Sent pics to 3 online print companies...results:

caspertodd

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I sent a set of about 30 pics I took with my DSLR to Wal-Mart, MPix and Snapfish, and here are the results:

Wal-Mart - 9 cents each - Easy to use. Pictures were not bad, but were really dark. Skin tone was just ok. Outside pics were ok, but the ones I took inside were so dark that you could not see any detail in the darker colors of the pictures.

MPix - 19 cents each - A little confusing to use. Pictures were much better than Wal-Mart. Skin tone was great! Outside pics were very clear. The inside pics had more detail in the darker colors of the picture but still just seemed a little lacking. I had also sent a second set to them for the 88 cent paper and color correction. I honestly could not tell the difference. Maybe they messed up and printed it on the 19 cent E-paper. The black and white pic that I requested on their special B&W paper looked good. I was extremely impressed with the packaging.

Snapfish - 9 cents each - Exactly the same interface as Walmart. Excellent pictures! By far the best of the 3. Outside pictures made Mpix look not-so-clear. The inside pics looked great! There was perfect detail in the darker colors. I had also sent them a black and white picture, and was amazed that it looked better than Mpix which I thought already looked good. I have to say that I absolutely did not expect this company to have the best pics of the 3, but for me they definitely did!

I had thought that Snapfish had merged with WalMart, so I expected the same pics. Maybe I just got lucky and they printed on a good, new printer. Maybe I won't get the same quality second time around...who knows. But for me, at least for now, my online print company will be Snapfish. I have not calibrated my monitor for any of these 3 companies, nor were the pictures edited with Photoshop. This was just my personal experience, so just take it for what it is...you may have a completely opposite experience, especially if you use the ICC profile for the company you send them too, and edit your pics accordingly.
 

Garbz

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Can you comment on the luminance compared to the originals? It is my experience that many of these mum and dad type printing labs will "correct" your exposure mistakes regardless if you want them to or not. I have on occasion had prints come back from rabbit photo which were lightened to the point where some already bright parts were clipped because the dark areas were too dark for their liking.
 
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caspertodd

caspertodd

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Can you comment on the luminance compared to the originals? quote]

Mpix had a little bit of a too bright, washed out look on some of the outside pics. I went back and looked at the more expensive color correction ones, and I think they maybe look slightly worse... definitely no "correction" in color. They were definitely brighter and more washed out than what I was seeing on my monitor. WalMart had no real brightness at all, except on the outdoor pictures where they looked ok. Snapfish seemed to be perfect for my pictures. I was going to try Costco also, but I'm so pleased with Snapfish, I don't see a reason for me to look elsewhere.

I wonder if I took a picture of the prints if you could see the difference in all of them. I'm really curious how Mpix got to be popular on this site. So many people recommended them that it makes me wonder if I just got a bad batch.

Snapfish's packing was nothing special though. It was basically just an envelope. So I'm not sure if larger more expensive pictures would get bent in the mail. Mpix by far had the best packing, with cardboard and plastic wrap on each set.
 

NateS

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I'm getting ready to order my first set from Exposure Manager. I might order a duplicate from Snapfish to compare. I have always been very un-impressed with Walmart. I've always experienced the same issue with the pictures being darker than what they actually are. In comparison, MPIX was tons better than Walmart for me. I haven't used snapfish before, nor exposure manager, so this upcoming order will be a good comparison.

Thanks for your experiences/testing caspertodd.
 
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caspertodd

caspertodd

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I'm getting ready to order my first set from Exposure Manager. I might order a duplicate from Snapfish to compare.


Yeah, let me know how it goes. I'm curious to know if this is usual for Snapfish or if this was just a one time thing. I only tried them out because they had a "20 prints for free" deal for new users.
 

mrodgers

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Snapfish's packing was nothing special though. It was basically just an envelope. So I'm not sure if larger more expensive pictures would get bent in the mail. Mpix by far had the best packing, with cardboard and plastic wrap on each set.
FYI, with larger prints, I'm sure Snapfish packages better. A friend of mine sent a photo of Joe Lewis Arena that I took and had a 11x14 printed. It was sent back in a cardboard tube. My picture wasn't the greatest and I was disappointed in what I created, but the actual print itself was very nice.
 

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