If you look back you will remember that Google launched a few years ago FotoScan , an application focused on scan old photos . Its main advantage was that it allowed to eliminate the brightness of the photos to make a perfect scan, thus preserving the image printed on photographic paper for posterity in digital format. Today, and after having seen the advances presented in thein the field of Artificial Intelligence, We wanted to try it and check the results by ourselves.
The application is available for iOS and Android , and its operation could not be easier. All you have to do is open it, focus it on the printed photo, and shoot. The application turns on the flash and asks you to move the camera to a series of white circles that appear in the corners of the image. In that way, PhotoScan manages to eliminate the brightness They could appear by taking a photo, which is what anyone who does not know this application would do.
It also allows you to adjust the corners so that the cropping of the photo is as accurate as possible.
We have chosen five photos, each more worn, to put the application to the test. Each one of them is different. There are people, landscapes, a black and white of the 70s and a sepia tone with some superficial damage . We have scanned them with natural light using a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with Android Oreo . The results … judge for yourself.
The faces have been blurred for reasons of privacy.
The application generates some quite large files, between 1.5 and 3 MB, and with a maximum size of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels . All are stored in the internal memory of the mobile. The truth is that, a boat soon, we could think that the images will look good and its quality will be decent, but the tests tell us that not always. The photos, such as, look good , although the app adds some watercolor effect in some of them that makes them lose sharpness and detail . The problem comes when we expand them.
On the left, the original photo. On the right, a 100% increase at the child’s hand .
On the left, the same photo scanned with a reflex camera. On the right, a 100% increase at the child’s hand .
As you can see, the first image, although it maintains the saturation of the original photo, loses a huge amount of detail and it looks too much, too much clarity . In addition, in the result obtained with FotoScan, you can see the grooves of old photographic paper. The scanner made with the DSLR camera offers a more natural result , with better quality and more luxury of detail. In addition, the photos taken with the SLR allow its subsequent edition if they have been taken in RAW.
On the left, the original photo. On the right, a 100% increase in the belt .
On the left, the same photo scanned with a reflex camera. On the right, a 100% increase in the belt .
Although the result obtained with FotoScan respects the colors better, The quality of the image taken with the SLR is much higher . The image has more detail and, although the furrows of the photographic paper are also appreciated, the photo shows more quality. The result is even, yes, but the DSLR wins, at least in my opinion.
On the left, the original photo. On the right, a 100% increase in windows .
On the left, the same photo scanned with a reflex camera. On the right, a 100% increase in windows .
In this case, maybe by the photo itself, the result obtained with FotoScan is, in my eyes, slightly higher . The application has got eliminate the brightness of the laterals and the definition is something better. The image taken with the SLR camera is not bad, but the camera can not avoid the brightness that appears on the right and left. FotoScan takes the point.
Is it worth to use FotoScan? It is not that it is the best alternative , but if you do not have a scanner at home, no camera or photo editing software, yes. The application meets its objective and the result, far from being perfect, fulfills its purpose. Further, the photos are automatically backed up in Google Photos , so you will not have any risk of losing them.
On the other hand, it is still true that you will rarely zoom to an old photo . What the user wants to achieve with this type of apps is to have a backup, so the quality obtained is more than enough. It could be better? Without a doubt, but less gives a stone. Using this app is much more effective than “taking a photo of a photo”. Anyway, FotoScan is completely free, so take a look and judge the result for yourself.