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Pixum Photobook & Creation Software Review

Pixum Photobook & Creation Software Review - We take a look at Pixum's photobook creation software as well as the quality of their photobooks.

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Printed Products


Pixum are one of the leading names in the printed photo product industry and recently, they updated their creation software, allowing you to create more products quickly and easily. 

In this review, we'll be looking at the software itself as well of the quality of the final products it produces. We'll be creating the following:

 

Pixum Photo World Software 

Pixum's new Photo World software is available to download for free from The Pixum website. It's available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (system requirements are available on the page).

Pixum wizard

Once you click the download button, you'll then be able to click on the download which will start the setup wizard. You can select where the download goes, and the wizard also presents you with T&Cs to accept in order to continue. The software will then install. The download took less than 5 minutes on our computer. 

When you load the software you're presented with a welcome screen which allows you to browse through the products on offer and decide what you'd like to create.

Pixum

We're creating a large photobook to begin with, and you can either click on the Photo Book image or use the drop down to select the kind of book you want to create. Then you can choose the paper. We selected 'Photo Paper Glossy'.  

Pixum papers

This option automatically gives you layflat binding, however this is optional for other papers. You can then choose where the software looks for your images to use and can link with your Picasa and Facebook accounts if you want it to. You'll then be asked if you want to use an assistant to create a layout for you or if you want to start with a blank canvas. If you want your book to be created quickly and easily the assistant is the way to go - once it's created the layout you can tweak it as you like. However if you want to create the book yourself from scratch, you'd be best selecting the blank book option. 

We tried linking the software to Facebook to import images from there for the book, however, this wasn't very successful so we had to copy and paste the images we wanted to use into a folder. The software lets you easily source images, letting you search through your computer as you would 'files' in windows. You can then open your selected folder, or drag and drop the entire folder onto the photobook maker if using it. 

It's relatively easy to drag and drop your images onto the photobook however the software has an annoying habit of 'snapping' images to line them up with images on the other pages. This is helpful when you want 2 images of the same size together but frustrating when you want the photo to be larger or a different shape. Clicking and dragging the image once it's initially placed won't move it - you have to go to the edge of the image and wait until the 4 way pointer tool displays. The software feels a little clunky until you get used to it, but once you grasp it, you're away.

making Pixum

Once you have found the images you want to include, it's a case of dragging and dropping them onto the page and positioning them. If you're struggling, once all the required images are on the page you can choose a page layout to apply and then tweak them as necessary. Right clicking on images gives you a wide variety of editing options. Once an image is included a green tick appears next to it, which is handy when dealing with lots of photos. There are a good variety of fonts to use to personalise the book and editing the size is easy. Moving the text box to alter the size and shape automatically moves and realigns the text for you.

Page backgrounds and clipart can also easily be dragged and dropped. There are a very wide variety of colours to choose from but not much in the way of themed backgrounds - for our book, some nautical themed and general countryside images might have been nice. Compared to other editors, the software is nice and clean with simple options. This is fine for those that have little experience creating photobooks. 

Once you have finished creating your photobook, clicking the orange 'Add to basket' button allows you to proceed to payment and delivery options. 

 

The Photobooks

Photobooks together

We created and ordered the following:

  • Landscape large photobook, 26 pages, Photo paper glossy, Hardcover, Layflat binding, with giftbox - £39.95 for the book, £12.95 for the giftbox
  • Portrait large photobook, 26 pages Premium paper extra matt, Hardcover, Glue binding - £27.99
  • Landscape mini photobook, 26 pages, Premium paper matt, Softcover, Glue binding - £7.50

Postage and packaging for everything was £4.99. The books arrived within the 2-4 day delivery window, which was great. 

Pixum split deliveries of more than one product into different shipments, which allows you to get your products quicker. The large landscape photobook and giftbox along with the mini photobook arrived in one package, with the portrait photobook arriving separately the following day. Everything was well packaged and wrapped in cellophane to protect from scratches. 

Large Landscape Photobook and Gift Box

Large landscape book in box

The gift box is covered in black fabric and features magnetic closure with a red ribbon pull. Inside is a velvet effect casing which holds the photobook. It's well made and will make your photobook extra special if you're buying for someone else. What might be nice is a few choices of colours. 

Layflat binding

The landscape photobook is A4 size and features layflat binding, meaning that when opened the pages don't arch as with traditional binding. It's worth paying for if you don't want photos near the middle look odd because of the curvature of the pages. The pages are of a good thickness and the glossy photo paper works well to give a photographic feel to the book.

Binding

Colours are vivid and the book is of good quality. Some of the images we used in the book look a little pixellated - this is likely because we used social media sites to get images from and the quality of photos was sometimes low. They were also mostly from smartphones. It would have been nice if the software had warned of these images being of low quality - we weren't notified of this during the creation process. It's always best to use full-size images from the camera's memory card for the best results. 

We loved the ability to use our own images as the cover photo for the book, giving it a truly personalised feel. 

 

Large Portrait Photobook

Portrait Photobook

Here, we opted for a matt finish to the book which we thought gave it a more classy feel. Image quality for this book was better - some of the images here were from an advanced compact rather than a smartphone - which did make a noticable difference. 

Landscape inside

Pages are of a good thickness and the matt finish means that they're less susceptible to fingerprints. Normal glue binding was used giving the book a more traditional feel and despite this you were still able to open the book enough to see all the images without too much page curve hampering the view. Of all 3 books, this one is our favourite. 

Portrait binding

It's really well made and will look great on any bookshelf. The ability to write on the spine of the book in the software is a nice touch and again, being able to use our own images for the covers really made it special.  

 

Mini Landscape Photobook

Pixum mini Photobook

The Mini Photobook is 6x4" in size - it's very cute. For the money it's an ideal small gift or keepsake that's more portable than a large book. It's slim, and is professionally made - you'd feel fine buying it in a shop. 

Mini book inside

Because of the small scale, print quality is a little grainy when viewed close-up. However colour is really good and the pages have a slight sheen, making it look professional. This one is softcover - there is the option to upgrade it to hardcover if you like. This might make it a bit more durable if lots of people will be flicking through it. 

small book top view

Pixum Verdict

Overall, we are extremely happy with the way the photobooks have turned out. The software is easy to use once you get used to it and it's simple to order your finished books. With the software you are able to save your work as you go and come back to it later, which is a great feature. It's possible to download more backgrounds and clipart to use too, which is great. 

Pixum produce a wide range of printed gifts as well as photobooks so it's well worth exploring the software and seeing what else you can make.

Delivery was swift and the quality of the books was spot on for the price - just remember to use high-quality images, or you might end up disappointed with the end product. 

Pixum Pros

  • Easy to use design software
  • Fast delivery
  • Well packaged 
  • High quality, well-finished books

Pixum Cons

  • Software didn't warn us of low-quality images
  • Software takes a while to get used to

Software Features4/5
Software Handling4/5
Software Performance4.5/5
Photobook Quality4.5/5
Value5/5
Overall Verdict

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Comments


10 May 2017 12:26PM
I tried this in March 2016 and it was very poor. I applied for and received a full refund.

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