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Digital Photo Printing Made Easy

Posted December. 13, 2005 07:21,   


“Do you still print your photos and keep them in an album? Just upload your photo files on the Internet from now!”

Kim (34), an office worker, has taken photos with a digital camera and a camera phone for a couple of years now. But it was not easy to print the photos. Kim often erased old photos and took new ones because the memory card of the digital camera or the camera phone had limited capacity.

While the popularization of the digital camera made taking photos easier, it has become difficult to keep the photos in an album. Against this backdrop, solutions to the problem are coming into service.

The time has come that one can receive his or her photo album through the Internet.

Change in the Way of Storing Photos-

Up to now, people have taken photos, printed them, and kept them in an album.

However, now you can upload your photo files onto the Internet, edit them, and companies can print the photo files, make an album, and deliver it to your doorstep.

Enbee.com, an Internet photo management firm, is planning to launch a new service soon to print 35 to 50 photos, which were taken with a digital camera and edited on the Internet by the customers, make them into an album, and deliver the album to the users.

An album capable of holding 50 6×8 inch photos costs 25,000 won, while that for 50 8×8 inch photos is 37,000 won (delivery cost included). Considering that printing a single digital camera photo costs 500 won for 6×8 inch and 600-700 won for 8×8 inch, the company charges a similar price range while offering an album made with the photos.

As many as 10 online companies, which print photo files onto paper and make albums, have opened over the past year alone.

Online firms such as Photomon and Photobook produce albums by printing uploaded photo files with color printers on paper.

Increasing Digital Camera Users, Rocketing Photo Printing Demand-

The reason such service is possible for a low price is that photo management firms have hundreds of millions of won worth of printing machines and reduced labor cost by automating the printing process. They also import printing paper directly instead of buying them from retailers.

Moreover, they do not need to purchase albums because they just print the screen on which the photos are edited.

Above all, the rapid increase in the number of digital camera users has given birth to the Internet album industry.

According to Samsung Techwin, the global digital camera market grew from 68 million units last year to 82 million units this year. The domestic market also swelled from 1.5 million units last year to 1.8 million units.

By contrast, the world’s film camera market is rapidly shrinking to 16 million units this year from 20 million units last year.

Experts say that upgrading customer demand will increasingly bring premium service to the market. Such premium service, which directly prints photos and phrases on photo paper, is superior to paper printing in terms of image quality and storage.

Sang-Rok Lee myzodan@donga.com