Saal Digital Album Review

I had the pleasure of receiving a new album in exchange for my honest review, so, here it is! Thank you Saal-Digital!

When I first opened the package and saw the album, the cover was beautiful. I chose the matte paper cover, and it felt soft and silky in my hands and my first impression was very good. I would choose this option again, as I didn't like the color choices for the faux leather covers.





It's a thin page book, with real photo paper inside. I chose the glossy paper. It does (more or less) lay flat.

Also, they have my favourite size, 10 x 10 inches (or for those using cm, it's 28cm x 28cm)... so that's a real plus for me. Most companies offering this style of book only have smaller squares; either 7 or 8 inches or 12 inches... but no middle size!



The glossy paper is quite shiny and looks good. (And without texture like the lustre paper which I usually use from another company.)

So far so good... right?

Now about the color:

Although the overall book is beautiful and appears to be well made for this price point, I noticed right away that the colors were not as saturated as I'd like them to be. They looked dull compared to my monitor. (To be fair, prints are always a little more dull than on a monitor because they are made of ink and paper rather than light!) That said, I still feel like they could have been more colorful.

I had a few of the same photos printed at home already, so I compared side-by-side to see if my hunch was right... here's the comparison:

A page in the book... 

A print laying on the actual page... you can see the reds are much more vibrant.

It's not as noticeable with the greens.

Another page I happened to have a print of at home.

The blue is slightly more yellow in the book than on the individual print.

The above prints were done through my normal professional lab, which is connected to my website and I've written about in this post on printing.

Holding the page down because it's glossy and reflecting... 

This is a print I did on my home printer. (I added 2 points of saturation and brightness before printing.)
So, as you can see I'm a tad bit fussy about color. :)  I do like the book, and considering it's a LOT cheaper than the other pro books I offer to clients, I think it will appeal to certain types of shoots, like family sessions or anniversaries.

I made this book with photos from a trip to Mexico and the USA. The book is just fine for this purpose, and I'm quite happy with it. But for a wedding, I'm not convinced. I'd rather pay more and get the additional service of someone (not a machine) actually looking at my prints to make sure they turn out perfectly. Side note, I have to admit that I didn't download their ICC color profile before sending the prints. I just sent jpgs in sRGB color space, which is what they recommended. Perhaps their color profile was slightly different and I could have seen that on my monitor ahead of time. Never the less, the photos I sent were exactly how I normally send prints to the other pro labs, so I did expect that they would turn out just as well. I was wrong!

In conclusion, would I order a book from them again? Absolutely. I have one in the works right now which is going to be Christmas gifts for my family!  The whole process from ordering to printing and shipping was very fast. A matter of days instead of weeks... Next time though, I will bump up the saturation more than normal before I send the prints in!