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Photo book services

We compare 15 services that turn your digital pictures into a high-quality, hardcover, printed photo book.
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01.Introduction

photobooks-lead

We've compared 15 popular services available online that help you create your own photo books.

The books on test cost from as little as $29 (plus postage) to $115, but you can spend as much as you want, depending on the size, quality and other options you select.

Our comparison reveals which services:
  • are easiest to use
  • produce the best quality
  • present the best value for money

On this page, you'll find:

Services tested

  • Advent Photobooks
  • Albumworks
  • Apple iPhoto
  • Big W
  • Blurb
  • Clickonprint
  • Create
  • Eastmon Digital
  • Imagine Books
  • Mini Box
  • Mojo Books
  • OfficeWorks
  • Photo Pico
  • Photobook Australia
  • Photobook Express

How we test

To assess the relative performance and value of each service we create and print a “standard” album using similar set-up and output options, as much as allowed by the variance in the services.

Ease of use This includes assessing how well the software works (whether a downloadable or web-based program). Critical to ease of use is the method of getting pictures onto the program “pages” and the options for changing their size, location and cropping. Rather than one-by-one image placement, photo book software will use autoflow to automatically place an imported collection of photos, based on a pre-selected template.

Autoflow considerations include:

  • Is it possible to define the number of pages to be used for the autoflow?
  • Will all selected images used and fit in the defined page number?
  • Reordering flexibility after autoflow for individual pictures and pages
  • Moving, inserting and deleting pages
  • Moving swapping, deleting images within a page and between pages
  • Changing the number of pages while still keeping all the pictures
  • Image adjustment (rotating, flipping, enlargement, brightness)
  • Changing or upgrading to another type or size of product or book using existing images
  • Choice of themes, templates, masks, layouts, backgrounds, image frames, text options

Product options We look at the available album types, sizes, paper stock options, cover options, binding types.

Help We also assess the instructions, tutorial and help for the use of the software, with particular attention to how helpful those would be to non-expert computer users.

Quality our quality assessment includes the cover (material, robustness, binding); paper (thickness, feel, image showthrough, reflectiveness) and image quality (brightness, contrast, colour saturation and fidelity).

For more information about internet services, see our Networking and internet section.

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