Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Photo printers vs online photo labs: which delivers the perfect print?

A question I am asked regularly in class is what is the best way to get prints. In my experience getting someone else to do it is always cheaper and as long as your monitor is calibrated usually reliable. So this article on Digital Camera World opens up the discussion and is well worth a read if you are thinking about printing

Is it better to print your photos at home or have them created in a pro-level lab? We weigh up the pros and cons in our photo printers vs photo labs head-to-head test…

Photo printers vs photo labs: which delivers the perfect print?

Home printers on test
Canon PIXMA MG7550/MG7520, £150, $150
Canon PIXMA Pro-10S, £600, $770
Epson Expression Photo XP-950, £240, $275
Epson SureColor P600, £570, $790

Online labs (UK)
Loxley Colour
Whitewall

Online labs (US)
AdoramaPix
WHCC (White House Custom Color)

We’re the instant generation. We want it all, and we want it now. Instant coffee, fast food, streaming movies – everything’s accessible on demand, no need to wait. Digital photography is no exception.

Press the shutter button and you can review the image a split-second later, right on the camera. There’s no indeterminate wait until you’ve finished the roll of film, then had it developed and finally picked up your proof prints.

Indeed, printing your images at home can be similarly speedy. Some desktop photo printers can output a 6×4-inch print in as little as 20 seconds, which is great for the impatient among us. But hang on just a minute.

Faster isn’t always better. Think fine dining and, chances are, you’re not thinking of a microwave dinner. And many would rather splash out on a posh coffee rather than gulp down a mug of instant.

Again, digital photography is no exception. Sure, a simple press of the shutter button is all that’s required to capture the image, but a lot of work and effort will often go into setting up the shot, matched by painstaking image enhancement at the photo editing stage.

Similarly, if you’re creating a photo print to last a lifetime, it’s worth spending a little time to make it look its best. That’s where the important choices come into play.

Read on here

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: