Answers to your FotoBridge questions
FAQ's About Print, Slide and Negative Scanning
FAQ's About Movie Film-to-Digital Packages
FAQ's About Video-to-Digital Packages
FAQ's About Print, Slide and Negative Scanning
1. Why choose FotoBridge?
We focus on providing the highest quality digital services by delivering the safest, most affordable, hassle-free packages available anywhere. Our dedicated, domestic, state-of-the-art facility and committed team enable us to provide industry-leading value in the form of fast turnaround times, quality results, and secure handling. Simple flat-rate/inclusive pricing means you'll always know the exact total price of our services before you commit to a purchase. And our exclusive "Intelligent Digital Finishing" (IDFSM) process means your digital images will be enhanced for outstanding results. When you place an order with us, you'll know the exact status of your order from start-to-finish and be assured that your photos and digital images are securely delivered back to you in the shortest possible time.
2. How can I be sure my photos are safe?
Our simplified shipping and handling process utilizes secure 3rd party shippers (FedEx, UPS) so that you have full automated tracking while your photos are in transit to/from our location in New Jersey, USA. Upon receiving your photos, we immediately secure your photos at our dedicated intake station and log your order into our system. At the same time, we email you a receipt confirmation and prepare your photos for scanning. Our significant scanning capacity allows us to stage and scan orders quickly, thus capturing a permanent, infinitely secure digital backup of your photos at the earliest possible point in the conversion process. We retain digital backups of your photo collection for 30 days from receipt date, well beyond the time you receive your original photos and images back from us. You will receive a 2nd notification once your photos are scanned and processed, and a 3rd email notification, with tracking information confirming that your original photos and new digital images are enroute, safely back to you. Our simplified shipping and handling process provides a reliable, visible, continuous and integrated chain of custody for your valuable photo collection along with backup redundancy early in the process.
3. What type of original photos and formats do you digitize?
We provide photo print-to-digital, 35mm slide-to-digital and 35mm film negative-to-digital packages. All print, slide and negative transfer packages include conversion of color and black & white originals.
Please keep in mind, black and white negatives are done on "best efforts" since digital ICE is not very effective on black and white film - and if it has any defects, fine scratches will be revealed in scans.
For photo print-to-digital packages, original photographic prints may range in size from 2 in. x 2.5 in. to 8.5 in. x 12 in. and must be free of any backing or mounting materials (original photographic paper only). Slide-to-digital packages include transfer of standard 35mm slides with conventional mounts. Negative-to-digital service includes 35mm film rolls, strips and APS cartridges.
4. How do I choose the right print-to-digital package?
Our standard and most popular print-to-digital packages provide scanning of your original photographs at 300dpi, which has become the standard for prints. The vast majority of prints that exist today were printed at 300dpi or less, so scanning at higher dpi settings rarely yields better results. In fact, sometimes ultimate image quality can be compromised if lower dpi prints are scanned at higher dpi settings (extraneous, unwanted information can be amplified).
While standard 300dpi is the right choice for most photo collections because it consistently delivers excellent results, we recognize there are sometimes reasons to scan at higher dpi settings. For those instances, we offer a "Gold" or "Platinum" option on all print packages. Despite the inference, neither package is necessarily "better" than the standard 300dpi package in terms of ultimate digital image quality. Quite simply, the only difference between the two package categories, and the standard, is that Gold packages are scanned at 400dpi, while Platinum packages are scanned at 600dpi.
So what is dpi and what's the right choice? Dots per inch (dpi) is a term used to describe the size of a printed image on a physical medium (e.g. paper). Strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with digital image quality. However, the term is widely used interchangeably with the equivalent terms "samples per inch" (spi) and "pixels per inch"(ppi) which can influence digital image quality, as a measure of size (in pixels). Typically, imaging equipment manufacturers use dpi to indicate the final pixel size of a scanned image. For example, a 4 in. x 6 in. print scanned at 300dpi will produce an image 1200x1800 pixels in size. The same print scanned at 600dpi will produce an image 2400x3600 pixels in size.
So will the larger image files from a 600dpi scan (Platinum Package) produce better results for your photo collection? Not necessarily, for the reasons cited above, the additional pixels created will not necessarily increase image resolution or quality.
So why offer these package options? Because prints do vary and while 300dpi scans often deliver optimum results for the vast majority of prints, there are cases when higher dpi scans may be desired. Those include cases where the original prints are exceptionally sharp (perhaps shot at fast shutter speeds with a high quality lens) a higher dpi scan may resolve slightly more detail. Also, while 300dpi scans can produce acceptable quality enlargements, 600dpi produce more reliable results when enlarging to twice the original print size.
Bottom-line, we generally recommend our standard (300dpi) package, which has become the standard dpi for photo prints and consistently delivers the best results. For reprint enlargements 2x original size, or unusually sharp original prints, our Platinum (600dpi) option is recommended. Still can't decide? Some customers choose the Gold option, which increases the Gold package from 300dpi to 400dpi.
Once a package is selected, estimate the number of photos in the collection to be digitized (a stack of 100 photos is approximately 1 inch high). Our packages are flat-rate based upon a maximum numbers of photos. For example, to convert up to 500 photos at 300dpi, select our Standard 500 package. For 1000 photos at 600dpi, select our Standard 1000 package and indicate the Platinum option.
5. How do I choose the right slide-to-digital package?
Our standard slide-to-digital and negative-to-digital packages provide images scanned at 2000dpi, which delivers consistent quality results. We also offer a "Gold" and "Platinum" options to increase scan dpi settings to 3000dpi and 4000dpi, respectively. While slides and negatives typically contain more information than prints, the scan dpi considerations are similar - that is - it may largely be a question of original photo quality, condition and ultimate use (such as enlargements). Typically, our standard package provides excellent quality images for online viewing, reprints, enlargements and archiving. Often, the standard package provides the optimum balance of image file size, quality and flexibility.
Slide-to-digital and negative-to-digital packages are flat-rate based upon a maximum numbers of slides or negative images (negative film strips typically contain multiple images). Select the package that corresponds to the number of slides or negative images be digitized. Learn more about Scan Resolutions for Slide and Negative Printing. More about Digital Image Files - Formats and Uses
6. How are your services priced and how will I be charged?
FotoBridge services are all-inclusive, which includes FREE RETURN SHIPPING on all packages. Our low package prices include everything you need to start enjoying and sharing your digital images. Flat-rate, affordable pricing means it's easy to convert entire collections of photographs with a single order. It also means you will know the exact, final charge when you complete your order online. We charge your credit card at time of purchase based upon the packages and optional items selected.
7. What equipment and technologies does FotoBridge use to digitize photos?
We use a variety of the latest, most-advanced, professional imaging technologies and systems available today. Our image capture process utilizes Nikon scanners for slides and Kodak scanners for photo prints. Our Kodak scanners are specially modified models supported by Kodak for dedicated print photograph scanning. Our experience shows both scanning solutions provide consistently excellent scans at all available settings. We maintain our scanners daily to ensure consistent results and frequently replace scanners prior to the end of their lifetime duty cycle. Following scanning, we enhance each digital image through our "Intelligent Digital Finishing" (IDFSM) process. This process combines automated and manual techniques to resolve existing color, exposure, red-eye, highlights and contrast problems present in the original photos. IDF can often salvage poor photos and make good photos look even better (IDF does not correct for physically damaged photos).
8. What is Intelligent Digital Finishing (IDFSM)?
IDFSM is our exclusive image enhancement and correction process. All packages include IDF, there is no additional charge. Unlike most enhancement approaches, IDF "intelligently" selects the best enhancement approach based upon unique requirements of each image (condition, exposure, etc.). IDF combines select system-based approaches with traditional techniques for a solution that ensures each image is rendered at the highest possible quality. As a hybrid approach, IDF improves upon fully manual approaches by minimizing operator subjectivity, and consistently out-performs automated approaches by using criteria-based application. Quality assurance is embedded in IDF through our 100% visual inspection process and automated sampling.
9. How does the process work?
We've designed our ordering process to be quick, easy and secure. From our Pricing page, simply select the package that meets your requirements. By choosing the button that corresponds to the selected package, you'll be prompted to establish an account and automatically transferred to the order form. The order form will default the package you selected and allow you to enter additional packages, options and record special instructions to be included in your order. Upon completing your order, you will be prompted to print 2 copies of the order confirmation.
Next, gather and package your original photos (see below), including 1 copy of the order confirmation in the package containing your photos. Send your packaged photos to us via your preferred secure shipper (FedEx, UPS, USPS*, etc.), noting and retaining the tracking number. It's that simple, once we receive your photos we'll send you email status notifications keeping you informed and documenting the progress of your order. Fast turnaround means you receive your original photos and new images in days, not weeks or months.
10. What exactly do I receive with my completed order?
You'll receive your original photos repackaged in a protective container, DVDs containing high-quality JPEG files, and optionally Text Note Archive image files (see below). You will also receive any other items ordered such as extra DVD copies and Index Prints. Our standard medium is DVD, if you require your images recorded on CD you can indicate that in your special instructions on your order. Approximately 3000 JPEG images files of 4 in. x 6 in. prints scanned at 300dpi can be recorded on a single DVD. The same 3000 images would require approximately 7 CDs.
11. What is "Text Note Archiving"?
Text Note Archiving is an optional service, available on all print-to-digital packages. If you purchase this option, we will scan both sides of your printed photographs and store any text notes or other marks from the reverse side of the print for archiving and informational purposes. The resulting image containing text will be associated with the photo image through sequential file names. For example, the reverse side Text Note image of photo image A000130 will be A000131. Only Text Note image files that contain content will be captured and saved, therefore the number of Text Note image files will only equal the number of photo image files if every original photo contains content on the reverse side.
12. What is an Index Print?
An Index Print is a high-quality printed and bound album containing thumbnail images for all your photos. It is a handy reference for your photo collection when you are not near a computer and provides a quick and easy way to locate images. Learn more about Index Prints.
13. What image file formats are available?
All FotoBridge packages include high-quality JPEG files and "Web-Ready" JPEG duplicates. As an option for slides and negative packages, we include minimally processed, compressed (LZW lossless) TIFF files. Due to the significant size of most TIFF files, this option includes a portable, widely compatible mass USB storage device (for packages in excess of 250 images). TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is a leading commercial format often preferred by professionals for specific purposes and universal platform flexibility.
14. What is the TV DVD Slideshow Movie option?
Available for all packages, you may choose to receive an additional DVD containing a produced, self-playing movie of your photo collection. The movie automatically plays on DVD player equipped TVs. Set to music, the TV SlideShow movie is the perfect way to view and share your collection with family and friends - especially those without access to a computer or internet connection. Select your own music by sending a music CD of your favorite songs along with your order or leave it to our creative folks to choose the tunes for you. Learn more about the TV DVD Slideshow Movie option.
15. How should I package and send my collection?
For prints, gather and organize photos into groups of 100 to 200 of similar size prints (e.g. 3 in. x 5 in., 4 in, x 6 in., 5 in. x 7 in., etc,). Generally, a stack of 100 photos will measure 1 inch in height. Place photo stacks of approximately 200 photos or less into zip lock bags and seal. For additional protection, prior to sealing, place an index card over the top of the stack and secure with a rubber band around the entire stack. FedEx, and UPS all offer secure, protective envelopes and packaging options that work well for photo prints. Generally, protective envelopes can be used for collections of 500 photos or less, while boxes are best for more than 500 photos.
For slides, remove slides from carousels or slide pages, group in stacks and secure in zip lock bags or in plastic wrap. Slide boxes or magazines can be sent using zip lock bags and rubber bands to secure. Fotobridge now offers a new slide tray and carousel service. We remove your slides, scan them and return both the slides and carousels (separately) with your new digital images.
Conveniently, nearly all the 3rd party secure shippers (FedEx, UPS) offer free pickup services and will even deliver envelops and packaging to your home or office location. Many secure carriers provide similar services.
Prior to sealing your package for shipping, be sure to include one copy of your printed ORDER CONFIRMATION inside the package with your photos. Once packaged, select your preferred carrier and send your photos to FotoBridge at:
16. Does FotoBridge offer FREE Shipping?
All packages include FREE Return Shipping within the United States, using secure 3rd party shippers.
17. How do I contact you if I have questions?
You may call us during business hours (9:00am-5:00pm eastern, Monday through Friday) at 856-809-9400 or 877-809-FOTO (3686). You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a fax at 856-809-9480.
18. Who are some of Fotobridge's clients?
We do lots of scanning for imaging and photography professionals, businesses, organizations and people just like you. See a list of select clients by market segment.
* USPS offers email-based tracking and confirmation as an additional option.
Movie Film-to-Digital Packages FAQ's
1. Which movie film formats are included and how much does it cost?
Our simple, flat-rate Movie Film-to-Digital Packages apply to 8mm, Super8mm, and 16mm movie film. Packages cover up to a maximum quantity of film, measured by linear feet (up to 250', 500', 1000', 2000', 3000', 5000', 10000'). The table below provides guidance for estimating linear feet by reel size:
Reel Size Linear Feet 8mm Run Time (Approx.) 16mm Run Time (Approx.) 16mm will be transferred at the proper speed.
16mm variable in reel size (hubs vary) and in fps 18 - 24 (how it was shot) 2000' can = a 15 inch reel.
See Pricing Tables for current Package Pricing
2. What is included in Movie Film-to Digital Packages?
Our Packages include complete inspection, cleaning, standard repairs, professional high-quality digital capture, standard edits, audio capture, standard background music (easy listening, for film without audio), title, enhancements and necessary adjustments needed to produce superior clarity and true-color restoration. Every package also includes FREE return shipping.
All standard packages include DVD(s) video discs (DVD-R) playable on virtually all commercially available DVD players and DVD equipped computers. Platinum Package upgrades include a 320GB -1TB Hard Drive containing uncompressed AVI file(s) or MOV files suitable for editing and further modification either directly from the included 320GB-1TB Hard Drive or from files transferred to PC/MAC (Specify PC or MAC)
3. How much film can be digitally preserved on a single DVD?
What are the sizes of Platinum option uncompressed AVI files?
Each DVD disc can hold up to 2 hours or about 1600 feet of 8mm, 2000 feet of Super8mm or 3200 feet of 16mm film (variable for 16mm). The uncompressed AVI file(s) delivered on a hard drive included with the Platinum option are typically about 5GB for every 300 linear feet of 8mm film or 2.5GB for every 300 linear 16mm film.
4. How should I package and ship my film to FotoBridge?
Group and organize by film type (8mm, Super8, 16mm) and number reels in the sequence to appear on DVD/Drive. Protect the film together with any other media (prints, slides, negatives, video tape, etc.) you include for the order with packing material and place in shipping box. Prior to sealing your package for shipping, be sure to print and include one copy of your online ORDER CONFIRMATION inside the package. Once packaged, select your preferred carrier (with package tracking) and send to FotoBridge at:
Video-to-Digital Packages FAQ's
1. Which video tape formats are included and how much does it cost?
Our simple, flat-rate Video Tape-to-DVD Packages apply to VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, BetaMax, Video 8, Hi8, Digital-8, and MiniDV. Packages cover up to a maximum quantity of tapes (up to 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100 tapes). The maximum number of tapes per package is based upon 2 hours of run time per tape. Therefore, 5 (five) tapes that each contain 4 hours of content require a Video Tape 10 Package (20 hours of runtime (5 tapes, 4 hours each) divided by a standard tape run time of 2 hours equals %10% package tapes).
See Pricing Tables for current video transfer Package Pricing.
2. What is included in Video Tape-to DVD Packages?
The Video Tape packages includes: Professional high-quality digital capture of 2 hours on VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, BetaMax, Video8, Digital8, Hi8, and MiniDV Tapes. Audio capture and enhancement. DVD(s) video disc (DVD-R) playable on virtually all commercially available DVD Players. FREE return shipping. Platinum Package upgrades include a 320GB -2TB Hard Drive containing uncompressed AVI file(s) suitable for editing and further modification either directly from the included 320GB-2TB Hard Drive or from files transferred to PC.
How much video can be captured on a single DVD? What are the sizes of
Each DVD disc can hold up to 2 hours of high quality video. The uncompressed AVI file(s) delivered on a hard drive included with the Platinum option are typically about 16GB for every hour of video.
4. How should I package and ship my videos to FotoBridge?
Group and organize by type (VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, BetaMax, Video 8, Hi8, Digital-8, and MiniDV) and number in the sequence to appear on DVD/Drive. Protect the tapes together with any other media (prints, slides, negatives, movie film, etc.) you include for the order with packing material and place in shipping box. Prior to sealing your package for shipping, be sure to print and include one copy of your online ORDER CONFIRMATION inside the package. Once packaged, select your preferred carrier (with package tracking) and send to FotoBridge at: