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Canon introduce online ordering of lab-quality photo prints - Lab quality prints from your digital cameras
The Service is exclusive to CiG members who gain site membership, and 100MB of free storage space, by purchasing any of the latest Canon compact digital still cameras or digital SLRs. Photos are held in intuitive member-defined albums, which can be shared online at the member's discretion. The Print Fulfilment Service allows users to select either whole albums or individual photographs for printing, and define variables such as number of copies, print size, cropping/image centering and media type before submitting their order. If the image resolution of a selected photograph is too low for the enlargement size requested, the CiG image gateway generates a warning before submitting the order. Payment is by credit card and prints are delivered by post within two working days.
"Whilst sales of our photo printers and photo paper show that many people with digital cameras are now creating their own prints at home, not everybody has the time, inclination or equipment to do so," explains Malcolm Hills, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging in the UK and Ireland. "Adding this practical e-commerce service to the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is an important step in the continuing process of helping customers get more out of their products".
Canon is currently considering the addition of several extra print options to the Print Fulfilment Service. Possible options include express shipping, printing onto different media, such as T-Shirts, jigsaw puzzles or mouse mats, and the option to order several prints arranged in a high-quality photo album.
When a member shares images or albums with friends, family or colleagues, a copy of the original image is taken and duplicated onto a shared server. A link to the shared server is sent to the recipient who can then view the duplicate images. This process ensures that the member's account remains secure and private.
Statistics and usage uptake
Since its launch on 27th January 2003, the CiG site has attracted and registered over 31,000 members. Statistics collected so far show that the U.K. boasts the largest number of members. At present, statistics show that Canon Digital IXUS V3 owners are the most likely customers to visit and use the site.