PROS: Low per print price, QuickUpload Utility, Good Quality prints and Decent delivery times
CONS: QuickUpload utility is buggy and freezes frequently, Customer Support is a bit slow to respond, No telephone support, they store your Credit Card information on their servers
I’ve been owning a Digital Camera for more than a year now. I have the Canon Digital IXUS 750 – 7.1 MegaPixel Camera.
I need not say that I have taken a lot of snaps during this period. The Snaps were piling up in my Shared Pictures folder in Windows Vista. My Mom and Sis have been bugging me to get them printed as they don’t like to see photos on the PC/TV and are comfortable with hard prints.
Well, I am a bit lazy and also always short of time due to work pressure so, I could find time to get the photos printed locally. While surfing the NET I came across Online Photo Printing Services. To my surprise, I found many Online Photo Printing Services catering to the Indian Market – PicSqaure, Snapfish, ZoomIn just to name a few. Almost all of them offered free trial prints. I decided to try each of them out. I picked SnapFish India first. So, here is my experience with them:
The Signup process is pretty simple and straight forward. You get free 20 4×6 prints as a trial. They are credited to your account as soon as you upload a photo.
The interface is streamlined and simple to use. You can create albums and upload photos to them.
There are various ways in which you can upload your snaps:
QuickUpload Tool: It installs an ActiveX in Internet Explorer but, it gives you added functionality. QuickUpload opens a dialog similar to Open File and allows you to navigate your computer through it and shows you thumbnails of the photos. One neat feature is that it automatically resizes your snaps before uploading (if you’ll be printing regular sized prints) and thus, saves your time in uploading as the file size gets reduced due to the resizing done. You can also turn this off if you’ll be printing large sized prints. In that, the snaps get uploaded as they are without any resizing. One thing to note is that it is that this utility is buggy and crashes frequently.
One by One Upload: This is the usual upload thing which all sites have. Select the browse button and click upload.
Email Upload: Here you can upload photos by emailing them to a specified email address.
You have the option to Edit photos online and you are presented with the following options:
FIX – Rotate, Red Eye, Auto Correct and Fill Flash
CROP – Orientation (Portrait/Landscape) and Shape (4×6, 5×7 and 8×10)
BORDERS – 11 types of borders
FUN – Here you can change the look of your photos by making them Black and White, Sepia or add tinges of Pink, Blue, Green and Red
After editing it also asks you whether you want to replace the original snap or save as a copy. You can undo made changes on the fly and at any time Revert to the original photo.
You can also share whole Albums or Photos with your friends, families and other contacts. I tried using it but, could not get it to work. I always used to get an error when I clicked on Shared Link.
Now, lets go towards ordering. The Order process is straight forward and simple. SnapFish provides short cuts to order entire albums. The Free Credits are automatically adjusted against your order. At this moment you can only get Glossy Photo Prints from them. I fired a query to Support and they confirmed that at this point of time they only offer Glossy Prints. What I didn’t like about SnapFish is that they store your Credit Card information in their database. They save everything except the CVV code. This is the only thing am not comfortable with.
While ordering prints SnapFish recommends that you print these snaps as 4×5.3 prints instead of 4×6 in order to avoid cropping of the photo. I had not opted for this recommendation so I won’t be able to comment on it. However, I’ve ordered fresh prints at this new size (4×5.3) and update you on this.
I had ordered the photo prints on 1-11-2007 at around 1.30 AM (however, SnapFish recorded the order date as 31-10-2007). This may be due to time difference of their servers. They deliver to Metros with 3-4 days. I received the prints on 5-11-2007 at around 4 PM. So, they took full 5 days to deliver the photos to me i.e., ONE extra day which I feel is OK. My photo packet was shipped from Goa. When I contacted support they apologised for the delay and said that they are trying to improve upon the turn around time and requested me to give them another try. Well, I will coz I liked the print quality and the ordering process.
I wanted to know on what type of paper to they print photos on. Customer Support stated that they print on HP Photo Paper which was confirmed when I received the actual prints. The prints were of good quality and they also had sent me a free photo album to keep the photos in. Despite being glossy I noticed that finger prints are not easily attracted on the paper which is very good. I used to get Matt prints all these years to avoid this problem but, it seems the glossy paper has improved over the years.
OK, now to sum it all up. I feel SnapFish has delivered what it had promised me. The quality of the prints are good and customer support responds (although a bit slowly). They have a good concept of that QuickUpload utility but, need to iron out the bugs as it crashes frequently. But, this utility is definitely a must for us Indian users where our Internet Speed and Bandwidth both are limited.
Feel free to give me your feedback on my review.