I recently uploaded the same photos to Shutterfly and Snapfish, and then I ordered prints from both sites to compare the quality. I picked up the Shutterfly prints (glossy) at CVS and the Snapfish prints (matte) at Walmart. The Snapfish prints look much better than the Shutterfly prints. The Shutterfly prints are a bit brighter but have noticeably less detail than the Snapfish prints. I'm assuming the glossy vs. matte finish wouldn't have an effect on that. (Shutterfly only allows glossy for in-store pickup, and Snapfish only allows matte for in-store pickup.)
Here are my questions:
Would the quality of the prints would have been different if I had them shipped directly from Shutterfly/Snapfish instead of picking them up at CVS/Walmart? Another thing is that the Shutterfly web site says they use Fuji Crystal Archive paper for their prints, but the CVS prints were on Kodak paper. Would the type of paper used make a big difference in quality?
Both Shutterfly and Snapfish cropped a little bit off the top/bottom/left/right of the photos. The images that I uploaded were exactly 4x6 sized, since they were scans of 4x6 prints, and after I uploaded them I made sure to specify no cropping on the prints. But the prints from both Snapfish and Shutterfly still cropped a bit off all 4 sides. Why is that?