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This site gathers together all the knowledge I have accumulated about digital photography. I see the same questions showing up in discussions again and again (the FAQ phenomenon) so I have created this page to provide a useful reference point, particularly for Canadians.
Keep in mind that when I started writing this, 3 Megapixels and 256 Megabytes of storage was state-of-the-art.
I thought this message from the "TidBITS Talk" mailing list offered some sensible information and advice for those starting out with digital photography and printing.
Before you get too obsessed with megapixels, I suggest reading Digital Camera Image Quality, a report from The Luminous Landscape.
Digital Cameras and Digital Imaging is an informative page with a similar consumer focus to this one - general information for someone getting started with digital photography.
I have a Canon Optura digital video camera that can also take 1-megapixel still images. It can store approximately 600 still images on one DV tape. It has a 14x optical zoom, which extends to 35x using digital processing. The images are acceptable quality for onscreen display (e.g. email, web albums) and for printing at 4x6".
For digital photos I had a Canon PowerShot S20 with IBM 340 MB Microdrive.* It can store about 300 3-megapixel images using the "large, fine" setting. It was the smallest 3-megapixel camera you could get at the time. It only has 2x optical, 4x digital zoom though. The images are suitable for any size of display or print, from stamps to giant posters.
I now have a Canon PowerShot S70.
I have been pleased with these cameras, although my PowerShot S20 does have a "magenta tint" problem, that turns blue skies purple. I fix this using PhotoGenetics software, as suggested in the Imaging Resource review of the S20.
* The Microdrive is now made by Hitachi, in sizes from 512MB to 4GB. Solid-state Compact Flash cards are also available with the same capacities, even in CF-I format.
I use the Canon rechargeable batteries in my S20. I get between 100 and 200 shots per battery, depending on how much I use the LCD screen. I have two batteries so I can switch between them when one runs out. Even cooler would be a belt pack. Quest UK makes ones for Canon and Nikon cameras, you can order their battery packs from their 2CR5 site. They seem to get ok reviews.
Power packs are a popular discussion topic on DPreview forums. For example, here is a 2001 thread on Power Packs for the S10/S20.
Once you've got your photos, you're going to want to get them into your computer so you can play with them. For the PowerShot S20, I recommend using the included ZoomBrowser EX software, it is much faster than any other Windows applications at downloading the images, which can make a big difference when you're downloading 100 or more images at a time.
Once I have my S20 images downloaded, I often have to batch process them using QBeo PhotoGenetics. Unfortunately, QBeo has gone out of business. You used to be able to download a full version of PhotoGenetics 2 (Windows or Mac OS 9) from PhotoBox. I don't know where or if you can still find it now. You could try PC World Downloads.
There are two genotypes available that fix the purple sky problem:
Note that the PhotoGenetics interface can be a little tricky. In the image browser, when you select a bunch of files and a genotype, the genotype will be applied slowly (on my computer at least, if there are hundreds of images) to the thumbnail pictures of the files -- the hourglass will show while this is happening. Do not click on "Convert" until PhotoGenetics has completed assigning the genotype to all of the thumbnailed pictures. You will be able to see this because the thumbnailed images will change to show the results of applying the genotype (e.g. purple sky thumbnails will change to blue sky) and also the hourglass will change back to a regular pointer. If you just quickly select all of your files and immediately click on "Convert", the genotype may not have been applied to all of your photos, so only some of them will get converted.
There is also a free tool called ColorCastFX, which is designed to fix the colour cast and also fix problems with excessively dark images. It is one of a number of digital camera tools from Mediachance.
If you have a bit more skill with photo software, you can try PhotoShop and play with the Levels, for my photos reducing the Red level slightly fixes the purple skies as well.
Also note, I believe the purple sky issue is different from the "magenta tint" problem that people report. In this problem, white areas (e.g. snow) will have a magenta tint. This is caused by incorrect white balance, and can supposedly be fixed by selecting the appropriate WB setting e.g. sunny, cloudy.
If you're just sharing photos, by email or by the web, you can compress them down to smaller file sizes and images sizes. Your giant 3-megapixel images may be great, but no one is going to be able to view them fullsize on their screen anyway. There are many different applications you could use to do this. Personally, I use GraphicConverter on the Mac, as it produces nice JPEG files with the smallest file sizes I have seen. On the PC Ulead Photo Explorer 6 (free adware) or IrfanView will do the job.
Warning about iPhoto: it will place your files into its own directory structure with its own filenames. The original filenames will be lost. It will do this on any import, whether it's directly from a camera or from files stored on disk. Also note it will duplicate disk files that it imports - it doesn't create links, it physically copies the files from one disk location to its own storage area. Quite slow for large numbers of files.
Mac OS X Image Capture will also slightly alter filenames, it will change e.g. XXX-YYYY_IMG.JPG to IMG_YYYY.JPG.
For me it is essential to preserve the original filenames, as I have thousands of photos and the filename is the unique identifier I use to track them. Therefore iPhoto is useless to me for photo management. I am using the US$50 iView MediaPro instead.
Since JPEG is a "lossy" format, normally rotating an image will cause an additional loss of information (i.e. image quality will be reduced). However, some programs are able to rotate JPEGs losslessly, in 90 degree increments.
The free OfotoNow uploader software for Windows and Mac performs lossless JPEG rotation. Here are some other programs with the same capability:
You can also check this list of lossless applications.
NOTE: The MacOS X 10.1 Image Capture program does not perform lossless rotation.
As a side note, if you're using the Canon PhotoStitch software to make panoramic images, and you have QuickTime installed, you can make QuickTime VR panoramas by selecting "Save as type: QuickTime VR (*.mov)" in the Save dialog.
PhotoStitch doesn't do a very good job of blending images together, I found MGI's Photovista Panorama (for Windows) did a better job of this. Note that Photovista 2 does not produce QuickTime VR (QTVR) output. Photovista Panorama 3 is now out (2003-05-31) and the company is now iseemedia. It's available in Mac and PC versions.
There are a variety of other sites and resources related to panoramas.
Once you have your panorama constructed, you may wish to see my section on panoramic prints.
I don't know much about doing photo collages. For the Mac, Macintouch had a report on Photo Collage Applications. On the Windows side, there is LumaPix FotoFusion.
Even compressed 3-megapixel digital photos are big, around 1 megabyte in size each. When you start to accumulate hundreds, you may need to find some good storage solutions. I use a Western Digital 30 GB FireWire hard drive, a LaCie 120 GB FireWire hard drive, and a LaCie 8/4/32 FireWire CD-RW. For me these are ideal solutions as both my Mac and PCs have FireWire ports, so (with the WD HD formatted under Windows) I have a completely cross-platform solution - I can move the hard drive and CD burner to whichever machine I need, with all my photos stored for instant retrieval on the HD, and archived permanently (well, as permanent as these things get) onto CD-R.
Note that to be cross-platform, you will need to format the hard drives as FAT32. Also, for FAT32 they recommend it is safest to have partitions under 32 GB each, so you may have to create multiple partitions on a large drive.
I examimined a number of different approaches for providing photo slideshows to people, looking for a simple solution as not everyone is a computer expert, and also trying to find something that would work cross-platform (PC and Mac).
By far the best solution I found is to create a standard VHS videotape. The PowerShot S20 has a direct video output, and while it is a bit of a pain to program the slideshow on the camera itself, I discovered that you can also program the slideshow from within ZoomBrowser EX, allowing you to pick and choose from the photos stored on an attached camera. If you want to do this, it's best to just leave the photos in the camera if at all possible. I tried uploading selected images back to the camera, but that's incredibly slow.
Even better than the built-in video-out, but more expensive, is using digital video creation software and then outputting to the VCR via a digital video device (because you probably don't have direct capability to output NTSC video). Using Apple's iMovie 1 software (which used to be a free download), and sending the video in a chain through my Optura and on to my VCR, I was able to make a very nice slideshow with background music ripped from CDs and cool transitions.
In terms of self-running CD slideshows, I didn't really find anything satisfactory. There is an application called PhotoRelay that comes with Adaptec Deluxe CD creation software. There are also a variety of shareware apps for creating slideshows, including the multiplatform option of creating a website on CD. None of them quite provided the ease-of-use and features I was looking for.
There is a CD Slide Show Generator PowerToy for Windows XP. Download Slideshow.exe (548 KB). I had to download the latest updater from Roxio.com for my Easy CD Creator before the CD burning would work. You can do this using the menu Internet->Web-Checkup from within Easy CD, or go to Roxio products and Windows XP.
Another option, which will become more useful as DVD players proliferate, is to make a Video CD (VCD). (Note this requires a DVD player that can play CD-Rs and that supports VCD, which is not the same thing as DVD.) You can do this using the software Nero from Ahead Software. (Adaptec EZ CD Creator Deluxe also has Video CD capability, but doesn't make it as easy just to drag and drop photo files to create a VCD.) I was able to make a Video CD using Nero, but I didn't try to add a soundtrack, which you're supposed to be able to do.
Presumably another solution similar to the VCD one would be Apple's iDVD software, which produces real DVD format disks.
See digital picture frames page.
There are many websites that offer photo sharing services. Be aware, this is a very difficult business and many of these sites have gone offline, even ones that were pay services, so make sure you don't rely on these services as the only storage for your photos. I would divide these services into three categories:
I tried Shutterfly again (2001-08-05). It preserves filenames and has a good uploader application. Some users still reported problems viewing the images. It doesn't have the guestbook feature for monitoring views of your shared albums. Note: Once you create a shared album, it CANNOT be deleted.
Ofoto used to be my choice for sharing images. Again I am dealing with dozens or hundreds of images at a time, so it is very important to me that the service handle such a situtation well. The uploader software is excellent, with very nice thumbnail and slideshow preview features as well as basic editing. Once the images are uploaded, there is an easy addressbook feature for sharing, as well as an automatic guestbook that lets you see who has visited your albums. More importantly, the web album display works well on both PCs and Macs, with a nice web slideshow that is easy enough for people of a wide range of Internet skills to use. UPDATE: Ofoto now preserves filenames, using the OfotoNow 3 software. UPDATE: 2002-02-06 Guestbook appears to be working again. UPDATE: 2002-06-17 Ofoto now requires everyone to sign up and login in order to view photos. Note: Once you create a shared album, it CANNOT be deleted.
Fotki has a lot of sophisticated features for sharing photos. The pay version is US$30 per year, but there is also a free version. I had numerous problems making secure connections to it in MacOS 9 using Mac IE and Mozilla. Regular connections worked fine. I have only used it to a very limited extent.
I like Pbase, it has nice gallery features and no ads. As of 23-Dec-2002 it is a pay service. Pricing starts at US$23 per year for 200 MB of storage. I use it for some of my galleries.
I haven't used FotoTime, but a lot of people have recommended it. It is now a pay service. Their prints are provided by EZprints.
Fotopic.Net requested to be added. They are UK-based but membership is allowed from anywhere. Basic membership is free, it includes 250 MB of storage plus you can either use a custom subdomain e.g. example.fotopic.net, or your own domain name. They also feature image "watermarking" with captions, dates, or your web address. They are also have a premium service. Partnered with 1stcameras.com for prints? They even support WAP for browsing pictures with a cellphone or other WAP-enabled device. Images can also be accessed in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Before registering, you may wish to check out their FAQ Who owns copyright on the photos?
For other possibilities, you can also have a look at this Google Directory: Computers > Internet > On the Web > Web Applications > Virtual Disk Drives > Photo Sharing
You may have some space that came with your ISP account. There are also many free sites, I won't list them all.
To create HTML photo albums of your own, there are lots of applications available, including:
I find ImageViewer and BreezeBrowser's HTML photo galleries more to my liking than the ones produced by PhotoExplorer.
There is an HTML Slide Show Wizard PowerToy for Windows XP. Download Htmlgen.exe (771 KB).
Apple has released .Mac Slides Publisher which requires both Jaguar (MacOS X 10.2) and an active .Mac account.
This refers to embedding location information within digital photographs.
See geocoding photos page.
This is a constantly changing field, with new printers being released all the time. I am unable to keep up with the new printers, particularly since I do most of my printing through local stores or online services.
I had an Epson Stylus Colour 740, which produced some prints on photo paper that I thought were quite acceptable. Now (2003-05-31) I have a Canon i850. I haven't tried doing photo prints on it.
You should be aware that the ink cartridges are quite expensive. Prices can range from $30 to $60 Canadian, depending on the type (which model, black or colour). If you do a lot of printing, you will end up paying more for ink than you paid for the printer, so factor that into your purchasing decision. In fact I'm becoming less and less convinced, once you factor in the price of the printer, ink, and photo paper, that there is much benefit to be gained from home photo printing.
I think if you're going to print at home, consider it a hobby or instant gratification thing. You can get amazing results from the little plastic printers available, but keep in mind the online services are using huge professional machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars - it's hard to match the longevity and quality of the photos they produce.
These are basically do-it-yourself greeting cards. You have to assemble (i.e. insert the photo), address, and mail the cards yourself.
In Canada, Black's Photography retail stores (my local one, anyway) sell Coloriginals and Collector's Gallery, along with other brands of photo insert cards. Loomis & Toles retail stores (again my local one, anyway) sell Kolo and Strathmore cards.
The Kolo cards that I got were fold-over and didn't come with any sticky tape or anything, so they were somewhat time-consuming to put together. The other cards are straightforward insert cards.
FuturePhoto now sells Photo Insert Greeting Cards (prints not included).
Photographer's Edge will send you a free catalog and sample. The samples I got were quite nice, and on recycled paper. Canadian shipping expensive. For my location I was quoted US$14.35 for 1 set (10 cards), US$16.60 for 5 sets (50 cards) and US$19.85 for 10 sets (100 cards).
Ofoto also sells photo insert cards. I think the deal is for one price you get the insert cards plus the photos to go in them.
There are many websites that offer digital photo printing services. You upload your photos to them, and they print them and mail them to you. The result is essentially the same sort of glossy prints you are used to from a regular photo developer. Just to emphasize: these services use huge professional photo printers, like the Fuji Frontier Digital Minilab or similar machines, that produce real photographic images on photo paper, at sizes up to 20x30". At sizes larger than that, some of them use inkjet printers.
In order to get the best quality prints, you're going to want to upload the full-sized files to the digital print service. If you're going to be doing it a lot, a high-speed Internet connection (e.g. cable modem or DSL) will be a lifesafer.
For print delivery from Canadian services, FutureShop Photo (FuturePhoto) was the first service I tried. Since they're charging Canadian dollars, it's less expensive.
You can see many, many other services listed in the table below.
With the US services you may find you get dinged with customs, I seem to get it on orders over about $15 (I'm told the official minimum is C$20). There's a $5 brokerage fee, plus HST, so it adds up pretty quickly. Fortunately, a few of the US services ship from within Canada.
On pages 34-36 of the print version of the August 2002 Yahoo Internet Life (which continues, ironically, to have minimal content available online) they reviewed 5 sites again and chose Ofoto as the top site again.
In the print version of the May 2001 Yahoo Internet Life the Web Lab: Gold Star Sites section reviews online photo services and chooses Ofoto as the best. Here is their report card grading the top 5 sites.
Some people are interested in the technical details of the hardware being used to print their photos, and in specifically tuning their images to print correctly. This is beyond my expertise, but there are a couple good resources.
Dry Creek Photo has a database of printer profiles, including photo labs in Canada.
Dry Creek also links to a list of Digital Minilabs which includes Canadian ones.
One of the most impressive things you can do with a nice digital photo is have it printed in a large size, the results can be stunning. There is a lot of debate on the net about what you should do to prepare your images for printing at large sizes. Personally I do nothing - I simply send them the image file from the camera (perhaps cropped as appropriate). I have been very pleased by the results. The services listed produce real photographic prints, unless otherwise indicated.
BigNose has changed its name to the less-lyrical FotoGiftsXL. They will do inkjet prints up to 36x48" and canvas prints up to 30x40". I got a 24x36". Very nifty. I'm not sure if their online form supports non-US ordering.
PhotoAccess now does up to 20x30" photographic and 36" inkjet, glossy or matte, as well as 48" inkjet (matte only). They also do prints in digital aspect ratios, up to 12" digital print. I got a 12" digital and was impressed - I was having fun doing 8x10" prints on my Epson 740, but this was a bigger improvement than I had expected. PhotoAccess used to use BigNose for inkjet prints, I don't know if this is still the case.
I have also gotten some 11x14" prints and a 12x18" from FutureShop Photo (FuturePhoto). I was pleased with the results - it really is amazing to see your photos at such large sizes.
I got a 12x18" from PhotoLab Canada. Be careful that you do your cropping to 12x18" properly, or you may get unexpected results.
Carsand-Mosher (Nova Scotia) can do up to 10x15" in Halifax and up to 20x30" in Truro. I got a couple 20x30" prints. They're from their Kodak LED printer (which produces matte or glossy photos). Very cool. And very big. They ship them flat, not rolled. For large print sizes I guess they would fall into the semi-pro photography services category. UPDATE: 2002-08-31 Their new online service will do up to 20x30" matte. Price is $25 when ordering two or more.
I haven't gotten large prints from any of the following services:
The services listed above are aimed mainly at consumers.
Industrial print services will do huge banners, murals, even wallpaper.
Professional print services offer much larger print sizes than consumer services, but are also much more expensive and require more extensive "preflight" file preparation, including application of printer profiles. The Gretag/CSI wide format LightJet seems to be the leading printer at these services.
Disclaimer: I haven't used any of the professional labs, and I don't know how their prints compare to the consumer services.
Some of these labs include:
Another technology is Giclée. It's basically a high-end inkjet. You can read an extremely positive review of it from Globe Technology:
Is it live, or is it Giclée?
However, from what I've read elsewhere, the article is a bit misleading. The main advantage of Giclee is the many different output surfaces possible. I am told the quality is not as good as true photographic processes such as LightJet or LED printers.
The service mentioned in the article is Gamma Editions a division of Gamma Pro Imaging in Vancouver.
Carsand-Mosher (Nova Scotia) can do Roland Giclee prints up to 48x96". I don't know if they're available using their online ordering application or if you have to request them specially.
Outdoor Photographer has a heavily ad-laden site that includes a list of premier labs.
You can get panoramas from ez prints. It used to be cheaper if you went through their partner link for Panoramic.net, but now it looks like it's actually more expensive that way :(
Once in EZprints, just select the "panorama" option (when ordering). I used this service to get two nice panorama prints, a 6 inch wide and a 12 inch wide, from images made with Canon's PhotoStitch software.
ColorMailer has quite a sophisticated panorama service. I got a 10x30" matte panorama from them, I was reasonably pleased although I found the detail wasn't very sharp.
They have something called Easy Panorama Maker, a Java applet that lets you assemble a panorama online. Here is some more information from their site (as of 2002-11-23):
White House Custom Color offers a 5x30" format. US$13.95 mounted, US$12 photo only.
You can order prints of your panorama on real professional quality Agfa photo paper. The available formats are :
[I got the US$ prices from Products and prices.]
Important Info: If your panorama has a width/length ratio that is different from the selected print format, white borders will be added automatically to compensate the difference. This means that if you have for instance a panorama with a 1:10 ratio, your real printed panorama size will be 7.5cm x 75cm when ordering a 25x75cm, and 14cm x 140cm (i.e. 2 stripes of 14x70cm) when you order a 50x70cm poster.
They are European, and also provide service to many other areas.
For Americans: 25x75cm is about 10x30", 50x70cm is about 20x28", so 50x140cm is roughly 20x56".
London Drugs Photo Station (Canada only) can do 4x10" panoramas, with optional foam core mounting and laminating. I got one of these - laminated on foam core sounds more impressive than it actually is, it's basically your panorama glued onto a piece of foam.
FutureShop Photo (FuturePhoto) will do 4x12" panoramas.
Haven't tried these services:
NOTE: Only Amazingmail and CardStore make what I would call "real" postcards or greeting cards, that is, they are printed on real card stock, and mailed to the address of your choice. All of the other services that I have tried just print your "card" as a custom photo, on regular photographic stock.
CardStore.com will do postcards and also folding cards (like a regular greeting card). They offer many styles including "full bleed" (no borders) - just your photo on the cover of the card. Individual cards they will send anywhere. These are glossy, heavy card stock, professional-looking cards. Note that they will only ship boxed cards in the US. Since they also provide cards for Ofoto, Shutterfly, Snapfish, PrintRoom, ... you can get around the boxed cards shipping restriction in Canada by ordering from e.g. Shutterfly. I did all my Christmas cards for 2001 A.D. with postcards and folding cards from CardStore.
All you have to do is upload an image, write a short text note, and provide one or more mailing addresses, and then Amazingmail will print glossy postcards and mail them anywhere in the world. It's very cool. I used it to mail out Christmas cards for 2000 A.D. with a photo collage I made. NOTE: Amazingmail only supports membership for people with US addresses.
PhotoLab Canada has reasonably priced 5x7" photo greeting cards, with a small selection of celebratory graphics. Since they are 5x7", I think probably you could get the exact same result cheaper by just editing your photos yourself and printing them at the regular photo price.
Shutterfly will do 4x8" holiday photo cards. Ofoto calls them Photo Greeting Cards, and uses 5x7" format.
PrintRoom will do the usual 4x8" photo cards, fairly nice interface for putting them together.
ez prints offers photo greeting cards, 4x8.25" with "festive graphics".
PhotoBox.co.uk (United Kingdom) will do greeting cards and postcards.
If you want to just get blank cards to insert photos into, see the Photo Insert Cards section above.
Most of the information in this section was submitted by John Navas (2002-04-29).
Disclaimer: I haven't used any of these services, and I don't know if they are available to Canadians.
|price as low as||web site||notes|
|US$2.25||Express Slides||accepts large files|
|US$3.00||Affordable Slide Imaging||new customers get first 10 slides free with minimum order of 20 slides|
Disclaimer: I haven't used any of these services, and I don't know if they are available to Canadians.
There are a number of consumer sites that are set up to partner with pro photographers, to enable you to sell your photos online. As far as I know, they handle all the details of order processing and fulfillment as well as managing the site for you.
These sites include:
On 2004-04-16 Fotopic announced:
All Fotopic Premium subscribers can sign up to Fotopic Printshop, where you get money from selling your photos - simply set your own prices and we'll run your photo gallery - all you do is promote yourself, and bank the cheques. No merchant account or ecommerce experience required.
These tables examine US and Canadian services from a Canadian perspective. There is also a small amount of European information. If you're interested in the particular tech used by a site, or in specific profiles for their printers, see the Profiles section above.
Note: "uploader" refers to a custom uploader application for uploading many photos. All services support basic uploading of one or a few photos from within a browser on any platform.
|Website||Free prints||4x6" Can$||8x10" Can$||Prices link||Ships from within Canada?||Uploader?||Notes|
|FutureShop Canada Photo (FuturePhoto)||5||0.29||4.95||Prices||Yes||Windows only||Canadian. Also supports US ordering. In English et en français. You select to have your order printed at any one of their lab locations across Canada (BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec) and you can pick it up at any FutureShop location or have it delivered by mail. Standalone uploader for Windows only, "Lite" browser uploader for Windows, Linux, appears to work in Mac OS X with IE, but not with Safari. Built-in service for Windows XP. See additional information. Store up to 50 MB of photos for 60 days, $6.99 per year for 50 MB storage after that. Software from OpenGraphics. Promotion: 5 free 4x6" prints (applies only to orders through the website, not using the standalone Wizard).
|PhotoLab Canada (www.photolab.ca)||0||0.25||2.99||Prices||Yes||Ships for $1.99 in Canada, $2.99 to the US. Offers free in-store pick-up (Loblaws, Atlantic SuperStore, others). Also Rogers Hi-Speed Internet has PhotoLab discount perks sometimes. Can add as an option for built-in Windows XP Print Wizard.|
|Yahoo Canada Photos||0||0.39||4.99||Yes||Print service by PhotoLab Canada. Uses previous PhotoLab pricing/shipping model: free Xpresspost shipping.|
|Staples Canada Photo Centre||0||0.29||3.95||Yes||Replaces their staples.ca service. Pick-up at Staples, or $5.00 for Xpresspost shipping. maximum 11x14", all glossy only, browser-based upload, 10 images at a time. As of 2005, uses FotoWire uploader (Windows only).|
|ClearPhoto.ca||5||0.35 *||3.95 *||Prices||Yes||Windows browser||4x6" $0.39, 8x10" $4.39, shipping $1.99. * Promotion: 4x6" $0.35, 8x10" $3.95, free shipping (minumum 20 photos). In British Columbia. No cropping tools?|
|PhotoAccess||10||0.44||3.74||No||Win and Mac (OS 9 and X)||US$0.29 4x6", US$2.49 8x10". Digital aspect ratio prints. Very wide range of products. US$0.49 for digital size six inch prints. US$3.39 for digital size ten inch prints. They get very good quality ratings in reviews. They use Gretag/Sienna Mileca printers.|
|Japan Camera||0||0.49||8.99||Prices||Yes||Win and Mac||Canadian (despite the name). They have new Windows and Mac JPrints uploader software (FotoWire). In English et en français. Free pick up from local Japan Camera stores (all across Canada) or have shipped to you.
Promotions: Use code " 50off " for 50% off your first JPrints order. Use code " PHOTOS " for 25% off, offer expires (?).
|Shutterfly||15+||0.59||5.99||Prices||Yes||Win, Mac and Linux||US$0.39 4x6", US$3.99 8x10". Volume and pre-paid pricing available. They preserve filename info, and print it on the back of each photo. They usually have some sale deal(s) on - check their site for info. They also provide the Adobe, Best Buy and Dell services. They use Fuji Frontier printers and Fuji paper.|
|Ofoto||10+||0.44||5.99||Prices||Yes||Windows||US$0.29 4x6", US$3.99 8x10". Owned by Kodak. OfotoNow software for Windows, Kodak EasyShare (17.4 MB download) for Mac OS 10.2.3 and up, however if you select Region = "Canada", you WILL NOT get a "Share Online" tab in the EasyShare interface, so I recommend you select "United States" instead. In late 2003 they opened a UK service.|
|Amazon.com Photo Services||10||prints from Ofoto.|
|Apple iPhoto||0||0.29||5.99||Mac only||US$0.19 4x6", US$3.99 8x10". Prints from Ofoto. Runs under Mac OS X only. Additional features: make a book from your photos, US$29.99 (price not verified) for 10 pages. myPublisher.com is doing the photo books.|
|Club Photo||20||0.38||5.99||Prices||No||Windows and Mac||US$0.25 4x6", US$3.99 8x10". With free membership, photos are only stored for 90 days. Offers 4x5.33" digital aspect ratio prints. Now providing photo services for Ulead. Very slow upload speed.|
|BonusPrint Canada||0||0.25||2.80||Prices||No (ships from Germany)||Windows||In Germany. Shipping $3.99 Offers digital sizes: 4"x5.3, 5"x6.6 etc. "Pix" software is FotoWire.|
|London Drugs Photo Station||0||0.59||5.98||Yes||Windows browser||Canada only. They also offer foam core mounting and laminating. Free pick up from local London Drugs stores (western Canada) or have shipped to you. I found the uploading interface confusing but it appears powerful. Also available through built-in Windows XP Print Wizard.|
|Carsand-Mosher Photographic||0||0.65||4.99||Yes||Windows and Mac||Nova Scotia (Halifax and Truro). UPDATE: 2002-08-31 Now offering online service. Uses Kodak Image Check uploader (FotoWire). Upload JPG or TIFF. Upload must complete in 20 min. Offers glossy or matte. Sizes up to 20x30". Pick up in Truro or Halifax, or have mailed to you. NOTE: Minumum order $5. Additional info on in-store purchases.|
|Black's Photo Centre||0||0.69||8.99||Prices||Yes||Windows||Canadian. Upload up to 36 images at a time through browser. Free pick up from local Black's Photography stores (all across Canada) or have shipped to you. In English et en français. Can add as an option for built-in Windows XP Print Wizard. Also partnered with Sympatico.ca Photography.|
|Kodak Picture Centre Canada||0||0.79||6.95||Yes||No||Click on "Add pictures" in "My Albums" in order to upload. It says it will store up to 200 pictures. I think you have to use it every 30 days to keep your account active.
I was unable to complete an order using Mac OS X IE, it kept saying "there is a problem". It worked fine using Netscape 6 in OS X and using Internet Explorer in Windows. Can get 4x6" prints cheaper, even though it's the exact same service, using Shoppers. NOTE: Different from Kodak PhotoNet (which shut down March 14, 2002).
|PrintRoom||0||0.59||4.49||Prices||No||Windows browser (or use their Windows software)||US$0.39 4x6", US$2.99 8x10"|
|ez prints||0||0.44||3.68||Prices||No||Windows browser||US$0.29 4x6", US$2.45 8x10". I have only used for panoramas. Note: DigiPrintStore, FotoTime, dotphoto, printroom, webshots, yahoo photos usa are just some of ez prints many partners.|
|FujiFilm.net||0||0.74||6.44||Prices||No||Windows only||US$0.49 4x6", US$4.29 8x10" (website prices). The website is US only. However the Print @ Fujicolor uploader software (Windows only) supports both US and Canadian addresses. NOTE: I couldn't get the software to run under Windows ME. It ran fine under Windows 98.|
|ColorMailer||*||0.60||4.80||Prices||No||Windows and Mac (OS 9 and OS X)||US$0.40 4x6", US$3.20 8x10". European, also provide service to many areas including Scandinavia, Australia and the US. Uploaders (FotoWire?) in a variety of languages. For Canadian orders, only ColorMailer International Lab in Switzerland is available (US dollar or Euro pricing). I have only gotten a panorama from them. * 5 free enlargements with first order. They also offer a Pro service targetted at professional photographers.|
|PhotoChannel||0||0.74||4.49||Prices||Yes||Windows only||US$0.49 4x6", US$2.99 8x10". PhotoChannel ("Internet Imaging Network") provides back-end services for many Canadian online photofinishers. 35 MB max per upload.|
|AGFAnet||0||No||Windows and Mac (OS 9 and OS X)||Appears mainly European. For Canada the only labs available are those that ship worldwide. Additional information.|
|e-mage||0||0.69||6.99||Prices||Yes||Windows||Canadian. Site in both English et français. You now have to download their uploader in order to access the e-mage service. It's the Print@Fujicolor uploader software. Pick up at store or Can$4.50 Xpresspost. Minimum order (before shipping) $5. Not recommended. Photo printing division of L.L.Lozeau.|
|Fotki||0||Prices||No||Win ActiveX, Java Applet (Win, MacOS X, Linux), FTP, commercial CompuPic software||US$0.19 4x6", US$1.99 8x10" (premium member prices). Prints by dotPhoto? US$30 per year premium account with lots of storage. They also offer free accounts with max storage of 10 MB. (I don't entirely understand the different account types.) Sizes up to 11x14". I was unable to order in MacOS 9 using Mac IE 5.1.7 but Mac Mozilla 1.2.1 worked fine. Also has co-branding feature that gives you your own .fotki.com URL|
|PhotoWorks||15||Canadian pricing||Yes||Windows only||No longer able to register online from Canada.|
|Sony ImageStation||0||0.36||5.24||Prices||No||US$0.24 4x6", US$3.49 8x10". Prints from Ofoto? "Unable to ship to locations outside the United States of America" (order goes via SonyStyle.com).|
NOTE: The information in these tables is as of 2004-03-27. US to Canadian currency conversion done at a rate of 1.5 Can$ per US$.
Many many services use FotoWire to provide upload services. FotoWire provides a database from which you can list available labs. e.g. select Country = Canada, Product Category = Photo Prints.
If you're looking for more reviews of some of the services listed here, go back up to the Online Print Services - Resources section.
Erica Sadun's site is the permanent home of the Digital PhotoFinishing FAQ, which has some basic guidelines and information about ordering digital prints.
Prosidio has a section called Compare Online Print Services which has information about Shutterfly, ImageStation, Ofoto, SnapFish, and WalMart PhotoCenter USA.
|Shoppers Drug Mart Photo Centre||0||Prints/service from Kodak Picture Centre Canada. 4x6" $0.39, 8x10" $6.95.|
|RogersPhoto.ca||5 *||4x6" $0.39, 8x10" $4.95. Services by Siberra. * 5 free 4x6" with code: 5free4by6|
|RadioShack.ca Online Photo Finishing||0||Pricing 4x6" $0.29, 8x10" $4.49, max appears to be 10x15". Unable to get it to work in MacOS X (appears to be Java problem). Backended by teleimpression.com|
|Digilab.ca (HBC/Zellers)||0||4x6" $0.49 (less than 10), $0.29 (ten or more), 8x10" $3.99. Glossy only. Pick up in-store only. Backended by PhotoChannel?|
|IGA.net||0||IGA grocery stores. Quebec only? 4x6" $0.35, 8x10" $4.49 Java upload app, loaded on Mac but "Next" button didn't work so I couldn't use it. Backended by IPC Communication / teleimpression.|
|winkflash Canada||0||Prices 4x6" $0.24, 8x10" $2.65|
|Ginn Photo||0||Ottawa, Ontario. You can use their FotoDesk (Kodak Image Check / FotoWire) software for Windows or MacOS Classic. Also available is email or FTP. Pricing using FotoDesk: 4x6" $0.39 for three-day service, $0.89 for "rush". Glossy or Matte. 8x10" $5.49 for three-day, $7.99 for "rush". Instore?: For minimum 10 files, all printed (no selections), 4x6" $0.45 for three days service, $0.55 for next-day service. Pricing for selected reprints of digital files is $0.99 each. The prices for 8x10's are $6.99 each.|
|Wal-Mart Canada PhotoCentre||0||4x6" $0.25, 8x10" $2.97, sizes up to 20x30". Prices. Free pickup from Wal-Mart store of your choice. No option for postal shipping. Can add as an option for built-in Windows XP Print Wizard. Windows uploader. There is a 360MB maximum per upload (30MB maximum per single photo). In English et en français. In partnership with PhotoChannel.com - in fact your PhotoChannel.com account username and password will work on this site.|
|Uniprix||0||Pick up at store only I think. Regular price: 4.5x6" (with border) $0.49, 8x10" $4.99, sizes up to 12x18". In quantity 10 or more: 4x5" $0.29, 4.5x6" (with border) $0.35, second set even cheaper. Prices. In English et en français. No uploader; browser-based upload only.|
|Jean Coutu||0||Pick up at store only I think. Very similar to Uniprix offering. Same prices, sizes, conditions as Uniprix. Prices. In English et en français. No uploader; browser-based upload only. Appears to support .zip files? 32 MB maxiumum storage? Offers album sharing.|
|Canadian chain Dumoulin/Audiotronic in English et français.||0||They are also using the URL Photo-Service.ca Used to use PhotoAccess, now they have their own system. 4x6" $0.48, 8x10" $4.48, sizes up to 24x36" (I don't know if it is photographic or inkjet at that size). Browser upload, 1-12 images (more if you use a .zip file), 20 megabytes per file maximum, JPEG only.|
|Atlantic Photo Supply||0||Halifax, Nova Scotia. Windows Print@Fujicolor uploader or use web upload. Can pick up at the store or have it shipped to you. Prices 4x6" $0.77, 8x10" $9.90, matte or glossy. Largest size 10x15".|
|Lens and Shutter||0||All stores in British Columbia. $0.39 for 4x6" from the Broadway, Vancouver store. Uses FotoWire (Win and Mac uploaders).|
|Henry's Moments Online||0||4x6" $0.89, 8x10" $7.99. Prices. Have shipped to you, or pick up for free at any of the 10 Henry's locations in Ontario. Promotion: Upload 50 4x6" prints for $24.50 and get a free 5x7", code MCF2D4Y.|
|Moto Photo Canada||0||4x6" $0.49, 8x10 $8.99. Prices. Windows and Mac uploaders (they call it "PictureWire", it's FotoWire).|
|Shutterbug.ca||0||4x6" $0.39. Minimum 10 prints. Windows-only uploader. Service of Highland Image Centre, upload and uploader backend by Photogize.|
|dotPhoto||30||10 a month for two months and 10 more if you join a paid subscription plan. More information. Only Windows uploader.|
|WebPhotos||20+||Prices US$0.25 for 4x6", 8x10" US$1.99.|
|Adorama||10||4x6" US$0.29, 8x10" US$2.99, sizes up to 12x18". Prices. Uploader for Win and Mac OS X.
Promotion: 10 free prints for new users with code #ADIN
|Snapfish||10||They ship to Canada now for US$1.99+ (used to ship to US only). Prices. 4x6" US$0.25, 8x10" US$3.79, as well as bulk plans. Only Windows uploader (PhotoWizard). Looks exactly the same as Mystic Color Lab.|
|Mystic Color Lab||20||4x6" US$0.49, 8x10" $4.55. Prices. Only Windows uploader (PhotoWizard). Now looks exactly the same as SnapFish.|
|PhotoIsland||0||Windows uploader only. Offers PhotoMontage poster service.|
|ePixel||0||One user said "They've got the worst website imaginable but their product and prices are great." (Their website is much improved now.) US$0.25 for 4x6", US$3 for 8x10", minimum order US$2.|
|HP Photo Cartogra||0||Prints are now from Shutterfly. Only Windows uploader (HP Photo Manager).|
|NikonNet.com||0||Ships to US, Canada, and internationally. Shipping to Canada appears to be $7. Windows and Mac OS Classic uploaders.|
|Fotango||0||UK. Prices (in pounds). Windows and Mac OS X uploaders.|
|Jessops Print@Net||10 *||UK. * Ten free 5x7" prints when you download their Windows-only uploader software. Prices (in pounds).|
|PhotoBox.co.uk||0||United Kingdom, also a site in Ireland. They accept international orders and ship internationally. Prices (in pounds).|
|Blueyonder Photos||30||UK, powered by PhotoBox.
ten free prints a month for your first three months
|Yahoo Photos USA||10||Prints from Shutterfly? NOTE: This is a different service from Yahoo Canada Photos, which has its prints done by Photolab.ca|
|MSN Photos USA||0||MSN has recently improved their site and added service partners. Prints from FujiColor. 4x6" US$0.49, 8x10" US$3.29. NOTE: This is a different service from MSN Photos Canada, which doesn't offer printing.|
|Costco, Kmart||0||They ship to USA only. Many people in the US are getting good results. These services are doing good quality prints quite inexpensively. Unfortunately they do not currently provide online photo services in Canada. Both Costco and Kmart use Kodak Picture Center USA.|
|Sears Photos||0||US only?|
|Mpix.com||0||They offer metallic paper. I don't actually know what that is. They don't ship to Canada?|
|iMira||0||(DISCONTINUED, replaced with Club Photo) photo sharing and printing service associated with Ulead|
The tables on this page are not intended to be a comprehensive listing of services outside North America. I don't want to list many services that I have not tested or tried, and I don't have the resources to test every service in the world. If you know of lists of non-NorthAm services, please let me know and I will add them.
A table similar to mine, for German services. digitalkamera.de: Marktübersicht Fotobelichtung.
I have tried all of these services except Baby Book.
|CardStore.com||1||Prices. Postcards and folding cards. NOTE: boxed cards ship to US only. Individual cards they will send anywhere.|
|iPrint||0||iPrint can put a digital image onto almost anything - huge range of gifts and business items (check their Price List). Also, they have quite powerful online editing functions, so you can customize the item exactly the way you want it.|
|Amazingmail||1||real postal postcards only. NOTE: Amazingmail support says
We are currently only providing service to U.S. residents. We hope to provide service to other countries in the near future.(2001-11-15)
|myPublisher.com||0||Produces photo books (provides book service for iPhoto).|
|Baby Book||0||Lets you design a baby photo book online (including multimedia), then have it printed. Service available in Canada through Sage Creek Naturals.|
I haven't tried dotPhoto yet. They do have good prices, US $0.29 for 4x6", even cheaper on some pricing plans. However reports on the net are "you get what you pay for". The service has quite a few restrictions:
They used to have what were (to me) fairly complicated membership plans. They now seem to have somewhat simpler print pricing plans but you should read the fine print of the membership help for more info. Note in particular that in order to remain as a free member past the first year you must "upload and store at least one photo per month or spend only $5.00 over a 6 month period on prints."
Excellent support - very responsive and helpful. They use Kodak/Noritsu QSS-2721 DLS digital minilabs, and print on Kodak Royal paper. When using web form for upload, no thumbnails are shown and there is no estimate of upload time or indication of progress. Wizard uploader is somewhat slow to make thumbnails (probably due to copying of files) and a bit cumbersome for selecting print sizes. In XP, set your file display in the "Add..." part of the Wizard to "thumbnails" for easy selection of images. It will not let you order print sizes if it determines your image resolution is too low. They require minimum pixel resolutions of 1320x1680 for 11x14", 1440x2048 for 12x18" and 480x1440 for 4x12" panorama. The print wizard (but not the built-in XP version) will accept TIFF images. Maximum order of 100 unique images at a time. Standalone Print Wizard copies all of the images before upload to: Program Files\Open Graphics\Picturific\cache
Main website in English, Français and Deutsch. Windows and Mac uploaders in English, Deutsch, Français, Español, Italiano and Nederlands. The uploader is a front-end to AGFAnet-supporting labs worldwide. The prices and options will be different depending what lab you choose.
Both Atlantic Photo Supply (dealer code "Atlantic") and e-mage (dealer code "e-mage") use the 724pix software version. Unfortunately I can't find any way to switch between dealer codes without uninstalling and reinstalling the software. You can see what the uploader looks like on their help page.
To make matters worse, the version available from FujiFilm.net is different, and apparently also incompatible (i.e. it overwrites the other versions).
The service is targetted at professional photographers, for producing prints only (not for selling your prints online). It can be found at http://pro.colormailer.com/ Says it's only available in UK, France, Germany and Switzerland. DPreview has a press release announcing the service.
Can$0.75 for 4x6", minimum order $5. Price applies only if ALL images on media are printed. More complicated pricing if only selected images or multiple copies of one image are being printed. For 8x10", Can$12.95 each, unless you are printing multiple copies of the SAME image. Normal procedure is to bring in digital media and then pick up prints in one or two days.
You can print photos using in Windows XP using a built-in service. It comes configured with FutureShop and London Drugs. Here are some others you can add:
Please feel free to contact me by email if you have any suggestions or comments. Just use the "contact me" link at the top or bottom of this page.
If you have questions about this page, or digital photography in Canada: Discuss Digital Photography.
Otherwise I suggest using the appropriate DPreview forum and/or the USENET group rec.photo.digital
Copyright © 2001-2006 Richard Akerman. All Rights Reserved. No mirroring without prior written consent.
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