Monday, 8 August 2011

Mini Review: Cewe Photo Paper Photobook

Mini Review Cewe Photo Paper Photobook
I have used various photo books in the past as sample albums to show wedding and commercial clients. I noticed the new range from Cewe appear to the be the first 'budget' lay flat photo books that have appeared on the market.  Could they be the cheapest?

These are not too dissimilar to products from Loxley and Sim2000 and certainly seem to offer excellent value at more than half the price. To see what the catch was I decided to download the free software and build a new sample book

The above 'normal' 14 page Cewe photo book and below the 29 page 'lay-flat' Cewe Photo Paper Photobook
The book I designed was the smallest  (Square Photo Paper Photobook) at 21cm x 21cm and was a pretty weighty  58 pages and cost £53.99 plus P+P. What makes this different to previous photo book offerings from Cewe are two new features. Firstly the images are printed on photo paper which creates much thicker almost stiff pages. I'd say, in page thicknes,s half way between a normal photo book and a Sim2000 album. Certainly comparable to Loxley's Infinity Coffee table book in terms of paper thickness .... see:

The next feature is the fact that the book folds flat with ease and enables you to create seamless landscape pictures that cross the spine. I'd say the actual ridge in the centre of the spread is no bigger than the Graphistudio or Sim2000 album products and amazing value at the price.

The only option for covers is a hardback photo cover at this time but I must say the quality and colour is very good.

Overall this is an excellent value product for sample and portfolio material. My only question would be the durability of the binding which although obviously strong may not stand up to the same amount of use as the Loxely equivalent. Although at half the price you could buy two!

Pros:  Cheap, Good Colour, Fast turn around, reasonable software (no proofing section), thick paper, cleaver lay flat system,, good value

Cons: Not many size options, spine and binding may ultimately not be as durable as actual album product at £100+, the Cewe branding is rather prominent on the final page.

Conclusion: The perfect sample book for pro's and the perfect holiday album for budding photographers.

The above 'normal' 14 page Cewe photo book and below the 29 page 'lay-flat' Cewe Photo Paper Photobook

The above 'normal' 14 page Cewe photo book and below the 29 page 'lay-flat' Cewe Photo Paper Photobook

Flat 'no crease' design looks good

Run images across the spine

Spine detail...just glued not stiched

Cewe branding. Cannot be removed

Please leave any comments you may have.


  1. We used SmileBooks (CEWE Photobooks in the USA) to do our wedding album. Hard to complain with the pricing when compared to other companies. They often offer great discounts, whether 30-50% off, or 2-for-1 offers when ordering multiple copies of the same book... which really made them the best deal out there. Ordering multiple copies for parents, I managed to get 4 books @ $50/each ... for a lay-flat 12x12 50+page book is pretty amazing.

    I believe the CEWE/SmileBooks logo can be removed if you are dealing with them as a professional photographer. The regular schmo will be stuck with it. I found the UPC code on the back cover to be a bit silly & more annoying though. Not sure about whether that can be removed, or let alone - what the purpose of it is? Maybe there is an internal use for CEWE, but certainly not for the consumer.

    I have since created a photo album for my Egyptian Honeymoon, with a travel journal/blog included. It has turned out great, and w/ many panoramic shots - the lay flat pages were the only way to do justice to the photos.

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