Consumer Reports: Best photo printing services

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many of us use our phones as a photo album these days, but the holidays are a perfect time to print those pictures as cards or frame them as gifts. If you're planning on doing either of those things, Consumer Reports has some advice for you.

Not all photo printing services are picture perfect and Consumer Reports reveals which ones top their list this holiday season.

Consumer Reports checked out 10 online photo printing services, looking at everything from the ordering experience to editing options to costs. And of course their trained photo experts also rated each print for quality.

"The big takeaway is price doesn't determine quality," said Tercius Bufete, Consumer Reports Electronics Editor.

Walgreens and Adorama Pix had the best quality for around 30 cents per 4x6 print. But Walmart and Amazon had excellent quality for only 9 cents each. At the bottom of CR's ratings, were photos from Mpix.

"Pictures were less saturated, they were less clear and a little bit blurry," said Bufete.

But all photos examined were all still better and cheaper than using most home printers. Consumer Reports also looked at online editing options like auto-cropping, a feature that should enhance a photo, but....

"Some photos were actually cropped so severely that they cut off people's heads," said Bufete.

Their advice? Make sure you review your order closely before you click buy.

Consumer Reports also says you shouldn't make decisions based solely on how much each print would cost. Be sure to review shipping costs too because they can have a big impact on the final bill. They suggest checking for free shipping offers or free in-store pickup.

And here's what Mpix had to say, "We often rank highly in similar tests. We tightly and regularly calibrate our equipment, and our team closely monitors every order all the way through the lab."

To read the full story from Consumer Reports, CLICK HERE.

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