Online Sharing - Printing Reviews
With the exlosive growth -- or at least the increased online media hype -- of online photo sharing and galleries, I thought it would be a great idea to review the printing services. We're still waiting for some results so we'll keep this page updated over the next few weeks to keep you updated with what's going on here. We'll also be adding to the list as we try new services out.
Keep in mind, the analysis presented below is not a terribly scientific analysis of the prints that are received from the providers. What we did is try to simulate exactly how you, the consumer, would work with the printers and make our assertions and conclusions based from the consumer perspective. We took a set of 6 photographs and sent them to 4 of the online printer/sharing companies; Adorama, Snapfish, Ofoto and Webshots. The results here are broken into the categories presented in the table below.
|Service ||Timing ||Color ||Resolution ||Paper ||Aging ||Rating |
|Ofoto ||Excellent ||Excellent ||Excellent ||Kodak PerfectTouch-Very Good ||tk ||9.0 |
|Snapfish ||Excellent ||Fair ||Very Good ||Vanilla Kodak-Good ||tk ||7.0 |
|WebShots ||Fair ||Very Good ||Fair ||Fuji-Good ||tk ||4.0 |
|Adorama ||Poor ||Very Good ||Good ||Excellent ||n/a ||7.0 |
- Timing represents the amount of time it took from order to receipt of order.
- Aging Test - currently underway, we taped the photographs to a white piece of paper and taped the paper to a window with southern exposure. Southern exposure will expose all of these photographs to direct sunlight (albeit through a slightly tinted glass). We're trying to simulate and speed up the possible aging. Like I say above, this is NOT scientific, but if you hang one of these photographs on your fridge, we want to see how much the picture will fade over time.
- Rating is on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best (nobody gets a 10).
- tk means 'to come', don't ask me why, it just does.
- Test Period: 8/1/04 to 8/11/04.
Ofoto - nothing but good things to say about this service.
Snapfish - the color on these photos was much lighter than all the others as well as lighter than the original.
WebShots - the photos took a while to get back, the resolution was really lacking which led to blotches in the color.
Adorama - The prints arrived late due to a provisioning system error that our order uncovered (which i'm sure they'll correct. These prints were really good. The paper was by far the best quality in the test, this was the most like what I typically get at the photo processor -- Kodak Royal paper is the best.
As stated above, this test is ongoing and will be revisited from time to time.
Revised 8/19/04 to include the late comer Adorama.