contador pagina web Saltar al contenido

Comparison of the best photo books 2019

The photo book is on the side. After a wedding, a birth, a vacation, or as a gift, it's a good way to share your photos and memories. The number of sites and services that offer to make their own Photo album is theoretical. Do all the sites offer the same possibilities? Does the price of a photo book vary from one service to another? To answer these questions, we tested eleven photo book solutions, from creation to printing, in our photo album comparison.

The observation that we can make is that each of the sites offers a variety of photo books, there is a choice for everyone. The proposals are much the same and in the end, it was quite easy to produce the same photo album (some details) on the eleven sites that we tested.

Image 1: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?

All use a creation tool fairly easy to handle and more or less equivalent functions. Nevertheless the price of this book has varied from one site to another, ranging from 29.90 euros 38 euros, shipping included. Moreover, these shipping costs are a given to take into account when ordering a photo book because they can greatly vary the price. Free at Myfujifilm, they exceed 7 at monalbumphoto and Photoservice, or around 20% of the total price.

So why choose this or that site to create a photo book? Everything will depend on the level of customization and finesse you want to put into it. And the wish to retouch or process the photos at the same time as you create your product, some do not offer this possibility and therefore require retouching the photos upstream via another software (Gimp, Photoshop, Paint, etc.).

Our selection

Cewe> Top quality

Image 2: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?
From 7.95 euros. The most complete photo book service. Easy to use and very customizable, the Cewe photo album also offers the most interesting print quality. Too bad it does not offer as many discounts as its competitors and that it does not offer more themes.

Myfujifilm> Best value for money

Image 3: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?
It is the photo service which offers the best quality / price ratio. Rather correct printing quality, an average price, and above all free shipping. All with a simple and pleasant creation tool to use.

Pixum> The good plan

Image 4: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?
The good surprise of our comparison. Pixum is Cewe's creative tool and print quality, with a slightly softer price. The only difference with Cewe: fewer book formats.

A big difference in print quality

The other important finding concerns the printing quality of these books. It's been several times that we make this comparison and each update the observation is the same: we are marked by the difference in rendering between each of our test books. Whether on the respect for colors, the contrast or the grain of the photos, not all photo books are created equal. The first thing to know is that a photo book printing is not a Photo printing. The quality of the books is lower. And started from the cover, the rendering of which varied from one book to another.

Then there is a gap between best photo books (Cewe, Pixum, Myfujifilm, Flexilivre and Photobox) and the less well printed (Photoservice and monalbumphoto), the rest is in between.

In the end, two services stand out: Cewe and Pixum. They offer the greatest possibilities for personalization, the greatest number of functionalities and even the best printing quality. Cewe, the more provided of the two is simply the most complete of all, for a few euros more than the average. However, if you want to lower the price and skip some optional options, we recommend using Pixum which is a clone of Cewe and which uses the same photo labs (Cewe is also a shareholder in Pixum).

As for the others, they are not outdone: Myfujifilm represents the best quality / price ratio (in particular because the shipping costs are offered there). Special mention for Blurb, which stands out for its creativity and great potential, there is plenty to do in originality after getting to know its more complex software. And if you lack inspiration, Flexilivre is the best equipped with themes and personalization tools to help you illustrate your photos.

One last thing to keep in mind about print quality: printing errors are not uncommon. A persistent task, missing border, or misaligned images are things that happen when printing a photo book. In this case, do not hesitate to ask for the edition of your album. Most services will gladly lend it to you, once you've taken the trouble to show them the fault (a photo or screen copy is enough).

Photo book: software, online service or application?

That's it, you're going to start creating a photo book. Whether you have chosen Albelli, Snapfish, Fujifilm or another service from our comparison, you will have to make a choice: which tool to use to create your photo book?

At best, three possibilities are available to you: the software, the online service and, finally, the application for tablet or smartphone.

Image 9: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?

Cewe photo book creation softwareThe online application, launched on your Internet browser, is the most common solution. Everyone offers it. It quickly has to install software but has a major constraint: the transfer of photos is dependent on your Internet connection. As a result, the larger the book, the more photos it has, the longer the time it takes to download photos. Not to mention the risk of crashing which also increases.

The software does not have this defect but requires to be installed on your computer. On the other hand, once the installation is finished, the creation goes faster. The other advantage of software is that it is sometimes more complete than its online equivalent. On Cewe or Blurb, for example, the tools are more numerous and the possibilities of customization too.

On the interface, the different services are quite similar in their approach. Only Snapfish stands out by offering a more original tool (a side toolbox) of an extreme simplicity and which will suit much more those who work on small notches.

Image 12: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?The simple and clear interface of Snapfish

The iOS and Android applications are now available to everyone. But, above all, they are a little more limited than the other two more conventional solutions. However, all players are making progress on their applications by integrating more and more features present in their software.

Here again Cewe is a step ahead and the latest updates to the application confirm the desire of the German publisher to bring the application to the same level as its software. Finally keep in mind that despite the touch interface, creating a photo album via an application is not as simple as you might think. Prefer in particular the tablet to the smartphone. More comfortable, it quickly has a lot of precision errors.

Image 13: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?

Do you need to know yourself in photos or Photoshop to make an online album?

Even to make the most beautiful photo albums, there is no need to have notions of photo, imagery or even retouching. Whatever the site used, the creation is accessible to all. We have listed three methods:

The simple and fast solution: the automatic assistant

This is the most developed function in recent years in photo book services: lautomatic integration, often called creation assistant or automatic editor. On paper, it's simple, quick and adjustable. In fact, there are big differences in performance between the different assistants. If they were to be noted on this point, the vast majority would not get the average.

Image 14: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?The automatic assistant of monalbumphoto

Random filling, inability to differentiate between a portrait photo and another in landscape format, duplicates and other filling inconsistencies are the common lot of these relatively inefficient robots. On this point only Photobox and Flexilivre stand out by offering a less chaotic version than their competitors.

In the end, this turnkey solution will require many adjustments and will only save you a little time. The other automatic editors will create the photo book and the blank places letting the user place his photos in the desired boxes.

If we want to be a little optimistic, it must be said that the various photo services have improved their automatic integration function in recent months. How? 'Or' What ? By proposing selection criteria (favorite photos, total number of pages, duplicates, etc.) before the editing process.

For those who want to create everything from A Z:

Here the starting point is the blank page. It's up to you to decide where your photos and texts will be placed and how you want to enhance them (frame, effects, contours, relief). Unless you have recourse to the layouts proposed by the various services.

This solution is simpler than it looks. We take the software in hand quickly and we quickly understand its subtleties. And if we are a little lost, all the services provide tutorials (video), creation aids and for some of the models to make your own photo book. It is the method that takes the most time but it is the one that offers the most freedom.

For those who want a professional result:

Generally, each one does his Photo album. In this case, do not worry because software is easy to access, just like web applications. Some, like Blurb, even offer three different software depending on your level. A basic version with limit functions and two others more advanced for file snags.

Image 17: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?

Help tools for creation

  • Image quality: to avoid having an unpleasant surprise when you receive your book, some of the sites indicate the quality of the photo in real time. If it is not good enough for a printout (too large for example), a visual alert will let you know.
  • Duplicates: except for MyFujifilm, all the services have a tool that allows you to see when an image has already been used. So you quickly use the same photo twice.
Image 18: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?The choice of effects at Myfujifilm
  • Layout: Small tools like smart alignment or centering the photo help harmonize the arrangement of photos on the page.
  • Retouching: some of the photo book editors process the images. The most basic are limited to automatic correction, the most advanced play with brightness, contrast or sharpness.
Image 19: Photo book: what is the best photo album service? Photobox photo editing functionality

Can we customize everything on a photo book?

There is almost no limit to the customization of photo albums. Number of pages, arrangement of photos, overlay of text, clipart and even QR codes referring to videos, in theory everything is possible.

However, not all photo services offer the same possibilities for personalization. It is Cewe who offers the most options and freedom in personalizing his photo albums, closely followed by Photobox and Albelli. Blurb is also very complete but requires to master its most difficult software. Opposite Photoservice and Monalbumphoto have progress to make, although the options they provide will suffice for most users.

Image 20: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?Personalization on Blurb

Marriage, birth, vacation: what are the themes?

Do you lack ideas or creativity? Themes are made for you. As photo books are often made on the occasion of special events (wedding, birth, birthday, vacation, etc.) the album editors had the good idea to make available to users of the pre-format books. Whether by their colors, the chosen backgrounds or their shape, they facilitate the creation of a photo book by providing a turnkey structure. Most often, all you have to do is place the right photos in the right places to end up with a successful book.

Image 21: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?Flexilivre offers the best choice of themes

But the themes can also serve as a basis for work. They are not blocking and you are free to modify the structure of a page if you do not like it. In the theme games, Photobox certainly has the greatest choice. On this specific point, it is Flexilivre which offers the most interesting choice of themes as well as rather original stickers capable of giving a playful note to your photo book project.

How much does a photo book cost?

The price of a photo book can vary normally. From ten to several hundred euros depending on the number of pages, format, type of paper, etc.

For our comparison, we have chosen to take as a point of comparison the best-selling photo album by the various online photo services. Is a photo book in A4 landscape format, 24 or 26 pages on average, for a price that varies between 20 and 30.

Promos, discounts, free photo albums? How did it work?

The online photo book industry is ultra competitive. To attract more customers, the different services are waging a war of promos. Discounts can range from -10% -70% and some even offer free books (paging and limited format).

Image 22: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?

Even if your photo book is finished, it is better to wait a few weeks in order to benefit from one of its reductions. On the other hand, it is better to be wary of overly advantageous offers, which most often come from the cheapest photo services.

On average, you can consider that you have made a deal if you benefit from a 20% reduction. As a very patient it even happens to come across promo codes of 30% on good quality sites.

Finally, very often the photo book printing services offer welcome offers, valid for the first or second printed album. Only Cewe is lagging behind on this point. Little adept at reductions, the German service is also the least generous with its new users. By doing some research you can, at minimum, save on shipping costs.

Another way is to save money when ordering several photo books, after a wedding or a baptism for example.

In this case, all the services offer a decreasing rate depending on the number of albums ordered. Here too the differences exist. The decreasing price applies from the second book for Photoweb and Photoservice, for example, while you have to order at least 10 books from Cewe to get a price reduction.

What should you pay attention to when choosing your photo book?

Image 23: Photo book: what is the best photo album service?

Format

This is the first of the criteria: what form should you give your photo book to? Carr, portrait or landscape? And in what size? The choice is quite wide. There are at least a dozen possibilities with each of the players in our comparison.

Paper

Matt? Brilliant? Satin? Make your choice. On this point all the services are equal but be careful, between 25 and 30, on our test book, not everyone offers the same choice. It will be glossy or satin paper at Cewe, only glossy at Monalbumphoto and simply matt (170 mg / m2) at Myfujifilm. On this point, Blurb offers the greatest choice with 5 types of paper on its Standard landscape Photobook book.

However, there is something new in paper. In recent weeks, we have noticed the arrival of premium matt paper from Pixum and Cewe. This uses HD ink. It is not valid on all book formats and above all, it increases the price of the print.

Blanket

The choice of cover is also important. For half of the services we tested, it is possible to choose between a flexible or rigid cover. The other half does not offer this choice, or charges them for it.

The same goes for customizing the cover. Some like Photoweb or Pixum allow you to customize it. Photobox offers a window on the cover of its A4 luxury photo book. As for Myfujifilm, it is the only one to offer imitation leather for less than 30.

Number of pages

The page is the nerve of war. The number of pages is one of the criteria that most varies the price of a Photo album. We must therefore pay attention to the price of the additional page. The problem is that the offer is unclear. Between those who offer to buy the additional unit page (Photoweb, Photoservice, Albelli) and those who only sell page packs, by 4 or by 8.

Result? A page can score between 0.50 (at Pixum), and 0.99 at Photobox. Note that on average, the page price is around 0.70.

Verdict:

The District Photo glove's printing service is one of the pioneers of its kind. It returns to the front of the stage with a completely renewed interface which is clearly its great strength. Very simple and very intuitive, it is also one of the most pleasant to use. Ideal for small notches.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Photo Book (30 x 20 cm)
Several types
Satin or shiny
26
Per pack of 8
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
154
Yes
Yes, smart enough
Yes
Yes
5.99 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

Flexilivre is one of the very good photo services in our comparison. If it is not as complete as Pixum or Cewe, it stands out with a wide choice of themes and stickers that allow you to personalize your photo book project. The French service also stands out on another point: it is one of the very best in terms of print quality.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Large Landscape (29.7 x 21 cm)
Several types
Satin or shiny
26
Per page
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
250
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
6 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

From 7.95 euros. The most complete photo book service. Easy to use, complete and very customizable, the Cewe photo album also offers the most interesting print quality. Too bad it does not offer as many discounts as its competitors and that it does not offer more themes.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
A4 Panorama (28 x 21 cm)
Flexible custom
Satin or shiny
26
6.40 euros (set of 8)
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
154
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
4.95 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

Latout of Photobox are his themes. A great selection in which everyone will find their shoe. The online design tool is also very successful. We also appreciated its print quality as well as the default coverage. Only bmol: the price, above average.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
A4 photo book (22 x 29 cm)
Rigid window
High gloss 170mg / m2
26
0.99 euros
No
Yes
Yes
120
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
6 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

Monalbumphoto offers a fairly simple and basic tool which unfortunately lacks the possibility of retouching. Even if it offers an interesting quality-price ratio, it is better not to be too demanding as to the quality of printing or the customization options (no photo on double page).

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Photo book (28 x 21 cm)
Rigid or flexible (book or spiral)
Shiny
24
2.60 euros (set of 4)
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
144
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
7.36 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

For a quick and uncomplicated photo book, Photoweb is a good solution thanks to its automatic filling tool. It lacks customization options to compete with the best photo book services.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Prestige Landscape Photo Book (29 x 22 cm)
Rigid custom or window
Satin
26
0.65 euros
No
Yes
No
100
No
No
Yes
Yes
4.69 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

The good surprise of our comparison. Pixum is Cewe's creative tool and print quality, with a slightly softer price.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Landscape photo book (28 x 21 cm)
Flexible or rigid customized
Matt, satin, shiny
26
4 euros (set of 8)
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
154
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
5.99 euros

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

It is the photo service which offers the best quality / price ratio. Rather correct printing quality, an average price, and above all free shipping. All with a simple and pleasant creation tool to use.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Shiny Satin Photo Book (21 x 29 cm)
Rigid or artificial leather
170mg / m2 mat paper
26
3.50 euros (set of 4)
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
98
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Free

Technical sheet
+

Verdict:

Blurb is so different from other photo book services that it could be out of category. It is more aimed at professionals and takes a long time to learn, but the result is worth the effort.

more

Last name Type of cover Paper type Number of pages Additional pages Software Online service Application Maximum number of pages Video integration Automatic editor Creation tutorial Decreasing price Shipping fees
Standard landscape (25 x 20 cm)
Flexible
Standard, matt, gloss, gloss
20
0.25 euro
Windows / Mac
Yes
Yes
98
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
6.99 euros

Technical sheet
+

Our test method

To make this comparison, we composed the same photo book with the 11 test services. Each of the 25 pages was used to test one or more functions of the different editors. We have also selected various photos to measure the quality of printing on night or detail photos for example.

All our books printed for this comparison test the following functions:

  • The proposed layouts
  • Customization possibilities (layout, background, cliparts)
  • Master effects, frames, filters
  • Image processing and photo editing
  • Layout tools
  • Using the double page as a single page
  • Text and writing tools
  • Personalization of the cover