Online photo printing services put to test

Price does not determine quality

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Just in time for holiday cards or gifts, Consumer Reports compared 10 online photo printing services.

They compared the ordering experience, editing options, cost and the quality of the prints.

"The biggest takeaway is price doesn't determine quality," said Tercius Bufete, Consumer Reports' electronics editor.

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Walgreens and Adorama Pix had the best quality for about 30 cents per 4x6 print.

But, Walmart and Amazon had excellent quality for just nine cents a print. CVS, Shutterfly and Snapfish also had excellent picture quality.

Photos from MPix landed at the bottom of the ratings because Consumer Reports found the pictures were less saturated, less clear and a little blurry.

All of the photos examined were still better and cheaper than using most home printers.

They also looked at online editing options like auto-cropping. The feature sure enhance photos, but some photos were cropped so severely, peoples' heads were cut off.

So, make sure you review your order closely before you click the buy button. Check the shipping costs closely, too because they can add a lot to the total. Many sites offer free shipping promotions or free ship-to-store.

MPix provided a statement: "We often rank highly in similar tests. We tightly and regularly calibrate our equipment and our team closely monitors every order all the way through the lab."

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