Printique is also more expensive, but with the extra money you get much better prints. I chose the Kodak Endura Luster paper (which is also used by Mpix). Colors are very true to life, with rich blacks and good details in shadows and lights.
Another place that Printique shines is in uploading photos. You can import images from just about anywhere, including Lightroom, Flickr, Instagram, Google Photos, Facebook, and Dropbox, or directly from your computer.
25 4×6 prints from Printique are priced at $ 7.75 ($ 0.31 per print)
Best on a budget
When you don’t have to spend a lot of money but still want great-looking prints, Snapfish delivers. Snapfish doesn’t offer the same print quality you find on our top deals, but it’s also less than a third the price and the results aren’t bad.
You can upload pictures from your computer or phone, or import them directly from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos or Flickr). The web interface is easy to use, but like most cheaper services, you’re constantly bombarded with upsells to books, mugs, and more.
I was surprised by the quality of Snapfish’s prints given the price. They are better than what I got from several other services (not rated here) that more than double charged.
25 4×6 prints of Snapfish are priced at $ 2.75 ($ 0.09 per print)
Best for books
I’ve used Shutterfly to create everything from calendars to books and I’ve been happy with the results, but the company’s prints aren’t the best.
The tonal range is good, shadows don’t disappear in pure black, and at the white end of the spectrum the clouds retain a lot of detail. But the prints look flat and the paper is weak compared to our top picks. I also found the constant upselling on the website a strain. Every time you upload photos, Shutterfly pauses the purchase process to say we converted your pictures into a book, forcing you to close that unwanted dialog to get to what you actually wanted to buy.
Due to the below average buying experience and lack of great results, I only recommend Shutterfly for prints if you are on a tight budget as it is cheaper than Mpix or Printique. Where Shutterfly excels are these books they always want to sell. I was happy with the results of books and calendars.
25 4×6 prints from Shutterfly are $ 4.50 ($ 0.18 per print)
Best for portraits
Nations Photo Lab
Nations Photo Lab prints on quality paper, and the packaging is the best of the bunch. It’s hard to imagine your images ever happening in transit the way the company secures them, despite the slowest shipping times.
Although the prints are high quality, I have found that colors, especially with landscapes, often wash out. Highlights, especially bright white clouds against a blue sky, aren’t detailed when compared to the same images from Printique. The results for portraits are much better. Nations color grading does a great job with skin tones and delivers the best portrait prints of the services I tested.
What I really don’t like about Nations is the website. It’s slow and difficult to navigate at times (and I could never get it to give me a receipt). If you have a lot of photos to upload to Nations, it is far better to use the third-party app’s Remote Order Entry System (ROES). It’s a Java-based desktop app that once set up greatly improves the experience.