© 2014 photobookgirl

AdoramaPix 2014 Lay Flat Photo Book Review

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AdoramaPix lay flat photo book reviewI first tried AdoramaPix in 2010, when I was in the midst of making several wedding albums for myself. This was the first lay flat book I had made and I was very excited to give the company a try. I was very happy with my photo book and since then I’ve made several books with AdoramaPix – baby books, year in review photo books, gifts for family etc. All of AdoramaPix’s photo books are hardcover and all of them lay flat without a split gutter (open seam) in between the pages.

AdoramaPix 2014 photo book review

A lot has changed since my last review in 2010:

1) The photo books use to come in fixed page counts: 14, 26, 38, 50, and 76. Now there’s more flexibility – you can make any page length from 10 pages (minimum) to 76 in increments of 2;

2) Endsheets (blank pages typically at the start and end of a book) were not available before, but now there is an endsheet option. In actuality, you could always add blank pages yourself, but now it’s just more obvious – this option shows up at checkout or you can find it in the settings tab while you’re building the book;

3) The old books used to feature a metallic type photo print on the cover (if you chose a full custom cover), but now the cover appears to be a standard photo paper. The new covers are nice as well, but I do kinda miss the metallic effect. I have printed photos on metallic paper before and I like the subtle pop it gives;

4) There’s no longer an option for protective coating. The protective coating appears to have made the pages glossier and more reflective – there has been a change in paper as well though so I’m not sure what is attributable to the coating or the change in paper. (More on that below.)

5) Leather-Lux (a material that looks like leather) and Genuine Leather are also available in addition to full photo custom covers. The leather covers also have optional gold or silver debossing;

6) There were about 30 fonts and now there are about 80 to choose from – more is better!;

7) There were only a couple paper options before, but now you can choose from:

  • Professional Luster (the standard paper)
  • Professional HD Glossy (not available in all sizes)
  • Professional Luster Linen
  • Professional Luster Pebbled

I don’t have any samples of the upgraded papers to show you, but I’ll try to get some and post them later. More options are always better in my opinion! My go to is always the luster paper however.

AdoramaPix photo books come in 4 different orientations as pictured below:

AdoramaPix photo book sizes

Here’s the stats on the my latest AdoramaPix photo book:

Book size: 8×10 (width x height) (10 x 8 on AdoramaPix’s site)
Cover: Hardcover
Pages: 46 (double-sided)
Binding: Lay Flat
Price: Normally $85.60 +$7.00 (standard shipping) = $92.60 (complimentary credit for purposes of review)
Ordered/Shipped/Received: July 14 / July 15 / July 17

As you can see the turnaround time on my book was really, really fast. I actually had it in my hands 3 days after ordering it. What I like about AdoramaPix is that they post current turnaround times on their products (not including shipping times). It came faster than expected then since it only took 1 day to process it. It’s always great to get something sooner than you expect!

AdoramaPix processing times

Another thing that’s great about AdoramaPix books is that there’s no logo automatically printed in them. In fact, you can get a $2.00 credit if you select the option for a logo to be printed in the book, but I would opt for no logo since it doesn’t cost you anything. This is especially important for professional photographers who may be making books for clients.

The Software

AdoramaPix books are created using the free online software.

AdoramaPix software review 2014

The software is easy to use and intuitive. The fit and fill to page and spread are very useful, and of course the undo button is essential. If you’re a digital scrapbooker and you have lots of stickers and backgrounds, you can upload them just as you would images and you can easily use them to do your layouts. The transparent .png files retain their sticker-like characteristics.

Book Construction 

AdoramaPix lay flat photo book review

The book is well constructed. As mentioned one of the best features is that the book lies flat. Additionally, there’s no gap between the pages, the spreads are printed on a continuous sheet that’s folded in the middle. Although there is no gap in the spread, I would recommend not putting anything crucial in the fold such as a person’s face – just shift the image a bit. If I have a group photo, I try to keep heads on either side of the fold.

AdoramaPix review

What’s nice about these real photo paper pages is that they are much thicker than the average 100 lb. paper used in the average photo book. They are stiff and have a good weight to them. They can still be bent, but these photo paper pages definitely hold up better to being flipped through than in a standard photo book.

There have been a few readers in the past who had asked me about faint pink lines forming in the folds of the book, but I don’t see that in these newer books. Additionally, I didn’t see that in all of my prior books just a couple. I asked the company about this issue and I found out they had actually changed paper manufacturers from Fuji Crystal Archive paper to Kodak Endura paper. Since then I don’t think there’s been any issues and the last two I’ve ordered have been fine.

The print quality is very good. Books printed on real photo paper are not done on a digital press like standard photo books. That’s not to say that you can get great print quality from a digital press, but you won’t see any individual printer dots. If you look closely at a book printed with a printer, you’ll see the tiny individual dots that make up the image. The less visible the dots are the better, so images printed on real photo paper using photo processing will look clearer.

AdoramaPix photo book review

AdoramaPix photo book

Summary

AdoramaPix quick specs 2014

AdoramaPix’s books are very different from the typical photo books you may have seen or made with other companies. The lay flat, real archival photo paper photo books have no gutter in the middle and feature much thicker pages than the norm. Their turnaround time is typically very fast (check the current processing schedule) – I had mine in hand within 3 days of placing the order which is pretty amazing. AdoramaPix’s software is user friendly while at the same time giving the user lots of customization options. AdoramaPix books are also a great option for affordable high quality wedding photo books. AdoramaPix’s prices are pretty comparable when compared to other photo book companies. If you’re a fan of lay flat photo books and/or real photo paper, the fact that both come standard while they are typically an upcharge for other companies (if even available) may be a big selling point for you. If you’re just looking at photo books printed on real photo book paper, they are one of the most affordable options that category.

AdoramaPix also frequently runs deals, but usually on a specific size book at any given time, so if you aren’t focused on getting a certain size book, you’ll have a chance at getting the best deal. The lower page count (76 versus the standard 100) may be an issue for you, but I’m the type of person where 100 pages is usually not enough either. I typically get around page limits by just making a two or three volume set. They look nice all in a row on the bookshelf!

Currently AdoramaPix is running two deals! I update the deals daily as they come in here. For more information on AdoramaPix and links to my other AdoramaPix posts, click here.

AdoramaPix coupon codes 2014

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This post is sponsored by AdoramaPix and I received a complimentary book in order to review the service. I give my honest opinion of the service regardless of sponsorship. The above post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure.

 

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27 Comments

  1. Marina
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm | #

    Thanks so much for this review PBG exactly what I needed right now. I just received my latest photo book which I made with Mixbook, and while I love their software, I was a bit disappointed with the print quality, the photos,even professional ones, look a bit pixelated and blurry. I really dont like the paper they use. Previously I’ve made photo books with My Publisher, and while I was really happy with the way the photos turned out I wasn’t a huge fan of the software and the limited decorative features offered. I’ve been considering making my next photo book with Adoramapix and this review has sealed it for me 🙂 I’ll be interested to see the various paper option samples to help me decide which to choose. Thanks again

    • photobookgirl
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm | #

      No problem! I will update when I see the paper samples.

  2. Maria
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 10:19 pm | #

    Hi – I was wondering if you have any plans to review the new Flush Mount Album that Adoramapix is now offering. I have a photobook from my wedding, but I am considering upgrading to a flush mount album and am searching for reviews of their product.
    Thanks!
    Maria

    • photobookgirl
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm | #

      Yes, I do plan on reviewing it. Stay tuned!

  3. Chris
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm | #

    How thick are Adoramapix’s pages? I’m looking for something along the lines of MPC’s Lake (except with a rectangular format). I’m debating between AdoramaPix, Fizara’s Lay Flat Photo Book, MyBridalPix’s Pure Photo Mount, and Nations Photo Lab’s Album 99. Visually, AdoramaPix’s pages look like they may be thinner than the rest, but it’s really hard to tell from photos. Nations Photo Lab offers thin pages (1/32″) and thick (1/16″), although I’m not sure on thicknesses for the other companies. Thanks!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 11:42 pm | #

      The MPC Lake and AdoramaPix luster are pretty close in thickness. I felt like the Lake pages may be slightly stiffer, but it’s not a huge difference. I’m not sure of the others as the Lake and AP luster are the only two I have tried before. Hope that helps!

  4. Kristyl
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm | #

    I am interested in purchasing a photo book for a recent vacation I took and with all the different companies that offer photo books I am having trouble deciding which would be the best fit. I really enjoy your layflat book from mixbook and adoramapix, and I am not sure which one to choose. I have also read that my publisher also makes very nice photo books. As for affordability Blurb and Shutterfly seem to be the cheapest option. My main concern is print/paper quality along with a decent price range. Photobookgirl which would you recommend for me (software would not be an issue, since I plan to create my own layouts through photoshop)?

    • photobookgirl
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm | #

      Hi Kristyl,

      If you like the look of real photo paper, then I’d go with AdoramaPix. If you don’t mind the gap between the pages, MyPublisher’s lay flat has always been a solid choice for me. There’s a 70% off exclusive deal right now with MyPublisher on my deals page. There’s also a 40% off with AdoramaPix, so for affordability, you have two great options there. Good luck on your book!

  5. Sonya
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm | #

    Thank you so much for your post! It has taken me over a year to create our wedding album and your post has been very helpful and informative in finally getting it done! One of your posts talked about flush mount albums and as I was browsing through adoramapix, I saw that they offered this option as well. I tried to look for an option to change my completed photobook into a flush mount album but I wasn’t able to find an option to convert it so I left it as is. Maybe in the future, I will try creating a flush mount album. Also, after reading your post I found your exclusive discount code for adoramapix photobooks so thank you for that as well!!! I just missed their promotion for 30% off any photobook and I was bummed but I lucked out when I stumbled across your post. I am glad you use adoramapix for many of your albums and I trust your expert opinion especially as I am new to this. I will probably be using adoramapix for other photobooks especially if our wedding book is as beautiful as it was on the computer when it arrives!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm | #

      Hi Sonya,

      Thanks for your message – yes I don’t think there’s a way to convert, plus the flush mounts are a new product. I may be reviewing it the future so be sure to stay tuned! Hope you will consider subscribing to my newsletter (look for the light blue box on the deals page). I have new exclusives for AdoramaPix and other companies updated daily so be sure to check them out. Oh, there’s a Groupon for AdoramaPix today too!

  6. Posted September 14, 2014 at 5:51 pm | #

    Hello,

    Thank you for posting this review. The question that I have is about the print quality. In past reviews I have read that the pictures print darker than they show on your computer and that you should lighten your pictures before adding them to your book. What has your experience been with this?

    • photobookgirl
      Posted September 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm | #

      In general printed photography will not be as bright or luminous as what you view on your screen. Calibrating your monitor would be useful for color matching. Typically everything prints darker, so when in doubt, err on the side of brightening. Here’s an old post – I now use Lightroom to organize and edit my photos primarily. it’s great!
      http://www.photobookgirl.com/blog/photo-editing-do-you-do-it/

  7. Caryn
    Posted September 17, 2014 at 11:03 am | #

    Thanks for all of your reviews and info! I want to finally make my wedding album and I’m debating between Adoramapix’s Hudson flush mount album or Milk’s Double White album, especially as they both have a 40% discount for the next few days. I know you reviewed another album by Milk and that you’re planning on reviewing Adoramapix’s Hudson album at some point, but have you heard anything about these specific albums to help sway me? I can’t seem to find reviews on either and I’d love to take advantage of the 40% off discount so I’m anxious to get started!

    Thanks!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted September 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm | #

      I haven’t tried Milk’s double white yet, but it looks nice on the site. That probably doesn’t help you much, but I am partial to flush mounts, so as a personal preference I happen to like the photo quality and thickness of flush mounts in general. Good luck on your wedding album! Have you seen all my wedding posts here? http://www.photobookgirl.com/wedding/

  8. Ruby
    Posted November 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm | #

    Hello,
    I gave Adoramapix a try after reading your reviews on them, I have ordered 3 books since and they all came out great! Thanks for the reviews.
    I’m going to make my wedding album as a hudson album, and i’m debating about which paper to use since there’s no price differences (except the new deep matte) Have you tried their textured paper before? Are they tend to be more durable?

    Thanks

    • photobookgirl
      Posted November 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm | #

      Hi Ruby, glad you’re happy with your books. I haven’t tried the textured, but I do have a sample. Was meaning to get a post up so folks could see more of the options, but I haven’t had a chance yet. I think though that the company put something up on youtube on their paper options. I’d try a search there. I’m not a big fan of textured paper, but that’s very subjective. What you could do is order some plain prints of your wedding photos in the various papers. The books have the same paper as the prints, but it’s mounted to the hard core. So, you will get a good idea of how it will come out with minimal investment.

      • Kristin
        Posted July 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm | #

        What a great tip! I just ordered one of my wedding photos in all the paper options from AdoramaPix. Thanks!

        • photobookgirl
          Posted July 20, 2016 at 11:56 am | #

          Glad you found it helpful!

  9. Jon
    Posted November 10, 2014 at 6:53 am | #

    I just ordered 4 hudson albums and a few other hardcover photobooks from adoramapix. They are delivering on Nov 24th, and I can share my review then if you’d like.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:27 am | #

      Would love to hear what you think! thanks!

  10. Andrew
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 9:38 am | #

    Many thanks for this great site! I had one quick question on Adoramapix – I was “playing” around a little yesterday and I noticed that when I uploaded pictures, the color rendering changed a fair bit when I was able to view it in the layout tool. Comparing the file to what I was looking at in Lightroom there was a substantial difference. I tried both .jpg and .tiff for export and the same thing happened with both. Is this perhaps just the way the Adobe Flash interface works?

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:39 pm | #

      I haven’t noticed that when I’ve been making books, but they do have an option for someone to check color for you when it’s being printed so that is an option. If something hasn’t printed right, I’ve never had an issue with them doing a reprint for free. Hope that helps.

  11. Carolyn
    Posted January 20, 2015 at 4:54 pm | #

    Hi Photobookgirl!

    I am considering where to print my wedding album and your site has been very helpful! I was almost 100% settled on AdoramaPix but in searching around for more reviews I came across this unsettling news (in the comments):

    http://forums.adoramapix.com/entries/40880324-Photo-Book-Pages

    It seems that people who have ordered their books recently, as recent as November 2014, have experienced a downgrade in quality of printing and page quality. Do you have any insight or recent experience with this? Your help is most appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm | #

      Hi Carolyn,

      In this post I write about a change of paper. I don’t know exactly when that happened, but it was before November since this post is from July. I don’t believe they changed paper since then. I do see a difference between my first book in 2010, but I think that’s due to the protective coating they don’t use anymore. b/t/w I have a giveaway going on for their new flush mount album – you may want to consider that for your wedding album – it’s really nice. It’s on my blog now. 🙂

  12. Elizabeth
    Posted February 13, 2015 at 4:11 pm | #

    Please do not waste your valuable time creating a book with Adoramapix. I ordered a book with them over three weeks ago to give to my husband on Valentine’s Day (tomorrow). I designed the book using their template, but it was printed incorrectly once. I spent some time on the phone with customer service, and they said they would print me a new copy. It was also incorrect. I was ready to give up, but their customer service agent said that they could get it right and that she would personally check the book to make sure it was correct before sending it out. That was over a week ago and I hadn’t heard anything from them despite multiple follow up emails. I had a post a bad review on Facebook today just to get them to respond to me. Why are they even in the photobook business if they cannot correctly print an album made using their template? Seriously, stay away.

  13. Darla
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 12:53 am | #

    Used this review to decide on Adorama for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary book. Hudson album blew them away. It was beautiful. Would absolutely use them again.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 2, 2015 at 12:49 am | #

      Glad you found it helpful. Nice present for certain!

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