Review: ZaZa Gallery Stretched Canvas

Recently, whilst twittering on Twitter, I met up with a fellow that goes by the moniker @photocanvas who has gotten into the business of producing gallery wraps. When I checked out his site, ZaZa Gallery, I was blown away at the prices I found listed. 8x10 canvas-wraps for $25 and 20x30 for $99. I was curious, but a bit set off by the low price.

In my experience, I have found that while inexpensive is great, there is usually a discernible lowering of quality. With this in mind, I still wanted to give ZaZa Gallery a go, as I have been wanted a canvas wrap for my wall, and I have always been too cheap to get one.

So I chose a picture of my wife and son, chosen so this could double as a Valentine's present. The shot was taken with my Canon XTi and I uprezzed the converted RAW with Genuine Fractals 5 (a step behind, as always). When I was processing the image in Lightroom I hit it with my Kodak Portra 160NC preset from my Cold Storage Collection. I wanted to see how the more subtle colors would come across on canvas, as most prints I have seen tend to be rather saturated. So after I got the image done, I uploaded to ZaZa Gallery.

Within a week I recieved my canvas via FedEx Ground, and upon opening the box was promptly blown away with the quality, especially when I factor in the price.

Immediately I saw that my Kodak-inspired colors were dead-on. I did not ask for any special handling of the image, so it was great to see that Hugh (the real name of @photocanvas) knew what I was wanting from the original image and did nothing to alter the colors of my image. Next, I noticed the wrap itself, where he had perfectly mirrored the border of my image, and stretched the canvas right on that mirrored border. Finished it off with nice, tight corners. I was truly impressed. ZaZA Gallery's production quality is great, and the Epson inks brought out true color on the nice, white canvas.

Speaking of the Epson inks, the printer used produces great, sharp, detailed images. I was expecting to see a lesser DPI utilized for my 11x14 canvas, as I have seen done with other enlargements. It was not so. The level of detail retained was amazing, especially whe I peered deeper into the reflection on my wife's sunglasses...I realized that I was in the portrait myself.

I was surprised to find myself printed in fairly good detail, with indidual twigs on the trees around me still visible. To an extend that is a testimony to modern digital cameras, but again, this is a lot of detail for a heavily textured surface. It was great.

Needless to say I am impressed with the quality of ZaZa Gallery's work, and look forward to utilizing them again when I get ready to order my next canvas wrap. They utilize archival inks and coatings, to ensure a long image life...I can't quite test that, but I'll let you know in 90 years or so.

The only thing I found lacking about their service is a minor pittance. A backing and hanging wire would have been a great addtition, but for what they charge it is no big deal to drive down to my local framing shop to do it myself.

So next time you are looking to get some gallery wraps made, drop by their site and check them out. If you have any questions all their contact info is on the site, or you can simply follow Hugh on Twitter @photocanvas. If you do order, let him know you found him through LifeInDigitalFilm.

While on this topic, I mentioned earlier that I had uprezzed this image utilizing onOne Software's Genuine Fractals 5. Yesterday, Dennis Hayes (of Photo News Today) had a guest spot on X-Equals blog, in which he went in-depth with Genuine Fractals 6. Drop by and give it a read if you like to go big with your images....remember, at 300 dpi 11x14 is as big as it gets at 10 megapixels. Genuine Fractals lets you go big and make new pixels that look real, as if you shot your image with a 20 megapixel camera with no noticeable loss of quality. Check it out over at Brandon Oelling's X-Equals blog.

Well that is all for today, back tomorrow with something else.

Until then,


1 comment:

Eugene said...

Great review of a great product!

Question for you: why did you up-rezz the original image? By my calculations, for an 8"x10" print which comes from a 10MP camera, hardly any interpolation will occur (even printed at 300 dots per inch)...

Anyway, you may be interested in my review of the canvas print from ZaZa Gallery, which I put up here: http://printsbyeugene.com/2009/03/11/review-gallery-print-from-zaza-gallery/