by Christina VanGinkel
I have a HP photosmart 7260 printer sitting on my desk that I absolutely love. A gift from my daughter last September on my birthday, I have been more than pleased with the prints it has produced. So why am I browsing the Internet looking at prices for having several photos printed professionally? My printer, the HP photosmart 7260, does not have the capability to produce overly large prints.
I am specifically looking for pricing on 16 X 20 inch prints. My new camera, a Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z5 Digital Camera, which arrived by post yesterday afternoon, has a resolution of 5 MP, and is easily capable of producing a print this size. I plan to take this camera out this weekend, I know I have a good chance of getting some shots of several black bears that frequent our area, and if I can get the perfect picture, I would love to print it in this size to hang in our bedroom. Photoworks offers this size at $17.95, which seems a bit pricey to me considering what I can print an 8 X 10 inch print for on my printer. The plus was that I could at least check the pricing without having to sign in or become a member.
Shutterfly was the next place I checked. While I was interested in just checking prices, they site seemed to insist that I sign in and become a member before it would allow me to see their pricing beyond a typical 4 x 6 inch print. Right before I did go ahead and sign up, I noticed a link on their front page advertising large format prints. Clicking on that did bring me to a page with pricing information. Their 16 x 20 is $17.99, four cents more than Photoworks. I then realized that I have no clue what either charges for shipping. For now, I think I will just check a few more prices on the prints themselves, and then if I decide to order I will go back and see what the shipping charges are, because it looks as if I would have to sign up at Shutterfly to check an issue such as shipping charges.
I next went to Wal-Mart online, but they seem to go up only to an 8 x 10 inch print. I did notice that you could now send photos to your local Wal-Mart via the Internet and pick them up in one hour, which is useful information to keep in mind. Then I see they print posters. I find the size 16 x 20 for a very competitive price of $14.84, which is the cheapest so far.
The final place I checked was Mpix.com. They offer printing on several different types of paper and their pricing for my desired size started at $15.99 for one print on traditional Kodak Professional paper, but they also offer discounted pricing if you order more than 10 prints. Considering the fact that I have been toying with the idea of producing some of my favorite prints for sale I am very intrigued by this information. Their pricing structure for printing on their Metallic and Black and White Digital paper is not much higher and comes with discounts for printing eleven or more.