Tag Archives: online photo printing

Best digital photo calendars: Snapfish vs. York Photo comparison

I’ve received thousands of views of and numerous comments on my 2012 comparison of digital photo prints from four companies: Snapfish, Shutterfly, Mpix and AdoramaPix. Due to the popularity of that online photo company comparison, I’ve decided to repeat the experiment with additional companies in the future. Today’s showdown: a photo calendar from Snapfish versus a photo calendar from York Photo.  I purchased each as Christmas gifts at the end of 2012. Here are my findings:

Photo quality: York Photo holds a slight advantage in this category. Almost all of the photos in my Snapfish calendar appeared “soft,” lacking the crispness found in the originally submitted images. By comparison, York Photo delivered an output that was true to my original images. The difference wasn’t huge, but it was definitely there. I’ve included snapshots of each calendar in this post, but it is hard to capture the exact quality of each item with a photograph.

YP-calendar-top

Click on this image to enlarge this photograph of the York Photo calendar.

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Click on this image to enlarge this photograph of the Snapfish calendar.

Calendar layout: Here, I’m referring to the actual calendar grid found in each product. Snapfish is the winner in this category. Its calendar grid had a cleaner, more modern and more attractive design than that of York Photo. The grid in the York Photo calendar seemed a bit overwhelming, and the numbers were placed too close to the calendar’s gridlines.

Online interface: Both companies offered calendar-creation software that was easy to use and provided numerous options for customizing your photo layouts and the contents of the calendar grid. However, Snapfish offered more calendar design choices. It had 37 templates to choose from, compared to the 15 designs offered by York Photo. Snapfish’s collection included a larger percentage of children’s designs than York Photo. Both companies let you choose which of your selected template’s backgrounds to use for each specific month.

Click on this image to enlarge this photograph of the York Photo calendar.

Click on this image to enlarge this photograph of the York Photo calendar.

Snapfish-calendar-bottom

Click on this image to enlarge this photograph of the Snapfish calendar. 

Overall, Snapfish gets the edge here due to its expanded choice of calendar themes.

Price: Both companies’ websites provided promo codes I could use to save on my calendar purchase, and I took advantage of the best deal available on each site. (Snapfish offers a lot of coupon codes, so be sure to compare to determine which one helps you save the most on your specific product.) With shipping, the Snapfish calendar cost me $15.89, and the York Photo calendar cost me $13.59. These totals aren’t too different, but York Photo gets the edge here.

Communication: Snapfish is the winner in this category, sending me both an order confirmation and a shipping confirmation. I received neither from York Photo.

The verdict: York Photo had the best image quality and price, while Snapfish had a better calendar layout, online interface and communication process. Because image quality is my deciding factor, I choose York Photo as the winner, but a calendar order from Snapfish is also a safe bet.

Have you ordered photos or customized products like calendars from either of these companies? I’d love to hear your feedback.

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Kodak Gallery shutting down—what are the best remaining options for photo prints online?

A recent email informed me that Kodak Gallery, my source for online photo prints for many years, is shutting down. Kodak has sold its Internet-based photo-printing operation to Shutterfly as part of its efforts to recover from financial woes. Kodak plans to transfer customers’ images to Shutterfly at no charge, and it will close the virtual doors to Kodak Gallery on July 2, 2012.

This move does not come as a huge surprise to me. In a January blog post, I noted how customer service was going downhill at Kodak Gallery, and I began my search for a new place to print pictures and create photo books and gifts online.  My research led me to conduct a comparison test of four photo-printing sites: Shutterfly vs. Snapfish vs. Mpix vs. AdoramaPix. Snapfish came out the winner, followed by a strong showing from Mpix. Shutterfly did not receive a single vote. I recommend trying Snapfish and Mpix at least one time each to decide which you prefer.

If you’re a Kodak Gallery customer, I recommended declining the option to have your photos transferred to Shutterfly. You won’t be happy with the quality of photos and photo products you receive. You have until May 28 to opt out of the planned transfer, and you can learn more about the Kodak Gallery transition to Shutterfly online. If you have any unfinished photo projects you still want to order from Kodak Gallery, make sure you do so by noon Pacific time on July 2. Right now, Kodak Gallery is offering 25 percent off all orders.

If you have any photos stored on the Kodak Gallery website that you don’t have anywhere else, I recommend downloading them to your computer or another backup device, even if you are allowing Kodak to move them to Shutterfly.

Have you tried Snapfish or Mpix in the past? What did you think of their photo products?

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