Photo Book Group Test (Part 2)

PhotoBox in many ways have the advantage. Not only were they working with the full resolution images, but they are also a completely UK-based organisation. Their offices are only on the other side of London which has to help delivery times!

Nevertheless, at the risk of giving away some of the results from the other two vendors, they were the last to send a “dispatch notice” email, on the 30th June.

The next morning we were woken by the post-man ringing the door bell. It was sent by first class recorded post. Since we took advantage of the “Two for One” offer there were two books. They arrived separated by a card insert and surrounded in a durable card sleeve and, therefore, in immaculate condition.

First impressions of the books themselves are good. Hard-back and nicely bound, they look more expensive than they actually are. Opening them up is no less impressive.. The text on the opening page looks much better than the website preview (although possibly not the typeface that I would have chosen) and there is little Photobox branding (just a “printed by” line on the very last page). The lack of captions on the other pages — something we were slightly worried about — turns out not to be a problem. Sure, there are gaps but it doesn’t look like there should have been something there.

It’s quite difficult to objectively judge the quality. The images are all from different cameras with varying settings so my only benchmarks are the book of Vietnam I made last year, my eyes and my expectations having seen prints of some of them. With those caveats in mind, I have to say that I am impressed. The photos are generally of a higher quality than the Vietnam (iPhoto 5) photobook but, arguably, not quite up to that of a normal print.

The colours are a good rendition of those in the original images. This means that a lesson for next time is to try to balance the colours over the whole set of pictures. The Vietnam book looks more consistent because all of the pictures were taken on the same camera, with the same colour saturation settings. As a “photographer” this detracts from the book as a whole, but this is not something that PhotoBox should have done anything about, and nor does it make is any less of a good memory and record of the event.

The main criticism I can level is that there was no option to enter a page of text. As these are books of our wedding, it would have been nice to list the people who were there, the location and the date. Of course we could have added some of this information as captions but I didn’t think that was a reasonable substitute.

But overall these are just nit-picks. The books are beautifully presented, well printed and, especially given the special offer, very reasonably priced. If the other two books are anything like these I’ll be a very happy man.



One response to “Photo Book Group Test (Part 2)”

    News Release
    Thursday 16 February 2006
    “MyPublisher, Inc. Opens Plant in the United Kingdom Making PhotoBook Service Faster and More Affordable for U.K. Customers”

    Oh No It Doesn’t……

    I uploaded a book to MyPublisher in June 2006. I received it back 4 weeks later.
    The post mark said “Sweden”. Funny route from Bedford to Surrey – approx 40 miles.
    I was intrigued, so contacted MyPublisher’s CS team by e-mail.
    They told me their books are still printed in the USA and sent via Fedex’s
    cheapest transatlantic routing.
    so much for a Bedford plant!!