Top five photo processing tips from Which?Which? reveals your best photo printing options

01 June 2010

A poorly processed photo of a temple

Poorly processed photos can lack detail and appear washed out

Which? has put professional photo printing services through its tough lab tests and found that some big high street names fail to impress with the quality of their photo processing.  

Which? tested 14 online and high street photo processors - including Boots, Tesco, Snapfish and Photobox. Just two companies made it as Which? Best Buy photo printers, producing consistently good quality, well exposed prints with a good colour balance. 

Several other companies produced poorly exposed photos, resulting in loss of detail and washed-out or unnatural colours. And two big names failed to impress our testers with overall scores of just 42% apiece.  

How to get cheap photo prints

Once you've checked our photo printing review to avoid the risk of poorly processed pics, use Which?'s five top tips to reduce the costs of getting your photos printed. 

  • Get free photos online. Many online photo processors, such as Photobox, offer between 20 and 50 prints free for new customers. All you'll need to pay is postage. 
  • Print photos in bulk. The cost per print usually drops the more photos you get processed, so rather than printing off a few photos regularly, you'll save money if you save them up to print out lots at once.
  • Shop around. We've found that if you're printing 50 or more photos, the most expensive services can cost more than twice as much as the cheapest. 
  • Online isn't always cheapest. If you only have a handful of prints to process, don't assume that online is cheapest. If you only want to print 10 photos or less, the cost of postage for online processing could mean that a high street photo processor, such as Boots Photo or Asda Photo, is better value. 
  • Go for a 24 hour rather than 1 hour turnaround. If you prefer to get your photos printed on the high street, it can be up to three times cheaper to choose a 24-hour service rather than a one-hour service.

Looking for a new digital camera to make the most of your digital photography skills? Take a look at the Which? digital cameras buyers guide. 

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