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View Full Version : Take your memory card to Walgreens?????


Roadrat
01-09-2004, 03:04 AM
I've been seeing commercials on TV
that show a shopper taking her digital memory card to a photo machine in the store and having prints made from it.

Anybody have any opinions on this service????

Anyone ever try it?

I realize that it probably wipes the images off the card, and no negs or back-up disk would ever be available.

Guess that would be a major "con" to this service.

Any "pros"?????

Roadrat

Chris Starnes
01-09-2004, 03:16 AM
One of my female co-workers was telling me recently that she had taken some images to Wal-Mart (same setup as Walgreens I would imagine) and was very pleased with the results. One downside to this is you wouldn't get the chance to do much editing. (Sharpening, color correction, etc.)

Personally I prefer to photoshop my own digital images then upload to a photo printer (ezprints.com) and have them ship me the images. So far, the quality has been excellent. Their prices are very reasonable....$2.45 for an 8x10 and $3.45 for an 11x14!

CTS

E.M. Bell
01-09-2004, 04:52 AM
with more and more folks going digital, I am sure that a lot of these 1 hour photo places are seeing a big dip in profits... They can still sucker a few folks that are not "in the know" into paying them to do what they can do at home for free!! why pay someone to download your card and make prints, when you can do the exact same thing at home??

Jonathan Guy
01-09-2004, 08:51 AM
One benefit to using a Fuji/Kodak/etc kiosk found at Walgreens or Walmart is the ink used by the kiosk. Many home printers don't use a quality photo style ink that will last many years like some of the home photo printers. There are computer printers on the market that make wonderful color prints, but they're not cheap and everyone doesn't have access to one.

Printer and ink quality is coming up and prices are dropping which should be a good thing for the digital photographer in the coming years.

rsd-17
01-09-2004, 04:01 PM
One downside to this is you wouldn't get the chance to do much editing. (Sharpening, color correction, etc.)


I haven't tried it, but I imagine you could do your editing and save the images you want printed back to a CF or SD memory card. As long as the card's directory structure and image's file format is the same as the original image, the printing process at Walgreens/Wal-Mart shouldn't have any problems.

nickhp
01-10-2004, 08:51 AM
Fuji Frontiers are AWESOME, especially if you have a Fuji camera. Some answers to questions/comments below:

Roadrat: getting the picture printed DOES NOT erase the picture from the card. Save the files to your computer first and you will have less to sweat about though, as there's always the chance of erasing, losing or damaging the card...

Chris: You can actually do quite a bit of image editing on the Fuji Frontier machines (which is the machine Walgreens, Wal Mart and Sams all use). Obviously, you're going to get better results from editing done in PS than on this machine, but it CAN do quite a bit. As for prices, Sams club do me 4x6 prints for 20 cents each, and 8x10 or 8x12 prints for $1.90, in one hour :)

kd4jsl: You're obviously not in the digital age! Prints from your home printer don't compare with Fuji Frontier prints. The home made prints are softer, often have "lines" from the inkjet passes and are usually only gloss finish. Frontier pictures are head and shoulders above the home inkjets. Of course, the other big thing is cost. How much does a GOOD home printer cost? And ink (don't forget the high quality setting on your home printer will suck your cartridge dry very quickly!!!)? And photo paper? It ends up cheaper to use Sams!

rsd-17: Yes, you can save your pictures back to your CF card after editing them on your PC and take them to the Fuji machine. It is best to save the files to the root directory of the card. Also, if you are using large JPEG files, the Fuji has problems reading JPEG's larger than around 2Mb (speaking from experience here), so if the file as a JPEG is over 2Mb, save as a TIFF file instead. Even though the TIFF may end up as 20 or 30 Mb, the Fuji printer will read a large TIFF while not reading larger JPEG files - I have no idea why this is, but I saved the same picture as a 3Mb JPEG and a 30Mb TIFF, and when I put the card in the machine, it would only show the TIFF file (I called one file 1jpeg.jpg and the other 1tiff.tif before anyone says that the machine might not have seen both because of file name duplication, and that is how I know which file showed up on the machine).

Hope this helps!

Nick

mu23
01-24-2004, 11:30 PM
Taking full memory cards to a Walgreen's etc. can be a good option when away from home. If on vacation and without a laptop or similar device to store the images from a memory card, or with no budget to buy more memory cards, Walgreen's etc may be a way to keep shooting. Nickhp is right on the money, except for printing. He may be in the digital age, but it ain't a high, or even medium-end one when it comes to printers. That, however is another reason to consider having them printed through a retailer or through ofoto etc. I'm on a 6th month printer upgrade cycle, but that's a lot of loot for many people, a lot of learning too, especially if they don't have a compelling need or interest in quality desktop printing. I like the online outfits when I need to send prints to someone, they will save you the trouble of shipping: very convenient and time saving. At this stage of the game, a very good printer, that's economical on ink, and will make lab quality prints lasting for decades, can be had for around $300, give or take. Canon, HP, Epson, are all good choices. The new Canons are great printers, producing sharp, quality prints, and very economical when it comes to ink consumption; they are also faster than fast. Some of the newest HP's feature a grayscale ink cartridge that beats anything in its class (and quite a bit higher), for B&W printing. Epson, though no longer the undisputed leader of the pack, continues to shine, especially on their high dollar models. Many people already own pretty good printers, but have never opened the manual, or bought the right paper. If you are proud of that picture, isn't it worth a 30 cent sheet of 8x10 photo paper? It's hard to beat Wal-Mart or ofoto on print prices, if you get it right every time that is; if that print needs tweaking, it may be more economical in both money and time, to print it several times over yourself. I have seen Sam's paper, it's o.k. - just o.k., no more no less. Of course, one can always edit at home shoot the files back onto a memory card and print from a retailer's kiosk: the best of both worlds. Ironically, as printing enters a golden age, it has become less and less relevant. Where are most of your pictures displayed, in a frame on the wall, or on a website? This new reality of how we actually view most of the photographs we encounter, also tends to make megapixel mania seem a bit absurd. Once again though, we have a wealth of great options to chose from. There aren't any bad choices (except for printing at home on non-photo paper!), just many good ways to arrive at the same destination. Print at home, through a net service, or at the drugstore - it will all look good. Reminds me of the old saying, "Many windows, one moon."

csxdave
01-31-2004, 03:28 AM
There are several other sites that do a good job.

I recommend www.snapfish.com and togophoto.com.

Snapfish is located in Maryland and will do 35mm for $5 a roll via mail order. You can also upload your digitals to them and get back prints and my favorite, a bound memory book (that is your photos in a hardcover booklet printed on real honest to goodness bookpaper).

For Christmas, I uploaded about 300 prints to togophoto and received by 4x6s in about a week from Germany on Agfa paper. Not bad for $0.18 each.

Now when you figure the cost of photo paper and printer ink, this method is BY FAR cheaper and superior to print at home.

CSXDave