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# Thursday, August 02, 2012
Scanning Old Family Photos With Flip-Pal
Posted by Diane


Now that we're carrying the Flip-Pal mobile scanner in ShopFamilyTree.com, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I gave it a try on one of my favorite pictures: My great-grandparents on their porch in Bellevue, Ky., about 1925, judging from my grandma's age (she's the baby).

The scanner is nice and light, about the size of a book, and it runs on four AA batteries. The scanning window is smaller than a desktop scanner, 4x6 inches, so you need to scan a larger document in parts and then stitch them together. (The scanner comes with Easy-Stitch software to do this.)

You can scan at a resolution of 300 or 600 dpi. 300 is the lowest recommended dpi for images you want to digitally archive, and will allow you to make a good print that's the same size as the original photo. 600 dpi is even better, because you can enlarge the photo before printing it.

I tried the Sketch Kit, sold separately from the scanner, which lets you annotate photos and documents in a low-tech way. It's a clear acrylic panel you place over your picture and write on with an erasable marker, like so:



Then to scan the annotated photo, you pop out the Flip-Pal lid, flip the scanner over and press the big green button to scan the Sketch panel on top of your picture:



(I kept accidentally pressing the green button during the lid removal and flipping.) Here's that scan:



You'll also want the photo itself, minus the Sketch panel. For that, you pop the lid back in and place the picture face down on the scanner, as you would for a desktop scanner. The scan:



The images are saved onto an SD card. I discovered just this morning that my computer here at work has an SD card reader—perfect. (The scanner is also compatible with wireless Eye-fi SD cards.) If you don't have a card reader, you can plug the card into the included SD-to-USB adaptor and stick that into your computer's USB drive.

You can see technical specs for the Flip-Pal scanner here and FAQs here. I did these two quick scans without reading instructions, but I'll check them out to learn more about the scanner settings and how to use the stitching software.

You can find the Flip-Pal scanner and accessories such as the Sketch Kit  and a carrying case in ShopFamilyTree.com. If you're trying to decide whether to buy, we've also got a Flip-Pal product review article download.

Got a bunch of family photos and heirlooms you need to archive and share? Learn how in our Aug. 9 Digitize Your Family History webinar.

Editor's Pick | Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Thursday, August 02, 2012 1:02:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [12]
Monday, August 06, 2012 3:32:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Good review, except the Flip-Pal takes FOUR double A batteries, not two. You can only tell this when you change the batteries, The Stitch program works pretty well on larger photos and is easy to use. Just make sure you scan small enough areas that the program can recognize where to stitch the pieces together.

I'm loving mine; like the portability and the fact that you don't need to take photos out of albums or frames to make copies. I recommend it, especially for those whose relatives would rather not let their family photos out of their sight!

Lin
Lin Robinson
Monday, August 06, 2012 8:59:12 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thanks, Lin, I'll fix the post!
Diane
Diane
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:35:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
this ediot below me lol.. tell her its perfectly fine and legal to use snaencrs. firt of all yes there is websites with snaencrs, but they might not be in the area you want them in. for example you might pick up freq from somewherels in the country and they also may not be live
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 9:34:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I just bought a Flip-pal and can't wait to try it out! I will be going on 2 trips soon to visit relatives and hope to be able to scan family photos they may have. The portability is what really attracted me to this product.
Gail
Thursday, August 16, 2012 8:46:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I'm really eoijynng the design and layout of your blog. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Excellent work!
Friday, August 17, 2012 7:00:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1:41:50 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thanks for sharing Mashinka! I enjoyed looking at them very much, they&#8217;re lovely. I too really like the &#8216;girl with bird.&#8217; I love the red bird on top of her head and I especially like how it is against a bright green background. Great color choices, red and green are recognized as complimentary colors meaning they really make one another look good. They make each other really vibrant.

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