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Tesco Photo Centre Review

Following our recent holidays we have collected a large number of digital photographs. We’ve printed a few already as A4 size but wanted to have the rest printed as regular 6×4 size. We saw that Tesco Online Photo Centre were doing printed for 5p each. Sounded a good deal.

After registering we found that the upload software did not work at all. Also there was a limit of 200Mb of images, we had over 700Mb to print! I decided to try my local store, I put the pictures onto 2 CDs, making sure that there were at least 150 images on each disk as this is the minimum number to get the 5p rate. In the store I used the self service machine to upload the images in 2 batches, these gave the price of each batch that I should pay. I was told that I would need to pay on collection when they are ready. This would be 24 hours later. There was no reciept givenor deposit taken. This could be open to abuse, i.e. upload a couple of thousand prints with no intention of going to collect them. They seemed to be too trusting of their customers.

On collection I just had to give the name I put into the system when uploading the prints. They asked me how much it was. I already had the amounts from when I uploaded the pictures and they took my word for it. I could have said anything and saved a couple fo pounds!

The photographs arrived in a large number of phpto envelopes with a number of index prints. The quality is not bad, glossy pictures look acceptable, there are some that you can see the pixels and print marks but you need to look extremely close to see this. So my guess is the print process used is not of the best quality. Compared to the photographs printed by Boots, there is a difference in quality but it is only when you look very closely you can see it.

With 6×4 pictures, they are a different aspect ratio to the digital camera images so to make them fit they are automatically cropped along the top and bottom to fit the 6×4 size. This is ok for most pictures but there were one or two instances where the very top of a head was removed.

Price wise, for the cost of an average colour ink cartridge we printed over 520 pictures, so for printing lots of images it is a very economical method. To print this lot using a home printer would have cost over £100 easily using budget paper and compatible inks. The price would rise by quite a bit when using premium papers and genuine manufacturers ink cartridges.

In summary: Home printing? OK for one-offs and special sizes, but for mass printing, forget it. Using Tesco photo centre for prints, OK, but dont count on top quality prints. You get what you pay for and Tesco have done the prints down to a price.

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