(looks awesome on Kodak Metallic paper)
Note: This review has been completely revamped as of 3/27/2011
For far too long, I was content to post my photos to Flickr and Facebook, and email them to friends.
However, about six months ago, I became addicted to printing my photos after I rediscovered how gratifying it is to see one’s work on paper, and to share it in with friends and family in physical form.
If you’re not familiar with NYC-based Adorama, it is one of the biggest and most-respected photography dealers in the world. Adorama carries just about everything, and even though it’ usually pretty busy, I’m always in and out of the store in a flash. They’ve also always treated me like solid gold even though I’m not a big customer.
So if you’re in NYC and buying camera gear or making prints, Adorama should be your first stop. Note however, that Adorama ships everywhere, so you don’t have to be in NYC to take advantage of their service.
Back to the review:
Over the past few months, I’ve placed 5-6 orders with Adorama, totalling well over 100 prints ranging in size from wallet to 20X30″.
Adorama provides a variety of uploading mechanisms, including a plug-in for Aperture that I’m going to install the next time I make prints, and one for Picasa 3. Adorama gives you unlimited temporary storage for print jobs, and 3 gigabytes of permanent storage. For an additional fee, you can have unlimited permanent storage.
Adorama accepts JPEG’s and TIFF’s up to 60 megabytes in size, which is way, way better than any one-hour photo joint.
Adorama promises completion of print jobs in two to four business days. However, I’ve received a pick-up notice for every single order I’ve placed in less than 48 yours. The one rush job I did was ready in less than 12 hours.
The packaging on my prints from Adorama has always been great. My 20X30’s and 16X20’s came tightly wrapped in cardboard around a foam sheet, while smaller sizes (wallets, 5×7’s, 8×10’s, 8×12’s) came in big envelopes backed by cardboard – very tough and ready to stuff in my camera bag.
I’m told that if you receive your order by mail, Adorama seriously overpacks everything to keep your work protected.
As for the print quality – I’ve alwasy been extremely happy with Adorama’s work. I’ve ordered every kind of paper they have, and I love them across the board.
Color-wise, the prints pretty much matched what I saw on my screen, and I didn’t bother with ICC profiles or anything like that.
Though I didn’t price shop before ordering, I’m seeing that Adorama’s prices are VERY competitive. Adorama is a tiny bit more expensive than Shutterfly for 4×6 prints (19 cents each vs. 15 cents each for Shutterfly), but at bigger sizes, Adorama is a bargin.
Adorama’s glossy 8×10’s are just $1.34 vs $3.99 at Shutterfly, while the big 20X30’s are just $18 – $5 less than Shutterfly. Adorama even beats Costco on price for 8×10’s!
Here’s my advice if you’re going to order from Adorama. Whatever you do, as long as your photos aren’t horrendous, get tons and tons of 8×10’s – they’re too cheap not to order.
And don’t hesitate to go big. I love my 20X30’s, and I’m eager to order a 24X36″ as well.
Oh yeah, the Kodak Metallic paper is awesome for anything with really bright colors, notably cityscapes.
A wise man once told me that you can’t have too big a TV – well, the same goes for photographic prints. And if you have
AdoramaPix has great service, great quality, and dirt-cheap prices. What else do you need to know?