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Digital Photo FAQ's & Tips: Photo Developing

This section of the web site is a collection of digital photo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and Tips.

Which is cheaper: printing at home or developing?

Developing digital photos at a lab is considerably cheaper for common print sizes such as 4x6", 5x7", and 8x10", even after paying modest shipping costs.

In early 2006, the average cost to print a 4x6" photo at home is about 50¢. The average cost for developing online and receiving the prints in the mail is about 25¢, including shipping. Having photos developed locally is even cheaper at around 20¢ each.

Be aware that even though labs may use the terms print or digital prints, they actually develop your digital photos using the same process as film. The resulting photos look like traditional pictures and are usually of higher quality compared to inkjet printed photos.

The following related pages may be of interest:

Edit your photos before uploading

Even if you have access to high speed Internet, editing your photos before uploading to an online developer will save you time and frustration. All photo developing services have basic editing tools, but editing online will be slower, and the interface is generally less friendly than your own familiar photo editing software. At the minimum, you should perform the following edits on your computer before uploading:

  • Make a copy of your images so you don't edit the originals
  • Crop images to intended print size, such as 4x6"
  • Remove red eye
  • If desired, zoom in to enlarge details with the crop feature