User Rating: Very Good
Ease of Use:
Pros:Quick and easy!
Cons:Bad quality prints. It can really get expensive!
The Bottom Line: 6 out of 10 times, youll end up with bad quality reproductions. Enhancements offered by this machine couldnt make up for its bad picture quality and high price tag.
For those who donít know, the Kodak Picture Maker is a machine that makes reprints of your photos. Itís primarily for people that have lost their negatives. The unit is basically a scanner and a printer hidden in a kiosk. It is also capable of printing your digital photos; it can take a Compact Flash card and the good old floppy disk.
Recommend this product?
This unit offers enhancement to your photos, such as color correction, adding text, red-eye correction, adding borders, cropping and other basic features that youíd find in a photo editor. With this unit, you can print out your pictures in different sizes, from full-size 8X10s to wallet sizes. Your pictures are printed on a good quality Kodak paper, of course. Per sheet of paper will cost you $6.99 (in my area).
What I like about the Kodak Photo Maker: Well, itís very easy to use because of the unitís touch-screen monitor and because of the simplified outline of the menus. Itís also fun to know that youíre in control of the editing process; itís very easy to apply enhancements. You can always try stuff on your photos and you would see the results before you print them.
Youíll have fun putting enhancements; once youíre done, the printing process of your picture takes approximately only 2 to 3 minutes. This is the main advantage of this machine, itís easy and fast. If you want to get copies of your pictures but donít have the negative and you donít want to wait for about a week, then this is the solution. And this machine is perfect for making a casual gift to your friends or family because you can customize your pictures, which makes it more special to the ones who receives it.
Now on to what I donít like about this machine: This machine shouldíve been perfect but Kodak seemed to forget the most important part: the quality of the prints!. 6 out of 10, itís just not up to my expectations. Itís not bad Ė bad, but it gets noticeable enough to really get noticed.
Most of the enhancements they offer work, the only thing that does not work is the color correction feature. On the screen, it just looks perfect; your picture looks vivid. But when you print them, it looks totally different! Sometimes it has greenish tint, sometimes purple-ish! I donít know if itís the printerís fault but Iíve done color correction on a couple of my pictures and they both came out with bad color!
A common mistake by a lot of people is when they make a blow-up of their little tiny wallet size pictures into an 8X10. This machine magnifies this mistake. People have to realize that the smaller the picture, the grainier the picture gets when you blow it up. Although the picture might look okay from far away, looking at it close shows how bad the resolution really is.
Digital camera owners wonít really benefit from this machine. If you have a digicam that is less than 2 megapixel, you might be asking for trouble. I have a 2.1 MP digicam; I had the pictures compressed by Photoshop. I printed this photo into an 8X10 and it looks okay but you will notice some ďnoiseĒ or graininess. My advice it to leave it uncompressed. But as most digicam owners do, they just print their pictures from an online service like Shutterfly or Ofoto; itís cheaper and they deliver way better quality prints.
With just about anything, you always pay for convenience. And this is what this machine is for, convenient and fast for a quick copy of your pictures. You can save way more money if you just submit your pictures to your local photo-finishing store but, of course, you have to wait about a week! $6.99 per sheet can really add up when youíre thinking of a lot of pictures! Going online is a cheaper and better option but this also means scanning the picture, uploading them online and waiting for 3-5 days on regular shipping but you can always overnight it (but that defeats the purpose when you want to save money!). If you want a quick copy of some few pictures then this machine is fine. But if this becomes a habit (it happened to my friend) it can really break your bank! =)
Itís easy and fastÖ only when itís working properly! Sometimes this unit just freezes! All the service staff can do is to turn it off to reboot. Rebooting takes approximately 5-10 minutes and yes it happened to me quite a few times! This happens more frequently when dealing with a memory card (from digicams), floppies or CDs. The crash happens when the unit is reading these types of storage. Very frustrating!
You also need to check the scanner beforehand for any dirt or specs. Tell any of the service staff to clean the scanner if you see some dirt to avoid having those little creatures on your pictures that werenít there before! A spec of dirt might look like a tennis ball in an 8X10 print! So make sure to clean the scanner and while youíre at it, clean your pictures as well.
Itís also smart to ask the cashier (whoever) what there policy is. You donít want to get stuck with pictures that you donít like. The place I go to lets customers refuse an order if it does not satisfy them in any way, this might not be the case with some some other places, so make sure to aks first!
Kodak need to tweak this machine to correct all the problems it has and they need to also work on the quality of the reproduction for this idea to really fly! Putting down the price wonít hurt either.
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Amount Paid (US$): 6.99