Photo lab printing in Canada: Results part 1

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Photo lab printing in Canada: TEST RESULTS PART 1
    January 13, 2005

    Many people ask which photo lab produces the best prints at the best
    cost. Like others, I too want to know the answer. So I decided send the
    same five photos to three photo labs in Canada:

    - Future Photo (Future Shop's photo lab)
    - Wal-Mart
    - Photo Service (a good photography store in Old Montreal)

    All photos were taken with the same 3 megapixel camera (Canon S230).

    Summary conclusions

    I am not a professional photographer and my conclusions are based on my
    own personal preferences. Also, I know that results will change based
    on which store location the photos were processed and which technician
    was on duty at the time. So, take these results with a grain of salt.

    Future Photo
    $0.39 (4x6, Canadian prices)

    These prints were done at the St. Catherine Street downtown store.
    Future Photo produced the most vivid colours. The blue seemed more blue
    than the others. But the resolution didn't seem as good. For instance,
    in one photo a white diagonal line (from a boat sail) looks jagged.

    Photo Service
    $0.49 (4x6, Canadian prices, $0.41 on larger orders)

    Located on Notre Dame St. in Old Montreal, Photo Service sells to
    photographers. They did the best job. The colours were almost as good
    as Future Photo. And that diagonal line (from a boat sail) looks
    pefectly straight.

    $0.25 (4x6, Canadian prices)

    These photos were done at their central location, probably in Toronto.
    I was hoping that the Wal-mart photos would be good. They are the
    cheapest of these three... But also the worst. The contrast was too
    high on the photos and this darkended our skin too much. Everything was
    darker in these photos. But Wal-mart did a better job with the diagnoal
    line that Future Photo (but not as good as Photo Service).

    WINNER: Photo Service

    Of these three, Photo Service produced the best results. I suspect that
    any small professional photography store in Canada will usually produce
    better photos than the big chain stores. Unless you really study the
    photos carefully, you won't notice a difference between Photo Service
    and Future Photo.

    As for price, Photo Service is $0.10 more than Future Photo. But it
    offers doubles at $0.25. I'm not sure if that is $0.25 for each for
    $0.49 + $0.25. Either way, Photo Service may actually be cheaper than
    Future Photo if you order doubles.

    I encourage folks to conduct their own tests and post the results here.
    , Jan 14, 2005
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