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Old Jun 16, 2006, 5:08 PM   #11
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Kaspian wrote:
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Well, I've used Wal-Mart's online photo service for a while now. So far I've been pleased with it. I'm giving Winkflash a shot. I sent out 6 pics to Walmart and the same 6 to Winkflash. We'll see the results in a few days (I sent the pictures last Sunday). I'll let you guys know the results.
This makes sense, but you also need to know what the particular service does as well as what you can override. For example, I use SnapFish and am mostly happy with what they do if I haven't edited the images. They always do what appears to be a linear histogramstretch before printing. If I have just taken the images as they come from the camera, that is probably just what I want them to do. But, if I've Photoshopped the image, that is NOT what I want them to do. But they'll do it anyway. Similarly, Snapfish will fill the paper with your image. If you have a 3:4 ratio image, they'll offer to print it on 4 by 5 1/3 inch paper, otherwise use 4 by 6 and clip. Now, if I have Photoshopped the image, I want them to print the image that I give them, and let the whitespace grow as needed on the print. I do not want them to further crop my cropped image. But they do anyway.

WinkFlash, which I just recently tried, does things differently. First, they do not histogram stretch the photo. If it is unprocessed, you may be disappointed by the resultant image. WinkFlash will print 4x6, but does not have a 4 x 5 1/3 option -- so they end up clipping a 4:3 aspect ratio image. However, WinkFlash DOES allow you to "inset" the photo, which means to run the photo to the edge in whatever direction it hits first, and leave whitespace on the other side. So a 4:3 aspect image would have about a 1/3 inch white line on left and right in a landscape mode image, and foran image that I've cropped in Photoshop, the whitespace would be whatever it took to fill the paper in one of the two directions --which is exactly what I want in that case. For my straight-from-the-camera 4:3 ratio images, SnapFish is what I want. So I am starting to send my processed images to WinkFlash and my unprocessed images to SnapFish. By the way, both have essentially the same appearance wrt color. I tried and dropped Shutterfly because they appeared to have a more golden cast to their prints than either of these services, which was not what I was seeing on my monitor.



ETA: I have since found that WinkFlash can print 5 1/3 x 4 images -- I just didn't see how to do it before. The rest of my post continues to be true to the best of my current understanding.


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Old Jun 16, 2006, 8:51 PM   #12
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MPIX.COM


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Old Jun 17, 2006, 10:38 AM   #13
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These are the pics I sent out;
















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Old Jun 17, 2006, 11:23 AM   #14
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I wanted to include a little bit of everything for the testing. The results....I found our local Wal-Marts super center pics to be alot more true to the pics I sent out. The ones I got from Winkflash were "tone down" quite a bit. For instance, on the firs picture my son's skin tone was a little darker on the picture from winkflash. Also the lighting to his left was not that bright. On the second pic, the picture I got from winkflash was all the same shade of green. It was a "pretty" green, but it was the same every where (foreground and background). On the third picture with my daughter, the whites within the picture were not as white. My daughters skin tone could almost blend in with the boards behind her. And they cropped the image down to my daughters forehead (which I really didn't like). On the 4th picture, the "yellow" slide and the "blue" bridge to the right of the pic were alot darker on the pics from winkflash. Also the overall lighting was tone down.

My conclusion......I cant base one yet. Not on just one small set of prints.

Pros and Cons:

From Wal-Mart Super Center: Good quality prints, they use Fuji Crystal Archive paper, super fast service, uploaded the pictures on early Sunday and had them back on Tuesday afternoon (the order included 37 4x6, 4 5x7, and 3 8x10). I spoke with the photo departments manager and he told me that I could have the same exact order ready in 1hr....I was shocked.

From Winkflash...they use Fuji Crystal Archive paper.....cant say anything else....also I uploaded the pics early Sunday and didn't get them till Friday after noon.

Let it be noted that just because I had good results with our local Walmart Super Center does not mean that you'll get the same results. This is a brand new Super Store (just opened up last October). And their photography department is pretty big. And they might use different equipment than others. They even stock dslrs from Olympus, Pentax, Nikon, Canon.

Like I mentioned before I will not base my opinion about Winkflash just on this one set of prints. I will send them more for them to develop later on. I will also like to try their 8x10s and their bigger size posters. I'll keep you guys updated.
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 3:36 PM   #15
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i there kaspian
my name is marcelo , so i have recently upload a site about online printing services
so , i'm writing one know about Yorkphoto
I've tested 2 services already , winkflash and one from France that is
www.PhotoReflex.com, this site is all in frech but as cheapest prices than winkflash
the pictures are oustanding, and with superior quality comparing it with winflahs
they use Supreme Paper. and pics look great

I have a Review about PhotoReflex.com but in Spanish , tomorrow i will
upload the review and step by step process in english

please visit www.PhotoPrintguide.com . is 100% , if you like you can send us
your opinion and colaborate with us.

Thanks a lot

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Old Jun 22, 2006, 6:33 AM   #16
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lots of people have recommended www.photobox.co.uk to me, i am yet to try them out yet though!



sorry i see you are in usa though so that prob doesn't help d'oh :?
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 9:50 AM   #17
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One of the magazines, sorry I forget which one, did a test on several labs, wal mart was one, Mpix was another. Mpix came out on top and wal mart was on the the bottom. Mpix was not the cheapest, so I guess it comes down to best quality, or best price. I do know that Mpix is a subsidiary of a strickly pro lab out ofI thinkFlorida.I usually print most of my own,butI have been looking in to an on-line lab to try so I don't have to spend all my time printing, and on top of that if someone wants a bunch of 4x6 prints I can have them done at a lab cheaper than I can print them.
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 8:54 PM   #18
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I use Costco and their online photolab, $0.18 per print and they turn out real nice after I crop for aspect ratio. My friend had awful results at Walmart but better at Blacks.
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 12:57 AM   #19
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After reading the posts last few days, I decided to try out Wal-Marts online photo service. Sent 20 various 4x6 pics, and all came out pretty well. Haven't tried the others, so can't compare, but I was satisfied. They were on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, were ready in less than an hour, and at .19 cents each were cheap enough.
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 3:07 PM   #20
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At home. I can choose the ink, the paper, tweak the images, etc. It's not quite as cheap as some of the online places, but I have only myself to blame if the print isn't good.

Plus, current printers are cheap and do a great job of printing photos. If you laid out samples from online, retail, and home prints, I'll bet people couldn't tell which was which.

Russ
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