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Thread: My impression of Albumworks.com.au

  1. #1
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    My impression of Albumworks.com.au

    For the last couple of months, I've alluded to the fact that I have been making a photobook for the Nepal section of my recent travels. I finally have the finished photobook in hand and thought I'd share a few pros and cons about albumworks .

    The software:
    - It gives a few good positioning tools like autocentering to page height, width, or spread if you are doing a cross spread double page.
    - The resizing is completely UNintuitive whereby you cannot lock aspect ratios without putting a frame around the picture first.
    - The frames and borders they provide with the software are very unsubtle and hence I hardly used any of them. The simple borders however were neat and I ended up using these almost exclusively. Looks to me like the emphasis of the albumworks 'look' isn't something sleek or corporate but rather a fluffy ,happy looking children/family style album book.
    - The markers for limits of printing were on the whole pretty accurate when it came down to the end product.

    Product Options:
    - these were far fewer than for momento.
    - very limited in terms of faux linen, dust jackets, embossing etc. Don't expect anything fancy here.

    The Ordering Process:
    Very simple. I ordered on a Monday night, they told me the order was ready on a Thursday night and I received the 120page 30cmX30cm book today.

    The Actual Product

    -My first impression thumbing through it was " gee this looks great! I probably won't have to go through momento any more "
    - The reason for this : despite the cover limitations, it still looked very good minimalistic. The images seemed to be the right brightness and the colours were true as they appeared on my monitor at home. The text was very crisp , clear and surprisingly larger than expected. The pages were reasonably thick though not quite as thick as the momento products.
    - BUT , there were some pretty major issues
    - Alot of the pages seemed warped : I'm not sure if this is because of the heat of the last 2 days (40 degree + in adelaide)
    - Many of the white borders had bleed of colours into the white - so much so that Marianne (who didn't look at the proofs closely) thought that I had chosen some funky blend border option.
    - Only one of the images had a strange horizontal band across it.
    - One of the pages appeared to have stuck to another resulting in a tear off of some ink - lucky it was on a black double page spread so the impact is not on any text or image but it still looks weird.

    The Price overall was 180AUD with shipping which is half the cost of what it would have been with momento (if not cheaper). The issues of quality though, I'm not too happy with. Given that we have a lot of vouchers for momento, I'm tempted to use them and repeat the procedure though it would be an expensive experiment. We had made a previous book of our 2006 trip and I really can't compare the quality of images because we were shooting some terrible stuff back then.

    What experiences have you had with this kind of project?
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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    I probably wouldn't accept the book with those faults Dylan. I made a book just before xmas with momento pro which had a couple of smallish faults, so I took photos of them and emailed the company, they did a reprint at no charge, and did a reply paid return for the faulty one.

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    thanks lani! I think I'll do the same tonight

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    Dylan you paid for it to be right not defective,do as lani did and get them to reprint or ask for a full refund
    small companys cant afford to have bad feedback.

    steve.

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    Member salnel's Avatar
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    I agree, Dylan..not only have you paid a lot of money, those photos deserve the best..if you are not happy, you are entitled to a refund or reprint.
    D610 and D90 with a 16-35mm f/4,a 70-200mm f/4 ,a 300mm f/4 +TC11 convertor, 18-200mmDX and 85mm micro Dx.

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    I'll let you know how the process goes - hopefully not much resistance

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    I have found Blurb to be superior to this and a bit better than Memento as well for the cheap photo books. The thick/heavier premium paper option is a must.

    for the more higher end books I use for wedding clients ie. canvas, leather, glass, metal and all the whizz bangs, I recommend Black River Imaging in the US - not cheap but you get what you pay for with high quality products.

    I stopped using album printers in Australia a long time ago due to expensive pricing and crappy quality. Asuka books in Aus is still high standards but theyre not cheap either for a simple photo book.

    I'd ask for a refund or a reprint and show the rep in Adelaide the problem, if they have reps here.
    Last edited by JM Tran; 31-01-2011 at 10:25pm.

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    thanks jackie - these are for personal use but I think possibly my expectations are always too low and things slip under my radar pretty easy like this

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    I should add that support staff from albumworks have contacted me about the above issues as they have a google search for their company and came across this thread..........(before I initiated contact with them)
    I don't know whether to be scared or impressed about this - they may well be reading this right now.........

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    Hehe, big brother is alive and well....nah...depends on what they do to rectify the situation, at least you know they have customer satisfaction in mind.
    Keep us updated.

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    things just get weirder ....there are people watching me....YES YOU! you know who you are
    no more contributions to this thread from me until it's all done and dusted

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    I'm judging by the inactivity on this post that Albumworks are best avoided....though I believe dtoh still walks among us - which means they didn't carry out physical retribution for this thread as I had feared
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    Ausphotography Regular knumbnutz's Avatar
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    I have had two books done through Album Works and found them to be pretty decent.
    Once you get your head around what can and can't be done in their software then its easy.
    I found the first book was a little dark especially in the dark areas and so when it came time to do the second book i added a little brightness and it turned out exactly as I hoped.
    I havent try any of the others BUT everyone that looks through the books thinks they were professionally done and then I point out theyre our books and photos and they look in disbelief, so if that is anything to go by then it has served its purpose.
    Also as a momento of a holiday a book is a great way to go - ever had to sit through a stack of unedited photos from someone holidays ?
    I think i paid $100 for each book FWIW and its been well worth it and I intend to do the same when i get back from my next holiday in China in April !
    Cheers
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    lol I am still alive and comparing the 2 books, there isn't much difference between them once the proper product arrived :P - momento's software gives alot more options though I reckon

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    I have found Blurb to be superior to this and a bit better than Memento as well for the cheap photo books. The thick/heavier premium paper option is a must.

    for the more higher end books I use for wedding clients ie. canvas, leather, glass, metal and all the whizz bangs, I recommend Black River Imaging in the US - not cheap but you get what you pay for with high quality products.

    I stopped using album printers in Australia a long time ago due to expensive pricing and crappy quality. Asuka books in Aus is still high standards but theyre not cheap either for a simple photo book.

    I'd ask for a refund or a reprint and show the rep in Adelaide the problem, if they have reps here.
    My Asukabook (a prize from a magazine) is superb, and they emailed me back and forth no less than 10 times to get it just perfect, but they are expensive ($334 for 10" x 10" of 80 pages - came with slipcover, photocover on book and a slip box). The notebook and photo diary I had done with Blurb are excellent quality and I find their program easy to use.
    Last edited by Analog6; 29-01-2012 at 7:54am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    lol I am still alive and comparing the 2 books, there isn't much difference between them once the proper product arrived :P - momento's software gives alot more options though I reckon
    I for one m excited about trying out the Blub integration in LR4.... I've had a couple of photobooks done and the learning curve on ANY new software is a pain point for me.

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    Late last year, I had my first glitch with Blurb. Got a wedding book back that was marked. I immediately got onto them. No problem, send us photos and we'll redo the print. That was pretty good. Unfortunately, the replacement turned up with the binding falling apart, and a bloody great sticker across the print on the back of the dust cover. Same deal. Photos and a replacement print. The replacement was okay this time. My next book will be free - if I risk them again. I've got three more to send off, but might try Picpress this time. I use Photojunction for the album software and past the output layouts into the album software. Makes the whole proofing process easy for clients.

  18. #18
    Ausphotography Regular dacar's Avatar
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    I have had a few books done with Albumworks, and the quality is fine for a personal photo album. the software is a bit clunky, though.
    I have used Snapfish, but their software is too limiting in layout.
    My question is this - is there a service which delivers good quality books (like Albumworks or Blurb), and allows an on-line storage so that distant people can edit and print(like SnapFish)?
    I have old family photos I want to print, but I can't trust my memory about some shots. So I want a collaborative space where several family members can collaborate, share photos and information, or even make their own versions of the album.
    Any suggestions?

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    I don't think I can help you there dacar! that would be a great function for collaboration though I agree

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