Review of Saal Digital’s photobook

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When I’ve been working on photos made in Provence/France in July 2016 and during family holiday in Beskydy/Jeseníky in August 2016, I’ve (again) realized that making photos without printing is… ehm.. let say incomplete. Watching an image on a display it’s brilliant, but getting your hands on a high-quality print gives you an indescribable thrill, something that the digital world will probably never be able to transmit.

I used for years Shutterfly for their incredible options, quality and service which I cannot found in the Czech Republic or in Europe.There were only two downsides, speed of delivery (book is traveling over ocean) and final price (I am refering final price, because duty fee is what make me crazy).

Cover page of Saal PhotobookSoftened cover of photobook (photo from iPhone 5s)

I like experiments and when my friends recommended to me Saal Digital (they mentioned quality of print and speed of delivery) and I’ve decided to give them chance. As I found they are new in the business and I think from this reason they are offering decent discount for photographers in exchange for writing review (after they deliver book to you). I used this, from my point of view, fair option as it mitigated risk that quality would not be what I am expecting. In fact, you can found on Internet many reviews of their photobooks, but nothing beats your own experience.

Saal Digital is young Germany based company with office in the Czech Republic. They are offering, in addition to photo books, also calendars, greeting cards, posters framed photos and photo canvases. They are also certified for fine art prints on Hahnemühle materials. Their advertisement for photobooks is focused on printing quality, stability of colors for 75 years (who can prove it? :)), fast delivery, individual number of pages, no logo or barcode and flat bookbinding (pleasant feature for panoramas).

Panorama in Saal PhotobookPanorama looks incredible (two iPhones photos stitched together)

After downloading and installing their software called Saal Designer, you can start with making photobook. You can choose binding from gloss or matt paper or leather. I selected softened gloss and I have to say that result is incredible. I was in overall satisfied with easier work in designer, you can use predefined templates or create your own template, however I can imagine that number of templates and layouts will be extended in the future. This is only one complaint I currently have it.

120 pages of Photobook120 pages of photos with back cover, pretty thick book, heh!

And I was going to maximum. Judge for yourself: my first photobook from Saal Digital has 120 pages with 196 photos inside. Softened cover with images. Photos came from three sources – OnePlus One 3, iPhone 5s and Canon GX1 – and you have no chance to recognize which device was used for which photo. Photos from mobile phones (including iPhone) I found problematic with other provider, but Saal Digital done pretty good job there – thumb-up. And what is making photobook definitely incredible for me is flat bookbinding – panoramas look awesome with it, moreover you can put image on border between odd and sudden page without losing any space. Regarding fast delivery, I can confirm it. I uploaded data on Wednesday morning and book arrived today morning (Saturday) well done packaged.

So, conclusion? I am very satisfied in general with following evaluation 4.5+, which means I am recommending them:

Pros:
+ excelent quality of photos on cover and inside+ possible usage of photos from mobile devices
+ up to 120 pages in individual settings and variable price
+ flat binding makes panoramas awesome
+ fast delivery in 3 days
Cons
– small number of templates

And that all, thanks for reading.

About 

Self taught landscape photographer living in Prague, Czech Republic. He loves nature, especially he falls in love with the mountains. He travels in the spare time to beautiful locations around Europe and North America to catch up wonderful light and moments in his photographs. He shared here, apart from photographs, post processing tutorials and tips. In addition to this blog he also runs another site focused primary on the technology http://lubos.bruha.net.

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