Walgreens Digital Photo Printing - :-(

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by AaronJB, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    Today I picked up a Canon I560 printer, along with some of Canon's Photo Paper Pro 4x6 paper (pretty cheap - 7.94 for a pack of 50).

    I have a Canon ELPH S230 3.2MP digital camera that I've been using.

    Occasionally, I've taken pictures to be printed at the kiosks at Walgreens, which print out on Fuji paper. I've never been pleased with these, as the colors not only appear somewhat faded, but the pictures lack subtle color shadings, making some pictures appear flat. Overall, these prints are just okay to have, I suppose.

    Today I started printing out on the Canon I560 and the results were shocking. Colors appeared as rich - if not slightly richer - than they did on my monitor. The prints on Canon's paper looked detailed, remarkably rich and picked up the subtle shadings and tones of images that I'd never gotten on prints prior. Even an 8x10 was absolutely beautiful. The Walgreens prints - never good in the first place - now looked like garbage in comparison.

    This isn't exactly an expensive printer, either - it goes for $115 online and there's currently a $30 rebate. I'm wondering if people find similar results with their printers. Maybe it's just been so long since I've gotten a new printer (2 1/2 years) that I'm just behind in what I'm aware that printers can do.
     
  2. Scott Barnhart

    Scott Barnhart Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaron,

    I had exactly the same experience last weekend. My wife and kids have been bugging me for years to get a color printer, so Saturday I broke down and got a Canon i900D and some PhotoPro Paper also. Took a JPG from my Canon S100 ELPH, sent it to the printer using their default settings, and I was blown away! I had no idea home printing could look that good w/o being a professional with a super camera and a super printer. I hate spending time dorking around with getting digital photos to look good - I would rather just take them and show them to family and friends - so I was very pleasantly surprised.

    Ain't technology grand? [​IMG]
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    The whole process of getting prints from a digital camera are what's keeping my wife and I from getting one.

    She does a lot of scrapbooking and is concerned about the durability of inkjet based prints over time.

    On the other hand, we're tired of taking an entire roll of pictures for a handful of good ones.

    Photography is something I would like to really get into more, but the expense of 35mm processing doesn't leave much room for experimentation.
     
  4. Kevin Thompson

    Kevin Thompson Stunt Coordinator

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    Suggestion: Archive your image files and reprint as necessary. Of course they won't pop out of your printer with the cute curlicue borders...
     
  5. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Same experience here, but I printed them at CVS. They looked terrible in comparison to my Epson C80 that was $80 after rebates. The cost is about the same (paper+ink for a 4x6 photo run ~30 cents.)

    I printed out a fairly low resolution (400x500) piece of artwork I love on an 8x10 and even that looks really nice on it.

    In the end, it costs about the same, but it's more versatile and leaps and bounds more convenient. (And I didn't own any printer before.. the last printer I had bought was a HP Deskjet 500!)
     
  6. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I tried the Walgreens kiosk for convenience (just insert memory stick or CD) but was very disappointed in the quality. I originally attributed it to low resolution on the photo itself, but it sounds here like they may be using cheap equipment. I also wonder whether the machine will compress a higher resolution photo --can it handle a 4 or 5 megapixel image?
     
  7. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    how much ink gets used up after printing about 10 photos?

    or how many photos can you get out of a full b&w + color cartridge?
     
  8. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    I'm wondering the same thing (about quantity of prints). I haven't had a printer since my Lexmark Z11 died so I'm not up to date on printers these days.. But since I've got a couple thousand pics I've taken on my HD It would be nice to have some prints.
     
  9. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I just bought a Canon i470 for $100 at Staples with a $50 rebate and the pictures are remarkable. They look just a photo lab picture. All for $50. Wonderful. [​IMG]
     
  10. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    We go to our local Costco for prints, and I've yet to find any printer that comes even close. They get dumped onto the same paper as all the one-hour 35mm stuff. They process giant .tifs when I require it. 18c for each 4x6, 69c for a 5x7, and 1.99 for 8x10. And now, they print the photos on matte paper.[​IMG]

    We've intermixed some 8x10 prints from our 35mm (Canon Rebel 2000), our Sony DSC-S70 (3.3mp), and our friends Olympus E10 (Prosumer 4.1MP). No one has definitively picked the Olympus picture yet, and it's been hanging for two years.[​IMG] And, from two feet, they are essentially indistinguishable in terms of source.

    You might say I'm satisfied with Costco.[​IMG]

    Todd
     
  11. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    It really couldn't be any easier Most cameras come bundled with software that automatically downloads your pics to your pc. Then, most of that software acts as a printing solution.

    Heck, XP has a built-in camera wizard that can transfer your pics. Even the standard XP print wizard does a good, basic print job...
     
  12. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  13. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    My wife is an avid scrapbooker as well and we are now totally sold on Ofoto.com pictures. They are beautiful and the cost is very reasonable IMHO. They usually offer some kind of special as well.

    We use it in conjunction with our Kodak 6340 digital camera.

    Printing at home is way to pricey...uses way to much ink. I looked at the Kodak photo printer dock/charger when we first got out camera and the pics wer nice, but the per print cost is .64 cents each! OUCH!.
     
  14. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I don't mind paying more for the convienience, I think that's probably the whole point.
     
  15. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Ofoto sounds like a nice service.... even after standard postage 10 4X6 pics come out to around $.44. Not too bad.
     
  16. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I don't understand the complaints about the quality of Walgreens printouts.

    The only thing different than regular pictures is how they're fed into their printer. They are printed out the same way that regular rolls of film are printed out after being developed, the same way Todd says above that Costco does it.

    The machine reads the card (or CD) and I select which pictures I want printed, then they give me a slip and I can pick up the pictures a couple of hours later, just like with regular film.

    I'm very happy with the quality of the Walgreens printouts, but maybe we're not talking about the same thing? I know they have some kind of Kodak photo kiosk at the store too, which I've never tried, where pictures are printed instantly. They don't seem to look too good.
     
  17. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    I took a CD of my sister's digital pictures to a one-hour Fuji kiosk at WalMart, and was pleased with the results. WalMart also had a Kodak machine that did instant prints, but another customer told me that the one-hour Fuji kiosk made prints that cost half as much as the Kodak ones, and that had better quality.

    The colors and resolution were very good on many of these photos. (Direct flash caused its share of "red eye", but that's a hazard with most "point-and-shoot" cameras.)

    Note that many digital cameras shoot images that have 4:3 (NTSC TV) aspect ratios, as opposed to the 3:2 ratio of a 35mm negative. So when you print unedited digital camera photos to 4 x 6 paper at a lab, you may see some cropping.
     
  18. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    MickeS:

    At CVS it's printed on the same machine that regular prints are on too. However, I think the problem likekly lies in extremely poor training or equipment setup. My photos came out incorrectly cropped (with all of them having a white line on one side -- but still cropped to a certain degree.) Also, colors were washed out and the resolution from my $80 printer was clearly better too.

    They did a perfectly fine job making copies of my 35mm prints though.

    I can't explain it anymore than that. I've seen really poor quality at multiple locations and establishments though. I don't get why it's so difficult... But, I'm happier printing them at home in the end now anyway. [​IMG]

    My printer has instant drying ink and is supposed to be resistant to fading. I'm sure it won't be as good as a real print in the long run, but I can live with that...
     
  19. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    My experience with most online photo printing sources is that they alter the contrast and brightness of the picture before they print them. The pictures usually come in (from Ofoto, Shutterfly, etc.) looking much brighter and somewhat washed out compared to what they do on the screen. Wal-Mart does a fairly good job with prints, but their prints seem to be a bit on the dark side.

    I think it is more convienent to just have someone print them for you, but that is just me. I am still looking for that perfect digital printing service as my current printer really isn't up to snuff.
     

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