Print Services Comparison: Which Website Makes the Best Prints?

Chelsea & I compare prints from ten services to find the best
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Want a more creative print? Visit http://fractureme.com, use the coupon ‘tony’ or ‘chelsea’.

Here are the services we compared:
* Bay Photo
* H&H Color Lab
* WHCC
* Walmart
* AdoramaPix
* Nations PhotoLab
* Mpix
* Pro DPI
* Shutterfly
* CG Pro Prints

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STARTER CAMERAS:
Basic Starter Camera ($280 used): Canon T3 http://sdp.io/t3
Better Starter Camera ($500): Nikon D5300 http://sdp.io/d5300
Better Travel Camera ($500): Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II http://sdp.io/em10ii

LANDSCAPE CAMERAS:
Good ($550): Sony a6000 http://sdp.io/a6000
Better ($1,400): Nikon D5500 http://sdp.io/D5500 & Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 http://sdp.io/s35
Best ($3,150): Pentax K-1 http://sdp.io/K1 & Pentax 24-70 f/2.8 http://sdp.io/p24

PORTRAIT CAMERAS:
Beginner ($950): Canon T6i http://sdp.io/t6i & Canon 50mm f/1.8 http://sdp.io/c50
Better ($3,000): Nikon D610 http://sdp.io/d610 & Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 http://sdp.io/t200
Best ($5,300): Nikon D810 http://sdp.io/d810 & Nikon 70-200 f/2.8E http://sdp.io/n200e

WILDLIFE CAMERAS:
Starter ($1,100): Canon 7D http://sdp.io/7D & Canon 400mm f/5.6 http://sdp.io/c400
Great ($3,200): Nikon D500 http://sdp.io/d500 & Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 http://sdp.io/n500

VIDEO CAMERAS:
Beginner ($500): Panasonic G7 http://sdp.io/g7 & Panasonic 14-42mm http://sdp.io/p42
Better ($1,400): Panasonic GH4 http://amzn.to/2p5dAmD & Panasonic 14-140 f/3.5-5.6 http://sdp.io/p140
Best ($4,300): Panasonic GH5 http://sdp.io/gh5 & Metabones Speed Booster XL http://sdp.io/mbxl & Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 http://sdp.io/s35 & Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 http://sdp.io/s100

DRONES:
Beginner ($400): DJI Phantom 3 http://sdp.io/p3
Travel ($1,000): DJI Mavic Pro http://sdp.io/Mavic
Better Image Quality ($1,500): DJI Phantom 4 Pro http://sdp.io/p4p

Comments

Creedlake says:

Can you connect your dropbox account to any of the services so you can order prints from your dropbox account

artisteontheside says:

Hi – Any opinion of Miller’s Lab?

Kevin Adams says:

Would you two consider making a video explaining color profiles in relation to printing. I have a pretty bad monitor, and I am having a lot of trouble understanding what my prints are going to turn out like. Thanks!

Juan Acosta says:

great info

Isaac Sung says:

I ordered my prints from Mpix after watching your video. When I received my prints, I was confused. Knowing that you guys are professionals and have very trained eyes with thousands of samples, I was not quite sure if the colors and the exposure of the image that I got was rendered accurately. Interesting thing is that you guys stated the Mpix had great dynamic range, and my photos were exactly like that but just too much. darker parts of the image was just right but the brighter parts were just not white enough. For example, I had a lot of high key images and none of them had true white. I checked them in my Photoshop and they were close to 255,255,255. even the blwon out part was not totally white on the print. Also, you guys mentioned that other printing comapnies having green tint/cast on the print. I found my prints from Mpix all had pink-ish tint/cast on them. it was not extreme but definitely visible. My monitor is not perfectly calibrated but I know it’s pretty accurate from past experiences because when I print my photos at home or at 1hour quick printing service, though quality was a lot worse, I didn’t have any of these issues. Is it may be becasue I’ve left the color correction option checked when ordering? or has Mpix changed its rendering after the video was published? or is it my eyes? but everyone who looked at my images commented that the photos came out dark.(Especially the white parts)

ManyDoors777 says:

In the past I’ve had lots of problems with Adorama printing services…. really, really bad quality…

Bruno Bastin says:

I have just received my first order from Fractureme, and it is absolutely awful !!! My b&w pictures are green!!! How can a professional company send such poor quality??!!!

Freddie Slaughter says:

I have used Mpix several times, but they always come back darker than what I shot, so I’m looking for a better service.

Johnny Lee says:

Thank you for doing this, was just wondering how to tell which ones were the best…

Katie Klein says:

Thanks for this video! I wanted high quality pics and wasn’t sure what site was the best. Great info!!

Kathy P says:

lol I ordered from shutterfly and omg it’s worse than Walmart ahaha have

Silent778 says:

If you remember and don’t mind me asking is for Mpix when you ordered did you have the color correct your image or did you check off for them not to touch it?

Joshua Almeida says:

who does affordable chromogenic prints?

Dylan Kaczor says:

Hi everyone I hope you are having a great day! I am a graphic designer from Connecticut (US) and I was wondering where I should print my art I make from. I am just going to try Walmart and see how it turns out.. please reply! =)

Eccentric Smithy says:

Mpixs is owned by Miller’s Lab, printed on the same machines in the same building.

james Adam Taylor says:

thanks guys this was informative

Dan Nugent says:

You guys are very relaxed on camera!

Tara Jackson says:

Hi I didn’t see any black and white prints, what is the best way to print a black and white portrait?

Emiliano González says:

Hi guys how are you? I’m a Photographer base on Guatemala City what printer website do you suggest for me keeping in mind my location Thanks! also I have a canon ip8710 printer but I have a big issue getting the right colors, if you have a tip I will appreciate it if you help me out on that one. thank you!!

Andy B says:

A year and a half later, and I still can’t decide who is the cutest. Did the results ever come in?

Shannon Ryan says:

very useful, how do you feel about ritzpix?

tanya moe says:

I used whcc. my prints came back TERRIBLE AND LOOKED NOTHING LIKE the original photo. The photo actually looked worse plus it was a pain in the butt to order from them. I tried Bay photo for greeting cards and selected for them to color correct. my photos came out overexposed to almost pure white. When I called them about this they were not going to give me my money back.

Chris Holmes says:

Surprised about Adoramapix. I’ve always used them, and have always been happy. I do make sure that I don’t allow them to make adjustments, maybe that makes a difference? I have not ever used any of the other services, but I’ve never had an image be that far off as the example you show. Interesting!?! I did recently order a single image in multiple formats (glossy, matte, metallic, etc) and there were definite differences in color between each of them. Curious which style you ordered for this test?

Joshua Voyles says:

Hi guys. I just printed a landscape of Jerusalem I took through nations and it came out pretty bad. I’m sure a lot of it was my part, but I can’t understand how I’m supposed to be able to correct for as much as possible when I don’t know the profile and they only allow jpeg upload. How is anyone from any of these print services supposed to make proper adjustments without the Raw file? It just left me frustrated. So far I’ve seen no option to upload raw on any site.

Hadrian Franklin says:

Whitewall are the best by a million miles, end of.

The Batman says:

Tony, what was paper used in the Mpix print? Matte?

Dania Ahmad says:

could you do a video on wedding albums? this was an awesome video

Richard Nordness says:

I’m new to DSLR and have found your videos to be best. The question I came and left this video with is this: Do any of the printers you reviewed print from a TIFF file and does it matter?

Michael Bennett says:

I’m still messing with calibration. It is VERY interesting when comparing printed output to the screen. After calibration, while color was good, I noticed my brightness too high. I’m gonna struggle with that one as I like 100% brightness 🙂 HOWEVER, while MPIX and walmart have their good and bad color correctness, BOTH were exact same exposure when looking at the printed product.

That tells me that exposure when printed is probably right, but my on screen is WAY off. It is 100% brightness may onscreen, but nothing like exposure of the printed product. I had to lower brightness to 50%!!! Granted with this new MVA 105% color Gamut monitor it’s still plenty bright. But that definitely means (I think) that when adjusting exposure in LR, I’m probably not bringing up the exposure far enough (printed product could be brighter). But not the conundrum. By lowering screen to 50% brightness, I’ll know exactly what the printed product will look like now. However, most people set brightness of monitor to at/near 100%. So passing pictures around or on a website, would likely look overexposed (too bright).

I’m going to leave monitor at 50% for now, but it begs the question, what will it look like for others. I’ll probably do another edit at 50% screen brightness, export, then compare to a prior export. Then look at both old/new exports at 100% brightness.

Note. Walmart actually seemed to match color almost 100% to my screen, while MPIX seems to have color corrected to warm/yellow. Again, both seemed too dark compared to my screen.
Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe an everyday PC use profile with screen at 100%, and a photo editing profile (calibrated) with brightness set to 50%? Does that make sense or is there an easier way of doing all this?

Robert G. says:

It has been a year now, could you possibly do this again with multiple prints from the top 5 labs?

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