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Albelli Photobook Review

Emma Kay reviews Albelli's new look photobook creator software and the finished product. Is it as good as we've heard it is?

| Printed Products

Value for Money

Albelli Photobook Review: Albelli

Albelli allows you to make a wide variety of photographic gifts and momentoes, from the classic photobook through to calendars and canvases. This is the first time I’ve used Albelli, and straight away, the newly rebranded site certainly makes a good impression. It is easy to find exactly what you want on the site, and simply clicking the ‘Get Started' button allows you to get straight into making your product.

Albelli Photobook Review: Albelli 2

Here, ePHOTOzine is reviewing Albelli’s newly rebranded photobooks. You can also create calendars, canvas prints, card collections and lots more online.  When you have decided that you want to create a photobook, you have two options. You can either create the book online, which means you don’t have to download anything, but have a lesser page allowance and not as many features, or you can download the software, which is extremely quick and easy, and have a bigger page allowance plus more features for your book. Here is a table of the online and offline features:

  Offline Online
High gloss pages Yes Yes
Share your photobook online Yes Yes
Image editing Yes Yes
Photo book themes Yes Yes
Maximum number of pages 120 pages 70 pages
Photoshop plug ins Yes No
Image masks Yes No
Additional content from the internet Yes No
Other photo based content for your book Yes No

I created the photobook using the offline download to get the maximum amount of features.

Albelli Photobook Review: Photobook front

Albelli Photobook Features

The Photobook creator is packed with effects and features to make your book look fabulous. My particular favourite is the ability to use your own photos as the background for the page, making the whole page personal and themed to you. This also avoids white space on any of the pages. It enabled me to make use of images that were of landscapes, or perhaps not quite as interesting as the main ones.

You can add a number of features to your finished photobook, too. For additional cost you can add a personal cover, glossy pages and lay flat binding. I opted for all of these to see what the overall quality of the book was like.

Creating your book is very easy; you can either choose which pictures you want to use and let the software create your book for you if you are in a rush, or you can create your photobook manually, which is also very easy.

Albelli Photobook Review: Albelli creator

I created my photobook manually as I wanted to choose which images went where on the pages. The book appears pre laid out, and you can either use this design, or move elements around the page and add new ones. Simply drag and drop your photo onto the page, resize it, and position it. Albelli also lets you use your images as a background, which I found really useful for keeping pages themed.

You can put frames and masks around your images, and to access them you just need to browse through the vast selection on offer, choose the one you would like, and download it. This is a good way of doing things as it means that you only have the features you need and are going to use on your computer.

The photobooks come in small, medium and large in a range of shapes, square, portrait and landscape, and you can also create a mini photo flip book which would be ideal for a Christmas stocking filler for a loved one.

Albelli Photobook Review: photobook page 1

Albelli Photobook Performance

The creator is very easy to use, and it's simple to add photos to your book by clicking on the folder the photo you want is in, and then simply dragging and dropping the photo onto the desired page. You can then resize the photo, tilt it and add a mask or frame to it within a few clicks. I was able to create my photobook within a few hours into something that I am very happy with.

Albelli Photobook Review: Albelli creator 2

When you're finished creating your book, just click on the orange 'Order Now' button. You will then be shown if you have used any duplicate photos by accident, so that you can amend if you wish, and then your creation is uploaded, and then sent to the Albelli servers for processing.

After this, a web browser window to the Albelli site pops up to allow you to pay and input your details. I had a slight problem here with the uploader skipping to 100% and not opening the web window, but after emailing Albelli, they quickly informed me that this is most likely a problem with my firewall stopping the uploader from doing its job. This was easily solved by disabling my firewall for a few minutes while the photobook was uploaded. After this the process was really quick and easy.

Albelli inform you when your order is placed, and when it's printed and on its way.
Albelli Photobook Review: birds of prey

Albelli Photobook Value For Money
The book I ordered came to around £60. Books start at a lot cheaper than this, at about £20 to £30 for a smaller book. The features like the personalised cover, glossy pages and lay flat binding all cost extra, but I feel they are all worth investing in. It also costs a few pence more for each additional page you add to your book. The glossy pages make your photos really bright, and the lay flat binding is really handy to enable full view of the pages. If you're going to get a photobook, you're best going all out on it to make it a real treasure to keep. You could get a smaller sized photobook, a small or medium instead with all the above features for less. The book I got was definitely worth the money for the quality of the book. When you order a large book, you can get a smaller duplicate for a few extra pounds, which is a great idea for a present for a family member or friend.

There are other photobook companies out there, like MILKBooks, which now boasts Moleskine features with their photobooks, for that extra quality feel. They have a wide variety of book options, and also offer a disk of your photos with some of their books. AsukaBook is another high quality photobook maker, but they make a point of being for professionals only, making Albelli a great choice for anyone to have a go at making a photobook with.

Albelli Photobook Verdict

I am very impressed with the photobook. The pages feel really nice, and it looks really professional. The lay flat binding is definitely a feature that I would recommend, as it enables you to see the whole page without having to flatten down pages yourself. It makes the book a lot easier to handle and look at.

The photobook looks extremely professional, and is just how I imagined it to be. You can tell that Albelli really care about your book. The pages are protected at the back and front with a blank page, and the book arrives in a sealed bag and a snug cardboard sleeve to minimise scratching on the cover.

Albelli definitely comes recommended as a good quality, easy to use photobook maunfacturer.

Visit the Albelli website to create your photobook now.

Albelli Photobook Review:
Albelli Photobooks are the best around for quality and ease of use

Albelli Photobook Pros

Excellent quality
Simple to use software
Quick to create

Albelli Photobook Cons

May have to turn your firewall off to upload book

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