Hi folks! I got a photo book done with a few pics done this year, encouraged by a Black Friday offer, that turned out not to be that urgent..but more on that later. Had another book done some time ago, got a good offer from AdoramaPix and thought I gave it a shot. Now that AdoramaPix is not shipping to EU anymore (coz politics), had to look for something similar in this little Eastern Europe country. Now that it's finally here and seeing the quality difference between them, thought I might do a comparison/review... they asked for it too in a mail after the delivery. Hopping I was getting something similar to the first book, but it wasn't so.
...trying to keep it objective and not ranty, here we go:
First let's get to know the companies better. I found out of AdoramaPix from Jared Polin (photographer and you tube "host" at Fro Knows Photo). Liked how the website looked, the vast variety of products and the typographical style editor on the website, witch helps you edit and perfect your layout to the millimeter or whatever people use over the Atlantic :P . All good and well until politics got in the way and made the company to stop shipping to EU millimeters people. Here is where PhotoGo comes in, found about it on Facebook after digging in lots of really really bad websites of other printing companies with really kitchy products. After researching more on PhotoGo, I found the editing part of the album and layouts witch was customizable similar to AdoramaPix but more basic. So i gave it a go, now you know.
Side by side comparison:
AdoramaPix - Since 1999; business figure: ~35 mil $, between 51-200 employees, located in NY USA
PhotoGO - Since 2014; business figure: ~20.000$, small number of employees, located in Cluj - Romania.
Some differences from the get go, not judging, PhotoGo having a company on AdoramaPix's paperclips budget :P. Having all this in consideration the prices for the books were as follow:
AdoramaPix: 40$ plus 30$ shipping - 8x12 - 16 pages of luster - Layflat - Hardcover
PhotoGO: 45$ free shipping - 8x11 - 32 pages of "Photopaper" - Layflat - Hardcover
Guess you get more of less, for approximately the same value.
As you can see, there is not much you can do with the PhotoGo editor, being design to be used by people who just want some vacation shots in a book, fast and easy. But what about the other people, trying to make something more and the application not having rulers, copy paste features on the elements and multiple bugs that got some of my deleted text boxes back under the final text and into print, but anyway. It's slow, lagy, not having the ability to get your pictures from border to border without glitching or jumping all over the place, not being able to print on the spine and not being able to set one spread picture for the covers ( the last two could be fixed together). I was informed on the spine problem that the size depends on the number of pages, but i guess that could be fixed with programming, resulting some variable guides in witch you may or may not fit something but let's you the possibility to do so. I mean, AdoramaPix has different numbers of pages too and you can still do it. I didn't find something I couldn't do in the AdoramaPix editor (for a browser editor that is), so I have nothing to say or add other then, you should try it.
For this review/comparison, I tried to keep the light quality and the environment in a controlled fashion as much as possible. All the pictures are shoot with the same white balance, native for the studio flash, same camera settings, same light modifiers.
Hope this will not get too long, just trying to make it thorough.
To stop this from turning from blog to book about books, let's wrap it up quickly, First, if you read till here and didn't lose interest, I thank you and please, feel free to share your opinion about this.
With time, attention to detail and persevering, PhotoGo can be one of the best in the country, it's on that road, they saw what it needs to be done, but at the moment they are in the parking lot, getting ready for an opening to get on that highway. I know most of the clients are people who want pink hearted, powerpoint like, clip art stickers, covers with their children or whatever with white vignettes. They are many but buy few, don't lose the few that maybe some day will buy many, wanting quality first.
Best of luck and until next time,
CheeRS, keep them shooting and printing!