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All posts tagged "photo book"


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Save 15% Printing a Photo Book with Poyomi

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Printing" @ 03:00 PM

http://www.poyomi.com/coupon/dht2011

I haven't tried Poyomi yet, but talk about an affordable way of getting a photo book made! At a mere $4.99 for a 20 page book, you can't get any photo book anywhere for that cheap as far as I know. That's with the 15% coupon dht2011 already applied by going to this link of course. Seems like this is an easy and fast way to make a photo book. Have any Digital Home Thoughts readers tried it? If so, what did you think?


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blurb Announces New ProLine Photo Books

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 12:30 PM

http://www.blurb.com/proline

"Today, Blurb, the global creative publishing platform, announces the launch of ProLine, a range of unique, premium print offerings that will appeal to professionals and enthusiasts alike. Blurb enables everyone to design, publish, share and sell bookstore-quality books affordably, order one copy or many, and receive their books in about a week. The new ProLine offering features two new papers from Mohawk Fine Papers, a company that is respected among graphic designers worldwide as offering the very highest quality fine art papers for the most discerning clientele."

When I did my giant photo book review, Blurb was right in the middle of the pack. They had affordable prices, but didn't particularly stand out in terms of print of paper quality. It looks like Blurb is interested in stepping up their game by offering higher quality paper.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Viovio Photo Books Reviewed: Free Your Photos!

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Digital Home Printing" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Photo Books and Printing
Manufacturer: VIOVIO
Where to Buy: VIOVIO
Price: $5.99 USD and up (varies)
System Requirements: Internet Browser, Laptop or Desktop computer
Specifications: N/A

Pros:

  • Massive library of templates;
  • Excellent customer support;
  • Impressive printing and pricing options.
Cons:
  • Internet based application can be slow;
  • May not be compatible with some browser plugins;
  • Finished project may not have the printing option you want.

Summary: Am I the only one who has gigabytes of photographs gathering digital dust on my hard drive? I'm not, right? And why? Because ink and photo paper is expensive, and it would take me forever to print them out! And then what? Invite the family over for a sit-down where you pass one photo hand-over-hand to the person on your right, over and over? No, no, this can't go on, and that's exactly what went through the brilliant minds over at Viovio. What if you could pick up a book, and inside have your photos displayed on high quality photo paper? And what if it had interesting notes and text, amid a visual playground that didn't just display your photos, but presented them? Viovio turns Family-Vacation-Photo-Night into an upper scale gala, thick with praise and hyperbole, but more importantly with love. And speaking of love, hidden in this review is a 20% off coupon for you to use! Read more...


Monday, April 4, 2011

Calling a Spade a Spade: The Facebook EgoBook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Printing" @ 02:12 PM

http://apps.facebook.com/my-egobook/

"EgoBook is a personalized book created from status updates, published pictures, wall messages and the comments from a Facebook profile!...The cover is personalized with the profile picture and description over a mosaic of his friend's profile pictures. Inside, the messages and the comments."

This is CLEVER. Getting a book printed of your Facebook history is an ego play - let's be real here - but it's also a snapshot of history that you might look back on and laugh (or cry) about later in life. And it's fun! I've requested one of these for review, so I'll let you know what I think of the whole thing when I get the book...should be interesting!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Photo Book Giveaway Contest With Inkubook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 11:00 AM

http://inkubook.com/default.aspx

If you recall my photo book round-up review, Inkubook fared quite well - I liked their Web-based book building system, and their paper, print, and cover quality were all solid. What with summer holidays now over - and the winter holidays fast approaching - Inkubook and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give away a few free photo books! We have five (5) 8.5" x 11" classic landscape photo books to give away, 20 pages each, with shipping included. That's a $29.95 USD value (plus the shipping), and if you want to add more than 20 pages to your book, you'll simply get a $29.95 credit and free shipping subtracted from your total. Nice!

How can you enter? All you have to do is post a message telling me what you'd put in your photo book - a recent summer vacation? A new addition to the family? Celebration of a special moment in life? Tell me what you'll make, and post one of the pictures that you'll be putting in the photo book. It can be anything - keep it clean - and it's easiest to just post a link in your post so you don't have to mess around with HTML. We don't host images inside our forum, so you can use any one of the many free image hosting services out there to upload your image then post a link to it in your message.

The five winners will be chosen randomly when I shut down the contest on November the 12th at 12pm GMT -7. Winners will be contacted via forum private message, so make sure you have email notifications turned on. Have fun, and let's see those ideas!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo Book Luxury: Picaboo's Ranch Style Book Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Printing" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Photo book
Where to Buy: Picaboo
Price: Starts at $299.99 USD (8.5 x 11") or $199.99 USD (6" x 8"); as configured in this review, $539 USD.
System Requirements: Picaboo X is an Adobe Air application that will work on Windows or OS X.

Pros:

  • Easy to use book-building application with lots of extras;
  • The Ranch book style is beautiful from start to finish;
  • Picaboo provides excellent customer service.

Cons:

  • Picaboo books tend to be expensive relative to other book printing companies, though this is mitigated somewhat via regular promotions;
  • Picaboo X has some stability and usability issues;
  • Picaboo X is not well-suited to computers with a weak CPU, and isn't multi-threaded.

Summary: The last time I wrote about Picaboo, it was as part of my mega photo book review - and they didn't fare very well. I was contacted by someone from Picaboo's marketing department shortly after the review went live, and they were gracious about the issues I pointed out with their system and final product. They offered me a chance to try one of their higher-end books, and to review their new Picaboo X software. I had a personal project in mind that would be perfect for this type of book, so I figured I'd give them another shot. How did they do? Keep reading to find out.

Note: This review was written prior to the 10.124P version of the software that adds in the very clever BookGenie option, so that feature isn't discussed. Read more...


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photobook Canada's Big and Bold Square Photo Book: Some Strategy Required for Success

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Printing" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Photo book
Where to Buy: Photobook Canada
Price: $127.78 CAD as configured with the 216gsm Premium Silk/Gloss paper (prices start at $110 CAD for a 40 page book 11" x 11" book)

Pros:

  • Incredible paper quality with the upgraded paper option;
  • Impressive print quality on the cover and inside pages;
  • Reasonably easy to use software.

Cons:

  • Severe accuracy problems with front and back cover images;
  • Tech support is somewhat lacking;
  • Expensive, even with a discount coupon.

Summary: If you read my photo book review round up, you'll know that Photobook Canada fared quite well; with their upgraded paper option, the paper was superb, and the print and cover quality were excellent. At the time, they didn't support spine printing, and I further docked marks because the image on the back was printed right at the edge of the cover - but I was nevertheless impressed with the final product. Within a few weeks of my review going live, Photobook Canada launched version 5.0 of their photo book software, and guess what missing feature it added? Spine printing! Read more...


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Photo Book Printing Discount Coupon Codes

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Printing" @ 03:15 PM

Looking to print a photo book, and want to save some money on it? After I published my photo book review article, I contacted each of the companies involved and asked them if they'd like to provide discount coupons for my readers. A few agreed to, so here are the discounts I've collected so far:

  • Treasure-Book: DHTDC15 will get you 15% off your order, valid until June 30th, 2010.
  • Inkubook: HOMEFREE10 will get you a buy one, get one free promotion. This coupon is limited to one per customer, and is valid until October 31st, 2010.
  • ArtsCow: 30PBOOK1199 will get you an 8" x 8" photo book, 30 pages in length, for $11.99 each, with free shipping (expires December 31st, 2011). 30PBOOK2499 will get you a 12" x 12" photo book, 30 pages in length, for $24.99 each, with free shipping (expires December 31st, 2011).
  • Photobook Canada: until October 31st, you can get 45% off your entire order (not including shipping and taxes) using the coupon code DIGITAL45.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Great Photo Book Round-Up Review: Who Makes The Best Photo Books?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Printing" @ 06:30 AM

Photo Book Review

This review has been updated as of July 2014. Short on time? Skip to the conclusion, or do what I do: sign up for discounts from Photobook America and MyPublisher. Both are superb choices!

Looking for the 20% discount on FotoFusion? Use code DHT20-2 on the Lumapix site.

My son Logan was born on August 16th, 2009, but long before that I started work on a very special project: a baby book that would chronicle the process of my wife's pregnancy, our preparations for his arrival, and the first couple of weeks after he was born. This wasn't going to simply be a bunch of photos; I wanted to create a truly epic baby book, something that was off-the-charts unique and something that would become a family treasure.

I've wanted to use FotoFusion (see below for a discount coupon) to create customized page layouts for a long time now, because I knew it would allow me to break the limited confines of what typical photo book software permitted. I had carefully created all the pages in FotoFusion, exported each page as a high-resolution JPEG file, and dropped the images into full-page layouts. I incorporated my green-screen scanning technique to add objects to the book, and once I was finished - a process that took eight months of work and around 200 hours in total because I wanted it to be perfect - I had the book printed with Picaboo. The results were a complete disaster. The details are below under the review section for Picaboo, but the short version is that I was really unhappy with the physical representation of all my hard work and I wanted to get the books re-printed using a different service. But which service should I use?

Read more...


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gorgeous Photo Layouts with LumaPix's FotoFusion v4: The Review

Posted by Jason Dunn in "SOFTWARE" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Photo-centric page layout software
Manufacturer: Lumapix
Where to Buy: LumaPix
Price: $39.95 USD (Essentials), $119.95 USD (Enhanced), $299.95 USD (Extreme) - see below for a discount coupon
System Requirements: Internet access (you pretty much need high-speed access to do anything online with it), a working email account, minimum 256 MB RAM, minimum Pentium III 350MHz or faster, minimum 1024x768 desktop display resolution, a two-button mouse (three buttons preferred), 20 MB free disk space.

Pros:

  • Creatively, a joy to use;
  • Highly optimized user interface for fast productivity;
  • Amazing rendering engine;
  • Flexible output options.

Cons:

  • Resolution output limited on lower-end versions;
  • Requires product activation and high-speed Internet access for some functions;
  • Accessing and storing templates and objects is confusing.

Summary: LumaPix FotoFusion v4 is, at its core, a photo-centric page layout program. But this is no QuarkXPress - the heavy focus on photos makes it a streamlined, efficient way to make gorgeous pages covered with photos in a few easy clicks. I originally discovered it a couple of years ago and I used it to create photo collages of my vacations, and the software has only grown more functional. With all that functionality, is it still easy to use? Read on for the full review!

FEBRUARY 2011 UPDATE: Be sure to check out some of the photo book projects I've created with FotoFusion (Project 1, Project 2) - it will give you some better real-world examples of what this impressive program can do.

If you're interested in purchasing any version of FotoFusion, use the coupon code DHT20-2 to save 20% off the price. It expires on December 31st, 2014.

Setup & Install

The setup file (downloaded from www.fotofusion.com) is only 11.3 MB in size, which is surprising given the deep functionality of this program. After the initial user account control security prompt in Vista, the install proceeded. I took a look at the license agreement, and was disappointed by what I saw: the license explains that the software uses online activation, and it's only valid for one computer. One-computer households are becoming more and more rare, and I dislike it when a vendor doesn't at least allow for the common desktop/laptop licensing scenario to enable me to use the software on my main computer with a big monitor, and on my laptop when traveling. I'm certainly not going to purchase two copies of the same software if I'm the only one using it.

After some further research I discovered a FAQ entry they have on this subject that explains that while the license agreement is one install, "a second activation allowing users the convenience of a second machine for personal use MAY be ignored by LumaPix, so long as the user does not abuse the situation". May be ignored? I'd prefer a more clear-cut license that doesn't rely on whether a LumaPix staff member is feeling magnanimous or not.

My concern with online activation is the same as that of most people: when you purchase software, especially expensive software, there's a real fear that the company might go out of business, or suffer a disaster, and their activation server might vanish. That $299 you just spent on the high-end version of FotoFusion? It's worthless if the company goes out of business. As much as I respect the right of a company to defend themselves from piracy, I think the customer has an even more important right to always be able to use the software they paid for regardless of whether or not the company that sold it to them is still around. I'd feel more at ease if there was a non-profit, centralized agency that would act as a middle-man in situations like these so that even if the company were to vanish, this agency would hopefully still be around to give out the activation key.

There's also the issue of re-installations: let's face it, Windows can get crusty and unstable over time, and if you test out a lot of software like I do, formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows from scratch is something that you'll do a few times a year. Having to activate the software every time you do that is a pain, especially if you have to explain yourself to over-zealous customer service people who might not want to give you an activation key because they think you're trying to scam the company. I trust that the people at LumaPix wouldn't act that way, but I've seen it in the past from other companies.

This activation issue is fraught with potential frustrations for paying customers, and I don't know if it stops unethical people from getting the software for free. A quick Google for the terms "lumapix fotofusion warez" resulted in 22,000 hits with dozens of warez sites offering it illegally. I think restrictive licensing agreements and software activation creates more hassles for customers than it does stop an unethical person from using the software illegally. I'm hard on every company that uses software activation, and as much as I like FotoFusion, I dearly wish they didn't go this route.

First-Time Loading

Upon first loading the software, you're given the option to run it in one of three modes: Essentials, Enhanced, or Extreme. This is an interesting way to allow you to use the trial version and see which features you really need. You can change the modes within the program, which is a cool feature. I selected Extreme to see everything that the program could do, and next it loaded the Learn FotoFusion interface. This has several choices: Intro & Basics, Tutorials, FAQ, and User's Manual. There are several licensing options as well, so I selected Activate and used the email address I gave the company when they offered me a license for review.

The activation screen loaded and I created a password and gave a nickname to the computer I'm activating it on. After a few seconds of communicating with a Web server somewhere, it indicated that activation was successful and it needed to re-start. The Learn FotoFusion window came up again, with the slick Gaussian-blurred background. I couldn't help but notice that the options for Free Trial, Buy or Upgrade, Activate, and Other Versions were still showing, which is confusing. Shouldn't the Activate option become the Deactivate option to allow the customer to deactivate the license on their computer if they wanted to move the license to another computer?

Read more...


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