Wal-mart digital photo prints...SUCK!

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
So I decided I wanted to put up some neat photos in my bedroom, and Photoshopped the original 4x6" prints at a fairly high resolution. They ended up being something like 3500x5600 pixels at 600dpi. I thought this would be good enough for Wal-mart to print them on their photo paper at 8x10".

When I got them back, they looked all pixellated and nasty. They were so bad I didn't even pay for them. The gal there said that I probably didn't have a high enough resolution. Fair enough. \

I know we've done wonderful things with iPhoto at home, though, and with files with much less resolution. Something was amiss. I decided to buy HP Premium Plus Glossy photo paper and print them off myself from iPhoto. They look GREAT! I know the prints won't hold up as well for the long term as those on professional paper, but I'm not overly concerned about that.

I'm just amazed that I did no more manipulation or anything to the files, yet my HP multifunction printer on it's highest settings with photo paper looked significantly better than Wal-mart's professional equipment. What's the deal?


  • Reply 1 of 5
    Try lowering the resolution to 300 DPI and resize the file for an 8 x 10 print. Make sure the work space is sRGB and give it back to Walmart as a JPEG file. It should improve.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    In this month's macworld, they talked about printing services and Wal-Mart's was unanimously the worst of the bunch.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    So if you reduce the resolution then it will come out better? Hail WalMart
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Most pros I know use 300 DPI for their prints; it seems to be the standard. I'm told that anything higher results in very large files that are cumbersome and don't improve the picture.

    I send in some of my prints to Costco, which I believe uses the same Norita Digital Photo Printer (about $100,000) as Walmart, as a JPEG set at 300 DPI and color matched for sRGB. The file size is usually about 500K. The pics are OK, although sometimes the color is off.

  • Reply 5 of 5
    who knows what went wrong, but in the future just make sure what you give to them is the size you want it so there's less for them to screw up. Like if you want an 8x10 make your photoshop file 8x10 @ 300. Based on your pixel numbers your file was 5.833 x 9.333, and at 600 they could have made it work but they prob just screwed it up.
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