Make Your Own Photobooks

Online Photo Sharing Photo Upload Speeds

The assignment was to test the photo upload speeds for each online photo sharing site by uploading the same pictures. We did a timed test upload of two different files.

The first set contained some very high resolution pictures in the group - the pictures ranged in size from 7.3mb to 46kb for a total of 24.2MB. That test occurred on April 20, 2008 and was done on a wireless network connecting to a cable modem.

The second set of pictures was a set of very low resolution pictures - 61 pictures in all for a total of 9.89 MB and the test occurred on April 23, 2008 from the same connection.

Here are the results of the photo upload speeds test:

Publisher High Res Upload Low Res Upload
Walgreens Photo 0:21 2:03
Snapfish 0:24 2:09
Walmart 0:28 2:04
Kodak Gallery 1:49 2:55
Shutterfly 7:31 2:04
PhotoWorks 7:39 2:30
Winkflash 8:33 3:14
dotPhoto 9:00 2:10

Test Conclusions

The question raised by the test was why were the photo upload speeds for some publishers so much faster for the high res files while they were almost the same speed when uploading the low res photos? After researching all the sites I did find an explanation by Kodak that explained that they did a JPG compression that would give a good 20" by 30" print. They also did significant testing to prove that this compression did not make any difference to photo quality when viewing a picture that was 20 x 30" and viewed from 16".

So, from this statement you can assume that the sites that were significantly faster uploading the high res photos did some sort of compression that they tested and felt it made no difference in the photo quality given. One can understand that because it does make sense that a 7MB picture has more resolution than required to print a 4 x 6" picture, and there is a great time savings when the sites do the upload compression (which does decrease the picture resolution).

If you are uploading a high res picture because you are going to zoom into a small portion of the picture, it would be a good idea to edit the picture before you upload it. That way you will be sure that the smaller portion of the picture you really want will be of high quality. Also, if you really want the higher res picture uploaded, be sure to choose one of the sites that uploads the whole picture (you can tell because they take longer to upload).

Return to the Photo Book Review Page from Photo Upload Speeds.

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