In order to get digital images (if I did not use one of my digital cameras right away) I use one of two ways:
Both ways yield very good results. I have to admit though, that using a scanner requires some practice. But as almost always the internet provides some help: Especially the Scanner basics 101 helped me a lot.
Once the photos are digitized, the work starts: Almost all photos have to be manipulated in one or the other way. Usually the contrast has to be improved. Very often dust particles are scanned as well. They have to be removed. After resizing photos they have to be sharpened. All this needs a good image processing software. I generally rely on PhotoImpact and on Corel Photo-Paint.
In order to compress jpg images I use the SmartSaver