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06-29-2010, 07:12 AM   #1
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Photo book services

Anyone have experience with photo books across multiple online services?

adorama, mpix, etc? any others I may be unaware of?!

I am curious to the pros/cons of various options, and what others perceive to be the best

06-29-2010, 07:22 AM   #2
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Haven't done one personally, but I recall reading a recent article comparing the different production options in a recent Photo Magazine. I read Pop Photo and Digital Photo (formerly PC Photo), so it was an article in one of those magazines. Had a pretty good comparison of all the different options, bindings, upload interface, prices, etc.

I'll see if I can find the article tonight at home and post some further reference here.
06-29-2010, 07:42 AM   #3
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some of the upload/arranging interfaces are attrocious (winkflash was mind numbing, I gave up after hours of frustration). We did one book with blurb - the finish was decent (occasional print spots), the interface was a downloaded program that was fairly straightforward - from what I have read they have improved their quality as well since we used the service; their prices were pretty reasonable too for the sizes offered.
06-29-2010, 09:39 AM   #4
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Further to my post above, the article is in the July/August edition of DigitalPhoto (Formerly PCPhoto) and it's pretty good. I couldn't find it online so I'd suggest you pick up a copy, or wait until they post the story online (last month's are on there now).

06-29-2010, 09:16 PM   #5
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I've used Shutterfly and had good luck and low prices. It's rated #1 by Top Ten Reviews.
07-03-2010, 07:01 AM   #6
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I used iPhoto for a book. The interface was vey nice - as you would expect from Apple. It will warn you, for example, if the resolution of an image was too low for the desired size. But, also like Apple, it shielded users from layout decisions - something that might be an aid to newbies but frustrating to more experienced users (I've use age layout programs in my distant past).

The final book was very nicely printed and assembled but for one thing - it was 1/2 to 1 stop darker than what I had seen on my color-calibrated monitor. Shadows got a little blocky.

Some of this is my fault and maybe an issue with all services. I didn't account for the inevitable dot gain of printing. Has anyone else experienced this?
07-03-2010, 10:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I used iPhoto for a book. The interface was vey nice - as you would expect from Apple. It will warn you, for example, if the resolution of an image was too low for the desired size. But, also like Apple, it shielded users from layout decisions - something that might be an aid to newbies but frustrating to more experienced users (I've use age layout programs in my distant past).

The final book was very nicely printed and assembled but for one thing - it was 1/2 to 1 stop darker than what I had seen on my color-calibrated monitor. Shadows got a little blocky.

Some of this is my fault and maybe an issue with all services. I didn't account for the inevitable dot gain of printing. Has anyone else experienced this?
iPhoto is indeed easy to use, if you have a Mac. When it first came out, I printed a couple of books for family members, as iPhoto was about the only Mac option around. Now a number of places produce books. Ease of use varies but online vendors generally are less expensive and more flexible. Yes, the flexibility comes with a little more complexity, but nothing that difficult.

I've tried several providers. For ease of use, features and price, Shutterfly is great. If you need something absolutely special, OurHubub prints stunning quality. My last iPhoto book was disappointing.

And, yes, it's pretty common for any prints to come out a half to a full stop darker than your monitor. Color calibration is one thing. You also need to calibrate luminosity. I always turn my brightness down to about 25% when editing photos. Before sending your pics to a service, print a few samples. I find pretty close correlation between service printing and my inkjet.
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