If you want to transfer photographic slides to CD, all you need is some basic equipment and plenty of time. You will have to scan each photo into your computer, edit it, save it and then burn your CD. This process may take a while if you have a large number of slides. But the peace of mind you will have knowing that your photos are safe from decay will more than make up for the time lost.
The main piece of equipment you need is a good computer. Most computers today can handle basic image processing and CD burning, but if you are planning to transfer a large number of slides, having a fast, powerful computer will save you time. If your computer is slow, basic edits, such as brightening a picture or removing red eye, will take a long time to complete. Also, your computer needs plenty of available memory so that you can store all the digital photos you create.
A scanner and its accompanying software are necessary in order to convert the photographic slides to digital photos. Make sure the one you buy is capable of scanning photo slides. The best ones offer professional-level quality but are very expensive. If the quality of your photos isn’t vital, an inexpensive flatbed scanner will do in a pinch. Alternatively, you can buy a digital scanner designed just for slide transfers, but keep in mind that you will only be able to use it for this one type of task.
The scanner you purchase will include some basic image-processing software, but a program such as Photoshop offers more image-editing capabilities. Another option is to use a free image-processing program. For example, Google offers its program Picasa for free download. It can sync with your scanner, edit and save the photos, then burn them onto CD. Also, Picasa allows you to create web albums, which you can use to share photos online.
A CD burner and a blank CD are necessary for creating photo CDs from digital files on your computer. Many computers already have built-in CD burners. If yours doesn’t, you can purchase one. For a desktop computer, purchase an internal CD burner that will fit into an available slot. If you have a laptop, you can purchase an external CD burner, but there are some disadvantages. They are more expensive than similarly powerful internal CD burners. Also, they connect to your computer via a cable, which may make the burning process slower than it would be for an internal CD burner.
Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.