paid $12 for them to scan 4 slides and email me the results. But that was less than the whole pile if I didn’t like what they did. So this feature made it easier for me to commit to sending everything.
I spent one day sorting through the piles and picking out boxes for scanning, focusing on family trips and get-togethers. I didn’t bother checking every single slide, thinking that would take way too long and the cost of scanning worth not using my time. The digital files would be much easier to review and edit afterwards.
Then I packed up 13 small boxes into one big box. I added a note to do the pre-scan. Plus contact information (email and phone). Then I committed the whole thing to the tender mercies of Fedex Ground. I spent the next 4-5 days trying not to think of my family history vanishing in a fiery truck crash or floating away to disappear forever into a landfill. However soon I received a call from Brenda at Dijifi. With her help, we made arrangements for the preview scans, I provided credit card information, and they were off.
Dijifi was great. They told me exactly what was going to happen. They emailed me detailed invoices. They maintained my box organization in the scan file folder scheme on my thumb drive, with a folder for each box. So it was easy to locate specific files and match them to the slides. They shipped everything back nicely packed. I was so happy, not just to have my slides back safely, but to have a big selection of digital files for future family slide shows. A good experience altogether. I can definitely recommend Dijifi for photo scanning.
My final cost: $327 to scan 481 slides, $8 to copy to thumb drive, $40 for shipping, $12 for the preview, for a total $387
Time spent: 1 day for me to sort slides, a little over 4 weeks to process and ship back and forth
Dijifi worked for me at dijifi.com.