Art and Photography

costco prints look soft and mushy

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 12th, 2018 9:43 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
1650 posts
87 upvotes
Toronto

costco prints look soft and mushy

I printed some 4x6 at a local costco and found they turn out to be soft and mushy. I remember printing at the same costco 10 years ago and the results were great. I am wondering if there is a setting that I should used when the jpeg file is meant to be printed? In the last try, I export the image with a 3000pixel on the long side and a resolution of 240 pixels per inch in lightroom. Obviously I can try with different settings but would like to query this group in case anyone else have run into similar issues and have discovered a solution.
6 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2011
2373 posts
930 upvotes
GTA
The last time I got prints at Costco (several months ago) I found the same thing. Then I took the same files (JPEGS) to a local Walmart and they turned out better. The files were just converted from RAW to JPEG in Lightroom with no adjustments. Next time, I think I'll download the printer profiles for my local Costco and see if that helps. It will be interesting to see if others have suggestions....
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Deal Addict
User avatar
May 5, 2010
1026 posts
315 upvotes
I printed at Costco recently and the quality was top notch.

I can't confirm, but I think Costco might downsize your pictures if it's too heavy or big, like Instagram or Facebook, and if it's anything like those social medias, their scaling software sucks.
If you're doing 4x6, export your picture to 4x6 at 300 DPI. This way, there'll be no resize needed. I also left the “auto-adjust” uncheck.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2007
1627 posts
640 upvotes
Did you upload online, or brought your thumb drive to store? I've never experienced quality issues with Costco prints (they are always much better than in Walmart), but I only bring photos on thumb drive to the store. I also tend to use TIFF format (though once or twice I used JPEG, and the quality was still great). I believe their printers are 150 DPI, so I used to downscale my images to that resolution, but recently I just print at the original resolution (unchecking auto-adjust), and it still looks great.
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2011
821 posts
103 upvotes
Toronto
I just did some 12 x 16" prints today. Exported to tif, don't know why but the file sizes were ginormous............in the range of 85~125mb. Same files in jpeg were close to 30mb. The pictures came out nice and sharp...aka one happy camper.
I did not upload them online though, carried the tif's on a USB to print in store.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
6876 posts
693 upvotes
Toronto
Any time I've had a similar experience at Costco, I just went back and asked them to redo the prints. There was never a problem and they worked at trying to make the prints as I wanted them.
Member
Jul 11, 2009
279 posts
96 upvotes
Toronto
ritz1010 wrote:
Nov 25th, 2018 7:35 pm
I just did some 12 x 16" prints today. Exported to tif, don't know why but the file sizes were ginormous............in the range of 85~125mb. Same files in jpeg were close to 30mb. The pictures came out nice and sharp...aka one happy camper.
I did not upload them online though, carried the tif's on a USB to print in store.
tiff files can be not compressed & if they are compressed are lossless and can be 16-bit compared to jpeg which is lossy compressed and 8-bit.

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