myPhotopipe: Your Very Own Pro-Quality Digital Photo Lab
Well here is a digital printing service to check out: myPhotopipe. It's been around a while but is not super well known. If print quality is your objective, definitely give it a try, especially for enlargements and custom projects. Expect to pay more than the mass-market services (Shutterfly, etc.) but you'll get your shekels back in quality. They make things you want -- panoramas, cards, collages, contact sheets, books -- not the freaky stuff you don't want, like photo blankets, mouse pads and such.
myPhotopipe touts its variety of print sizes, papers, finishes and attention to color management. They pledge to keep your color profiles and for $1 a print, you can have your prints individually color corrected by a real, live person. (Most printing services just push all images through a basic filter, if that.) They've got a fulfillment setup for event pros (weddings, etc.) and as a testament to quality, pros are a huge part of their customer base. They partner with Blurb for photo books -- Blurb's got a great reputation for quality and customizable designs.
If there's a catch, here it is: ROES (Remote Order Entry System). If you want to use all the cool cropping and customization features myPhotopipe offers, you've got to download their ROES software. (You can do a straight upload of images via PhotoCentral if you just want lab prints, but that kind of misses the point of what myPhotopipe has to offer.)
What's good about ROES is what you can do there: personalize every photo -- add borders, captions and printed mattes. It's cute. You can see the actual cropping of your image -- remember that with most printing services, any print that isn't the exact same ratio as your digital file will be cropped without your input. You can create projects like books, calendars, collages and even catalogs. For a pro, you can create photo packages and proof books. ROES works well. It's an easy download, an invisible install (Java-based) and all the pricing and product information is at your fingertips.
What's bad about ROES is that it requires an initial investment of time and concentration. This could intimidate the average man, woman or chicken. Or just irritate them. If you're a hobbyist or pro or are particularly computer savvy, the investment will be worth it. And in fact, many other digital labs use ROES, so you may already be used to it.
The bottom line? To ROES or not to ROES. We think what myPhotopipe offers is worth learning ROES. myPhotopipe has living, breathing people answer their phones, so if you need a tutorial, call them up.
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Posted by Susan Moriarty at April 10, 2008 6:05 AM