The Kodak Picture Saver Scanning System

I’ve been caught in a physical photo archival project for the better part of 5 years.  Yesterday my friend Matt shared a post on the Monroe County Library System‘s website that stated they are currently running a test of the Kodak Picture Saver Scanning System for patrons for free.  I decided I’d take the opportunity to test it out and scan a bunch of my photos in the process.

I used the Kodak Picture Saver Scanning System for the first time today and thought I’d share some of my thoughts before I forgot.


  • Speed.  I processed roughly 300 photos (including proper rotation) in under 30 minutes.
  • Simplicity.  Drop the photos in and press ‘scan’ and let ‘er rip.
  • Stores to Flash media.  No need to wait for CD authoring.  flash media storage is a breeze.
  • Free.  Need I say more?
  • Albums.  It can create albums (or folders) on your flash media based on how you group the photos
  • Constant scanning.  Even though it can only handle 25 at a time, this limitation is just in the ‘tray’.  You can keep dropping photos into the tray and because it scans the back photos first, things stay in order and it can just keep chugging along.
  • Good-Enough photo quality.  It’s not fantastic but it’s good enough.  If you want spectacular scans you really need to go back to negatives and scan those, which requires a great deal more time and work.


  • Works best when photos are in a big row/group.  This requires a ton of up front time before you use the device.  As a result total time savings is tough to calculate.
  • The tray where the photos drop into is not low enough.  The tray slopes down and away from the scanner and as a result sometimes the photos get stuck and you need to move them out of the way or the next photo will go underneath the current photo causing archival ordering problems.  This could easily be avoided simply by increasing the vertical distance from the scanner to the tray
  • The pricing.  Right now it’s free, but it’s very apparent from the Interface that Kodak intends to charge a hefty premium for the service.  At ‘checkout’ you get a breakdown of how many photos you scanned (at what price each) how many photos you applied some special photo editing to, how many you sharpened etc.  Each line has a price associated with it which right now reads $0.00 but this is obviously going to change.
  • Photos are stored to the device first.  This makes sense because of the apparent pricing model but means if a problem arises before you’ve ‘checked out’ it’s possible you could lose all the work you’ve done.
  • Price.  Dear lord the unit is expensive.  This makes sense I guess considering they’re targeting small businesses to put these in rather than consumers.  But For projects like mine, something like this as a consumer device would be excellent.
  • Very old Photos.  Some styles of old photo prints require one by one photo feeding because of the style and texture of the border.
  • Wallet sized prints.  Although the scanner can handle them, the wallet sized photos need to be placed off center to get gripped by the auto-feed rollers.  Also, the resolution when scanning a wallet size photo is too small to be of much use.

The women I talked to at the library seemed to think the User Interface needed some work because many people had been confused by the terms “Next” on basically every screen.  Her exact comment was “next what?”  This seemed sort of silly to me but could also be fixed very easily simply by using terms like “I’m done scanning” or “save photos” instead.  Since there’s been so many complaints this is probably something they should address even if they (like I) think it’s silly.

In Summary:

It might look like there are more cons than pros, but really, it’s an excellent system and the cons I’ve listed are all very nitpicky.  The biggest downfall of the system as I see it is price, and if you act now you’ll get what you need for free.  Don’t think for a second my love for the system has anything to do with my local proximity to the business.  If you remember… the only previous time I’ve written about a Kodak product, I wasn’t too gentle.  Maybe they’ve found a new niche they’re good at?  I don’t know, but I’ll tell you what…

I’ll be making another appointment tomorrow and I will be be going back as often as I can until I finish scanning my photos.


It’s not for everyone but Avatar might just be our favorite movie of all time.  It has a lot going for it and Rachel and I both agree: the estimated 500 million dollar budget was worth every penny.

After 2 hours and 40 minutes, I left the theater in panic mode because it was over and there isn’t yet a sequel.  In the 10 years it took him to make it, James Cameron created a world I don’t want to just visit every 5 years when they release a sequel, I want to live there, now.

To me, that’s a sign of a great movie.  Every movie I’ve ever truly loved has left me with some desire for a part of it to be real.  Everything about Avatar is completely different from the norm and that’s exactly the point.  It’s so unique and different that I wish I could experience it myself.  They even create a rational for how things work rooted in (a tiny bit of) science.  The characters quickly develop into emotional connections, to each other and the audience.  On top of that the effects, the animation, the scenery, everything about the movie was stellar.

We didn’t watch it in 3D, but I’m seeing the movie again with coworkers this Tuesday at the IMAX in 3D so we’ll see how that changes things.  From the first viewing I can only assume it makes it even better.  There wasn’t a ton of gimmicky things flying towards the screen, just a lot of really stunning scenery that would be all the more impressive in 3D.

Filled with even more anticipation than I was before. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer:

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Although written sunday, this post isn’t going up until I’m sitting in the theater on Tuesday.  Wouldn’t want to spoil it for my coworkers by giving them expectations before they see it.

Kodak M1033 Review – Horrible!

Kodak M1033Wow the Kodak m1033 is an incredibly crappy camera!

The camera was so horrible, that after 2 months (1 month of which was a vacation) we returned it.  Rather than go into any lengthy detail I’ll just state my complaints in bullet-list form.  We all like bullet lists right?

  • Crazy noisy zoom.  Very audible during video.
  • Horrendous low light quality.
  • Completely inaccurate (although pretty) color representation.  There was noticeable color processing once the picture was taken.  It almost seemed like HDR photography.  I could find no way to turn this off.
  • Battery life,  at best 200 shots.
  • To ‘view’ photos the camera must first be turned on.
  • Incredibly slow.  Noticeable camera shutter lag and scrolling through photos.
  • Won’t stand up to even moderate use.
  • Incredibly poor HD quality videos except in the absolute best of light conditions.  Not any worse than expected on such a small sensor ‘HD’ video camera, but still it doesn’t do the camera any favors.
  • The battery had to remain in the camera to be charged, using a proprietary plug (not mini-USB).
  • The Camera tagged the photos as coming from the “eastman kodak company kodak easyshare m1033 digital camera” which is an insanely long name.  Most cameras are similar to ‘Canon 40D’ or ‘Sony Cybershot H5’ at the most.  While this seems like a small deal, to a power user like myself it’s actually quite frustrating.

In Summary

We didn’t go out looking for an insanely superior camera to match up to my DSLR.  Our intention was to get a mediocre camera that would be good enough for moments when I didn’t want to carry the DSLR or moments where I wasn’t with Rachel and she wanted to take a decent picture.  The features of the Kodak M1033 seemed to be a step in the right direction from the Kodak cameras I’d seen in the past, and I wanted to give them a shot, being that they’re a local company and all.  After all, $145 for a compact 10mp camera with a 3″ LCD and 720p HD video wasn’t half bad right? It wouldn’t have been, except that the Kodak M1033 couldn’t deliver.

It’s just a downright crappy camera, and I hate to say it but I won’t be buying Kodak ever again, at least not until I hear glowing reviews.

A Week in Review

I’ve had the camera for a little over a week now. However; I’ve only had a memory card for 3 days.  I wasn’t about to pay Circuit City’s prices so I ordered a 16Gb card as soon as I got home. Anyway after finally getting a card I’ve been playing. A Lot. My results aren’t the greatest, and they show I have a lot to learn but it’s been fun.

I’ve uploaded some of my photos from the first week with my 40D. Take a look and let me know what you think.