Over the past few months I've been taking more photos using a "proper" camera ie. not with my phone. Sure, the quality of photos taken with phones these day is very good, but I still find that an actual camera does a better job.
I've currently got a couple of cameras that I use:
- Panasonic DMC-FZ200 - lovely little camera, but a little bit bulky
- Leica C-Lux - nice and compact, yet very powerful.
- iPhone Xs - it's nearly always in my hand or pocket.
So when I'm travelling around I'll use one of my "proper" cameras to take most of the shots, but I'll use my iPhone for quicker snaps.
While I'm happy to use Instagram and Flickr up to a point I also like to get physical prints of my photos, especially when it's a "big deal" such as my trip to Japan or Peru. A lot of the photos I take with my mobile, for example, aren't ones that I'll ever get printed.
I posted about options for digital photo printing more than 10 years ago, so an updated post was long overdue. Several of the services I mentioned in that old post no longer exist and I also wanted to see what new services were available now.
When looking at photo printing there's a couple of things I care about:
- Context - what are the photos being printed for? Do I want them to be printed in a standard size or am I looking for something higher quality to frame and put on a wall?
- Total price - while pricing is usually per print you need to also factor in the costs of shipping and any other extras.
- Integration with services I already use - it's not the most important thing, but if a service allows me to pull in photos from Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox etc., it makes things a little bit easier.
- Online ordering - which I would think is kind of obvious.
There are, of course, a lot of online printing services that target the US market, but I'm in Ireland, so ones based in Europe or with a European base of operations make a lot more sense. Remember what I said about shipping / postage costs?
So what is there?
- SnapFish - I've used them several times over the last year. They've got a nice tight integration with Flickr and several other services so it's easy for me to select which photos I want printed without having to upload them twice.
- FreePrints - as the name suggests they offer free prints, but of course there are restrictions. It's essentially mobile only and while it can hook into your Flickr and some other services where you have higher quality / resolution photos it's not as flexible as SnapFish. But they do offer a certain number of free prints every month - you just pay the shipping.
There are lots of other services that offer printing, though between their pricing (including shipping) I haven't used any of them recently:
If anyone knows of any good services that I haven't mentioned please let me know via the comments.