No-name photo converter risky

Q: I have seen a converter advertised in a circular that makes digital pictures from slides and negatives. It sounds like exactly what I am looking for, but I question merchandise found in this type of ad. Very suspect is that there is no mention of who manufactures this product, which is sold by Hammacher Schlemmer, and the price is $99.95 with free shipping. Do you have any experience with this converter? Are you aware of any other product that converts slides to digital?

-- Donna Swanstrom Stillwater, Minn.

A: I looked up the product and as you stated, it does not have a name brand listed. Based on this alone, I would not recommend it. You can get a name brand flatbed scanner with a backlit transparency adapter that not only will do a better job, but you get a full-sized scanner in the bargain and it costs less. For example, the Epson Perfection V200 lists for $89.98 and can be found in most electronics stores, and you have the assurance of quality with the Epson name brand. Epson includes great software for archiving old photographs, slides and negatives. The software removes dust spots automatically and will restore colors in faded photographs. It's a much more capable machine for less money, and a comprehensive solution for archiving old negatives, photographs and slides.