Test of Saal Photography Book: 28x19cm, Padded Cover, Matte, 42 pages (46€)

Benefiting from Saal’s offer to test their product, I chose to try their photobook. Hence, I will make below a quick review of their service. Hope this helps!

Link to Saal’s website.

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Summary:

Ease to use/interface: 3/5
Software functionalities: 5/5
Customization possibilities: 5/5
Printing quality: 5/5
Customer relationship: 5/5

Introduction

First, I’d like like to thank Saal to allow photographers to test their products – but I’d like to precise that my review remains fully independent, as you will see below.

  Overall, I really like the experience, as suggested by the notation above: excepted the interface that could be more intuitive, the software is powerful, the album is very customizable, and the printing quality is really good: it looks very professional. In addition, I really like the reactivity of the Saal teams: it is really pleasant to know you always have someone to help you.

  Even though my review is quite critical,  I’m very happy with the service: I think the book is worth the non-discounted price. I will definitely use Saal again.

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Printing quality

  I chose a matte photo paper, with a glossy padded cover. Delivery was quick, with only one week between the order and the delivery.

  First impressions: the album is a bit small, but really beautiful and dense. The cover is really pleasant and makes the handing comfortable. The book really looks good and very professional. I would have only liked a slightly bigger format (real A4 instead of 28x19cm ; which makes my legend look small – 12 for legends and 18 for the story, a bit small).

  The printing quality is really good. The paper is amazing, the sharpness is good (slightly better than FNAC’s highest quality for example). The flat opening is key to me, and so convenient: it helps the « WoW effect »!

  I really like the colors too, even though I should have used the image optimization on all my pictures. Maybe there lacks a bit of contrast.

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Creation of the album

  Downloading the software was easy (Mac version), but things started to be slightly more painful afterwards. Indeed, pieces of information were missing on the products, so that I had to go on Saal’s website to learn more about the different types of books – which is not very convenient.

  In addition, I found there was lacking a small tutorial, that could have helped  to learn to use the software and all its functionalities (aligning the pictures, how to have a good layout, etc.).

  During the drafting of my book, I had some issues with aligning my pictures, and it was difficult to have more than one picture on a page (not intuitive when compared to the FNAC software for example). I would have liked to be able to choose between different layouts depending on the number of pictures I would like to have on one page. If you always have the same layout it is okay, you just have to copy/paste the pictures and replace them, but it is not convenient otherwise.

  The drag-and-drop option is really practical, especially when using two screens.

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About the interface, I think the following points could be improved:

  • Optimizing the display: a view with only one page would be convenient, or an option to remove all the margins

  • Add the option to zoom in /out with the laptop trackpad! So frustrating

  • Lack an explication on what the image optimization does. It seems to produce a really good result (reinforcing a bit the contrast and colors), but I was afraid to use it on all my pictures since there was no explication.

  • Possibility to import the ICC color profile directly in the software to see the result in real-time? (I did not succeed to import the profile in Photoshop / Lightroom). I don’t think any competitor allows to do it, but it would be very convenient.

On the other hand, I really loved the « export the book as a PDF » option, which is really helpful to review our work or have friends doing it. In addition, all the operations were really quickly performed by the software, which never lagged.

Finally, I really enjoyed Saal’s reactivity: it is simple and quick to get some help. It makes the service looks very « professional ». However, the form to fill the address is really misleading: is it adapted to German addresses?


Conclusion

  All in all: a good experience, a wonderful book and good printing quality, even though the interface and the size could be slightly improved according to me. Definitely recommend it!

  You will find all the pieces of information you need on http://www.saal-digital.fr/livre-photo/ 

Please feel free to ask ANY question, I would be glad to help!

Thank you, and stay tuned for a new blog post soon!!

Interface de design impression tableau Saal digital

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