Nations Photo Lab Photo Book Review

By | 25/10/2022

Nations Photograph Lab may not have Snapfish or Shutterfly’s proper noun recognition when it comes to online photo printing services, merely information technology certainly delivers the appurtenances. Nations delivered the best quality prints among services we tested, and our test gild arrived in excellent protective packaging. Though the company’south pricing is on the high side, it’southward still quite reasonable when compared with other services that use high-cease paper and processes. Nations is PCMag’s Editors’ Choice winner for high-end photo processing services, beating out the likewise-fantabulous Mpix and Printique.

How Much Do Nations Photo Lab Prints Price?

Nations charges more for the standard 4-past-vi print than most of the competition at 32 cents each or 56 cents with colour correction.  Occasional special discounts can put the price far beneath those figures, though. Nations recommends using its color correction unless you calibrate your monitor with specific ICC profiles.

The everyman-price photo printing service I tested, Snapfish, charges only 9 cents for 4-by-vi photos. Nations’ five-by-7s cost a reasonable $i.25 ($ane.69 with color correction) and the 8-past-10s are $ii.49 ($three.25 with color correction).

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Nations Photo Lab home page

(Credit: Nations Photo Lab)

Unlike many services, Nations hasn’t raised its prices in the last two years. Now Printique charges the same 32 cents per 4-by-6, and Mpix charges 36 cents. If yous demand same-twenty-four hour period pickup from Walgreens Photos or CVS Photo, you’ll pay more than, at 37 and 39, respectively. The best deals on 5-past-7s and viii-by-10s are from Walmart Photograph, which charges 68 cents and $ane.94. Amazon Photos isn’t far behind, charging 69 cents and $ii.09 for five-by-7s and 8-by-10s, respectively.

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Aircraft via US Post Start Class with a 2-to-six-business organization day commitment window cost me just $4.95 for 21 4-past-6s, ane 5-by-7s, and two 8-by-10s; other options include 4-10 days for $7.95; 3-7 days for $9.95, Expedited (two-four days) for $xiv.95; and i-twenty-four hours Limited for $34.95. If you visit Nations’ Maryland lab location, you can pick upwards your prints free of shipping charges.

What Cards and Gifts Does Nations Photograph Lab Offer?

Nations produces more than than just photo prints. You can order holiday cards, photo books, calendars, mugs, and home decor likewise. Holiday cards starting time at $37.66 for a 25-pack, or $ane.51 per carte. That goes down to $1.37 per menu with an gild of iii packs, to $one.27 for eight packs, and to $1.09 for 21 packs or more than.

You can as well go Christmas stockings and tree ornaments with photos printed on them. The near unusual photo gifts Nations offers are blankets, pillows, and dog tags. It’south a respectable pick, simply it’s not quite as broad-ranging as Snapfish, which offers offbeat items like shower defunction and face masks with your photos on them.

Creating Orders With Nations Photo Lab

To first an order with Nations, y’all first choose a print size and surface blazon—Lustre, Glossy, or Metal; the last choice raised the per photo cost to 62 cents. A linen texture pick makes it 62 cents per shot, and color correction is 52 cents per. Don’t worry because you can modify these options afterward.

Create Order in Nations Photo Lab

(Credit: PCMag)

Side by side you need to upload your pictures, after striking the Customize Order push button (which seems a footling backwards, simply  there information technology is). The service no longer lets you directly add photos from Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, or other tertiary-party cloud services, every bit Printique and Walmart Photo do, only it does support elevate-and-drop from Windows Explorer or macOS Finder.

You can upload JPG, PNG, and TIFF files—more than most services, which usually limit you to JPG and maybe PNG. This TIFF support marks Nations as more than professional, only uploading this format requires using Nations’ uploader utility, and they can’t take layers. Nations is one of the few services (forth with Mpix, Printique, and Target Photograph) that lets you upload a 108-megapixel shot from a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra—virtually of the budget services don’t.

Selecting multiple files to be uploaded at once works, merely in that location’s a maximum number of 400 photos per upload. All photo files must reside in a Gallery, which could just be your automatically created pinnacle-level My Gallery.

On the ordering page, Nations makes it a little harder to select multiple prints for the aforementioned prototype. The other services unremarkably show selection boxes for the standard size selections—4-past-six, 5-by-7, viii-by-10—in which you can enter the number of prints of an epitome at each size. With Nations, you must select the photos then the size. After selecting them, y’all see a Review and Edit Crops window with all your selected images—which is good! You don’t desire Aunt Debbie’southward head one-half cut off.

Crop Tool in Nations Photo Lab site

(Credit: PCMag)

The service offers no photograph-editing or enhancing tools at all, such as those offered by Snapfish. Still, you’re probably better off editing images on your computer using an app similar the complimentary Windows Photos or the non-so-free Adobe Lightroom, which gives more options than online editing. There’s some other issue with Nations’ cropping: You lot tin can’t uncrop. In other words, y’all tin can choose a subset of the prototype, but you tin can’t zoom out and make it smaller on the page. It’s particularly problematic when you have a square image that you want to impress on rectangular paper with white borders. Another problem is that if y’all choose a edge, such as white or black, Nations doesn’t show you a preview of it with your prototype.

Unlike during my final test of the service two years ago, Nations no longer offers a bunch of upsells, a welcome change that lets me get directly to checkout.

If you’re looking for a service with some online gallery-sharing capabilities, Nations is not for you. Amazon, Mpix, Snapfish, and Walgreens offer online sharing of your uploaded galleries, but if that’s a key functionality for you, you’re better off with a powerful online service, such every bit Flickr or SmugMug, which offer both public and private galleries.

Testing Nations Photo Lab

My Nations Photo Lab test order came dorsum in double-layer paper-thin shipping protection. Only Printique and Mpix provided equally sturdy packaging; Target Photo was the merely vendor I tested that used thin newspaper envelopes. The order took three days from ordering to delivery—better than the estimated half dozen days for my shipping option. The photos were perfectly flat and printed on genuine Kodak Endura photographic paper. The result was far more impressive than the curled, unbranded newspaper used by Walgreens and Snapfish’s loose eight-by-10 in its mailing envelope.

Packaging comparison clockwise from top left: Nations Photo Labs, Printique, Mpix, Target Photo, Snapfish, Walmart Photo, Amazon Photo

(Credit: PCMag)

More important is the actual print image quality. In the cityscape below (the New York State Capitol Plaza in Albany, NY), Nations reveals more item in the old building in the distance than about competitors, especially than its fellow high-end competition, Mpix and Printique. CVS, Snapfish, and Target are surprisingly sharp, likewise, simply they don’t match Nations’ excellent color balance.

Photo printing comparison: Cityscape

(Credit: PCMag)

In the detail of a portrait shot below, the Nations print more closely matched the original than Mpix or Printique (the original was closer to the redder await in the Nations shot than to the warmer Mpix and Printique). It also offers more than detail in the skin than the Printique shot.

Photo printing comparison: Portrait

(Credit: PCMag)

The Highest-Quality Photo Press

Nations Photo Lab costs more than than big consumer-targeted services such as Shutterfly and Snapfish, but it delivers higher photographic quality in superior shipping packaging. That makes it our Editors’ Option winner for high-end photo-press services. Among depression-toll options, our Editors’ Option winner is Snapfish, and for ane-hour local pickup, information technology’southward CVS Photo.

The Bottom Line

Nations Photo Lab delivers photo prints of superb quality in sturdy packaging. Information technology’southward non cheap and you don’t go any photograph fixing or sharing, merely the print quality here is a footstep above the contest.

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