Cost-effective methods of printing?

Eee-Tee

Standard Member
Just bought 1st digi camera, and was wondering which method people find is most cost effective for printing photos, assuming about 20-30 photos every few months. SO, printing at home, if so which is best, or on the high street- any advised outlets (plus an idea of cost)?
 

redmax

Active Member
Nearly everyone on this forum uses this company.

printing at home is a waste of time & ink IMHO


Hope this helps.:smashin:
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
Definately get them done online, photobox. I am not buying any more photo printers, I just use mine for normal stuff and the odd photo.
 
N

Nick Cartwright

Guest
Photobox are very good. I recently started to use them. You might want to store up a few shots on thier on-line album facility (you get 200meg + extra 50meg every time you order) and print more than 20-30 at a time, to spread the postage cost (although at £1.50 it isn't too bad).

Low volume of prints at 6x4 will cost 10p each + p&p, so if you printed 30 prints it would work out at 15p a print, 60 prints would be 12.5p 150 prints would be 11p.

You also get reductions in print cost for large orders, but the thresholds are pretty high.

quality is superb, and I use the on-line albumn to share pictures with friends. It is then easy for them to order any prints they want.

At the moment, if you register you get 30 free prints (no obligation to buy anything), so you can try it for the cost of p&p.
 

Eee-Tee

Standard Member
Thanks for the info, so I assume photobox works out cheeper than highstreet retailers- jessops etc?
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
I think they are a bit more expensive, 15-20p each, and the instant ones aren't as good as a proper lab print.
If you order photobox you usually get them next day.
 

AlistairW

Standard Member
Interesting everyone is suggesting Photobox. I've used them and found them fine, although I was more impressed with the quality from Mypixmania.com. I certainly agree that online prices and quality are such that there is no point attempting home printing (unless you have a really high-end printer and cost is not an issue).

I would also say a word in favour of supermarkets like Morrisons though for the odd bunch of 'snaps'. They are not of the quality of some of the online servics imho, but they are an easy way for people to get their prints and are still cheaper and probably better than printing at home. I dare say Jessops come into the same category, although I think they used to be a bit more pricey at one time.

Alistair
 

ush flynn

Novice Member
afaik jessops is 7p a print on the next day service... not bad going. the instore dpm machines (where its printed right infront of you) are rubbish
 

AlistairW

Standard Member
A bit harsh Ush Flynn.

I never suggested for a moment that instant prints are of the quality of the online labs, - the point I was making is that even though they are not of that standard they still offer a better option than home printing for most people, and might offer a reasonable alternative for some. To dismiss them as rubbish is over the top.
 

Shimmyhill

Active Member
Its all down to the printer and paper. Generally the Fuji printers with crystal archive paper is considered the best combo. many places use these esp the online labs.

Jessops online use the same printers as photobox do but are cheaper. Sainsburys instore printers also often use the Fuji printers with crystal archive paper so same machines and paper - dearer but convienient if you need some prints quickly. Colabs are the best i have found, extremely expensive compared to others tho !!

I also have a 6x4 printer 22p per print (without factoring in the cost of buying th printer) so far more expensive than the labs. Again i use for convenience !
 

mattym

Banned
Colab are very good, slightly more pricey than the 'biggeri names, but they do do a fantastic job
 

ush flynn

Novice Member
AlistairW said:
A bit harsh Ush Flynn.

I never suggested for a moment that instant prints are of the quality of the online labs, - the point I was making is that even though they are not of that standard they still offer a better option than home printing for most people, and might offer a reasonable alternative for some. To dismiss them as rubbish is over the top.
I think you misunderstand. Instore DPM machines (the units where you plug your media in, and the print comes out of the dye sub printer underneath or to the side are RUBBISH, nothing harsh about that mate. I should have gone on to say that if your using jessops, make sure you choose the service in which they are printed in the instore minilab, or sent out to a larger lab. These will be of much higher quality

If you want to challenge that then just know that i spent too many years of my life working in jessops and have experience of 4 different dpm systems. 2 from kodak, one from fuji and one from some unknown company. They all suffer from overblown whites, detail is lost from somewhere like 25% - 30% grey downwards. Roller marks from the machine itself, harsh skintones unless you can get the machine to recalibrate (the fuji let me fiddle with settings but still rubbish) Wonky printing on the paper surface it uses 2 sizes of paper to produce 4 sizes of print so you get thick white boarders for you to then go home and have to crop.

As for the machines themselves. Unreliable as hell, the kodaks being the worst for breaking down, then surprisingly the fuji. Get a run of say 40 prints on the fuji and it would break down on average once every 2-3 customers. We tried to suggest that larger runs (15+) get done on the minilab which takes a little longer but is far cheaper (10p a print against £1 a print) but you know what customers are like
"i want it NOW"
"but its £1 a print"
"i dont care i only want to do a couple"
"ok then well give me a shout if you need any help"
customer gets to till with 30 prints on while you wait (£30)
"HOW MUCH???"
"you didnt want to know when i suggested a cheaper way sir"
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
I've found this page which gives interesting reviews.

Digital Photo Print Services Review

One thing to remember is that the true print size of a 4" digital photo image would be 4 x 5.3 not 4 x 6.

Has anyone ever seen a 4.5" photo folder?

I have used Bonusprint as they appear to be one of the few companies who offer 4 x 5.3 prints.
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
Hal_loe said:
I've found this page which gives interesting reviews.

Digital Photo Print Services Review
Interesting results, I use photobox and found them to be excellent, but the review is 2 years old, they might have changed their techniques as they say they don't reduce the quality when you upload them.
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
Jazz Monkey Jr said:
Interesting results, I use photobox and found them to be excellent, but the review is 2 years old, they might have changed their techniques as they say they don't reduce the quality when you upload them.
They won't reduce the quality but most if not all the Photo printers will be converting the image to a RAW image format for printing.

In many cases the image enhancement used can be the problem triggering strange results with some images.

I'd say the most important things are how much image processing is done and cropping of image.

Thats why I don't like the fact that they are giving 6 x 4 inch prints when the real image gives 5.3 x 4 inch.

Hope that makes sense.
 

Alun

Well-known Member
I have used photobox many times now and have never been anything less than thouroughly impressed with the results. :thumbsup:

slightly OT but I used Bonusprint once, it was a photo on cd offer, get your photos on cd as well as prints, from our evening 'doo'

photos came back good, digital images on cd were absolute cack.
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
Hal_loe said:
Thats why I don't like the fact that they are giving 6 x 4 inch prints when the real image gives 5.3 x 4 inch.
My digital SLR gives me proper 6 x 4 photos (3456 x 2304)
That's also why Photobox gives you the option of 6 x 4.5 for other digital cameras.
 

scharf_10

Novice Member
Just registered with Photobox and had my first set of prints delivered. It's absolutely great, and i'd just like to thank everyone who recommended it :)
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
Jazz Monkey Jr said:
My digital SLR gives me proper 6 x 4 photos (3456 x 2304)
That's also why Photobox gives you the option of 6 x 4.5 for other digital cameras.
Yes the expensive Digital SLRs do, however most cameras give a 1.33 aspect ratio image not 1.5.

Have you ever seen a 4.5 inch print holder? I haven't. All are still 4", 5" APS etc. The old 35mm print sizes.

I have used Photobox for creating passport Photos about a year ago. Results for that were great.
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
Alun said:
slightly OT but I used Bonusprint once, it was a photo on cd offer, get your photos on cd as well as prints, from our evening 'doo'

photos came back good, digital images on cd were absolute cack.
Was it a 35mm film conversion?

How long ago was it?
 
N

nealgs

Guest
Whilst on holiday in cornwall the last two weeks, i had around 300 prints done at ASDA (two batches of 150 or so over the two weeks) using their 1hr processing service.

Now when i received the first batch, i was suprised at the quality of print. No as shiny as I was expecting, which I later found out (when getting 2nd batch done) that they only did a lustre finish (half way between matt and gloss) hence the different look.

The photo's were very good indeed, but i also had a Photo CD created (only had one 512MB CF card on me, so needed to copy images off so I could use it for the next week of the holiday)

Checked Photo CD one DVD player back in caravan we were staying in to make sure they were all there before i cleared CF card, they were, so card cleared, more photos done, and 2nd batch of prints processed.

Again print quality very good, except this time I noticed that some of the images were cropped, checking them on the camera confirmed that the printed image had been cropped - So wasn't to happy about this, but as images were on Photo CD's not a problem.

Jump forward to being at home, with access to PC to read and examine Photos of CD - find that the image resolution is correct, but the jpg compression has caused them to reduce from 2.5MB or more on camera to 1 - 1.5MB on cd and loads of noise in them.

Basically the Photo CD is complete cac :mad: :mad: - Not sure what they will print like so will try a few at local ASDA and see.

Costs for ASDA's printing service is cheap - £7.50 for 150+ prints and Photo CD (for what it;s worth)

Need to get more CF cards next time

Gary
 

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