-- by Jon --
Does this story sound familiar.... I have thousands of slides in boxes and trays. I rarely get them out for viewing because it is such a pain to find the exact slides that I want to see (by holding them up to the light) and sort them into the trays and set up the projector and screen. I felt badly that it wasn't easier to view those memories on film. We have many slides of our children when they were small, but the younger children probably haven't seen most of them yet.
I had checked out what it would cost to have them professionally converted into digital images. I found it was anywhere from 75 cents to $1.25 and they wouldn't necessarily try to enhance them for you. You would still have to do that yourself.
I recently opted to buy a scanner that has a special attachment that will allow me to scan slides and negatives. It's not as easy as scanning photos, but it's not a problem either. I bought an HP 4570c. It will scan 4 slides at once. It scans them as one image which means you have to crop them and make them into an individual image. You can then enhance them to get rid of the scratches and dust marks. It also does a good job of making a decent digital image out of negatives.
There are other, easier to use scanners made only for slides and negatives, but they were much more expensive, $400 to $700, the last I checked. These may be cost effective for you depending on how many slides you have to do.
Because slides are a much smaller image, I usually scan them at 600 bpi. I can then enlarge them without losing much of the quality. You can experiment and see what resolution will fit your needs.
Let us know about your ideas and experience on our Forum page.