Printing: PhotoBox vs DS Colour Labs

Photo Printers

I love printing my photos but it can be very costly and you sometimes end up with disappointing results as what you see on screen doesn’t look like the final print therefore only my best photos ever get printed. In the past I have always used Photobox. I have had very good results from them but  I have always found them to be expensive. Recently at a photo club competition I spoke to somebody about printing and they suggested I try out DS Colour Labs so for next batch of prints I did just that and my prints have just arrived in the post. Here is my review compared to using Photobox:

Quality:

I ordered both lustre and glossy prints. The paper from both are very high quality and the prints are fantastic from both companies. I have always found that Photobox prints tend to be darker than I saw on the screen. This was the case with my glossy prints from DS Colour Labs also however my Lustre (Matt) prints were spot on! I noticed on my order that the glossy prints were not auto corrected whereas the lustre ones were. Therefore its obvious that my colour profiles are incorrect on my computer and DS Colour Labs did do a fine job of auto-correcting the colour for me and they came out as expected.

In comparison I would say that DS Colour Labs have the edge ever so slightly all though there really is not much in it.

Delivery:

Both services offer excellent delivery times. On both occasions the prints have arrived the next day. Photobox package the prints in a tube whereas DS Colour Labs package it in a flat box. The flat box option was so much better simply because my prints remained flat and they were not curled. Photobox does have a later cut off point in which to get your photos to them by in order to guarantee next day delivery and the delivery cost is generally cheaper than DS Colour Labs. That said the fact that the prints come flat from DS Colour Labs is a major plus for me and cost difference for delivery is negligible.

Print Cost:

DS Colour Labs win here by a huge margin. The cost for their prints is a fraction the cost from Photbox. I ordered eight 15×10″ prints from DS Colour labs and with the shipping the cost came to £11.98. The same order would have cost £26.39 with Photobox, that’s well over a 50% saving!. The delivery cost represent 1/3 of the price with DS Colour Labs at £3.99,. so if you are placing an order then it certainly pays to place a larger order to reduce the overall cost per print.

Verdict

I was always really happy with Photobox but DS Colour Labs are by far a better service. The cost for the prints and the overall quality really is second to none. I will be placing another order with them in the near future. I also like the fact that they can print off really large format prints at a really low cost so I will soon be printing much larger prints also. I wish I had heard about this company a long time ago as it would have saved me a lot of money indeed. I doubt you could print your photos at home at a cheaper cost than using these and certainly not with the same quality. If you haven’t used this company and are looking for a viable print solution then I strongly suggest you check them out.

2 Comments Add Yours

  1. John Ward

    I used Photobox until recently, but I have always been rather disappointed because the prints are on the dull side and just lack punch compared to the ones I get from my Canon printer.

    On the recommendation of a friend, I tried DSCL and have been really pleased with the quality (always go for lustre). The downside with DSCL is either my stupidity or the fact that their website is not easy to use for uploading and purchasing prints. It seems to take forever, and then, when you click to complete your order, nothing happens. I am currently trying to place an order for a number of prints of varying sizes, and simply cannot get the site to work for me. I am so frustrated that DSCL are about to lose an order from me.

    Prices are OK, but cannot match the occasional 70% off offers from Photobox.

    Reply
  2. Tim Durham

    Stuart, many thanks for posting this review. I have been using as professional print shop in London who are very good but a lot more expensive than DSCL. I was expecting to read a review criticizing their print quality but you have given me the confidence to send them my next order. I’ll report back when I receive it!
    Tim

    Reply

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