Saal-Digital Lay Flat Photo Book – Review

About the company:
It’s a German company with a few subsidiaries around Europe. They make high quality real photo books (where real means that they are exposed onto real photo paper and are not digitally pressed). The books come in a  variety of sizes with plenty of options to choose from. These are one of my favourite books, it’s very hard to beat the quality in the same price category.

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My Book Other Options
Cover Glossy Hardcover Imagewrap, unpadded Matt Hardcover, Linen (different colours), Leather (different colours), Metallic, Wood look, and all of these come in padded and unpadded
Paper Glossy, Matt Photo Paper Only those two options
Printing Silver-Halide no other options (who needs anything else? 🙂
Layflat Yes All the books are layflat
Pages/Max Pages 26 120
Size 28x19cm 12×12, 19×19, 28×28, 13×20, 15×2, 13×10, 16×12, 21×28, 42×28 (all in cm)
Presentation Box no Yes

Quality:

  1. Binding: All the books are lay flat by default. Fantastic binding, sturdy, well made. No complaints. The book starts on the first page, there is only one white blank page on the back side of the cover, and you can’t choose its colour. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Cover: This company offers the most cover options I have come across so far. Roughly 16 and all of them come in padded and unpadded. You can swim in the plethora of choices. Linen, leather, wood look, metallic and imagewrap. One of my books is glossy imagewrap, the other is matt and they are both unpadded. Nothing special about them, but they are both high quality, sturdy, well made covers. You can have your usual text on the spine. There is no company logo on the books, only a tiny barcode on the back cover. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  3. Paper: 2 paper options: glossy and matt. As much as I love the matt (lustre) texture, I have to admit that the glossy paper provides much better contrast and dynamic range, the colours come alive. If you don’t mind the gloss, go for it. If you are in the matt fan club, you won’t be disappointed, the matt paper is just fabulous with its sandy, grainy texture. Beautiful tones on both. The paper itself is not as thick as other layflat books, but that’s not necessarily bad, since you can at least have a higher max page count, in this case 120. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. Printing: All books are printed on real photographic paper. This is as good as it gets. I can’s stress enough the difference between digital and photographic printing, the shades and colours melt into each other and you don’t get any dots or digital artefacts. Happy, happy, happy. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Software:
You need to download it from their website, it only works offline. Choose your products and its attributes. When designing the book you have 4 options. Start from scratch, double page photos, auto layout and the templates. The templates section offers only 6 main categories, which falls short compared to what other companies offer, but even so I was able to create a really good looking book within minutes. Once you go into the templates, the choices are endless, photo filters, backgrounds, clip art, borders, masks etc…

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Delivery:
Was quite quick with DHL, only a few days. It came from Germany.

Deals:
Use the code PhotoBookGuru17 to get £20 pounds off your order. Minimum order is £39.95. Code valid thru 30/10/2017

Price:

Matt books was £35, the glossy was £39 at full price.

Pros:

  • print quality
  • paper quality
  • price
  • cover options
  • binding

Cons:

  • less eye-catching templates than the competitors
  • pages could be a tiny bit thicker

Website: http://www.saal-digital.co.uk

4 thoughts on “Saal-Digital Lay Flat Photo Book – Review

  1. Hello! Your YouTube videos and this blog have been so helpful. I’ve still come up with one question: Is there a company based in the USA that will print on real photo paper that offers the same themes and scrapbook designs that other companies do? I’ve used mixbook most recently and have been happy with its designs, but the print quality is lacking for my taste. Can I have the best of both worlds?! 🙂
    Thank you!

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    1. Unfortunately I don’t know of any “real photo book” companies that would have quite as funky themes as Mixbook. Shutterfly has the same creativity and although they don’t use silver-halide printing, their lustre paper is very close to a real photo book. I am always researching for new companies so hopefully I’ll find one soon 🙂

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      1. Thank you for the reply. It is very helpful! I’m thinking the glossy pages on Shutterfly are probably similar to the glossy ones that were on the site myPublisher (before Shutterfly bought that company). That will have to do for now. 🙂

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  2. I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have presented for your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    Like

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