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The Best Online Photo Printing Services for 2021

Print Your Photos the Easy Way

There’s a big difference between a photo and a photograph. The latter is an object itself, rather than just an image file displayed on a screen. Sure, you can hold your phone up to someone’s face to show them snapshots of your baby niece, but that’s no way to proudly display a favorite shot. Online photo printers like Mpix, Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Walmart Photo exist because people still want photo prints. The services included here can produce high-quality prints and memorabilia from your digital photos, whether that’s in the form of wallet-size snapshots or wall-size photo canvases.

Below, we give you some helpful ideas of what factors you should consider when choosing a photo printing service to give your digital keepsakes physical form.

How Much Do Photo Print Services Cost?

It turns out you can get printed photos of your visual memories without breaking the bank. Some services we tested, including Snapfish, Walmart Photo, and York Photo Labs, produce 4-by-6-inch prints for just 9 cents apiece. Local pickup options tend to cost more: CVS Photo and Walgreens start at 33 cents for 4-by-6s, but you pay for the convenience of local pickup. Mpix charges 33 cents for a mailed 4-by-6 print, followed by Nations Photo Labs’ 32 cents, but both provide excellent image and paper quality. In the middle are Amazon Prints’ and Shutterfly’s 15 cents for a 4-by-6.

Even if you want enlargements at popular sizes, such as 5-by-7 and 8-by-10, you don’t have to spend a lot. Snapfish will send you 5-by-7s for just 69 cents each. Nations Photo Labs and Printique (formerly known as AdoramaPix) charge $2.49 for an 8-by-10 print, and most other services charge a still-reasonable $2.99-$3.99. For wall-art size prints, of course, you’ll pay more, but prices still aren’t exorbitant: All of the services in this roundup sell 16-by-20 prints for under $20, and most charge closer to $15.

One thing worth keeping in mind is that most of the services included here offer special discount pricing from time to time. The See It links above often lead to some unexpected bargains and offers.

Photo Gifts and Cards

Why stop at ordinary photo prints, when you can have your pictures grace mugs, playing cards, and even pillows? The services here offer a remarkable assortment of objects that you can personalize. All offer greeting cards, calendars, and photo books (more on this below). Most offer phone cases, blankets, and coffee mugs.

Shutterfly offers the largest selection of photo gifts, with flowerpots, blankets, cell phone cases, pillows, shower curtains, and even food bowls for your pets. York Photo Labs and CVS can sell you a necktie featuring your picture or multiple copies of one shot. I’m still waiting for one of the companies to offer photo-embellished rugs and lampshades. A couple of fun options that many do offer are puzzles and magnets. Walmart will sell you a Teddy bear wearing a t-shirt sporting your photo. The latest photo gifts I’ve seen are tea towels, pot holders, bottle openers, and pet food containers.

Holiday cards mean so much more when they include a photo or photos of your family, and most of the services here can produce them for you at reasonable rates. Most offer 5-by-7 flat cards, which cost in the range from below 50 cents (from Walmart) to about $3 from the higher end services. A few offer traditional folding cards for a bit more. You’ll pay less per card with a larger order volume. Premium options like foil printing, special cutout shapes, and linen card stock can be had at premium prices.

Large Canvas Prints

Two services included here, CanvasChamp and CanvasPop don’t even print standard small photos, but instead offer only large, high-quality wall art (as well as magnets and pillows). CanvasPop offers 12-by-16 canvas prints wrapped on a 3/4-inch frame for $85. The company also offers retouching and restoration services. CanvasChamp offers prints up to 54 inches by 54 inches, and is more budget-oriented than CanvasPop, with prices starting at just $4. 25 for a 5-by-7 or 8-by-8-inch canvas, but the quality doesn’t match that of CanvasPop.

Those two aren’t alone in offering your photos in the form of large wall art. Nations Photo Lab’s canvas offerings start at $58 for an 8-by-10 stretched on a 3/4-inch frame, and Snapfish’s start at $39.99 for an 8-by-8 canvas. Printique charges $32.99 for an 8-by-12 canvas and runs all the way up to $248 for a 30-by-40-inch canvas. Mpix’s gallery-wrapped canvas prints start at $57.75 for an 8-by-10.

Mounted Prints

Most of the services also offer a choice of hard backings for larger prints, and they’ll also frame your picture. Mounting options for Shutterfly include printing on card stock, which starts at $14.99 for a 5-by-7. The same size on Pearl Shimmer cardstock lists for $19.99, and adding a frame takes the price to $49.98. (Again, these are list prices; you can often find great reductions.)

But card stock isn’t as suitable for wall hanging as other options such as styrene, standouts, gatorboard, and metal prints (more on this last type of print below). Gatorboard is stronger than standard foam plastic, since it’s impregnated with wood fibers, and it’s easy to hang on the wall. All these types of backing are available from many of the online photo printing services included here.

Mpix offers a CollageWall option that lets you group related shots with a matching background. These start at $80 for a 1.5-by-1.5-foot array consisting of four photos. Other services, including Printique offer similar décor solutions.

Metal prints are an elegant, more permanent option offered by several services. With this process, your photo is printed directly onto a metallic surface for more vivid colors and contrast. Mpix can print to paper using a similar effect, with its Metallic Print option. In actual printing on metal, Nations Photo Lab charges $16 for a 4-by-6, and $28 for an 8-by-10, for example. Its largest metal option is a substantial 24 by 36 inches, which costs $230.

A new, stylish twist from Snapfish is its maple wood mounting. This option starts at $129.99 for an 16-by-20 print. The option comes with mounting holes in the back, and the printing process allows the wood grain to show through your image for a rustic look.

Framing adds the ultimate wall-art touch to your large photo prints. It also adds cost: A framed 3.5-by-5 from Mpix costs $26 (for matting, you pay an additional $10). Printique charges from $78 to $207 for framed and matted print, depending on the frame chosen, while CanvasPop charges from $79 to $309 for framed prints

Printing Photo Books

Almost all of the services included here can print books featuring your photos. For special events such as weddings, graduations, and vacations, nothing serves as a better reminder than a professionally printed photo book. The entry-level price for a book is Shutterfly’s $9.99 for a 6-by-6-inch hardcover. Snapfish charges $19.99 for an 8-by-8 book, and Printique charges $24.99 for the same size. Nations only hardcover books, which start at $29 for 5-by-7-inch books. Mpix offers hardcover books with sewn bindings, called Premium hardcover books starting at $39.99 for a 20-page 5-by-5-inch book and Economy books with the same specs, starting at $19.99.

Shutterfly has a service that curates your photos and designs a book for if you feel you’re not up to the task yourself. The service has one of the best design tools, with three options: Make My Book, Custom Path (which lets you personalize every page), and Simple Path, which instantly lays out your photos.

If you’re comfortable with photo editing software, Adobe’s Lightroom Classic and Apple’s Photos app both offer excellent photo book design tools and let you send your project to a professional printer. Lightroom uses the book-only Blurb service, and Apple uses an undisclosed but high-quality publisher.

Editing, Ordering, and Sharing Photos

If you’re going to be ordering photos online, it helps if the service has a friendly, navigable website. For example, most services, like Snapfish, let you simply check off all the sizes you want on a single page grid. Others make you select a size for printing before choosing the images you want, and then start over again if you want more sizes.

Snapfish and other services offer basic photo-editing tools, letting you brighten or darken an underexposed or overexposed shot, for example. Many services automatically apply color correction; Nations Photo Labs offers high-level photo editing for a price premium, but we didn’t see a big difference in our test prints between premium color-corrections and the service’s standard prints.

Online Sharing

This feature is offered by some services; Mpix, Printique, and Shutterfly are particularly strong in this capability. The latter even lets you create online mini-websites for your photos. Snapfish and Walgreens Photo let you share online galleries that can be viewed as full-window slideshows. York Photos shared galleries are little more than batches of thumbnails, and Nations Photo Lab doesn’t get involved in online gallery sharing.

Film Processing

This may seem a passé topic, but there’s a contingent of photographers who still prefer film; I recently needed film processing for one of those disposable underwater cameras for a vacation that involved snorkeling. Companies here that still process film include Mpix and some CVS and Walgreens locations For a film-only service with more options including black-and-white film, check out The Darkroom. These services usually include a CD or web link with digital copies of your photos, which lets you edit and share them on your PC, but prints usually cost extra.

Mobile Apps for Photo Printing Services

The most popular camera these days is one that’s always with you—your phone. And smartphones have come a long way in terms of image quality, with some capturing images with more than 20 megapixels of resolution. With most photos now being taken by phones, it only makes sense for a photo printing service to offer a mobile app to get the images straight from your phone to the print service.

York Photo Labs offers a very basic app that only lets you upload and order prints. Amazon and Shutterfly add the ability to order photo gifts, while Snapfish and Walgreens Photo’s apps can import photos from social networks, perform some editing, and share photos with friends. Nations is the only service in this group with no mobile app.

Delivering Your Photos

If you want your pictures pronto, Walmart Photo or Walgreens is the way to go. Target Photo and CVS Photo also let you pick up prints locally, but we weren’t a pleased with their results in our testing.

If you decide you can wait a few days, or you want special options not available with local pickup, such as matte finish, mail order is provided by all the services tested. None of them takes an inordinate amount of time, and shipping costs for our order of 22 photos of various sizes ranged from $2.79 for York Photo Labs to $7.95 for Mpix—but the reason for the difference was stark. York packaged the photos in a thin, standard large envelope, while the carefully protected Mpix order arrived in a strong cardboard box with clear plastic envelopes for photo size sets.

If you want faster delivery, most services offer second-day and overnight but keep in mind that the products still have to be produced, so that doesn’t mean your photos will arrive the day after you order them, necessarily, even if you pay $15 for overnight shipping. But it may mean your pictures arrive four days earlier. In practice, none of our test orders, for which we used the lowest-cost shipping options, took more than five days to arrive except for the York Photo Labs order.

Packaging quality varies widely among the services tested. Mpix, Printique, and Nations sit at the top of the packaging quality pyramid; they use thick cardboard boxes to protect your prints. Amazon and York Photo Labs are at the bottom, using only thin paper envelopes.

Print Quality

For us, this is the most important factor when ordering prints: How accurately the photos reproduce the image you shot. Most of the prints I received, especially at the smaller 4-by-6-inch size, revealed acceptable image quality, but there are noticeable differences in lighting and saturation. You can see the differences in the mountain scene below.

Paper is another consideration. Most services use Fuji Crystal archive, but the higher-end services like Printique, Mpix, and Nations Photo Lab use truly professional-quality Kodak Endura paper, which is thicker and rated to last longer.

Please don’t hesitate to share your experiences with photo printing services in the comments below. To learn more about improving your photos, check out our collections of Quick Tips to Fix Your Bad Photos, Beyond-Basic Phototography Tips, and The Best Photo Editing Software. And if you’re set on printing your own pictures, our list of the best photo printers is a good place to start.

Nations Photo Lab Review | PCMag

Nations Photo Lab may not have Snapfish or Shutterfly’s name recognition when it comes to photo printing services, but it certainly delivers the goods. Nations offers high-quality prints that arrive in excellent protective packaging in our testing. Though the company’s pricing is on the high side, it’s still quite reasonable, when compared with other services that use high-end paper and processes.

How Much Do Nations Photo Lab Prints Cost?

Nations charges more for the standard 4-by-6 print than most of the competition, at 32 cents each or 56 cents with color correction, though you do find special discounts far below those prices. Nations recommends using its color correction unless you calibrate your monitor with their specific ICC profiles. Some services, including Walmart (PCMag’s top choice for value prints) and York Photo Labs, charge only 9 cents for 4-by-6 photos. The 5-by-7s cost a reasonable $1.25 ($1.69 with color correction) and the 8-by-10s are $2.49/$3.25.

Only the prices charged by Editors’ Choice winners Printique and Mpix are comparable, but Nations charges the most among services we tested. The best deals on 5-by-7s and 8-by-10s are from Amazon Prints, which charges 58 cents and $1.79, respectively. Walmart Photo isn’t far behind, charging 69 cents for 5-by-7s.

Shipping via U.S. Postal Service First Class cost just $3.95 for my order of 24 4-by-6s, five 5-by-7s, and two 8-by-10s; UPS ground ($7), 2nd day ($15), or overnight ($30) are the other delivery options. If you visit Nations’ Maryland lab location, you can pick up your prints for free.

Cards and Gifts

Nations doesn’t only produce photo prints: You can order holiday cards, photo books, calendars, mugs, and home décor as well. Holiday cards start at $32.75 for a 25-pack, or $1.31 per card. The price decreases as your order quantity increases. You can also get Christmas stockings and tree ornaments with your photos printed on them. The most unusual photo gifts Nations offers are blankets, pillows, and dog tags. It’s a respectable selection, but it’s not quite as wide-ranging as Snapfish, which offers offbeat things like shower curtains and face masks with your photos on them.

Creating Orders With Nations Photo Lab

To start an order with Nations, as with any online photo printing service, you need to upload your pictures. Unfortunately, the service no longer lets you directly add photos from Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, or other third-party cloud services, as Printique and Walmart Photo do. And as with most services of this type, you start by creating a new Gallery. Unlike Snapfish, and Shutterfly, Nations does support drag-and-drop from Windows Explorer. You can upload JPG and TIFF files, which is more than most services, which usually limit you to JPG and maybe PNG. TIFF support marks Nations as more professional, but the service doesn’t allow you to upload PNGs.

You can select multiple files to be uploaded at once, but there’s a maximum number of 400 photos per upload.

On the ordering page, Nations makes it a little harder to select multiple prints for the same image. The other services usually show selection boxes for the standard size selections—4-by-6, 5-by-7, 8-by-10—in which you can enter the number of prints of an image at each size. With Nations, you must select the photos, and then the size. After selecting them, you see a Review and Edit Crops window with all your selected images. This is a good thing—you don’t want Aunt Debbie’s head half cut off.

The service offers no photo-editing or enhancing tools at all, such as those offered by Snapfish. Still, you’re probably better off doing that stuff on your computer using an app like the free Windows Photos or the not-so-free Adobe Lightroom, which avails you of more options than online editing. There’s another issue with cropping: You can’t uncrop. That is, you can choose a subset of the image, but you can’t zoom out and make it smaller on the page. This is particularly problematic when you have a square image that you want to print on rectangular paper. Another problem is that if you choose a border, such as white or black, Nations doesn’t show you a preview of it with your image.

In the next and final step before ordering, you can choose from several mounting options, which cost significantly more than the standard prints—single-weight matboard costs $3.17 per print all the way up to 0.5-inch black gatorboard for $7.43. That’s more choice than Shutterfly, which only offers cardstock for larger-size prints. You can choose border options and black-and-white treatment on a per-photo basis.

When I went to check out and pay for my order, Nations offered upsells to pillows and metal print options for my pictures. But you can skip the offers with the Next button at the top of the window.

If you’re looking for a service with some online gallery-sharing capabilities, Nations is not for you. Amazon, Mpix, Snapfish, and Walgreens offer online sharing of your uploaded galleries, but if that’s a key functionality for you, you’re better off with a powerful online service, such as Flickr or SmugMug, which offer both public and private galleries.

The Photo Printing Results

My Nations photo order came back in double-layer cardboard shipping protection. Only Printique and Mpix provided sturdier packaging; Amazon Prints and RitzPix were the only vendors tested that used thin paper envelopes. The order took three days from ordering to delivery—better than the estimated six days for my shipping option. The photos were perfectly flat and printed on genuine Kodak Endura photographic paper. This was far more impressive than the curled, unbranded paper used by Walgreens, and Snapfish’s loose 8-by-10 in its mailing envelope.

More important is the actual print image quality. In the mountain landscape below, Nations revealed more detail in dark areas at the expense of detail in the sky. Target Photo lost the dark detail, and the CVS print is oversaturated, resulting in an artificial look. To my eyes, Mpix and Walmart Photo, both Editors’ Choices winners, produced the best balance. Printique and Nations produced very similar results.

In dark shots, Nations was more convincing. A black background in another Nations print was among the truest black renderings among tested services, with no color tinge. Snapfish and Shutterfly were each on a par for the same portrait, with less-deep black. The portrait below with a red hat shows the hat’s texture in the Nations print, which is lost in the oversaturated Amazon print.

The Best Photo Printing in the Nation?

Nations Photo Lab delivers high photographic quality in superior shipping packaging, though it costs more than the big consumer-targeted services such as Shutterfly and Snapfish. Our Editors’ Choice high-end photo-printing services are Printique and Mpix, both of which have more capable interfaces. On the value end of the spectrum, our Editors’ Choice winners are Snapfish and Walmart Photo.

The Bottom Line

Nations Photo Lab delivers high-quality photo prints in sturdy packaging, but it’s not cheap.

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Mpix Review | PCMag

Mpix is a well-known, high-end photo printing service that offers specialties like giclée prints and claims the fastest turnaround among photo finishers. Pro photographers will also appreciate that it’s one of the only major photo print services that still develops film. Its prices are higher than those of some competing photo finishers, but the website interface, printing options, shipment packaging, and photographic results are second to none, not only making it PCMag’s Editors’ Choice winner for high-end photo printing, but also earning it a rare 5-star rating.

How Much Does Mpix Cost?

For fewer than 11 4-by-6-inch prints you pay 33 cents per photo, but for 11 or more, that per-print price goes down to a reasonable 27 cents. The photo finisher also offers Economy 4-by-6 prints at 24 cents apiece, but those don’t include color correction, and you won’t get free reprints if colors are off. Nations Photo Lab and Printique charge 32 cents and 31 cents, respectively, regardless of the quantity. Snapfish, Walmart, and York Photo Labs all charge just 9 cents for 4-by-6s, while Amazon charges 15 cents for the same.

Larger-size prints are similarly on the high end, but not the most expensive: 5-by-7s cost $1.39 ($1.27 for orders of more than 11) and 8-by-10s are $2.99 ($2.60 each for orders of more than 11). That compares with just 58 cents for 5-by-7s at Amazon Prints and 69 cents at Walmart Photo. Closer competitors Printique and Nation Photo Lab both charge $2.49 for 8-by-10 prints.

Unlike RitzPix and Target Photo, Mpix requires you to set up an account before you can start your order, which is actually a good thing, since this step helps you keep track of your orders. Creating an account also got me 25 percent off the first order.

Photo Gifts and Cards

Compared with the other premium-level photo printing services, Mpix offers a wide variety of objects that can be emblazoned with your photos. You can get cards, calendars, and photo books, but Mpix also offers bag tags, personalized baseball cards, blankets, holiday ornaments, and keychains. One of the more interesting options is the cutout statuette (starting at $16), but for truly odd choices like shower curtains and dog bowls, head to Shutterfly.

Mpix offers over 400 designs for holiday photo card options, as well as premium features like decorative shapes and foil printing. Unfortunately, there are almost no designs for folding cards. A company representative told me that most customers provide their own custom design layouts. You’ll pay $3.44 per card for a 5-by-7 double-sided card, but prices are often heavily discounted, and you pay less per card for larger volumes. For comparison, Walmart charges only 67 cents for 5-by-7 flat cards and offers same-day pickup, while Amazon charges 99 cents but doesn’t offer that convenience. Printique and Nations Photo Lab charge $1.75 and $1.31 per 5-by-7 card, respectively.

Ordering Photos on Mpix

Mpix has a clear, well-designed website. The service lets you upload photos from your computer, and you can also get photos from your Facebook account. Mpix saves your uploaded photos in folders for later use. One limitation is that you can only upload JPGs—no PNGs or TIFFs. The uploading interface does support drag-and-drop from computer folders.

 

After you upload photos, you see a filmstrip across the top and each image is displayed large in the center with all the size options in a column on the left. Cropping, zooming, rotation, text overlay, and effects like black-and-white are on offer. You can also choose a paper type (standard, metallic, or black and white), luster or linen texture, and matting/mounting.

Even after you choose all your print sizes and quantities, the next page gives you another chance to make changes to your order, in a view that shows either all images or a clear order summary showing all the products and quantities.

On the last page before finalizing the order, you can see the final image preview or add photo retouching of several varieties: Facial, Glass Glare Removal, Stray Hair Removal, Red Eye Reduction, Braces Removal, and Teeth Whitening. These are not services offered by your run-of-the-mill photo printer, but they start at $8 per service for one head.

At the checkout stage, you can use a credit card, PayPal, or an e-gift card. Shipping options for my order of 26 prints included a $3.95 Economy option, $7.95 for Standard (3 to 8 business days), and $14.95 for Expedited (2 to 5 business days).

If desktop computers aren’t your thing, Mpix offers a mobile app, Tap to Print, that lets you order from your phone, using photos shot on your phone. You get all the same capabilities as you do on the website, including cropping and mounting options.

Shipping and Print Quality

In terms of packaging, Mpix is right at the top alongside Printique. Those are the only two services that sent our order in a hard, cardboard box rather than an envelope of some type. Mpix also cushioned the order with plastic foam, with the invoice clearly stating the contents on top. Our box had a stain on it, but that wasn’t Mpix’s fault, and the sturdy packaging made it a non-issue. Below you can see the shipping package comparisons, with Mpix second from the right:

In order of ascending packaging quality from left to right: Amazon Prints, Target Photo, Mpix, and Printique (formerly AdoramaPix).

The print quality from Mpix, too, is excellent. All our test prints came on Kodak Endura paper, which is the best, most professional-level paper used by any of the services tested. One issue, however, is that the standard E-Surface paper option that the service suggest has a slight marbled, matte texture. That’s fine for most uses, but it can get in the way of fine detail compared with glossy prints we use for testing. Most services offer an entry-level glossy option, but Mpix charges more for its two glossy options. One of these, Metallic, costs 59 cents in 4-by-6 size, compared with 29 cents for E-Surface. In the larger standard sized, Metallic 5-by-7s are $1.65 and 8-by-10s are $3.52 compared with $1.29 and $2.79 for E-Surface. The Metallic paper is frankly stunning, and almost gives images a 3-D appearance.

Even with the texture, you can see above that the color balance produced by Mpix was among the best of the results for the portrait shot we used in testing. Note how the red hat isn’t washed out like the Amazon Prints result, and the skin tone isn’t overly red as in the Snapfish and York prints. Mpix also turned in an excellent performance with a landscape test, as you can see below. The sky isn’t too bright or too dark, and the detail in the valley is preserved.

Photo Sharing

Even though Mpix isn’t an online photo sharing service like Flickr, you can have the service create an email invitation for others to view your online hosted photo galleries. A side benefit of this is that you can offer recipients the option to purchase your photos, though you don’t get a commission, as you do with SmugMug. The recipient can view the images as gallery thumbnails or as a well-presented slideshow with large images.

A Top Photo Printing Choice

We were impressed with the Mpix experience from start to finish. The ordering pages are clear and packed with options. The price is far from bargain-basement, but it’s reasonable. The delivery packaging is among the most protective of any services we’ve reviewed, and the photo print quality is excellent, printed on high-quality professional paper. Mpix joins Printique as a PCMag Editors’ Choice high-end photo printing service. For lower costs and decent print quality, check out our value Editors’ Choice winners for photo finishing, Snapfish and Walmart Photo.

Cons
  • Glossy prints cost more

  • Prices on the high end

  • No TIFF or PNG support

The Bottom Line

Photo printing service Mpix earns a rare 5-star rating. An excellent interface, lots of paper choices, sturdy packaging, and top-notch image results all make it a service worth seeking out.

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The 5 Best Photo Printing Services (2021): Tips, Recommendations, and More

Another place Printique shines is the photo upload process. You can import images from just about anywhere, including Lightroom, Flickr, Instagram, Google Photos, Facebook, and Dropbox, or directly from your computer.

25 4 x 6 Prints From Printique Cost $7.75 ($.31 Per Print)

Best on a Budget

Snapfish

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but you still want good-looking prints, Snapfish delivers. Snapfish doesn’t offer the same quality of prints you’ll find in our top picks, but it’s also less than a third the price and the results are not bad.

You can upload images from your computer, phone, or import them directly from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, or Flickr). The web interface is easy to use, though as with most of the cheaper services, you’ll be constantly bombarded with upsells for books, mugs, and more.

I was surprised by the quality of prints from Snapfish considering the price. They’re better than what I got from several other services (not reviewed here) that charged more than double.

25 4 x 6 Prints From Snapfish Cost $2.75 ($.09 Per Print)

Best for Books

Shutterfly

I’ve used Shutterfly to create everything from calendars to books and have been happy with the results, but the company’s prints are not the best.

The tonal range is good, shadows don’t disappear into pure black, and at the white end of the spectrum, clouds retain plenty of detail. But the prints have a flat look to them and the paper is flimsy compared to our top picks. I also found the constant upselling on the website tiring. Every time you upload photos, even if you’ve already said you want to make prints, Shutterfly interrupts the purchase process to say “We’ve turned your images into a book” and forces you to dismiss this unwanted dialog just to get to the thing you actually wanted to buy.

Given the subpar purchasing experience and lack of outstanding results, I only recommend Shutterfly for prints if you’re on a tight budget, since it is cheaper than Mpix or Printique. Where Shutterfly excels are those books they’re always trying to sell you on. I’ve been happy with the results of both books and calendars.

25 4 x 6 Prints From Shutterfly Cost $4.50 ($.18 Per Print)

Best for Portraits

Nations Photo Lab

Nations Photo Lab prints on quality paper, and the packaging is the best of the bunch. It’s hard to imagine anything ever happening to your images in transit the way the company secures them, although shipping times are among the slowest.

While the prints are high quality, I found that many times, especially with landscapes, colors are washed out. Highlights, especially bright white clouds against a blue sky, lack detail compared to the same images from Printique. The results for portraits are much better. Nations’ color correction does an excellent job with skin tones and produces the best portrait-style prints of the services I tested.

What I really dislike about Nations is the website. It’s slow and sometimes difficult to navigate (and I never could get it to give me a receipt). If you want to upload a lot of photos to Nations, the far better option is to use the third-party app Remote Order Entry System (ROES). It’s a Java-based desktop app that, once set up, greatly improves the experience.

25 4 x 6 Prints From Nations Photo Lab Cost $8.00 ($.32 Per Print)

Printing Services to Avoid

Amazon’s Photo Printing: This service produced the worst images, not just out of this particular test, but the worst prints I’ve ever seen. Full stop. The best I can say for it is that it’s fast. I had my prints in under 24 hours. The problem is, of the 25 prints I ordered, eight of them had printing errors. Convinced that a 30 percent failure rate must be some kind of fluke, I fired off another round of 25 (different) images and this time seven of them were misprinted. That’s a kind of progress I suppose but not one I would recommend. I didn’t bother trying again and I suggest you avoid Amazon’s photo printing service like the plague.

Walmart/CVS/Walgreens: Technically, 1-hour photo kiosks didn’t die. They wormed their way inside pharmacy chains. There’s nothing wrong with these services. They’re convenient, or they were in the pre-Covid world. This is still the fastest way to get your images printed as uploaded jobs generally process within a few hours. But the results vary tremendously from one store to the next. Just like the 1-hour services of old, the quality of prints you get depends on what shape the machine is in, and how skilled the technician working that day happens to be. You might be able to get good prints at your local store, and it might be worth checking out if you’re not happy with other options, but for most people, this isn’t going to get the best results.

How to Get Better Prints

We used a mix of images that represented a good cross-section of the kinds of photos most of us have. That includes green forests, blue seascapes, browns and grays in city shots, portraits, macro images, close-ups, images with strong bokeh, stacked images with long depth of field, and more.

We didn’t limit testing to good images either. We tested plenty of blurry images, photos that were overexposed and washed out, and ones where details might be lost to shadow. In other words, images like most of us have on our phones and in our cameras. Some images came from RAW files we edited in desktop software, others were sent straight from our phones, and we also pulled from social media posts.

Prints | Order Photo Prints Online

Make photo prints of your favorite memories with Shutterfly. Want your most-loved pictures to live somewhere other than your phone’s camera roll or a hard drive? A printed photo is more than just an image on a screen — it’s a memory you can hold. You can hang prints as custom wall art, put them in a beautiful frame, or save them in a keepsake photo book. Photos add so much personality and warmth to a room, and no matter what memory you are looking to print, custom picture printing options give you the creative freedom to bring these digital images to life. Whether you’re printing images for frames, for a photo wall, or for a personalized gift, you can easily bring your most cherished memories to life with photo prints. With Shutterfly’s photo printing service, you can upload those favorite photos and turn them into beautiful prints that suit your style and celebrate everyday memories. Choose matte, glossy, or pearl finish photo paper to customize your high-quality prints.

Choosing the Right Print Sizes

Whether you’re choosing photo prints for frames, for a photo book, or a gift, it’s important to know the standard photo sizes and which size is best for you before printing your images. From posters to standard photo prints, there’s a wide range of sizes to choose from when using Shutterfly’s photo printing service. Whether you want a wallet size photo print or a larger print you can use as unique wall decor, you can make the perfect size photo prints with Shutterfly. Shutterfly photo prints range from a modest 4×4 to a more sizable 20×30. Standard photo print sizes are 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10. You can also print your photos in large or panoramic prints that look great in a gallery wall or as a statement piece on their own. 

Make Beautiful Wall Art With Photo Prints

To add warmth and personality to your home, create beautiful wall art out of your most cherished photo prints. Fill your walls with custom canvas prints, metal prints, wood wall art, and acrylic prints to showcase pictures of your loved ones. Add stunning frames and custom text to transform your best photos into creative pieces of home decor. If you’re a college student decorating your dorm room, consider creating a collage poster designed with your favorite memories from home. If you’re designing your kids’ bedrooms, make a premium poster print that showcases their style and personality. Or, if you want to create beautiful home decor out of your favorite family photos, personalized canvas prints or elegant glass prints will be showstopping pieces in any room. Use Shutterfly’s picture printing service to transform your favorite memories into stunning wall art that will wow guests.

How To Display Photo Prints In Your Home

Personal touches are what make a house a home, and nothing does that quite as well as family photos and art prints. Bring your photos to life with unique glass prints, desktop plaques, or easel back canvas prints. Elegantly display photo prints of your most special moments by personalizing them to fit your home’s style. You can hang your pictures as a collection in a gallery wall or on their own as a special statement piece. You can even display your favorite panoramic pictures on your walls, or create multi piece wall art with canvas, metal, wood, or acrylic prints that will look incredible in any room. Whether you design custom hanging canvas prints, premium posters, or framed prints, showcasing your favorite photos makes your home decor truly one of a kind. Our picture printing service is the perfect way to upgrade your living space and highlight your most memorable moments around your home.

The Best Online Photo Printing Services of 2021

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Shutterfly offers a huge variety of print and gift options.

Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The Amazon Prints offerings are pretty basic, but the photo quality is respectable and the price is reasonable.

How We Tested

The Tester

Hi, I’m Sarah Kovac. After many, many years of spending way too much money and emotional energy trying to find my loved ones the perfect gift, I’ve come to the conclusion that photo gifts are really the only surefire way of getting somebody a present that will be extra special.

I have three kids, and I know that if I’m drawing a blank on a gift for the grandparents, there are few presents that will bring them more joy than seeing the smiling faces of their kids and grandkids—be they on a coffee mug, a blanket, or a framed print for the office.

Over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of products, websites, and even software. I’ve been trained in design, and I have a deep appreciation for intuitive layouts that give me a lot of options without overwhelming me.

While I can speak to the typical user’s experience with these online photo service sites, I am not a professional photographer with deep understanding of makes a perfect quality print. Luckily, Reviewed’s resident photographer, Jackson Ruckar, was available to lend his professional critique of the photos we received from each of these services.

When Ruckar first picked up a camera 15 years ago he became an addict. Since then he has worked as a photojournalist for the U. S. Army, various magazines, and now USA Today. When reviewing photo-printing services, he focused on color accuracy and print defects.

The Tests

We selected 10 of the most popular online photo services and ordered a variety of products from each: 8x10s, 4x6s, and wallets. Two of the photos we used were taken on an iPhone SE, two were taken on an iPhone X, and two were taken by our professional photographer on a DSLR camera. One photo from each camera was in black and white, and one was full color so that we could see how each service handled both color and grayscale.

Without consulting each other, Jackson and I judged each photo for its quality in comparison to the original, and for consistency from one photo to the next (we ordered duplicates in order to compare them to each other).

I spent time on each service’s website and app (if applicable) on both iOS and Android to judge ease of use and see what special features each service might offer. After these considerations, we narrowed our picks down to the top five performers in reprint quality and ease of use.

From those services, we ordered 20×30 enlargements and photo books to get an idea of how well they handled these special orders.

When we took into consideration the quality of the original prints, the quality of the special orders, the ease of use and special features of each service, and of course the price, we found that Shutterfly is the best online photo printing service right now.

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

We judged each photo for its quality in comparison to the original and for consistency from one photo to the next.

What You Should Know About Online Photo Printing Services

1. (Print) size matters. A lot.

Our testing showed very clearly that the same image with the same photo service can yield drastically different print results from one size to the next. If you are only interested in printing 4x6s and 5x7s, probably just about any photo service can get you decent prints. But once you start moving toward less common print sizes, print quality can suffer. Be especially careful if you are ordering wallets, as only a couple of the services we tested gave us wallet-size images that weren’t too dark or washed out.

2. It’s tough to get a good black and white photo print.

The services we tested were pretty hit and miss in producing high quality black and white prints. And the ones that didn’t turn out great lost a lot of detail if the print was too dark or too light. Unless you order your same black and white photo from several photo services, it’s difficult to know who’s going to give you a good black and white print and who’s not. Luckily, we did that research for you.

3. This is not a category where “you get what you pay for.”

So often, saving money means receiving a lower quality product. In our testing, we found this is not the case with photo printing services. Some of our most affordable services sent us back the highest quality photos (for example, we saw the best reprints from Shutterfly, Walmart, and Amazon). There’s no need to pay top dollar for photo prints. If you do, you might be disappointed with the results.

4. Original image quality matters.

Some of the photo services we tested sent us back reprints that were a bit lackluster. This was most obvious in the photos that were taken by an iPhone SE. The quality of these images was just not the same caliber as those taken by the iPhone X or the DSLR camera. If your image is not great to start with, expect your reprints to be just as bad or worse. Even the best photo service can’t make up for a bad image.

5. There are different sites for different needs.

Some photo printing service websites are way too complex for those of us who aren’t professional photographers. As we were testing, it was easy to tell that some of these services are intended for professional photographers, while some are designed for the consumer just looking for a cute Christmas present or birth announcement. Our Best Overall winner, Shutterfly, is easy to use and offers enough variety for the shopping needs of the average consumer while delivering high-quality prints that professionals would appreciate.

That being said, services like Nations Photo Lab, MPix and RitzPix offer a few extra features that photographers might find helpful. Drop shipping, custom framing options, and extremely secure packaging might not be necessary for the average consumer, but certainly worth considering for a client.

Ordering Holiday and Greeting Cards

If you are shopping print services to order custom holiday cards or announcements, all of the services we tested can accommodate your order. They all offer similar photo card templates, and you can pretty much design the exact same card at any of these websites. However, there are a couple things to consider when ordering your photo cards.

Most of these services require a minimum order of 20 to 25 cards. So, if your list of recipients is on the small side, use a service that doesn’t have minimum ordering requirements. Of the 10 services we tested, only Walmart Photo, Nations Photo Lab, AdoramaPix/Printique, and RitzPix don’t have minimum order requirements for photo cards and invitations.

On a related note, most services advertise their custom cards with an “as low as…” price. That price assumes that you will be ordering a huge quantity of cards. The likelihood is that your actual price per card will be considerably higher than the one they advertise. Unless you’re ordering 3,000 cards. But who does that?

Many of the test prints we received back from these services really struggled with print quality when it came to small format black and white photos. Black and white holiday photos can look super classy, but if you pick the wrong photo service, your black and white holiday cards may look washed out or too dark to see details. Our top pick, Shutterfly, handled small black and white prints really well. Most of the others we would not recommend for black and white photo cards.


Other Online Photo Printing Services We Tested

Credit: Walmart

Credit: Snapfish

Credit: CVS

Credit: Walgreens

Credit: Nations Photo Lab

Credit: AdoramaPix

Credit: RitzPix

Credit: Mpix

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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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Bay Photo Lab – Professional Photo Printing

Bay Photo Lab – Professional Photo Printing – Prints on Metal, Canvas, Albums & More – Bay Photo Lab
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Acrylic Prints

Draw attention to your images with high-impact design.

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Yard Signs & Free Designs!

Honor the Graduates of 2021.

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Polygon Shaped MetalPrints

Creative Edge MetalPrints with geometric style.

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Textured MetalPrints

The durability of metal. The look and feel of fine art.

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Gift Notes

Customized for a personal touch.

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Epic Prints

Perfection in its printed form.

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Signature Pen

Your art, your signature, from anywhere.

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Max HD Prints

More than 4x the resolution of standard Photo Prints.

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Gallery Boards

A clean and economical presentation with Fine Art vibes.

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Framed art prints have never looked so fine.

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90,000 Magnification of photos.

Photo enlargement and restoration: we will make a photo of any size!

In memory of some important event for you, an ancestor who passed away or a loved one who left for distant lands, you have only a small photograph preserved. You don’t have a film or a negative from which you could take a photo. And you would like to have such a portrait at home, but in a large format. Framed, like a painting, or without it.
Feel free to contact the Zelenograd Photolaboratory with this question.We can enlarge a photo to any format that you need.

And that’s not all!

At the Zelenograd Laboratory, superficial restoration and removal of the red-eye effect, as well as sharpening the image, is possible simultaneously with the enlargement of the photo. We also offer photo color correction and downsizing.
And all this is absolutely free!
Why do many citizens of Moscow and Mitino turn to us? The answer is obvious.

In our Photolaboratory it is possible:
• Removing the background from the photo.
• Reducing or increasing the size of a photo to the following formats – 10×15 15×20, 15×21, 20×30, 21×30, 30×40, 30×45, 30×60, 30×90.
• Execution of any order in just 2 days. There is a possibility of urgent production within 1 hour.
• Making new photos on matte or glossy paper of the client’s choice.
And always – the highest quality and durability of finished images!

Photo enlargement is performed by professional photographers-restorers with extensive experience in the field of magnification and digital photo correction.We accept orders for photographs in any quantity and carry out all work very carefully.

We have everything you need – reduce and enlarge your photos using modern hardware and software.

In our Photolaboratory it is possible to increase photos at a price lower than in other photo salons! Come to us and see for yourself!

Cost of enlarging and reducing photos to formats:

10×15 265 rub.
15×21 290 rub.
21×30 330 rub.
30×40 RUR 430
40×60 650 rub.

The order will be ready next. day.

Urgent order execution (1 hour) + 50% of the total order value.

How to increase image resolution in 5 steps

Can the image quality be improved with low resolution?

This is a familiar plot: a detective asks to “improve” a blurred image on a computer until it is clear enough to make out key evidence.It works? Not like Hollywood.

The only way to convert a smaller photo into a larger, high-resolution image without highlighting the poor image quality is to take a new photo or rescan the image at a higher resolution. You can increase the resolution of a digital image, but the quality will deteriorate. However, Adobe Photoshop has several tools to help you increase image resolution while maintaining quality.

How resampling and interpolation affects resolution

Resampling images in Photoshop is changing their resolution by adding or subtracting pixels. Resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI). The more pixels in the image, the higher the resolution. Decreasing the number of pixels means decreasing the image quality (removing data from the image). Increasing the number of pixels is an increase in sampling (adding data to the image).Increasing the number of pixels in an image without changing its dimensions results in an increase in the number of pixels per inch and an increase in resolution (detail). Deleting data is preferable to adding data because when adding pixels, Photoshop tries to “guess” what the new pixels will look like.

Selecting the optimal interpolation method when increasing sampling

Any resampling, especially oversampling, may result in degraded image quality.The interpolation method determines how Photoshop fetches the color values ​​of new pixels. Choosing the correct interpolation method avoids unwanted pixelation.

90,000 Photo restoration – prices for the restoration of old damaged photos

Photo Recovery

Experienced retouchers of Printsburg. ru centers are ready to quickly and efficiently restore photographs. We work with color and black-and-white photographs, recover even heavily damaged frames – landscapes, portraits, group photos.Let the pictures so dear to your heart stay with your children and grandchildren!

Unfortunately, even paper photos of our great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers, carefully preserved for many generations, lose their brightness over time, turn yellow and wear off. And timely restoration and restoration of photographs can extend the life of those dear to the heart for decades.

For your convenience, we have divided photo recovery into several categories *:

1. Cleaning.
Cleaning includes removing debris from a photo, stains, dust, small cracks, reducing graininess, enhancing contrasts, and the necessary color correction.

2. Update.
The update includes: removal of large cracks, dirt, dust, streaks, noise reduction, sharpening, removal of embossed textures while preserving the texture of the image, removal of traces from pencils and pens, color correction and contrast, work with overexposure in the photo, drawing parts of the face and clothing . ..

3. Recovery.
The restoration includes: removing coarse dirt, cracks, noise, leveling the texture, removing irregularities, completing the destroyed parts of the photo, drawing facial features, clothing details, smoothing the background, reducing graininess, sharpening, color correction, multi-layer correction of contrasts, complex color correction.

4. Restoration.
The restoration includes: leveling the texture of the photo, removing cracks, creases, dirt, stains, reducing graininess, increasing volumes in the shadows, sharpening, drawing clothes and facial features, the necessary completion of the missing details of the background, face and clothes.

5. Extreme retouching.
Extreme retouching includes: removing cracks, tears, scratches, spots, dirt and noise, completing the missing pieces of the photo, enhancing contrasts, adding depth to volumes, aligning textures, drawing the main features of the face, clothing and background, general color correction. Also in this category we work with a photo that has already been printed on cermet and has been exposed to weather and time.

In the centers Printsburg.ru you can order:

  • Removing defects from photographs. Creases, scratches, cracks, spots, traces of dust, we can retouch and restore the elements of the picture.
  • Light and shadow correction, exposure correction, tone equalization.
  • Restoration of torn photographs.
  • Converting black and white photos to color.
  • Removing embossing from paper.
  • Artistic correction of photos.

Favorite photos will become bright, clear and high quality again. Even in the most neglected case, our wizards will find a way to restore snapshots.
We work with printed black and white and color photographs, as well as digitized frames. We print the images again on high-quality paper, which will be stored for tens of years and, if necessary, provide customers with digital photos. In addition to paper photographs, we work with negatives, as well as photographs on embossed paper.
The price of photo restoration depends on the specifics of the work. You can choose from Easy, Medium, or Hard Recovery. At the request of the customer, we will also provide digital files with processed photographs.

Experienced artists will deal with the restoration of damaged photographs, so that after our work the person in the picture will look natural and attractive.
If you wish, after the restoration, you can order the printing of photos dear to your heart on mugs, T-shirts, magnets, or create a calendar yourself with pictures of relatives using the constructor on our website.

YOU CAN GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BY PHONE OF OUR CONTACT CENTER +7 (812) 679-16-90 OR FROM ONLINE CONSULTANT.

Program for resizing images AKVIS Magnifier AI

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AKVIS Magnifier AI allows you to resize images without losing quality. The program uses artificial intelligence, using trained neural networks to increase the size and resolution of a photo, producing high-quality results while maintaining detail and sharpness of the edges.

Most programs use the simplest interpolation algorithms when resizing images. They are quite enough to reduce the photo. If you want to enlarge the photo, then you will surely face the problem of loss of quality due to lack of information. Conventional algorithms cannot cope with such a complex task. With Magnifier AI, you can create a high quality magnified image from a small picture.

The program allows you to enlarge the image to ultra-high resolution, create gigapixel posters and large format panoramas!

Featuring advanced neural network algorithms, the Magnifier AI magnifies images for stunning, stunning pictures!

The program provides photo enlargement up to 800% without artifacts and ghosting.

AKVIS Magnifier AI allows you to create professional looking Super Resolution images.Use the program to enlarge images from social networks, instant messengers, photos taken with a low-resolution camera, as well as to improve the results of cropping.

Magnifier AI is a great tool for quickly resizing multiple images. Batch function allows you to automatically enlarge or reduce a series of photos in automatic mode.

AKVIS Magnifier AI is available as a plug-in ( Plugin ) for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and as a standalone program ( Standalone ).

To call the Magnifier AI plug-in in Photoshop, select from the menu: File -> Automate -> AKVIS Magnifier AI .

The program is available in Russian.

Try it for free

Try the program for a free trial period!

After installation, the program will work for 10 days without registration.
The trial period will help you evaluate all the features of the program.

Download the program:

Buy – AKVIS Magnifier AI 10.1

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90,000 RESTORATION AND ENLARGEMENT OF PHOTOS

Every family has photographs that capture special and significant moments in the history of the family.Don’t let it disappear. The friendly team of our designers are specialists in the field of digital processing and restoration of photographs, retouching and enlargement to the required size. pictures that are significant to you.

Our main task is to keep those special memories or moments in time and delight you for many years. We invite you to visit our studio and see with what care and love our designers work on each order.

After the restoration and enlargement of photographs, you can order to print the obtained result on canvas or photographic paper, as well as frame the resulting image in a beautiful frame made of moldings.

All services are provided in one place, which guarantees the highest results due to the well-coordinated work of designers, printers and frame makers.

We can restore and color almost any photo, remove scratches or damage from water, mold, dull, old or torn photos – we will gently restore them to help you preserve those images for future generations.

With our experience we can make retouching, colorize the image, add and change the background or object, enlarge the photo to the desired size.

Trust us and you can be sure that we will treat your memories with the same care and attention to detail as our own!

Collages from several photographs .

When one photo is not enough to tell a story and memorable milestones in your life, use this service.
Photo collages are the perfect finishing touch for special occasions like weddings, birthdays and holidays, where there are always so many great day shots to display.
Photo collages also serve as a wonderful gift and a great way to celebrate important events such as anniversaries and anniversaries, you can have all the best photos over the years in one unique piece of art. Photo collage is also a great way to combine your favorite photos onto one framed art canvas in a beautiful frame.

Black and white prints .

This perception of the image has always given photography a stylish touch, so it’s no surprise that black and white photographic prints are back in vogue.

Black-and-white photographs can also be made from color images, giving their color, pictures will be given new life and previously invisible details and strokes will be wonderfully filled with extraordinary content.

If you are not sure how black and white photos will fit into your home decor, our design consultants can give style advice and recommend frames that will work in your color scheme and will fit into your home so that you can relive memories every day. …

90,000 How to improve a poor quality photo

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to improve the quality of an old photo.

For the correct restoration of poor quality photographs, it is necessary to find out what it is and why it has deteriorated. There are several stages of quality loss in the life cycle of photography. And to restore it, you need to work at the very stage and with the reason that led to the deterioration.

Photo quality refers to the following criteria:

  • Clarity: faces, awards, clothing details are clearly visible
  • no defects and signs of deterioration
  • Accuracy: recognizing faces, preserving details and accepting the time
  • Bright and realistic colors
  • the ability to enlarge and print a photo in large format
  • presentable: it is not a shame to hang a photo on the wall or donate

Take clarity as an example.

What is photographic clarity?

When talking about clarity of photography, not everyone understands the same thing. Detail and contrast are commonly confused.

Clarity can be lost at any stage of photography, it differs in appearance and in the ways of correction.

low detail, blur in its original form, the reason is the quality of the shooting, cannot be restored (point 1) low contrast, the reason is the old age of the paper medium, it is restored (point 2.1) low detail, the reason is a low-quality digital copy (clause 2.2)

  1. Image quality (still image).

Quality criteria:

  • Clarity (detail)
  • Possibility of increasing

Disadvantages: Blurring, motion blur, improper exposure, grain, etc.

The most common flaw is blur when the photo is out of focus or part of it, for example, the child was moving.Photos that are too dark or too bright with indistinct parts.

Reasons: imperfection of equipment for shooting and technologies, mistakes of the photographer.

How to fix : some flaws can really be fixed, only by removing again. For example, you cannot remove blur using processing and make the photo clear. All other shortcomings are amenable to correction.

Example of blurred photo restoration

restoration of a blurred photo without rendering

Contrary to popular belief, photographs taken before the revolution are of excellent quality, usually photographs on a cardboard mat.In terms of quality, they are not worse than modern digital ones. They are distinguished by high detail and the ability to print portraits in large format. When magnified, faces, awards, jewelry and small items of clothing are clearly visible. Enough to enlarge the photo and see.

pre-revolutionary photograph in original condition

Over time, photography technologies have been simplified, images have become less clear. The detail quality of photographs from the 70s and 80s is much inferior to the pre-revolutionary ones.

What if you enlarged the photograph on a mat and did not see the quality, the faces blurred and floated, some squares, stripes or spots appeared, the faces and details could not be seen? It is not the photograph that is to blame, but a poor-quality copy (see paragraph 2.2).

  1. Media quality.

There are paper and digital media. In the last century, paper was the traditional medium; now the screen has become the most common medium.

2.1 Paper quality criteria:

  • no defects
  • Clarity (contrast)
  • Bright and realistic colors

Disadvantages of paper media: dull colors, yellowness, abrasions, stains, scratches, cracks, tears, lack of fragments.

faded colors, low contrast and yellowness

Reasons for poor quality paper media : Time and improper storage.Any paper photograph wears out and gets dirty over time, the paint layer on it fades, and with it the image is destroyed. The same goes for the photographs on the monument.

How to fix. If the destruction does not exceed the critical level, the image is restored by the restorer to its original quality.

To improve the quality of a paper photograph, it must be transferred to a new medium: first digitized, then restored, and, if desired, printed again.Old paper media cannot be restored.

2.2 Quality criteria for digital media (digital copy, scan):

  • Clarity (detail)
  • no scan defects
  • Possibility of increasing

Disadvantages of digital copy: compression artifact (blurry squares), low resolution and detail, torn or fuzzy outlines, streaks and dirt from the scanner.

low resolution

compression artifacts jpg

Reasons for poor quality of a digital copy (scan): unsuitable or low-quality scanner, incorrect settings, autofilters and auto-correction, unprofessional reshooting (on the phone, etc.)

How to fix. Re-digitize (scan) on a suitable photo scanner and with the correct settings.

examples of enhancing clarity by scanning

Removing Compression Artifacts Using Correct Scan

Improving the clarity and sharpness of contours by scanning

At first glance, a poor-quality picture and a poor-quality copy are no different. There is a simple way to determine the cause of blur: enlarge the digital photograph to 100% and look for defects.

Defects in photographs are seen more clearly than faces. The reason is the low quality of shooting, paragraph 1.

The scratches are clearly visible, but the face and details are not present, which means that the point is in the picture itself. Quality was lost at stage 1

If the scratches are also poorly visible, then the quality has disappeared at stage 2.2, you need to re-scan the photo, it is corrected only in this way – the quality of digitization cannot be improved by processing.

Scratches appeared after correct scanning. The awards have also become better visible.

An experienced restorer will identify the cause of poor clarity and explain how to correct it.

Incorrect digitization spoils the original clarity and detail. If your scanner has an option to automatically remove defects, you should disable it. Cleaning is done at the next stage, and there should not be any auto-correction at the scanning stage! Otherwise, all defects will be blurred along with the contours and details of the image itself.

Can I do something if there is no high-quality scan? By removing defects and restoring contrast, the photo looks much clearer:

examples of restoration of low-quality scans

1 – original quality 2 – paper defects and poor quality scan (low resolution, jpg compression) 3 – restoration of poor quality scan

1 – original quality 2 – paper defects and defective scan (taken by phone) 3 – restoration of defective scan

1- paper defects and poor-quality scanning on MFP, 2 – restoration of poor-quality scan

  1. Quality of the restoration.

Quality criteria for the restoration:

  • no defects
  • Clarity (contrast)
  • Plausibility – Revert 9099
  • Facial features and expression have not changed
  • All penumbraes and the smallest details on the face, such as eyebrows, hair, folds, are preserved or become better visible.
  • restored and whole places look homogeneous in clarity and texture
  • the face remained alive, natural and harmonious
  • texture photo uniform
  • color realistic, as in color photo
  • invisible processing and restoration
  • presentability

See examples of quality restoration >>

What is photography restoration and restoration?

A high-quality restoration returns the original appearance of the digital copy. Detail cannot be improved over the original, and if the photo was blurry, lost clarity in stage 1 or 2, then it will remain so.

What is drawing?

The most common wish is to restore clarity to an old photograph. But at the stage of restoration, only the contrast can be restored. Detailing is achieved only at the first two stages, during shooting and scanning, and any processing will not return it, only what was originally can be restored and developed.An online restorer will not be able to digitize for you or redo the work of a photographer. Sometimes, for the manifestation of the contours, they offer a drawing or artistic restoration, but this is essentially not restoration, but the work of the master. Drawing, drawing and other artistic processing does not return the photo to its original form, but adds elements, therefore it is incorrect to call it restoration and restoration.

A true restoration is a restoration without traces of processing, when the photograph looks well preserved, as if it were.The restoration of poor quality photographs is a delicate and difficult job.

It happens that a photo is badly damaged, in such cases the edited image will either not be clear and three-dimensional enough, or resemble a drawing. In these cases, a conscientious restorer will always warn about the result in advance.

Disadvantages of the restoration. The work is done poorly if traces of various processing are visible, for example:

traces of fast filters, blurring on skin and clothes, plastic faces

traces and stains from a stamp, cloning

highlights the fragments assembled from other photographs, drawn elements

worn out and lost elements and details

facial features changed

flat, lifeless colors, as in a poster or children’s coloring

the photo looks noticeably restored

the photograph looks like drawing

All the shortcomings of a poor restoration cannot be enumerated.But the general impression will never deceive: the face has changed, it has become strange, lifeless or unhealthy, has acquired a strange expression – all these are also signs of poor-quality restoration.

If the examples of works are very small in size and do not increase, then traces of poor-quality restoration are difficult to notice, therefore, trash work is usually hidden behind small examples of works.

What is the difference between professional and amateur restoration? A professional restorer will remove only defects and preserve the authenticity of the photo.This means that the faces of relatives will remain 100% the same and will be recognizable, suitable for subsequent identification. Inexperienced restorers quickly cover up defects. Together with the defects, the elements of the image itself are smeared, float and slide.

Same woman after treatment by two different laymen. If the original photo is not preserved, then for posterity it will forever remain a mystery how it really looked.

Someone may find these small examples quite good.What will we see if we decide to enlarge the photo, for example, hang a portrait on the wall? When enlarged, all the disadvantages of sloppy processing will become noticeable.

not completely cleaned scratches, blurred stains from a stamp, cloning marks, loss of parts

blurring and rubbing of details, traces of cloning

the shape of the eyes has changed, blurring, stains from the stamp, non-uniform texture

blur, lost and unnecessary elements

It is better to entrust the restoration of a photo of poor quality to professionals – the effect is definitely worth it.

Reasons for poor-quality restoration: non-professionalism of the restorer, loss of quality in the previous stages, haste and economy.

A conscientious restorer is always interested in the result. He will tell you at what stage the quality has disappeared, whether it can be restored or improved. Will the photo look as good as new or will the processing remain noticeable.

An ill-known or incompetent restorer will take any digital copy into work and will not tell you how to achieve the best result on his own, because the main thing for him is to get paid for the work as soon as possible.

How to fix: At this stage, everything depends entirely on the restorer, so you need to find a master who specializes in restoring photographs. The qualitative result consists of:

  • Correct Processing Technique
  • Accuracy
  • experience and responsibility of the master
  • on his artistic ability, sense of taste and color
  • of the amount of time spent on processing

In order to appreciate the skill of the restorer, always see examples of the work in large size.This is the only way to see the quality of the work. The ability to enlarge the samples is a guarantee that you can enlarge the photo after processing, and at the same time it will look decent, posted on the wall or as a gift.

alteration of a poorly processed photo

alteration of a poorly processed photo

alteration of a poor-quality restoration

alteration of the photo “improved” by the application, restoration of similarity from other photos

  1. Post-print quality.

In our digital age, someone considers this point optional and obsolete. However, high-quality printing is still in demand. For example, when you want to make a large portrait on canvas as a gift to your loved ones, place photographs of relatives or a whole family tree on the wall. It should be borne in mind that with any printing there is always a loss of quality, significant or not. Therefore, it is always necessary to preserve digital sources.

Print Quality Criteria:

  • Clarity (detail and contrast)
  • no defects
  • Bright and realistic colors
  • presentability

Disadvantages: noticeable differences from the digital source, raster.

Reasons for low-quality printing: unsuitable or low-quality printing equipment, errors in the printing process.

How to fix: reprint the original copy.

The print quality depends entirely on the previous points, the quality of the printing equipment and the future medium (paper, canvas, ceramics, stone, etc.), and we will not analyze the technical nuances in this article.

Important! Always keep originals at any stage: paper, digital raw and digital restored.If something goes wrong at one of the stages, there will always be an opportunity to take a step back and fix it.

If, after reading this article, you still do not understand where the quality has gone, and how to return it, that’s okay! Submit a photo, and experts will explain to you how to improve old photos.

Send a photo for a free quality consultation >>

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iPhone Screen Magnification – Apple Support

  1. Double-tap the screen with three fingers, or use the Accessibility shortcut to turn on Magnification.

  2. To enlarge the viewing area of ​​the screen, do one of the following:

    • Adjusts the enlargement percentage. Double-tap the screen with three fingers (do not lift your fingers after the second touch) and slide your fingers up or down the screen. Alternatively, you can tap the screen three times with three fingers, and then drag the Zoom Amount slider.

    • Moving the magnification lens. (Window) Pull out the mark at the bottom of the magnifying lens.

    • Scrolls to another part of the screen. (Full screen) Swipe three fingers across the screen.

  3. To select settings in the Zoom menu, three times tap the screen with three fingers and adjust any of the options described below.

    • Mode selection. Select Full Screen or Window.

    • Change the lens size. (Window) Tap Resize Lens and drag any of the circular handles that appear.

    • Filter selection. Select Inverted, Grayscale, Grayscale. (inv.) “or” Weak light “.

    • Display controller. Display the zoom controller on the screen.

  4. To use the magnification controller, do any of the following.

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