Hands-On Review: Wolverine PD20 Photo Digitizer

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Wolverine has announced their latest scanner, the PD20 Photo Digitizer. Handling prints up to 5 x 7”, it is ideal for people who have stacks of photos that they need digitized quickly. It scans extremely quickly and stores images on an SD card or internal memory.

With some practice I was able breeze through a stack of 36 prints in about 4 minutes, which translates to approximately 5 seconds per photo. Just as impressive as the quick scan time is the fixed-focus CMOS sensor, which produces 20-megapixel digital images at 5472 x 3648. That is large enough to turn your 5 x 7” print into a high-resolution image that you can now color-correct, crop, retouch, and then share with your friends and family.

One of the great things about this scanner is that it is a stand-alone unit, so you don’t have to have it connected to a computer while you’re working. You can simply save your digital images to the internal memory, or to an SD/SDHC memory card, and then transfer them to a computer at your convenience. This, plus having a modest footprint, is especially beneficial; I took the scanner to an empty table, did my scanning there, and then took my SD card back to my cluttered desktop to transfer the scans to my computer. No software is needed either; you just plug in the USB or SD card and drag and drop the files to transfer the photos directly to your hard drive. It couldn’t be easier. 

The PD20 comes with alignment brackets for three common print sizes: 3 x 4”, 4 x 6”, and 5 x 7”. These frames simplify the process of aligning photos so I didn't have to straighten the scanned image in an editing program afterwards. One technique I found to be very helpful was staging stacks of photos based on size so the adapter didn't have to be swapped out repeatedly; scanning a run of a single-size print goes much faster than switching from one size to another for each scan. Once you get a working system down, it becomes quick and easy to place a photo in the PD20, digitize it, remove it, and put another photo in its place.

On the outside of the digitizer is a 2.4” color preview screen. This is extremely helpful because it allows you to adjust the color balance and brightness before you make the scan. Once again, this is a huge time saver. There are even two options for the color and brightness control, auto and manual, so if you’re not comfortable making the adjustments, just let the scanner do the work for you.

An additional feature of the PD20 is the TV-out jack. This is a convenient feature that allows you to display images from the SD card or the internal memory directly onto your television, a perfect way to show off your work to large groups of people.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use scanner, at only 2.8 lb, and 8.5 x 8.5”, the lightweight PD20 is a great solution to digitizing that stack of photos you have sitting around, waiting to be seen.

For more information about the Wolverine PD20 Photo Digitizer, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online for a Live Chat.

Scan Sensor CMOS
Maximum Resolution 20 MP: 5472 x 3648 
Color Depth 24-bits per channel
Focus System Fixed
Scan Speed 5 seconds per image
Internal Memory 112MB
Memory Card Slot SD
Computer Interface USB
System and Software Requirements None
Light Source LED
LCD 2.4” (6.1 cm) LTPS
Power Source 5.0 VDC
Dimensions 8.5 x 8.5 x 5.3" (21.6 x 21.6 x13.5 cm)
Weight 2.8 lb (1.3 kg)

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I would like to know if the scanner can be used to scan black and white prints.

Yes, the PD20 Photo Digitizer can scan black and white prints as well as color prints.

I would like to know what kind of output the "TV-Out" is? I'm thinking adjusting capture settings using the 2" display isn't very accurate -- and wondered if there would be any use in connecting it to a calibrated monitor to make the capture (albeit basic/simple) adjustments that way -- and then fine-tune in Photoshop/Lightroom, etc.

Hi Brandt -

It is a composite video output which employs this connection cable:

The Wolverine TV Out Cable provides a way to view your converted images on any television without having to transfer them first. The cable is compatible with HD & standard definition televisions and is designed for the Wolverine PD20.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Does it scan slides and negative film?

It does not scan slides or negatives. It will scan 3x4", 4x6", and 5x7" photos only.

I'm interested in this product, but some reviews I've read said the quality of the scan was poor and that there were a lot of artifacts on the scanned images. Can you please give me your professional opinion? And what alternatives do you offer / recommend?
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Ron

Hello,

One issue is the surface texture of your prints you are planning on scanning. Many lab prints came in a semi matte or luster surface which was finger print resistant. The fine texture in the print surface the scanner picks up and depending on what you do with the file can be seen in a print. This is why many Pro Photographers would give Semi Matte proofs to discourage their customers from scanning the proof prints and making enlargements. If you plan on making files for posting electronically or on the web, the scanner is good choice.

You can not keep dust, lint off the glass.

I agree....the dust was terrible...there was no way to keep it off the mirror. I just returned my device to the store.

Will it or can it be adapted to scan 4" x 4" ...such a common format from years ago...

The three size options are n 5"x7", 4"x6" and 3"x5".
For 4"x4" you could use the 4"x6" size and crop the edges afterward if needed.