Digital Might Not Be All Bad For Photo Print Shops

from the relying-on-laziness dept

With everyone using digital cameras and (now) camera phones, you’d think that the traditional photo print shops would be getting worried. Not necessarily. They’re apparently betting that people will be lazy or uninterested in figuring out the details of printing at home, and will still bring in their digital photos to be printed professionally. They may be underestimating the public – and printer companies who are trying to make the process as easy as possible. Also, this might work for some period of time, but as the younger tech savvy generation grows up, they’re going to be just fine printing at home.

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Comments on “Digital Might Not Be All Bad For Photo Print Shops”

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Ollie Tabooger says:

I'm with the photo labs on this one...

Costco does prints for $0.19 which is on real photo quality paper. To do it at home, I need the printer, the special paper and ink cartidges (which we all know what a scam they are). And once I start using the ink cartridge, I have to print enough photos before the cartridge dries out. And even if it all works perfectly, it probably won’t look as good as from a photo processor. This is a classic economy of scale.

Anonymous Coward says:

Some photo labs are good

There is a sale at a local photo lab where I can get prints from digital files for $0.15 USD. Unfortunately, this is only a December sale. in January the price goes up to almost $0.40. As long as the price is reasonable I’m with the photo labs. But, when they charge me more for printing from a digitial file than from a negative I stop using their services. The highest price I’ve seen in Canada is almost $0.60 per print while I’ve seen reprints from negatives go for less than $0.30. WTF?

Beck says:

Aspect Ratio Questions

Film photos are 4×6 inches. Digital photos have an aspect ratio of 4:3, which means that the print shop has to cut the top and bottom off of each photo.

How long will it be until the photo processors can print digital photos in 4:3 ratio?

How long until photo albums and frames can handle 4:3 photos?

Since inkjet photo printers are specifically intended to print digital photos, why don’t they print 4:3 photos, and why don’t they sell 4:3 photo paper?

(Maybe the question should be: why don’t digital cameras take photos in the 2:3 ratio used by film cameras?)

Costco Photo Employee says:

Re: Aspect Ratio Questions

The aspect ratio of regular 35mm print film is 3:2

Some digital cameras let you shoot with a 3:2 aspect ratio, some don’t.

If you shoot at a 4:3 ratio on your digital camera you can save it as a 4×6, 5×7, etc. and burn it to CD that way using a jpeg file format and it will print just fine at a lab like Costco, Wal-Mart, etc.

There are quite a bit of pros that come into Costco to get some work printed. You can go to and calibrate your monitor to the specs of the location where you’ll be going. Therefore, any editing you do with your photos at home using Adobe PhotoShop, etc. will come out exactly like they appear on your monitor (as long as you calibrate it at the afforemnetioned website).

Andrew Ling says:

Re: Costco Digital Photo Print

Yes Costco photo print is low cost but they becomes very busy already. U have to wait to use the machine to place order because some customers (like me) take slightly longer to figure what they are doing. Sometimes machine also break down or needs service.
Generally I am satisfied with quality and cost.

Thomas Brown (user link) says:

retail digital printing

I take maybe 15-20 pictures a year; some of those related to work; why should I spend money on an expensive digital picture capable printer in my home when Walmart can do it for me? Wake up! Not everyone wants to be an Ansel Adams. I enjoy computers and electronics, got an expensive PC, an Ipaq PDA and Smartphone; I’m just not interested in photography as a hobby.

Beck says:

Re: No Subject Given

Until recently the only available means to print digital photos was to do it yourself. That doesn’t mean it is the best way, and if a better way to do it comes along why shouldn’t people take advantage?

As we can see above, there are plenty of tech-savvy people who have the ability to print their own photos but would rather have the lab do it. This doesn’t mean they are lazy, it just means that maybe there is a better way than doing it yourself.

Rootman says:

Why print at all?

Why I agree with the “better quality paper” and “cheaper than ink” arguments I ask

Why Print At All?

I’ve had a PC hooked to the TV for years, copies of my pics on my desktop, laptop and home server and pretty nifty web based interface to show them from any machine. I’ve never liked passing pictures around being 2 or 3 behind as the first slow-poke in line get’s the explanation of the contents while I guess “now THIS is Uncle Marvin? Or Aunt Melba???”. Showing pics on the TV is not only larger but more fun as everyone get’s to veiw them at once. Not to mention using a movie maker to make an actual presentation of the pictures – sound, narration – the whole works.

PC based multi-media centers for the home are getting cheaper and cheaper every day. Heck even a lot of PDA’s will show the picture in a more “mobile” format.

Dr. Don Blake says:

foto time is money

When that young tech savvy generation has a couple of kids, job, house, animals, soccer & music lessons to run kids to, elderly parents to diaper, etc. they’ll find they don’t have time to run a foto print shop at home. The best thing ever is e-mailing the fotos to the developer and getting them back snail mail. That’s been great for our needs …

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