I also decided to order the exact same images from Persnickety Prints, a service I love for their fierce attention to quality and customer service. Truth be told, I really wanted to see if anyone could deliver photos as fast and as awesomely as Persnickety.
My printing need at the time of this test was 6×8 images. I had one digital layout, two DSLR photos, and one iPhone 6 photo to print for my 2015 album. Just one week after ordering, I’m excited to share the results.
Persnickety Prints and Project Life Comparison
Persnickety: As of the writing of this post, you cannot order 6×8 prints from Persnickety’s app. I used their website to upload, crop, and order my prints. Their LifePics-based tool is not the sexiest, but I did not have any problems. I had access to the full suite of finish options.
Project Life: I had to do some awkward steps to add more photos my order, but just like the app itself, print ordering with Project Life is pretty slick. The interface is minimal and there are (literally) no options besides size to make ordering complicated. Cropping was easy and flexible.
Persnickety: At the time of my order, I paid $1.29 for each 6×8 print. As of this writing, however, the price has been reduced to $0.99.
Project Life: The price for 6×8 prints is the same as 8×8, $0.99.
Persnickety: My prints were ordered on Friday, January 30 and received on Thursday, February 5. Persnickety shipped in a flat mailer via USPS First Class Mail.
Project Life: My prints were ordered on Friday, January 30 and received on Thursday, February 5. Project Life shipped in a flat mailer via UPS Mail Innovations, which transfers packages from UPS to USPS for delivery.
Persnickety: The photos are printed on Fujifilm’s Crystal Archive paper. I chose the Premium Matte finish. The prints themselves are very flat.
Project Life: The photos are printed on Kodak’s Professional Endura paper. These have a lustre finish, which is slightly more glossy than Persnickety’s matte (but very similar). The prints themselves are curled slightly (see below).
In this photo of my prints, the image from Persnickety Prints is on the left and the image from Project Life is on the right. Click to enlarge.
Trim & Bleed
Persnickety: My digital layout was perfectly centered with minimal trimming from print expansion.
Project Life: My digital layout was perfectly centered with minimal trimming from print expansion.
Persnickety: Images are very true to color, in both hue and saturation.
Project Life: Images have very nice color, but have a slight golden undertone and are more saturated that originals.
Here are the original photos that you see below:
In this photo of my prints, the images from Persnickety Prints are on the top row and from Project Life on the bottom row. Click to enlarge.
The whites are whiter with Persnickety, but the warmth of Project Life makes the highlights a little brighter, in my opinion. You can see the same with my photo from the digital layout. Persnickety is closer to the original and Project Life is warmer.
Persnickety: The images are very nice. Edges are crisp and smooth.
Project Life: The images have a very subtle quality issue with some pixelated edges. It is almost as if they were sharpened or lost some quality in the app-based upload process. The latter seems more likely.
It’s almost impossible to see a difference in this photograph of my photographs, but I checked with a magnifying glass. (Again, Persnickety on the left and Project Life on the right.) It’s there, but is subtle.
This is a tough review to write because I respect both businesses so highly. Both services offer excellent true photographic prints. Both are speedy and easy to use.
If you’re a regular user of the Project Life app and value efficiency, then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend printing via the app.
However, due to the small differences in both paper and image quality, I will personally continue to print with Persnickety. I am fussy about the details and they get that. It’s silly, but I also appreciate that there’s always a washi-taped thank you note in my order.
Disclosure: I’ve known Chari, owner of Persnickety Prints, since she was working at another photo lab. While Persnickety Prints has provided sponsorship to Simple Scrapper in the past, I personally purchased the prints for this experiment. Additionally, this prior relationship did not impact the opinions shared.