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What is reflective scanning and are there other kinds of scanning methods?

There are two primary methods of scanning old photos; reflective and transmissive. Your Kodak Picture Saver Scanner uses reflective scanning to digitize printed photos.

A light inside the scanner shines onto the picture, as it passes through the scanner. High-quality sensors 'see' the reflecting light pattern, similar to the human eye. A sophisticated algorithm then converts the signal into a digital image, just are our brain interprets images we look at into a recognizable format.

Alternatively, legacy photos may be archived as negatives or slides.  Light needs to pass through one side of the image and be displayed out the other for us actually to see them. Transmissive scanning is used to accomplish digitization of photos recorded in these formats. The scanner passes light through the slide or negative and sensors 'see' the transmitted light pattern on the other side. Just as in reflective scanning, an algorithm changes the signal into a digital image.

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