Consumer Reports: Photo printing services

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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. (WLS)

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.

But not all photo printing services are picture perfect. 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, Consumer Reports' trained photo experts also rated each print for quality.

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

Walgreens and Adorama Pix had the best quality for around $.30 cents per 4x6 print.

But Walmart and Amazon had excellent quality for only $.09 cents each.

At the bottom of Consumer Reports' 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," Bufete said.

Consumer Reports' 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. Consumer Reports' suggests checking for free shipping offers or free in-store pickup.

Mpix give this statement to Consumer Reports: "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."

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org

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technologyconsumer reportsphotosphotography

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