I’ve been asked by Saal-Digital.nl to review one of their products: a photo book.
Therefor I’ve ordered a photo book in the size 28cm * 19cm (a4) with a glossy cover and glossy inner pages. The total amount of pages in the book is 26. This would usually cost €39,95 excluding €4,95 shipping costs.
Saal-Digital provides their customers software to design the product. Software can be downloaded from the website and is easy to install on a Mac computer. After installing and starting the application a couple of options are offered. One of these options is the ‘photobook’ and after selecting that one you get offered another set of options. Once you’re done selecting that option, you get offered another set of options (3 more times). I’m quite sure that could have been done easier. It’s confusing and definitely not user friendly.
Once you’re done selecting the product and its specific details you end up in the design area of the software. Here you can pick or design a standard layout for your photo book. Photos can be selected from a window that looks like a regular explorer or finder window, which is quite easy. You can simply drag the photos to the desired page. This works good.
After filling the photo book with photos and selecting a front- and back cover the book is ready to be ordered. Once ordered I received a confirmation with the product I just ordered. The Dutch grammar used in this e-mail was rather bad and disappointing. It even felt like it was a ‘scam’. You know, one of those e-mails written very badly that are clearly send to you to trick you? Right, I waited for the product to be delivered and to my surprise that was rather fast. A day after I ordered the book it was already on its way to me, how nice is that? The book arrived in a neat package and is not damaged.
When I unpacked the book at first I was disappointed. I mean, I knew I ordered a glossy cover but this looks and feels very cheap. I regret picking the glossy option and wouldn’t pick that again. After that I opened the book and wow: the photos look amazing! The quality of the photos on these glossy pages inside of the book is impressive and I was very pleased to see that. The paper is thick and feels like it’s high-quality. Colors are perfect and the contrast is great. Next to that all the photos are sharp as a knife. If it wasn’t for the glossy cover this would have been a great product.
To answer the question in the headline: no, this is not the best photo book out there. As a photographer I would not order a product again. I am not convinced I’m dealing with a professional company that focusses on delivering high-quality photo products to their customers. Don’t get me wrong; the photos printed on the inner pages look nice, but it’s the complete experience and product I’m after.
- Software is easy to download and install;
- Delivery of the product is extremely fast;
- Product is neatly shipped;
- Quality of the photos printed on the pages is high.
- Too many options to chose from in too many different windows in the software;
- Poor use of grammar in e-mail communication;
- Glossy cover looks and feels cheap.