October 25, 2016

Epson FastFoto FF-640

Startlingly quick scanning for photos and documents

If you’re like me, you’ve mostly given up on dedicated scanning hardware in favour of your smartphone. There’s an app for that, after all. Several.

This approach is more than fine for basic document and receipt scans, but there’s one area where dedicated scanners remain a requirement: photo scanning. I suspect most of us have boxes hidden away somewhere with old family photos. Treasure chests of memories.

With photo searching and cataloguing options becoming so exciting these days, it’s a shame to have all those memories locked away in print form where they can’t be easily re-discovered, shared, and enjoyed. That’s where Epson’s FastFoto FF-640 comes in.

What once seemed like a daunting task—scanning hundreds of old photos—has been turned into a quick and painless procedure. It’s even sort of fun. The FastFoto FF-640 is compact, wickedly fast, and smart. I was scanning my first photo batch within ten minutes of opening the box, and the one-touch operation made it possible for me to get my grandparents involved in digitally archiving our photos.

Two features in particular stand out to me. The first is the scanner’s intelligent FastFoto software assistant that pops up when you press the scanning button. It makes it easy to designate batches of photos, sorting and naming them according to your preferences to make it easier to file them away correctly. Second, the FastFoto will automatically detect the presence of written or printed text on the backs of photos and scan both sides of a photograph when it does. You can even adjust how sensitive it is to make sure it’s only scanning actual messages and not photo paper logos!

I should also point out that this makes a terrific document scanner. It can chew through a pile of old tax records or bills in seconds, leaving you with a tidy little PDF file that it assembles itself. It even corrects skewed pages, enhances text, and can automatically upload scans to Dropbox or Google Drive for you.

In short, the Epson FastFoto FF-640 is the most capable scanning solution I’ve ever used. It doesn’t take up a lot of space on a desk, it’s almost unbelievably fast, and best of all it operates quietly. It’s just as convenient and immediate as using your phone, but with no compromise in scan fidelity.

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