Imaging Solutions sparks quality revolution in the world of photo books

Perfect image quality on real photo paper! See it and believe it at IS Stand C051 in Hall 10.2. at photokina 2008 trade show!
Imaging Solutions sparks quality revolution in the world of photo books (PresseBox) (Regensdorf, ) Many photographers have suffered bad experiences with the photo book medium: initial high expectations have just not been met by the quality of the printed pictures. The fault lies with the technically limited electrostatic printing system. But fortunately, new photo book options from Imaging Solutions AG have sparked a true quality revolution in the photo book segment. With its purePhoto workflow, the Swiss worldwide leading manufacturer of digital high-speed photofinishing systems presents a new process that generates photo books in a quality unmatched to date. The result can be admired at the photokina 2008; and these books can already be ordered from various photo labs.

With digital photography, photographers are faced with an organizational problem: what to do with all those pictures that consist only of bits & bytes? Many try to manage their image files only on the computer, and copy them to an iPod or a digital image frame. Or they may order paper prints on the Internet from one of the many providers. An excellent and increasingly popular alternative to paper prints is the modern photo book. It gathers all pictures of a theme-based collection or of a holiday in a bound book that can be placed on a library shelf. Bye-bye glue stick and photo corners! In any case, few photo enthusiasts still have the time to stick paper prints into a traditional album.

Unfortunately, photo albums ordered online normally have a picture quality that is far below the possibilities offered by modern technology. The fault lies primarily with the use of electrostatic printing systems that are little more than glorified color copiers. This technology is not able to reproduce the full range of colors and the true image quality obtained with a digital camera.

One problem is the data loss involved in the transformation of images from the RGB to the CMYK format. In the printed picture, several color dots are simply placed next to one another in order to simulate a color mixture. It is particularly difficult to reproduce natural colors and subtle tones with these tiny dots. The color of skin, the green of trees, the blue of the sky - nothing looks quite "real". In addition there are interfering artifacts such as discontinuities of hue, banding, moirés or cloudiness that will annoy the viewer.

purePhoto photo book: photo quality is feasible

So why would a photographer put up with this level of "quality" if he/she has the option to order a photo book in realistic photo quality? The technology has been around for a while, as explains Rainer Bauer, CEO of the Swiss company Imaging Solutions: "Under the name purePhoto we have developed a nearly automated process that develops photo books in a quality not previously achieved to date. The process uses real photo paper, which is the only material able to reflect all pixel information of an image without quality losses. That purePhoto has not yet become the obvious choice is due only to the fact that many providers will continue to use their electrostatic printing systems for the time being for as long as they are still profitable."

The purePhoto technology can draw from a color range of 16.7 million colors per pixel when using real photo paper. At a print resolution of 300 ppi (pixel per inch) it is possible to represent smooth transitions and homogeneous areas in true half-tone reproduction. Difficult colors such as skin tones or fine structures like hair can thus be perfectly reproduced.

As a worldwide market leader in the area of high performance digital systems for the photofinishing industry, Imaging Solutions does not produce the photo books itself, but makes the technology available to users instead.

Photo providers and labs all over the world are already using the purePhoto workflow (http://www.purephoto.ch/), including the following in Europe:

- Foto Quelle (http://www.fotoquelle.de/)
- allcop Farbbild-Service (http://www.i-Port.de/)
- Color Drack (http://www.cdlab.at/)
- Webprint (http://webprint.nl/, http://www.photofun.com/)
- Pro Ciné (http://www.fotomaxx.ch/, http://www.fotospezialist.ch/).

They also include the Saal Group (http://www.saal-group.com/) in Siegen, which offers the photo books as a service via its website http://www.saal-fotobuch.de/. Reinhard Saal is enthused: "When you've produced top quality photos for 40 years, then electrostatic printing is simply not satisfactory. With these photo books on real photo paper the images finally turn out exactly like photos."

In China, photo books are offered by the manufacturer Yimei (http://www.yimei.com/), and in the USA by photo provider Millers (http://www.millerslab.com/).

Various types of photo papers can be used for the photo books. Together with the other components of the system, the Fujicolor Crystal Archive Album Paper, which was specially developed for the purePhoto Workflow, provides outstanding quality.

purePhoto photo book: Image optimization via VIESUS

Customers who want to order a purePhoto photo book on real photo paper can use the PURUS photoClient software provided by Imaging Solutions. Vendors of photo products and central labs can offer this software for download from their websites or on CD ROM for physical distribution. The program enables the user to select the photos to be used and to specify a book format. A Wizard then automatically distributes the photos onto the pages before finetuning begins. If desired, users can rearrange the pictures, capture them, or set them up so that they will extend over two pages at the same time. The photo books' lay flat binding makes it possible to create such panorama images without the disturbing bump in the middle of the double page.

Imaging Solutions' VIESUS image improvement software can be used for an even better result. It improves the images' brightness, contrast and hues. Red-eye flash effects, are also automatically corrected. Finally, the entire photo book is uploaded to the photo service to ensure fastest possible production.

purePhoto photo book - additional offer for the press

Journalists planning to publish an editorial about the purePhoto workflow, please contact Karola Walberer for a free-of charge production of a photo book with own images. Thus, they will see directly the outstanding quality of this photo book and would not depend on third party experience reports. Alternatively, one of the Imaging Solution's sample books can be ordered.

purePhoto photo books: presentation at photokina 2008

The photokina 2008, the most important trade show for the photo industry, this year takes place in Cologne from 23 to 28 September. Imaging Solutions can be found in Hall 10.2 at Stand C051. There, the company will be presenting its purePhoto Workflow. According to Rainer Bauer, "At the photokina we will be happy to show visitors the production process, all the way from the photo paper roll to the finished book block on the devices fastCCF and fastBook." Details concerning other system components of the purePhoto workflow, such as

- the high-performance, cost-effective front end system photoClient
- the PURUS software solution for the processing of value added photo products
- the leading-edge image enhancement VIESUS software
- the widePrint high-speed printer
- the paperProcessor VSP 25-12 will also be demonstrated.

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Imaging Solutions AG
Althardstraße 70
CH-8105 Regensdorf
Karola Walberer
Imaging Solutions
Communications Manager

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