Picture Snob

February 8, 2008

Digital Photo Services: Comparing Apple, Kodak, Shutterfly, SmugMug and Snapfish

How do you end up choosing the best photo service? There's a lot of parity but also some key differences that will come down to your particular needs and preferences. Here's a roundup of features and overall value -- see detailed feature listings at the end of the post and a link to the pricing page of each company.
apple.png
Apple wins on design and customization.
They offer a small portfolio of printed products through its software suite iLife (great deal at $70, includes iPhoto, iWeb, GarageBand, iDVD and more). So you need a MAC to enjoy any of these offerings. The prices are reasonable and like all Apple products, quality is top-notch.

kodak.jpgKodak has a thorough offering of printed products and you can upload photos or send rolls of film. While most of their design templates for cards and such are kind of tacky, they do have a nice design line in partnership with Martha Stewart as well as Spanish greeting cards. While they offer every product you can think of, pricing is on the high side. They're offering 20 free prints when you sign up. And of course, the uber-annoying factor that your friends and family have to sign up in order to view your photo galleries.
shutterfly.jpg
Shutterfly wins on all-round service.
A similarly thorough offering to Kodak, Shutterfly goes a step further to include clocks, soccer balls and dog collars. A fun feature for kids is custom books that can "star" your child -- choose from Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer. Overall, pricing is average but prints are expensive. Shutterly really aims to please with consumer-friendly features like Target store pickup and photo sharing that does NOT require your friends + family to sign up. So perhaps that service is worth the price. But here's a latest offer from Shutterfly:

smugmug.pngIf you're manic about security and spam or a high-end consumer, give SmugMug a try. It's a family-run company that prides itself on security and service as well as beautiful gallery settings and customization. You have to pay an annual fee ($39.95) -- what you get is security, community and real people service and what you avoid is advertisements and spam. They have many artful offerings like Fotoflot framing, a partnership with Blurb for exquisite photo books and they print everything on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. There's also a business membership that allows you to watermark photos, run an online gallery and monitor traffic in your gallery. SmugMug has a vibrant community as well where you can share photos, tag, comment and laugh it up all Web 2.0. SmugMug is offering a Free Trial
-- give it a whirl.

snapfish.pngSnapfish wins on price. The services are comparable to Kodak and Shutterfly but we found their site aggravating -- you had to sign up to even SEE their offerings. Snapfish is part of the HP family, so you'll find the service promoted heavily in association with HP products. They do offer talking photo cards where you can record your own voice. Snapfish is very competitive on price, with prints at $0.09 each. Try out Snapfish and get your first 20 prints free.

Apple Features
(You need a MAC and iLife to order products through Apple.)
Prints -- 4x6 = $0.12, 8x10 = $1.99
Cards -- $1.59+
Calendars -- $19.99
Photo Books -- $9.99-29.99 -- great designs and customization options
See Apple pricing page.

Kodak Features
Free Service -- 20 free prints when you sign up
Film Processing -- $5.99
PhotoShow DVD -- $19.99 for 150 photos -- custom DVD slideshow of your photos
Archive CD -- $9.95+ depending on number of photos
Prints -- 4x6 = $0.15, 8x10 = $3.99
Cards + Invitations-- $1.49+ -- available in Spanish also
Calendars -- $19.99 -- designs are kind of lame
Photo Books -- $9.99-29.99 -- great designs and customization options
Photo Collages
Albums, Frames + Custom Framing
Posters + Printing on canvas -- $17.99+
Apparel -- tees, baby onesies, neckties, aprons
Stuff -- mousepads, mugs, coasters, playing cards, puzzles, ornaments, magnets, tote bags
More Stuff -- blankets, pillowcases, keepsake boxes
Gift Certificates
Pickup at CVS, Ritz or Target
Photo Sharing -- friends + family must sign up to view
See Kodak pricing page.

Shutterfly Features
Free Service
Film Processing -- $4.98 -- includes postage, negatives, and a set of prints
PhotoShow DVD -- $19.99 for 400 photos -- custom DVD slideshow of your photos
Archive CD -- $10+ depending on number of photos
Prints -- 4x6 = $0.19, 8x10 = $3.99
Cards + Invitations-- $1.49+
Calendars -- $19.99 -- fun designs
Photo Books -- $19.99-29.99+ -- great designs and customization options
Child Books -- $29.99 -- customize Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer book with your child as main character
Photo Collages
Albums, Frames + Custom Framing
Posters + Printing on canvas -- $17.99+
Apparel -- tees, baby onesies, bibs, aprons
Stuff -- mousepads, mugs, coasters, playing cards, puzzles, ornaments, magnets, tote bags, luggage tags
More Stuff -- blankets, pillowcases, keepsake boxes, dog collar, dog bowl, soccer ball, notebooks, beverage labels, clocks, trays, necklaces, key chain
Pre-Paid Plans -- save money by purchasing in advance
Gift Certificates
Pickup at Target
Photo Sharing -- friends + family can view without an account
See Shutterfly pricing page.

SmugMug Features
Pay Service -- but a Free Trial, $39.95/year for basic membership
No Film Processing
Very secure backup process, no advertisements
Archive CD/DVD -- $11.99+ depending on number of photos
Prints -- 4x6 = $0.19, 8x10 = $2.99 -- available in every size you can think of
Cards-- $12.99 for 20 -- great designs
Photo Books -- $12.95+ -- through partnership with Blurb, high-end designs
Fotoflot -- special floating frame/print
Posters + Printing on canvas
Apparel -- tees, apron
Stuff -- mousepads, mugs, coasters, playing cards, puzzles, magnets, tote bags, luggage tags
Gift Certificates
Photo Sharing -- friends + family can view without an account
See SmugMug pricing page.

Snapfish Features
Free Service -- 20 free prints when you sign up
Film Processing -- $2.99 -- includes postage + set of prints
PhotoShow DVD -- $19.99 for 400 photos -- custom DVD slideshow of your photos
Archive CD -- $10+ depending on number of photos
Prints -- 4x6 = $0.09, 8x10 = $2.99
Cards + Invitations-- $1.99+ -- nice template designs
Talking photo cards $5.99 -- record your own voice
Calendars -- $19.99
Photo Books -- $29.99+ -- can customize cover but not much else
Photo Collages
Albums, Frames + Custom Framing
Posters + Printing on canvas -- $6.99+
Apparel -- tees, baby onesies
Stuff -- mousepads, mugs, coasters, playing cards, puzzles, magnets, tote bags
More Stuff -- blankets, pillowcases, keepsake boxes, stickers
Pre-Paid Plans -- save money by purchasing in advance
Gift Certificates
Photo Sharing -- friends + family must sign up to view
See Snapfish pricing page.

Read More in: Digital Photo Services

Share this Article with others: social bookmarking

Related Articles:

Came straight to this page? Visit Picture Snob for all the latest news.

Posted by Susan Moriarty at February 8, 2008 6:02 AM
Recent Comments
Post a comment









Remember personal info?




Please enter the letter "w" in the field below:
Please press Post only once. Submission of comments takes up to 20 seconds because of Spam Filtering.
Join the Mailing List Mailing List
Enter your Email

Subscribe - RSS
Site Navigation

Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

Archives

TechPiree

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered by
Movable Type 6.2.4
All items Copyright © 1999-2016 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy