Document Imaging and Scanning from microAdvantage, Inc.


Some Frequently Asked Questions about Our Photo Scanning Services


How does the process work?
  1. Collect all your photos, slides, negative and memorabilia. Place them in zipper plastic bags and then in safe container(s). Empty aluminum foil boxes makes great containers for loose slides. (If you have them grouped by date or event, you can place post-it notes on each group and we’ll be happy to make “digital folders” for you.) Check our Shipping page for more information on how to best pack & store your items. 
  2. Bring or send your items to our facility in Irvine, California. We also offer local pick-up & delivery service in our company van.
  3. If you are sending in your photos, please check out our Shipping page for specific information on how to best pack and ship your precious memories.
  4. We will give you an estimate based on the amount of photos, slides and negatives you bring in or ship to us.
  5. As we scan your photos, we can place thumbnail shots for you to view on our secure server (we’ll give you the password access codes).
  6. When your order is complete we’ll return your originals along with your digital files recorded to disc. Share & enjoy with family and friends. It’s that easy!
How long until I get my files back?

The biggest factor for turnaround time is how many photos you have. For an average sized project of about 500 photos we can generally get your work done within 1 week. If you’d like to see some of your images as we scan, we can post them to our secure server for viewing.

Some of our competitors take more than twice as long to deliver. Why? They have to ship them to and from another country where their scanning is done. It takes a long time to send a crate of photos – twice! You want your images back as soon as possible – let a local company get a faster turnaround for you.

How much does it cost?

We offer the highest quality scanning at the lowest possible price. Check out our competitive and reasonable prices. Check out our quality and our service. In fact, check us out for FREE!. We’re so proud of our high-quality scans and our personalized service that we want you to try us at no cost or obligation. Send us up to five photos or slides or negatives for a free trial scan. Judge the quality for yourself.

On regular orders, we generally ask for a small deposit up front - usually 25% of the estimated order - and the balance will be due when we are finished. We’ll be happy to provide you with an estimate based on the number and type of photos, slides, and negatives you have.

In addition, when your job is complete, review your photos online. Tell us which ones you want to keep. Don’t pay for the ones you don’t want, up to 20% of your entire order. Of course, we’re so sure about our scans we think you’ll want to keep every precious picture.

We also offer Gift Certificates so you can share the benefits of digital film with friends and family. These make great gifts for grandparents and other “keepers’ of the family photos. Just email us or call us and we can send a “Digital Gift Certificate” via e-mail in any amount you wish.

Where will my photos be scanned?

All of our scanning is done in our secure and monitored facility in Irvine, California facility. We proudly scan all your images here in the USA by skilled and careful technicians. We NEVER ship your precious memories outside the country or anywhere else.

What Equipment do you use?

We use the highest quality flatbed scanners on the market, design specially for film scanning. We don’t use “document” or “automatic” scanners that can possibly bend or tear your precious photos. High grade scanning costs a little more but you won’t risk damage to your photos. Plus, the file output is head and shoulders above what you will get with a document or desktop scanner. If you want quality results, choose a company that uses quality equipment.

If you’ve found a company that will scan at bargain basement prices, most likely they are using a document scanner or they are sending your precious memories out of the country, or both. Make sure to ask them. Or better yet, ask us how we treat your family photos – we give them the personal attention and care they deserve!

What type of media do you record to?

We record to CD and DVD-R. DVDs are preferred since you can fit far more photos on one disc, thereby saving you time (less searching though multiple CDs) and money (one DVD versus several CDs).

We use archival quality DVDs from Taiyo Yuden which are considered one of the best in the industry. DVD-R discs are compatible with most of the DVD players on the market and will play in both PCs and Mac computers, as long as you have a DVD drive. One DVD can store up to 1,000 photos. Take good care of your discs - do not touch the back or scratch them – and the DVDs can last for up to 100 years. Of course, we always recommend that you have at least one back-up copy stored in case of accidental damage.

What is DPI? What resolution do you use to scan my images?

DPI stands for "dots per inch", and is a common technical term in scanning but it can be misleading. DPI tells you the number of pixels per inch that a scanner will produce in your scan file. So the higher the DPI, the larger your scan will be in terms of both pixels and file size.

To get the best use out of your photos (you may want to reprint them in addition to viewing them on your computer), scanning at high resolution is important. Sometimes too much resolution is not a good idea since it will magnify every little thing on the photo (like the grain of the paper) or all the scratches on a negative. For most photos, 600 dpi is the right balance to produce a crisp and usable file. For slides and negatives, between 1200 and 2000 dpi generally works best.

However, unlike some scanning services, we don’t use a “one size fits all” approach. We analyze each image based on size and quality and scan each of your photos, slides, and negatives for the best results possible.

What is TIFF format?

TIFF stands for Tagged Image Format File. Basically it’s a more intense way of scanning a file. Pictures are first scanned as TIFF, which creates a very large file size. The file is then compressed to JPEG format, which is the industry standard for viewing photos online and on your computer. It takes much longer to scan a TIFF file so there is a surcharge for this service.

Any Other Questions?

Feel free to contact us. We’d love to help you get your family memories digitized. Seeing the smiles on our customer’s faces when they look at their old photos preserved and digitized is one of our best rewards.

Home | About Us | FAQs | Pricing | Shipping | Contact Us | Directions | Gift Certificates
Photo Scanning | Slide Scanning | Negative Scanning | Document Scanning | Schedule a pickup