Google has come out with a new application, PhotoScan, for digital capture of boxes of old snaps. You no longer need to use a scanner and can make use of this smartphone app instead.
No More Scanning
If you have boxes of old photographs in your house that you want to convert into digital ones, here’s your chance. It has to be agreed that scanning photographs can be rather time consuming, especially if you have hundreds of photographs. The new applications PhotoScan will help you to capture all the loose photographs with your phone camera, rather than using a scanner. If it is possible to capture pictures with the smartphone, it is also possible to capture printed photographs.
Taking Pictures of Pictures
It is not merely taking a picture of another picture. In case of taking pictures of another picture, the results are sure to be rather disappointing, unless of course you have a good lighting system set up. This is especially so if the photographs are glossy, so merely placing it on a table and taking a picture of it will offer plenty of glare areas.
How Does PhotoScan Work?
The app makes use of computational photography for stitching all the views of the photographs, so that glare is avoided. The user has to initially find a surface and place the pictures on this surface. It would be useful if the color of the surface is a contrast with the photographs, or if the surface is one single color. Next, you have to open the application and take a picture of the photographs.
The application 4 white dots near the picture corners and a circle appears. The user has to line the circle with the dots, pausing each time to allow the smartphone to take another snap. When all the dot areas have been snapped, there will be five photos, with each being taken from a different angle. The application stitches all these into one photograph and all glare is magically removed.
The app allows the phone camera to take four photographs of the four corners, which results in moving the camera as well as the image a little bit. This repositions the areas of glare and they are erased by the application.
The application works very effectively, though a picture might take around thirty seconds totally. It has to be borne in mind that the application will finally save only the last result and not the five different pieces. Sometimes, the auto cropping might not be very satisfactory, in which case users can rotate the last photo and make adjustments to the corners.
By using the Photos application from Google, you can upload the photos automatically and even save them to the camera of your phone. The app is free available for both iOSphones and Android smartphones and users can download it from the App Store or the PlayStore. However, you need a recent iPhone to make the application work, namely the iPhone 5S or something newer. However, the iPhone 5 and the 5C will not work in case of this application.