An Easy-to-use Image Dig­i­tizer at an Af­ford­able Price

Shutterbug - - Contents - by Jon Sienkiewicz

THE KO­DAK SCANZA is a ba­sic film/slide scan­ner that is well made, very easy to use, and ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing en­try-level scans of your pho­tos. It comes com­plete with a gen­er­ous ar­ray of ac­ces­sories and can save dig­i­tized im­ages on an SD card or out­put them to a PC (or Mac) for stor­age or a TV for view­ing.

Fea­tur­ing a tilt-up 3.5-inch LCD dis­play and a 14MP sen­sor, the Scanza pro­duces JPEG im­ages that are 4320x2880 pix­els (which math­e­mat­i­cally com­putes to 12.4MP) and of­fers op­tional in­ter­po­la­tion to 5728x3824 pix­els, or about 22MP. File size at stan­dard res­o­lu­tion av­er­ages around 1800 Kb. The com­pres­sion ra­tio is un­cer­tain,

but likely in the 20:1 range con­sid­er­ing known data. It should be noted that I could not de­tect any dis­cernible dif­fer­ence re­gard­less of which res­o­lu­tion set­ting was se­lected.


The Ko­dak Scanza in­cludes an as­sort­ment of in­ter­face ca­bles and neg­a­tive adapters. In ad­di­tion to the USB cable and wall plug, you’ll find an HDMI cable and a video-out cable that ter­mi­nates in an RCA Pin Plug.

There are three con­ve­niently numbered film adapters and three slide in­serts to ac­com­mo­date 35mm, 126, 110, 8mm movie films as well as mounted slides. These are not neg­a­tive car­ri­ers per se be­cause they do not lock the film in place, nor do they hold the film par­tic­u­larly flat. In fact, the in­cluded man­ual sug­gests slid­ing film or slides through the adapter, which rel­e­gates flat­ness to a mat­ter of luck.

Also in­cluded is a clean­ing brush that some users may mis­tak­enly use to clean film. Don’t! The purpose of the brush is to clean the scan­ner it­self as per Page 7 of the man­ual.

Not in­cluded but re­quired, one SD mem­ory card.


The sur­pris­ingly com­pact (five-inches

tall) Ko­dak Scanza is well made and con­structed al­most en­tirely of in­jec­tion­molded plas­tic. Ca­bles and adapters are all good qual­ity. It’s un­known how long the in­ter­nal light source will last and there does not ap­pear to be any pos­si­bil­ity for the user to re­place it.


The typ­i­cal user can be scan­ning neg­a­tives within min­utes. The mem­brane key­pad pro­vides on/off, home, and cap­ture switches while three soft keys on the LCD panel trig­ger all other com­mands. Us­ing these keys it’s pos­si­ble to ad­just image bright­ness and red, green, and blue color lev­els. The ad­just­ment in­cre­ments are huge so the smart money is on us­ing the de­fault set­tings and do­ing the fine-tuning in your reg­u­lar image edi­tor.

PER­FOR­MANCE/ OUT­PUT Per­for­mance is con­sis­tent with its price point, which is $169. Dy­namic range of out­put im­ages is quite lim­ited and some fine de­tail is ren­dered in a painterly fash­ion (which was not al­to­gether un­pleas­ant). Start­ing with clean, sharp neg­a­tives ended with rel­a­tively sharp fi­nal im­ages.

Fol­low­ing pack­age direc­tions, I was un­able to avoid the ap­pear­ance of a white band along

the left side of the image. How­ever, af­ter some ex­per­i­men­ta­tion I dis­cov­ered that in­sert­ing the neg­a­tives from the left side in­stead of the rec­om­mended right-hand side solved the prob­lem.

If your need is for very high-res­o­lu­tion scans for pub­li­ca­tion or large prints, the Ko­dak Scanza might not be the best choice. How­ever, con­sid­er­ing its sim­plic­ity and con­ve­nience, the out­put is great for res­ur­rect­ing some of those pre­cious fam­ily mem­o­ries that re­side on cel­lu­lose—and do­ing it fast.


The Ko­dak Scanza is a well-made, easy-touse film dig­i­tizer that can be an en­joy­able and use­ful tool for many pho­tog­ra­phy hob­by­ists. Al­ter­na­tives to con­sider are the com­bi­na­tion flatbed doc­u­ment/film scan­ners such as the Canon Canoscan 9000F Mark II (un­der $200) as well as sim­i­larly priced stand-alone film scan­ners from Braun, Pa­cific Image, Plus­tek, Wolver­ine, and oth­ers.


Fol­low­ing the in­cluded direc­tions, I was un­able to avoid the ap­pear­ance of a white band along the left side of the image (in­di­cated here by the red ar­row). Also, note the painterly ren­der­ing of these build­ings from San­torini is­land in Greece.

Athens, Greece.

Light­house in Canada. Start­ing with clean, sharp neg­a­tives ended with rel­a­tively sharp fi­nal im­ages.

Near the cen­ter of this cropped image of a res­i­den­tial street in Mykonos, Greece, there are two cats that are barely iden­ti­fi­able in this scan. Even so, it was great to be able to dig­i­tize this image quickly and eas­ily, and at such a low cost.

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