• iPics2Go Photo Scanner from ION Audio – Product Review

    iPics2Go from ION Audio

    February 20 2013 – Today we take a look at the iPics2Go from ION Audio. This is a photo scanner (that can also scan negatives and slides) which is available as of today for $29.95 on Amazon.com for our readers in the States. However in Canada finding the unit proved a challenge so our recommendation is to order it from the States if possible or use Google to find who might be selling it currently.


    The Company.

    ION Audio was created in 2003 out of the desire to bridge the gap between the classic and the cutting-edge, between the timeless and the revolutionary. The USB turntable, invented by ION, gives vinyl enthusiasts everywhere the power to bring their music forward even as the music brings them back. Its huge success paved the way for ION’s entire family of conversion products that convert cassettes, VHS tapes, film negatives, CD’s, prints and slides into digital media, ready for archiving and playback on today’s digital technology.

    ION is about more than converting LP’s to MP3’s and film negatives into JPEG’s; we also make products that help inspire music listeners to become musicians themselves. ION makes music creation accessible to everyone by offering instruments that utilize the latest technology and make learning-to-play fun.

    Today, ION is a worldwide company that continues to design innovative products to simplify your life and energize your entertainment. ION has unparalleled resources that enable us to develop exceptional products. Sister companies, Numark, Alesis and Akai Professional bring their industry-leading expertise in DJ gear, musical instrument technology, and music production tools to ION, providing us with unrivaled technological know-how. Whether it’s enhancing your gaming experience, giving you a more exciting and seamless way to enjoy your music, or helping your child learn how to play an instrument, ION takes advanced, exciting technologies and makes them easy to use, transforming them into all-in-one solutions that everyone can understand and afford.

    iPics2Go from ION Audio

    The Product (what it is):

    The iPics2Go is a scanner which does the following:

    • Scan 3X5 inch and 4X6 inch photographs using an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S
    • Scan 35mm negatives using an iPhone4 or iPhone4S
    • Scan slides using an iPhone4 or iPhone4S

    iPics2Go from ION Audio

    Features and specs list:

    The product itself is just essentially a box. Yup you read that right its just a plastic box. Why would anyone pay 30 bucks for a box you might ask? Let me expand. On the top of the unit is the area where one would place their iPhone4/4S and the location is what ION considers to be the optimal placement and height of the phone for scanning. Inside the box are 6 LED lights which are controlled by a power button on the top of the unit. Furthermore there are two slots – 1 halfway up the unit for slides and negatives and 1 on the bottom for the 3X5 or 4X6 pictures.

    Beyond that, the unit itself is a made of black plastic with nice curves on it. The only control on the box itself is a “Power” button which simply turns the LED lights on and off, the rest of the controls for the procedure are on the iPhone 4/4S through an iPics2Go app that one must download from the Apple App Store. The app itself has an instructional video but it is so easy to use that you  really won’t need instructions to use this device. Simply put your photo in the tray, slide the tray in and turn on the power button. Place your iPhone in the slot and turn on the app. That’s it really. Below is a scan of a 3X5 photo of myself from many moons ago.

    iPics2Go Scan of Baby T-Mak

    Once the image has been digitized you will have the option of saving it on your iPhone, e-mailing it, or directly uploading to Facebook. The app then states that the photo has been “color optimized” but users have the ability to edit it a bit more. Three sliders appear:

    “Red – Cyan”
    “Green – Magenta”
    “Blue – Yellow”

    and by pushing a button on the bottom the user is offered two more sliders:

    “Brightness”
    “Contrast”

    Below is a screen capture of the controls.

    The scanning itself is pretty much based on the quality of the iPhone camera as well as the quality of the original photos. As can be seen from the samples one should not expect professional level scanning or reproduction. The lighting is somewhat tricky and something that a user will have to fine tune to get their pictures to look as good as possible. I have included 3 types of photos – a very old baby photo (as can be seen above), a postcard, and a recent photo printed from a digital camera. The results are mixed and the main problem is the consistency of lighting. The postcard scan struggles to show the HDR of the sunset and looks faded where the sun is. The digital photo scan of the pyramids show that the blue skies in the original photo are white on the sides where the LED lights are, and blue in the middle. The end results are rather inconsistent BUT keep in mind the cost and the ease of use. This is not a professional product and should not be mistaken for such.

    iPics2Go from ION Audio – Postcard Scan – Santorini, Greece

     

    iPics2Go from ION Audio – Digital Photo Picture Scanned – The Pyramids in Egypt

    Verdict: 4 out of 5. If you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S we can definitely recommend the iPics2Go at its current price point of $30. Having the ability to easily digitize your photos and even upload to Facebook with a click of a button or two is really cool.

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