Foo - Anyone out there know anything about 1hr photo minilabs?
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12-08-08, 08:11 PM
Not too long ago, my brother and I got into a discussion about the merits of different 1hr photo development services. He told me that stores like CVS and Walgreens provide photo CDs where the image size is 1.5 megapixels. Same goes for the Snapfish mail order service. Wolf/Ritz and WalMart both feature images of around 2.5 megapixels on their CDs. I guess we find it odd that there's such a discrepancy. The cheapest and most expensive services end up with near identical image quality.
Is there a way to get even higher quality images from a 1hr service on a photo cd? I just can't help but notice that 24 exposures at 2.5 megapixels uses less than 1/4 of a CD. Seems like if the machine has the capability, that the capacity is there.
My brother said that he asked about this at his local CVS, and the people running the machine looked at him like he was speaking a foreign language. Then, they said if he didn't like it he could have his money back. I took film to a Rite Aid this weekend and asked about their photo CD image resolution. The clerk knew what I was talking about, but did not know the answer nor if he could make a higher resolution image.
I'm just really curious.
Maybe it's a limitation of the PhotoCD format?
12-08-08, 10:12 PM
It's a matter of settings. One hour photo machines are built assuming the person who's running them is incredibly dumb. If they allowed the person behind the counter to *gasp* adjust settings, they might forget to *gasp* un-adjust 'em.
I loves my film, so I've got a scanner of my own. Even at 1hr rates, I come out ahead.
12-09-08, 12:16 AM
Depending upon the quality you want, you can scan it yourself at home. A slide-scanner will give you highest-quality. Nikon, Kodak, Minolta all make 4800dpi scanners that will give you 30mp scans that'll resolve the film-grain on the slide. You can usually run 6 slides at a time, full roll in between 1-2 hrs depending upon the clean-up options (ICE de-speckling, sharpening, colour-correction, etc). The file comes out to about 120mb per picture.
Here's a good website with reviews on slide-scanners (http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN1.HTM). The Microtek flatbed scanners are actually good enough to scan an entire bed full of slides (entire roll in one pass :)) and give you decent 3200dpi 14mp files. Not quite as good as the slide-scanners, but useful enough.
Siu Blue Wind
12-09-08, 12:20 AM
Don't ever get rid of that avatar, Danno. It's still the cutest thing ever.
CVS, Wallmart, and all others sucks! they machines are freaking broken 99% of the time.
12-09-08, 03:08 AM
Its all about time and time is money. Minilabs run on very small profit margins and rely on good work flow to make money. Bigger scans take longer to scan and burn so providing them to the client isn't really a good money making proposition.
12-09-08, 07:20 AM
As far as WalMart goes, I was kind of irritated Sunday when I'd planned to take some film over there for 1hr processing to pick up after lunch. After waiting in a line, I was told that Wally doesn't do 1hr photo anymore. Waiting in line made me late to lunch. I thought about giving them a big lecture aobut how they needed to take the 1hr photo sign off the front of the store, but that would mean I'd turn into the customer I used to hate back in my working retail days.
12-09-08, 12:02 PM
Don't ever get rid of that avatar, Danno. It's still the cutest thing ever.Why thank you! I just sent my dad a copy of that photo along with a modern-day version. :)
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