Pixum EasyBook full review
Although online photo service Pixum is well established in mainland Europe, it only recently set up shop in the UK. Offering a range of printing services, including picture books for PC, Mac and unusually Linux users. Pixum EasyBook, as the name suggests, is designed to make the art of bookmaking a breeze, although we initially hit a snag with the Mac software hanging after install. This was rectified after reinstalling.
A browser-style interface offers a selection of book sizes. Choose one and you’re given a choice: book making with an assistant – offering auto functions that promise to intelligently arrange your images – or without. We tried both and each proved instinctive and stress free. Here you can also select the number of pages, layout (with the ability to edit images), add image masks, and choose your book cover type from linen, hardcover, softcover and booklet.
We dragged and dropped a selection of photos from iPhoto and created a new file on the desktop to work from. In Pixum EasyBook, without the assistant, we selected the number of images per page, one in this case. We then opened the image file and dragged each image into the placeholder frames. Creating a 26-page book, with front and back images and text, took around 20 minutes, including selecting the iPhoto images.
Pixum EasyBook offers a range of layouts and styles to suit all.
Pixum EasyBook offers some built-in picture-editing options including cropping, brightness and hue controls, and automatic and manual red-eye reduction. Photo effects, including greyscale and sepia tones, are also available, although these produced mixed, occasionally muddy, results. Negative, relief, x-ray and line-drawing options were pretty much pointless. Having selected images from various cameras, a smiley face icon confirmed image resolution was good enough to produce quality printed results.
Created on a Sunday night, the book arrived the following Thursday morning, well wrapped in a protective card sleeve and plastic inner bag. The results – the EasyBook XL 30 x 30cm option – were impressive: a tightly bound quality hardcover with our selection of snaps printed on good quality paper. Images looked sharp, despite some coming from a 2-megapixel camera, and detailed, with good vibrant colour contrast.