Saal Photobook Review.

To start of the post I would like to point out that this is not a paid for review. Saal simply reached out to photographers with a voucher towards a Photobook for an honest review. I have recently left my day job at a well sized photographic retailer in the hopes of reaching out my own skills and work more. I have moved to a very different day job to allow me to review and share products that may otherwise be classed as conflict of interests. 

As you may have realised I have since my change from DSLR to mirror-less I have worked closely with Panasonic on a number of occasions, for that reason I decided to use my Saal Photobook as a chance to show off what I have shot since making the change.

Making the book:

Saal like almost all Photobook producers now have their own dedicated software to help you create you own perfect for you book, and these layouts are fantastic, you can mix and match to your hearts content and come out with each page looking perfectly matched or wonderfully mismatched. The choice is yours. One thing I would like to see is a much easier way of uploading your own design, as whilst this is an option and for people well-versed in design it would be no issue as the sizes are given, however for people who are unsure of bleeds, margins and where the book would fold a template for each book would be a useful addition. 

The selection of choices on offer from Saal for their photobooks, I went for Photobook, size Lrg SQ. 

You then have a choice of 6 themes which all drop in to a sub menu (shown below for layout designs) 

And here is a quick preview of the book. 

The Book:

First impressions the book had an incredibly fast turn around time arriving in 4/5 working days. Which for what I can only assume is a standard turn around time is one of the fastest turn around times I am aware of. Again whilst it was not obvious quite possibly as I was not looking for it an express service (If in fact it is possible to get much faster) would make the company a "Go to" company in situations where you can not wait for the product or a deadline has been sprung up on you. 

Now the actual book is fantastic, print quality and colours are brilliant. The book is well produced and shows no signs of defects.

The hardcover looks great, and is as you would expect, however next time I may pay out the extra £5 and go for the padded cover to give it that stand out feel from most regular photobooks. 

The papers finish for me was possibly the only slight disappointment, not that isn't a great quality feel and heavy weight, but the fact the matte isn't a true matte and more of a lustre finish. However this by no means would put me off either this finish nor this company for a future order I would however love the addition of a true matte paper.  

Another thing to be aware of, the first page is the first page there is no blank page on the inside of the cover. Which from memory is standard across a lot of books. Whilst I did not pay enough attention to the preview to realise this, it was in-fact obvious but don't be as oblivious as me if you were wanting blank inside covers. 

As I mentioned in the making section there is a great selection of templates available with only a fraction being shown in the screen shots above. What impressed me about the templates if how accurate they are with margin and how well the pages join meaning double page spreads or photos over the centre fold of the book still look great. 

One last point, I would make is if you were to pay £5 to remove this barcode you would be crazy it is tiny and hardly noticeable. However if you really dont want it in there the £5 charge to remove it isn't too bad at all.

All in all, I could whole heartily recommend Saal Photobooks. A product I applied to do a review of as I thought I might get an okay book out of, returned to me a very good book. Yes there are changes I would possibly make next time but that is down to my design and wanting to stick to a budget. Next time a bigger budget, a thicker book and a padded cover I think.  

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