Albelli is a name you're likely to hear more of in future. A subsidiary of Albumprinter BV, this Dutch printshop is the largest in Europe, and it's rapidly expanding. UK companies Bonusprint and Fotobook were recently acquired alongside other European trading names.
Albelli's photo books can be created using a downloadable program, via Flash-based software in a web browser or by using an iPad app. Pointing the software to iPhoto or your main image directory previews images rapidly, and files in excess of 20Mb aren't a problem.
The software's layout is intuitive, and placing and repositioning images feels natural – whether importing an image at its original aspect ratio or resizing across a single page or a double-page spread. There's bags of control. Enlargement once an outline box has been positioned can be altered via a slider at the base of the image. Transparency, multiple fonts, a full selection of colours, and drop-shadow effects are also available.
Albelli's large-scale book is well-presented, but the images have shadow areas that look a little washed out compared with other competitors. Choosing the gloss paper finish proved to be a mistake. It's a question of personal preference, but the glossy images don't feel right in a book context, and the paper is prone to fingerprints.
Price: £54.95 (24-page Landscape XL)
Formats: Mac and PC download or online, plus iPad app
Delivery time: Seven working days
Software, online, iPad options
Plenty of control over the design
Quick image preview
Needs more pro-spec upload options