I had the pleasure of receiving a new album in exchange for my honest review, so, here it is! Thank you Saal-Digital!
When I first opened the package and saw the album, the cover was beautiful. I chose the matte paper cover, and it felt soft and silky in my hands and my first impression was very good. I would choose this option again, as I didn’t like the color choices for the faux leather covers.
It’s a thin page book, with real photo paper inside. I chose the glossy paper. It does (more or less) lay flat.
Also, they have my favourite size, 10 x 10 inches (or for those using cm, it’s 28cm x 28cm)… so that’s a real plus for me. Most companies offering this style of book only have smaller squares; either 7 or 8 inches or 12 inches… but no middle size!
The glossy paper is quite shiny and looks good. (And without texture like the lustre paper which I usually use from another company.)
So far so good… right?
Now about the color:
Although the overall book is beautiful and appears to be well made for this price point, I noticed right away that the colors were not as saturated as I’d like them to be. They looked dull compared to my monitor. (To be fair, prints are always a little more dull than on a monitor because they are made of ink and paper rather than light!) That said, I still feel like they could have been more colorful.
I had a few of the same photos printed at home already, so I compared side-by-side to see if my hunch was right… here’s the comparison:
|A page in the book…|
|A print laying on the actual page… you can see the reds are much more vibrant.|
|It’s not as noticeable with the greens.|
|Another page I happened to have a print of at home.|
|The blue is slightly more yellow in the book than on the individual print.|
The above prints were done through my normal professional lab, which is connected to my website and I’ve written about in this post on printing.
|Holding the page down because it’s glossy and reflecting…|
|This is a print I did on my home printer. (I added 2 points of saturation and brightness before printing.)|
So, as you can see I’m a tad bit fussy about color. 🙂 I do like the book, and considering it’s a LOT cheaper than the other pro books I offer to clients, I think it will appeal to certain types of shoots, like family sessions or anniversaries.
I made this book with photos from a trip to Mexico and the USA. The book is just fine for this purpose, and I’m quite happy with it. But for a wedding, I’m not convinced. I’d rather pay more and get the additional service of someone (not a machine) actually looking at my prints to make sure they turn out perfectly. Side note, I have to admit that I didn’t download their ICC color profile before sending the prints. I just sent jpgs in sRGB color space, which is what they recommended. Perhaps their color profile was slightly different and I could have seen that on my monitor ahead of time. Never the less, the photos I sent were exactly how I normally send prints to the other pro labs, so I did expect that they would turn out just as well. I was wrong!
In conclusion, would I order a book from them again? Absolutely. I have one in the works right now which is going to be Christmas gifts for my family! The whole process from ordering to printing and shipping was very fast. A matter of days instead of weeks… Next time though, I will bump up the saturation more than normal before I send the prints in!