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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 two AA batteries.
The scanning window is smaller than a desktop scanner, 4×6 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.