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Target Photo Review 2021

Like other big-box retailers, Target offers a reasonable selection of photo printing options, but unlike its brick-and-mortar competitors, the company doesn’t let you pick up prints at a local store. The good news is that print quality has improved since it stopped that service, and the site now even boasts Hahnemule Studio certification for its printing techniques. Our test prints were of noticeably better, more-consistent quality than in previous years. Target’s prices are above the norm, however, and its ordering interface is still subpar.

How Much Does Target Photos Cost?

Target Photo’s revamped interface shows prices for the size and surface you choose in large squares on the page where you get started. The prices are generally higher than those you can find elsewhere: A standard 4-by-6 glossy print costs 29 cents. Walmart Photo, our Editors’ Choice winner for low-cost photo printing services, charges just 9 cents, by comparison.

The 29-cents-per photo price is more like what you pay for same-day local pickup: CVS and Walgreens charge 35 cents per 4-by-6, and Walmart handily beats those with 1-hour pickup for 9 cents per 4-by-6. Target doesn’t offer a volume discount; each print costs 29 cents regardless of your order’s size. You often find special promotional discounted rates on the site, however.

The 5-by-7 print size is priced at 79 cents, and 8-by-10s cost $3.99—more than most of the competition. For comparison, Nations Photo Lab charges $2.49 for an 8-by-10 print, though its 5-by-7s are more than Target’s, at $1.25. The largest size offered by Target is 30-by-40 inches, which will run you $34.99. Snapfish only goes up to 20-by-30, but that size only costs $21.99. Unlike Amazon Prints, Target lets you choose wallet-sized prints (in quantities of 8).

Ordering Options

You can upload photos from your computer, but there’s no longer an option to get them from your online accounts such as Facebook or Instagram. Once you select a batch of pictures, you can change the print sizes and quantities for each individually or for all at once. Tapping on one of the thumbnail images opens an Edit view of the picture, but the only editing options are cropping and rotating. You can complete the whole process without even creating an online account, but I don’t recommend doing this, since you won’t be able to track your orders on the site.

Target Photo upload

I tested with a mixed bag of portraits and landscapes, bright, dark, and HDR-ish. You can upload GIF, JPG, PNG files—more than some other services allow. Mpix, for example, only allows JPG, while Nations Photo Lab and AdoramaPix add TIFF support.

Target doesn’t offer color-correction tools, as Nations Photo Lab does. Nor can you have the filenames or custom text printed on the back of your photos, as you can with AdoramaPix and Mpix.

Shipping options are more bountiful than with some services: For my order of 34 photos, I had options ranging from $2.41 for Economy (9 to 12 business days) to Rush, $26.70 for three business days—a good deal cheaper than many other services’ rush shipping costs.

Photo Gift and Card Options

Target Photo offers lots of nonstandard photo printing options: You can order magnets, mouse pads, and coasters embellished with your photography. Other photo-emblazoned gift options include greeting card designs, photo books (starting at $2.99 for 4-by-6 and $9.99 for 8.5-by-11), metal prints, calendars, phone cases, puzzles, and (of course) coffee mugs. It’s a good selection, if not quite extending to shower curtains and neckties, which York Photo Labs offers. For some even more outrageous printing options, including dog food bowls and socks, take a look at Shutterfly’s photo gift section.

There’s also a good selection of large-format print options, including wood and metal-backed prints as well as canvases up to 30-by-40 inches in size, which will run you $134.99. That compares well with CanvasPop’s $191 price for the same size.

You can order personalized holiday cards and other greeting cards from Target, starting at the very reasonable price of $1.50 per card. That price holds whether you’re ordering just one or a hundred—most services offer a discount for larger quantities. The $1.50 gets you a flat, double-side-printed 5-by-7 matte card. The drag-and-drop card design interface is a pleasure to work in, and plenty of good-looking templates are available. Unfortunately, folding cards aren’t on offer, and card stock and printing options are limited compared with what competitors offer. For example, Walmart Photo offers foil printing and linen stock, folding cards, and charges as little as 34 cents each, with one-hour pickup to boot.

Delivery and Print Quality

My Target Photo order arrived in an unmarked, thin cardboard envelope. The packaging is superior to the paper envelopes that Amazon Prints and York Photo Labs use, but not as good as AdoramaPix’s and Mpix’s hard cardboard flat boxes. The envelope had no Target branding; instead showing a return address of EZPrints. Inside the inner envelope, I was happy to find contact sheets of all the photos in the order.

Target Photo’s print image quality was markedly better than in my previous testing, with excellent sharpness and mostly well-balanced colors and saturation. The prints were on Kodak paper, which I’ve found superior to others in test prints. The date and order number is printed on the back, which helps with record keeping.

This portrait with the red hat shows Target at its best, with the red felt fibers discernible and good sharpness and color saturation:

Target Photos portrait print quality comparison

On this landscape, Target’s print shows improvement since my last test of the service, in which the dark parts of the valley lost detail. This time the sky appears more purple than in the competition, however:

Target Photo landscape print quality comparison

Closer to the Target

Target Photo prices aren’t the lowest and its delivery packaging is mediocre, though its print image quality has improved since our last review. The ordering interface isn’t great and editing options remain limited. What’s more, you can no longer pick up photos locally, which some drug chains and Walmart still offer. For the best results, check out our Editors’ Choice photo printing services, AdoramaPix and Mpix at the high-end; Snapfish and Walmart Photo for bargain hunters.

The Bottom Line

Target offers good print quality, but the rest of the experience—from ordering to packaging and shipping—lacks polish, and the service no longer offers local pickup.

Target Photo Specs

Lowest Price for 4-by-6 Print 25 cents
Largest Print 30 by 40
Metal Prints Yes
Canvas Prints Yes
Photo Editing No
TIFF Support No
Online Slideshows No
Mobile Apps No

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