What is the best way to transfer print photos to digital format?
Probably the easiest way is to scan them using a scanner similar to one of these: http://goo.gl/f3Jjx . Some make it easy and automatically crop what you are scanning.
There has also been ideas of people taking pictures of photos with a digital camera and loading them onto their computer. This solution will probably take more work, but is also viable.
If you want the highest quality image possible, you need to use a flatbed scanner. Make sure that the photograph and the glass are clean and free of dust. If your photographs are glossy, make sure that the scanner is set accordingly otherwise the colors will really be off in the digital image. To preserve the quality of the image (and allow for future reprints) the scanner should be set to scan at a resolution of at least 200dpi. Of course higher resolutions are better, but the time to scan as well as the disk space you need for storage can become quite large.
A scanner works well if it's a high quality scanner, a clean photo, and you have software (such as GIMP of Photoshop) to save, size, enhance, etc. the photo with after it has been scanned. However, it can be a royal pain to scan any kind of textured print. Those fare much better copied with a digital camera. You'll need a large light source, such as a big softbox, set up behind the camera, which will fill in all of the small crevices in the grid and give you a better final result. When scanned, the textured prints tend to look soft and/or noisy.
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