When I was invited to become one of the Panasonic Brit Bloggers, I was already really happy to be given the latest PanasonicTZ55 camera to review and keep. So when they contacted me again for an opportunity to review the printed quality of the pictures taken with my TZ55 using Photobox online printing service, I was over the moon! I have always wanted to try Photobox, but I wasn't sure whether it was worth giving them a try as the experience I've received from using other online printing services before weren't really that great. The printed pictures came out either too dark or really grainy. But when the 2 products I've ordered from Photobox have arrived, they literally took my breath away as the pictures are absolutely stunning! Even the ones with the worst quality as they were super zoomed in were gorgeous!
The products I've reviewed were a 26 pages A4 2014 Photobook, and I was also free to choose other products using a gift voucher, which I used on a large Collage Canvas. I paid extra for premium quality, and it was well worth the money!
Photobox A4 2014 Photobook:
|The beginning of creating the photobook|
|Adding text - great editing choices!|
|You can continue with your photobook creation after saving and exiting. Find it under My Creations in your account|
For the 2014 photobook, I was given an option on the screen to personalise my own book, or just add the pictures onto the book. It's much quicker and easier to just add pictures to the book of course, and the book will still look stunning because of the quality, but I wanted it to be special so I opted for personalising my book.
I wasn't expecting it to take so long though haha. It literally is like creating your own scrapbook by choosing the background of each page (a fantastic selection!), aligning pictures on each page (so many ways of alignment available, and each can be further adjusted) and adding text (with gorgeous fonts, sizes and wide range of colour choices). You can then further adjust each picture (brightness and sizes, etc), adding borders and even illustrations (speech bubbles).
The choices and the amount of personalisation allowed on each page amazed me, I assumed that companies would want you to use the least amount of ink possible as all the editing is free (you just pay extra for additional pages, paper quality, additional photobook sleeve, etc). So I ended up spending a good 2 long nights to create my photobook, making the most of the free service, and it was SO worth it!
Note: As I've spent so much time on the photobook, I wanted the best out of it so I paid extra for the photobook sleeve and premium quality glossy paper.
The sleeve is plain grey colour but with a textured pattern, I think it looks very posh! I absolutely love the cut out 2014 shapes, and I found the most vibrant images I've taken for each of the number. The result is just WoW!
Note that the green orchid image was taken indoor under poor light with the Panasonic TZ55, so I brightened it up, increased the contrast and saturation as well as sharpened it a bit with the Photobox's built in editor (pops up for each image). Normally by doing so the pictures will come out grainy, but no! It look so natural!
The great thing I must also mention is that there is a quality indicator in the form of a smiley face on each image to tell you whether the image will come out with acceptable quality. If the quality gets poor, the smiley face will gradually change colour and turn to a sad face.
The bottom 2 images were of the same printed picture but zoomed in.
If you enlarge this image you can see the quality of the paper and image better
|Had to add this picture to the photobook even though it's not very family, as it's one of the prettiest picture I took with the TZ55, the lighting was perfect! The canape itself not so much!|
(I again opted for premium finish)
Ever since we had our first photo canvas, I never went back to normal prints. Canvas look so modern on the wall, and it save me the pain from looking for a perfect fit frame. Photobox has a wide selection of products available, but I decided to go for another canvas as the last one was created a while ago, and with the new house, we can do with more of the children's picture hanging up on the walls.
I went for the collage canvas as I spotted several pictures of Abby and Clay together that kind of shows off the love between siblings, they really make me melt whenever they play so well together!
Again, there is many layouts available, and each image can be adjusted and edited. The only thing I didn't have to think about is the backgrounds and texts (although you can add them), making the canvas much faster for me to create.
I went for the biggest canvas size I can afford (24" x16"), and I love it! The images came out beautifully, and look at the canvas up close, very different from other canvas isn't it. It's made of 100% premium cotton!
Photobox's premium canvas are hand mounted, hand stretched and hand finished, giving me the guarantee that it has been made with care, so I'm not just paying extra for the materials and thicker frame only.
Overall we are very happy with the photobook and canvas. The Panasonic TZ55 pictures came out much better than I expected with the Photobox online printing service (I have to admit that some were taken under the wrong settings and others under bad lightings). The colours are vibrant, especially the ones taken using ISO function (my favourite for taking lights in a dark environment), and even the zoomed in pictures are clear. We took our selfie shots with the tiltable screen, making it so much easier for us to see where we are going to be in the picture!
I think that price wise Photobox is very competitive, especially with the quality of service they provide as well. Have I mentioned how quick they delivered my creations? I ordered them on Friday night, received the canvas on Tuesday and the Photobook on Wednesday! They have also kept me up to date with the process even over the weekend. Then there is always a discount code available here and there too, so I really have nothing to complain at all.