Film Scanning

Our Expertise

Film Scanning


Transform your Film Collection with conservation image quality

Digitization of film, slides and other transparent and transmissive materials is especially demanding. Whether a museum, library, corporation or university, institutions looking to preserve their cultural heritage often hold common photographic media like 35mm slide film and microfilm. But your collection may also contain more esoteric material like glass plate negatives, nitrate film, lantern slides, medical x-rays, hand-cut film or large format film. Digitizing these collections requires a combination of preservation image quality, conservation handling, production speed and extensive flexibility. 

Image quality is especially important when scanning film. Film grain is measured in microns and depth of field is razor thin, requiring extremely high-resolution scanning and specially-designed lenses. Accurate color reproduction is also critical, requiring lights specifically designed and manufactured for the purpose. Fragile or unstable photographic materials, especially glass plate negatives and films with a nitrate base, need careful handling to protect them from fingerprints, scratches, excessive heat and further degradation. And fast, modern, enterprise-ready software demands output images in multiple formats that integrate into collections management systems.

That’s where Pixel Acuity really shines.

Our worldwide client base of major cultural and scientific institutions knows us as the authority on heritage digitization, with an in-depth understanding of the issues and challenges of working with your often fragile collections. Pixel Acuity offers specialized skills, techniques and workflow experience, combined with advanced digitization technology purpose-built by our hardware division DT Heritage. Together, our team of experts in hardware, software, services and workflow optimization work hand-in-hand to deliver a seamless experience for film imaging projects of every possible scope.


Why Digitization

Preserve your collection while you unlock its potential

Today, it’s become vital that institutions make the most of their photographic collection in ways that are possible only with the highest quality digitization. That means protecting images from damage and deterioration, while uncovering new applications for these valuable assets.


  • License journalists, writers and filmmakers to use your digital images 
  • Create new licensing and branding opportunities for the unique items in your collection
  • Bring new life to digital marketing campaigns with ads, social media posts and other brand-building efforts that you can monetize
  • Cultivate patron and donor relationships


  • Digitally display photographic materials that are too fragile to exhibit publicly
  • Enhance exhibitions and events with immersive experiences
  • Tell new stories about the photographs in your collection
  • Create online galleries of works to stimulate interest and engagement



  • Allow students, researchers and scholars from around the world to study your collection
  • Use metadata to make every record and artifact fully searchable
  • Preserve your history — handle and digitize the items once, but access and reuse them in perpetuity, with the highest appropriate resolution for all applications
  • Head off the ravages of time through strategic redundancy




Meet Pixel Acuity


Pixel Acuity can digitize all types of film from libraries, archives, art museums and galleries, natural history museums, media and entertainment, and sports organizations. We help you realize maximum value from your collection and your brand by turning your film collection into searchable, accessible digital assets at the highest resolution available today. We have spent the better part of a decade perfecting film scanning workflows that conform to the highest image quality standards, optimize efficiency, and incorporate stringent quality and process control. With specially engineered equipment, Pixel Acuity is able to create high-resolution digital images from film originals in formats including: 


  • 35mm negatives
  • 35mm slides
  • X-ray film
  • 120mm film
  • 8mm film
  • Glass plate negatives
  • Sheet film, including 4×5 and 8×10

Many companies offer digital imaging services, but no one understands the particular requirements of heritage preservation quite like Pixel Acuity. We have decades of combined experience working inside renowned collections including The Smithsonian Institution, and the Getty Research Institute. We expertly deploy imaging devices and software designed expressly for the job by our hardware division, DT Heritage, which was founded by the former Director of Digital Imaging at the American Museum of Natural History. Our cross-functional team of experts blend their unique insiders’ viewpoint with superior technical knowledge to perfect the art and science of heritage digitization. 

That’s who will be working for you — on-site and off — from planning through completion.

Why choose Pixel Acuity?

  • Not sure where to start, how long it will take, what equipment you need, or how to pay for it? The Pixel Acuity team will help plan your project, including technological assessments and development of timelines and budgets, to determine the best solution for your project. 
  • Our specialists will design advanced digitization workflows that blend seamlessly with your daily operations. Our proprietary workflow software, DT PixelFlow, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and other techniques to analyze the images and deliver best-in-class optical character recognition (OCR), facial recognition and metadata generation so that your stakeholders can easily find what they’re looking for when repurposing assets.
  • Pixel Acuity can produce 130 megapixel images, the highest image quality on the market and more than five times the pixel density now common in Cultural Heritage imaging. Since you’re making the effort to digitize, we use the highest resolution digital backs on the market to make sure the quality stands the test of time — so that you can repurpose it in multiple ways well into the future.
  • Our preservation-grade practices, and lenses incorporating specially-designed optics, meet the highest Cultural Heritage imaging standards, including FADGI, Metamorfoze, and ISO 19264.
  • Using a rapid capture system custom engineered by Pixel Acuity, we are able to radically shorten the timeline of digitization for larger collections 
  • For fragile or curled material, we use magnetic masks that hold the film from the edges and never contact the image-bearing area of the film, rather than legacy bulk loaders or feeders that are not safe for historic collections of film
  • Our conservation-safe illumination and preservation-grade spectral output are perfect for the digitization of diverse collections of film and other transmissive materials. 
  • We can output images in multiple formats for various levels of institutional use, including archival RAW files, production master TIFFs, and email-able JPGs
  • We are able to accommodate your institution’s file naming and numbering conventions for output, and use XML templates to embed metadata with your images
  • No need for risk handling, packing, and transporting your fragile, one-of-a-kind items. Wherever your collection is in the world, we’ll bring the team and equipment to you. Learn more about our international capabilities by reading about Pixel Acuity’s recent trip to Estonia.
  • So many of the world’s most demanding and respected film archives have trusted Pixel Acuity to digitize their prized collections, no matter their age, condition, size or shape. Get the full picture by reading our case studies.


Industry-Leading Imaging Technology


We fully appreciate the importance of blending seamlessly into your institution’s daily operations, and can digitize your artifacts in our own facility, or on your own site if they can’t be moved from their permanent location. Our digitization hardware and software, enabled by artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies, are designed to work together smoothly with carefully optimized workflows.

  • Custom-engineered rapid-capture systems create an ultra-high-resolution digital copy of your collection quickly and systematically. The result: minimize cost and radically shorten the time required for capture.
  • Pixel Acuity’s DT PixelFlow software enables our team to make the most of digital assets by extracting, analyzing, and transcribing text using optical character recognition (OCR) and applying artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to provide facial, object, and geographic descriptive metadata information.
  • By combining DT Heritage hardware solutions, Pixel Acuity’s artificial intelligence (AI) processing software, and our team’s expertise, we can digitize anything – even deteriorating film, hand-cut sheets, lantern slides, or glass plate negatives – at a level of detail you cannot get anywhere else.


    Find new value in your photographic heritage


    There is tremendous value in the film negatives and positives in your collection, and digitization unlocks that value. Reimagine the many ways your staff and all your stakeholders can use these one-of-a-kind heritage assets. You can quickly and easily produce retrospectives focusing on a photographer or genre, or capitalizing on current events. Create ads, social media campaigns, and other brand-building efforts. License images to publishers and advertisers. Inspire a director with the historic photos to accurately recreate set designs or costumes for the next big remake or sequel. The list is endless.

    Digitization is the key to uncovering new value from artifacts in libraries, archives, natural history and art museums, media and entertainment, sports franchises, and many other fields. The beauty of digital assets is that they are clearly differentiated, unique, endlessly reusable, and ideally suited to the digital and social media age! By digitizing your photographic or cultural collection and adding the assets to your content management system you can turn those precious items into new value… and create a digital record of your history in the process!

    Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

    Ready to learn more?

    Find out how to digitally transform your Transmissive collection!