I 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.
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:
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)|
|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!
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.
AdoramaPix books are created using the free online software.
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.
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.
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’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!
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.