Starting at $21 for business cards and $23 for postcards
List of Printing Services to Avoid
Avoid Amazon’s Photo Printing Service: According to an image quality test, Amazon produced the worst images. Although it’s fast, out of the 25 prints ordered, eight had printing errors. A second round of 25 images was printed and seven had misprints. Therefore, Amazon’s photo printing service is not recommended.
Avoid Walmart/CVS/Walgreens: These 1-hour photo kiosks are still available within pharmacy chains. The quality of prints varies significantly from one store to another. The quality of prints depends on how skilled the technician working on that day is and the quality of the machine. Despite being convenient, it may not provide the best results.
Tips for Better Prints
A variety of images were used during testing, including landscapes, city shots, portraits, macro images, close-ups, and images with strong bokeh. Testing was not limited to good images only, as blurry images, overexposed and washed-out pictures were also tested. Some images were edited in desktop software from RAW files, while others were sent directly from mobile phones, and some were sourced from social media posts.
Printing from social media platforms is highly discouraged because social media photographs are highly compressed and do not allow access to original uploads. Therefore, printing from seriously degraded versions of the images sourced from social media platforms yields poor quality prints. A better alternative is to upload images directly from the phone.
Using a RAW file taken by a full-frame camera with a good lens yields better prints compared to phone cameras. However, the difference is not noticeable in a 4 x 6 print when using a decent phone camera. It is still fine to print at 5 x 7. For larger prints, printing on canvas is recommended to hide image artifacts successfully, although it is costly.
Using image editing software to add contrast and sharpen images before uploading is also recommended. Adobe Lightroom, Google Photos, Snapseed, Photoshop Express, and Darktable are some of the best software to consider for editing.