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Organize + scan thousands of photos with Epson Fastfoto FF-680W Review

How to scan thousands of Photos without losing your mind

In depth review and walk-through of the Epson Fastfoto FF-680W, the world’s fastest scanner. How to take a mountain of photos and scan then fast. Digitize your print photo collection and, declutter your life, tidy all your photos Marie Kondo style.

One thing that was dogging me for several years, was this box full of all my photos. When I thought about them, I felt a knot in my stomach, knowing that such a mammoth task was ahead of me.

Inside the giant plastic box, paper and plastic shopping bags full of envelopes and loose photos. Paper sleeves and envelopes of photos and postcards everywhere. This isn’t garbage either. These are my personal photos, my precious memories. As I get older, I realize how important these are. There are things that are front of mind and things that you know in the back of your mind. There there are things that you think you remember, or have completely forgotten. Your photos are like keys that unlock those memories and can transform you back in time and suddenly you remember things that you had completed forgotten, and could have been lost. This is why during disasters, one of the first things that people take with them are their photographs.

So I am facing the possibility of losing these photos, or at least, not being able to look at them easily. I had a dream of one day having them all scanned and safe in my computer. But how? The task seemed too big. I have a flatbed scanner, but this would take forever. There are services that you can use, but I didn’t want to risk shipping my photos and especially didn’t feel comfortable with strangers looking at my personal photos.

Enter the Epson FastFoto FF-680W. Claiming to be the fastest scanner in the world and able to quickly and easily scan, save and even enhance my photos for me. Ok, Epson, you have my interest. This review looks at my experience with this scanner. Most importantly, does it get the job done, meet my expectations and fulfill its promise. That promise, to digitize all my photos with good enough quality and with as small effort on my part as possible.

Here is how Epson describes the FF-680W

  • Powerful Document Scanning — includes Epson ScanSmart Software with OCR; scan receipts, tax records, wills and more, up to 45 ppm/90 ipm4
  • Perfect Picture Imaging System — bring new life to old photos with auto enhancement, color restoration, red-eye reduction, de-skew, crop, rotate
  • Easy Auto-Upload and Backup — instantly share your memories as you scan via Dropbox® and Google Drive™5
  • Single-Step Technology — capture both the image and any handwritten notes on the back in a single scan
  • World’s Fastest Personal Photo Scanner (1) — scan thousands of photos as fast as 1 photo per second at 300 dpi (2)
  • Preserve Your Priceless Photos — SafeTouch Technology for worry-free scanning up to 8.5″ wide, plus postcards, Polaroid photos and panoramas
  • Second-Generation Epson FastFoto Software — Scan, Restore, Organize and Share precious memories; offers intelligent file organization tools.Scanning Speed: Photo Scan Speed (4 x 6 inches landscape): 80 ppm/160 ipm2 (300 dpi color) Document Scan Speed (Letter size): 45 ppm/90 ipm4 (300 dpi color)
  • Flexible Scanning — offers modes for easy sharing (300 dpi), archiving (600 dpi TIFF) and enlarging (1200 dpi (4)); handles multiple sizes in one batch

Using the Epson FF-680W

Check out the video review above to see it in action and also get an in-depth look at the software than comes with it, setup, see it in action and view the results.

You are able to connect wirelessly to your computer, so you can position the FF-680 on a dining room table and work comfortably. The FastFoto is able to scan multiple photos at once. You stack them up on the sheet feeder and it goes to work. The scanning speed is very fast, about a second per photo and you can scan at 300dpi, 600dpi 0r 1200dpi. I like that you can even stack photos of different sizes and it snaps them up quickly. In my test I scanned 2500 photos and not a single photo was damaged. I experienced only 2-3 jams and these were because the photos had stuck tougher. It was very easy to clear the jams, you just pop open the lid and lift them out, fortunately, you don’t have to drag your precious photos out of the mechanism. It’s also full duplex and able to scan both sides at the same time. You can even set it up to detect if there is any writing or notes on the back and only scan the backs with information present.

The quality was “good enough.” Let me explain. I wasn’t going into this, expecting a replacement for a high quality flatbed or drum scanner for professional use. I’m looking for consumer grade quality. I want the photos to be nice and clear, but these are my personal snapshots, not commercial photography and I set my expectations there. I had a fear that the quality might be really bad because of the speed. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the scans as well as the automatic enhancements applied by the bundled software.

Once thing to be aware of, Epson recommends that you clean the glass sensor and rollers every 300 scans or so. I noticed, if you fail to clean regularly, thin lines can appear on the scans because of the accumulated dust. The kit comes with a microfiber cloth to do said cleaning.

I did find that on certain photos, there were still some visible lines on some of the scans even after cleaning, but these are acceptable and easy enough to fix in Photoshop. The bundled software is impressive Epson Fast Photo and Smart Scan. As I mentioned, you can choose auto enhancements, which are examined in detail in my video, as well as examples of the scan quality.

You can also use the FF-680 W as a document scanner. It’s ridiculously fast. In document mode, it also scans back and front. It happens so fast, it’s amazing it can do both sides at that speed and the documents look really good.  It also has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and can turn a page of text into a typed MS word or Excel document in seconds.

Overall, I was really impressed with the Epson FF-680W and highly recommend it for someone who is looking to digitize and preserve their photographs. This tool takes a seemingly impossible task and makes molehills out of mountains. The feeling of accomplishment and peace of mind when you are done, is so good.

All of this does come at a price though, and you will be paying about $530 USD (Street Price. Suggested price $599) for this nifty device.

Get the scanner here:

So overall, I give the Epson FF-680W 4.5 our of 5 and highly recommend it. (If it were a little less inexpensive, I would award it 5 stars).

Thanks for checking out my review



19 responses to “Organize + scan thousands of photos with Epson Fastfoto FF-680W Review”

  1. My mother has all her photos in albums…from the time of her wedding in 1950 through 2017…she has slowed down a bit, but it is on her 2019 to-do list. Yes, it is a lot of photos. How do you scan photos that are in albums? Do you have to tear the albums apart? 😮 no…any hints? This machine looks great if you have ignored all your photos for the past 50+ years. Hope you can steer me to a solution or spread the need to Epson. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Colin. I have tons of photos I need to scan (not as many as you I’m sure). Great to hear positive things about a scanner I have not heard of.

  3. Many thanks for your review. It looks like a great solution for my 20+ years of travel photos. Any suggestions for a quick way to deal with my slides too please?

  4. Hi Colin. I’m actually going the other way. I’m pretty sure that when I’m off to the next world, no one is going to go through my hard drives looking through my digital photo files. They may, however, go through my actual prints and albums. That’s why converting a lot of my 35mm slides to prints is on my to do list. Do you have any recommendations for a decent middle of the road slide digitizer? I’ll use those to make prints for my kids and grand kids!

  5. Hi Colin,
    I like the way you can reach down to average guy and use simple enough speech to explain concepts on Photoshop. Your lessons are very appreciated. While we talk about copying photoes, how about slides. I have shot all my images on slides for years and would love to find a way to digitize than Any suggestions? Should you find the subject worth a look, you would make me a happy man.
    Thanks, Victor

  6. I just purchased an Epson FF-680W scanner…I am impressed and it works as advertised. I read many reviews and watched this video. I am very satisfied with the output quality of the scanned photos. I have a flatbed scanner, but manually loading each photo individually was a ridiculous idea and an activity I was not willing to do…this is the solution for me.

  7. I have about 4000 hard copy photos to scan into FastFoto and then into Lightroom Classic. I know how to use Lightroom, thus this question is not about using Lightroom. However, is there a best way or process to use when scanning from FastFoto to Lightroom? My thought was to make a folder on my desktop and direct all my scans to that folder, then load from it to Lightroom.

  8. Hi Colin,
    thanks for this review. It was very clear and well presented.
    You covered the things I was looking for, but could not find elsewhere.
    Much appreciated,

  9. I have a question to ask. I have scanned a lot of photos and put them into files. After a bit, I decided that some of the files should be combined in a different way. I went into my hard drive and renamed and moved some of the photos. When I am scanning new photos, only the old file names appear and not the new ones I have created. Is there a way to do this?

  10. I am trying to add a few photos to a video when I do the video comes up with files not found. I already have then back up on a flash drive but would like to add 2 pictures, went through everything to make sure I wasn’t out of space anywhere, deleted photos in the FF slot I already had in my photos on the computer, but nothing is working. Any thoughts on how to fix this? Thx

  11. Thanks for the review. I have an Epson Perfection V750 Pro for scanning all my photos. Great for serious people but I have scanned about 50 photos in 4 years. I will NEVER get it done and I have boxes and boxes of photos. It is just too slow and labor intensive. I’m going to try this scanner out. It seems to be exactly what I need. It looks like it works super fast like my Scansnap S1500 but for photos. Maybe it will replace both of mine!

  12. I have all my family pictures and have sort them. However some pictures have more than one family member and I want it to go to each. I don’t know google photo that wel but when it sorts, it finds that picture. Will this have the capability or do I stick with google after I scan. I thought of getting a program like ancestry to see if they had something so my family could look at pictures . I have Had this scanner for quite a while but this big question has held me up. I don’t know how to organize the structure because there’s so many pictures.

  13. Colin: best video for the 680W. BUT< no one talks about stacking them into the machine. The 680 runs them through from the bottom of the stack. – that's backwards. Would I have to stack them from oldest to newest, or does the 680 reverse them and number them properly – from front to back? In what order are they stored?

    • I can’t remember, it was years ago I made this video and I had to return the unit to Epson, so I can’t check for you

  14. It scans them from the front to the back of the stack, so put your 36 pics in reverse order, upside down, It appears to number them from the last one it scanned = 1, and the first one = 36. But when you’ve got a big stack of, say, 150, you’ve got multiple stacks, and it’s difficult to get them to stay in order (the order you want), and you can’t reset the numbering from zero, and so on. It’s caused much heartache at my house! I’m impressed with the enhancement it does to all those scrapbooked photos from the 1970’s, on the fly, Way off-color and flat, and it fixes them up great (good enough for my family archiving project). Don’t use the “auto-rotate fixture”, it always guesses wrong. Also, I happened to have moved some of my camera pics into the folder, and this software opened them, and said they were upside-down, which we fixed, but then when I looked them in Explorer, it turns out they were upside-down there, due to our rotating them. Get it right!
    I’m pleased with the scanner, somewhat with the software, but seeing these 2019 complaints and prices, I’m surprised things haven’t improved any since then. Barely worth my $530, only because I’m swamped, and didn’t see alternatives at Best Buy.

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