Frequently Asked Questions

Products

1. Who makes your products?

We make all of our products in our own factory and by doing this, we can guarantee the quality of the goods and oversee your order from start to finish.

2. How long will my order take?

All orders are despatched within 5 - 7 working days from order but more often than not, they will leave us earlier than that.

3. Can I have a separate shipping address from my billing address?

PhotoPanda allows customers to use separate billing and shipping addresses.

4. How will you deliver my order?

We use a combination of Royal Mail 48 hour and Courier delivery.

5. What delivery methods are used by PhotoPanda ? How much does it cost?

We ship orders using Royal Mail 48 hours. Larger orders are sent via courier and require a signature on delivery. Postage and packing charges vary by product and quantity and are available on the product description pages on our website.

Images and Image Files

1. What kind of file formats do you accept?

We accept JPEG and BMP files. If your files are in another format, you will have to open your images in an image-editing program like Adobe Photoshop and resave them in a supported format.

2. How long does it take to upload a file?

This is mainly determined by the speed of the ADSL line you are using (or modem), the size of file you are sending, and the load that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has to cope with when you are online. It is difficult to predict how long an upload will take but in normal conditions we have found the following:

  • An image of size 160K with a 28,800 baud modem connection takes 1 minute.
  • An image of size 500k with a 256kbs ADSL upload speed takes approx 30 seconds
  • An image of size 1M with a 512kbs ADSL upload speed takes approx 30 seconds.

3. What resolution is required to order prints from my digital images?

The higher the resolution, the better the quality. On the other hand, the lower the resolution the smaller the resulting file size. Please refer to our "Print Resolution Chart" for further guidance.

4. Can I have a grayscale (black & white) image printed?

Yes. If you provide us with a black & white image, it will be printed in black & white.

5. What resolution should I use to obtain the best quality prints possible?

The higher the resolution, the better the quality of the image, so go for the highest quality images you can. Please refer to our "Print Resolution Chart" for further guidance.

6. Do you accept RGB or CMYK images?

We only accept RGB images. We cannot process CMYK images: you will need to convert these to RGB before sending them to us (if you do not understand the difference between RGB and CMYK then you have nothing to worry about.)

7. Do you remove red eye from images?

No, we do not offer such a service at this time. There are a number of free services available that will allow you to do so yourself prior to uploading.

8. Can I send images I have scanned?

Yes. If you transfer your image to your hard disk, you will be able to upload your images using our browser upload system. We would advise you use your scanner's preview function to ensure that you only scan the image and not include the scannerbed.

9. What if it's not my picture?

When uploading images, you must confirm that you own the rights to the respective image or have obtained the relevant written permissions where necessary. You agree that you retain or have obtained the relevant intellectual property rights, including copyright, to the images that you have submitted to us for reproduction.

10. I've taken pictures using my mobile phone. Can you print them for me?

If you can transfer your images to your computer and put them in an appropriate format, yes we can.

11. Do I need a digital camera to use PhotoPanda's services?

No. All you need is a file containing your images. These can come from various sources e.g. scanners and mobile phones. As long as they have a high enough resolution, we will be able to print them.

12. What kind of file formats can you not accept?

We cannot currently accept .pdf, .psd, .raw, .png or .gif files. If your files are in this format, you will have to open your images in an image-editing program like Adobe Photoshop or Paint and resave them in a supported format. Please do not send us ZIP files, as they require more effort from our development teams to handle and this slows down the process.

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Prints and Photo Gifts

1. Are the prints made on the same photographic paper as in traditional processing companies?

Yes, prints up to and including 8" x 12" are printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper which is available in Matt or Gloss and larger prints up to and including 12" x 18" are available in Gloss only.

2. Which photo should I use?

The quality of the photo gift is directly linked to the quality of the image, therefore the sharper the image the better the picture we put onto the picture gift. For photo mugs, photo mouse mats, pictures on t-shirts, poster size prints, canvas prints, picture on a puzzle or jigsaw you should set your camera to the maximum resolution/size settings. With Photo Gifts ensure that no important details are close to the edges of the image as these details may unavoidably be cropped in the production process. Note: If they are not your photos, always obtain signed permission of the owner of the photograph for the purposes of copyright.

3. Will the print fade?

The printed product should last you a lifetime if you look after it. If the product is exposed to strong direct sunlight on a constant basis then over time the image will become less vibrant.

4. Do you offer free trial prints?

No. We hope to offer consistently excellent value for money.

5. What print finishes do you offer?

We offer gloss and matt finish. Click here for further details.

6. Do you print any bigger than 8x10?

Yes we do. Our biggest standard print size is 12" x 18" (30x46cm). Click here for more information. We also offer inkjet poster prints up to 24"x36" (61x91cm).

7. What is the life expectancy of your digital prints?

The average lifespan of photographic paper is hard to estimate as it depends on various factors such as the intensity of the light the paper is exposed to and the humidity of the environment. Our print life should exceed 50 years in the right conditions.

8. How long will the image last on your T-Shirts?

We guarantee the colour fastness of the image we print on the t-shirt for 12 months. If the image starts to fade, ironing the image will bring it back to life.

9. What will happen if I put a Photo mug in my dishwasher

All our Photo Mugs are Dishwasher safe and the image should be unaffected

10. Are your Passport Sized Photos suitable for a Passport application?

If your intended use is for a UK Passport application, please ensure that you submit a portrait image.

For official UK Passport specifications visit the Directgov Passport Photos page

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Framed Prints

1. Talk to me about quality

Every frame we sell is made in a 32,000 sq ft state of the art premises in Cambridgeshire. We do not import cheap frames from eastern europe or asia and we do not sell plastic frames. We have the latest computerised equipment and our staff are trained picture framers. We are members of the Fine Art Trade Guild and pride ourselves in the high quality of our work.

2. Are frames individually boxed?

No, frames are packaged for transport. We do not supply the frames in presentation boxes

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Personalised Cards

1. Why should I create personalised photo cards?

Any occasion is an excuse to send a greetings card, be it personalised invitations, birthday cards, wedding invitations, moving home, birth announcements or simply a thank-you card. Friends and family overseas will especially appreciate a personalised card bearing your own special photograph.

Greetings cards measurements are:
A6: 5.8"x 4.1" (105mm x 148mm)
A5: 8.2"x 5.8" (148mm x 210mm)
A4: 8.2" x 11.7" (210mm x 297mm)

2. How do I order photo cards and is there a choice of fonts and frames?

To order greetings cards, postcards or note cards our on-line order wizard will take you through the process step by step.
Your photograph will be printed on the front of the card together with any text you may wish to add, for example, “Happy Birthday Jessica”. On the inside of the photo card or the back of the postcard, you can type your personal message such as, "To Jessica, with love on your 18th Birthday, from Auntie Sue and Uncle Mark". There is also a choice of colours, fonts and frames. Envelopes are provided with personalised greetings cards and note cards only.

3. How long will it take for my personalised photo cards to be delivered?

We aim to despatch your personalised postcards, greetings cards or note cards to you within five working days of placing your order with us.

4. What is the "description" for?

The description field in the greetings card editor is to allow you to identify customised cards in your on-line shopping basket, as you can have many customised cards using the same uploaded image. This Description is not added to your card.

Quality

1. How often do you calibrate your colour printer?

Several times a day on the main paper sizes, and at least once a day on all paper sizes.

2. If I want the best quality picture possible, what is the highest resolution I should save my images in?

We recommend you always shoot your pictures at the highest quality your camera allows to ensure the best result. Please refer to the "Print Resolution Chart" located on our website for more detailed information.

3. What resolution do you print at?

300 dpi

4. I am looking to print some high quality professional level images. Do you think you can do it?

Our printing facilities are among the best in the industry. We are sure you will feel satisfied by the quality of our work, especially if you are a professional photographer.

5. How do I know that the prints I order will be of good quality?

PhotoPanda is dedicated to upholding high standards of quality and professionalism. Our browser upload system will warn you when your image is in the basket if they are not of high enough quality.

6. What is the difference between prints obtained from a digital image and those from a film?

Apart from size issues due to slightly different aspect ratios, there are no differences.

7. I'm unhappy with the quality of my prints. What should I do?

The quality of your prints depends mainly on the resolution of the images we receive. Therefore if you wish to have beautiful prints, you should refer to our "Print Resolution Chart" located on our website and make sure you have chosen the resolution that corresponds to an excellent quality using the associated print size. Nonetheless, if you feel your images have a defect for which our printing processes are responsible, you can return them to us for a reprint. We want you to be happy!

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Image Uploader

1. When I click Buy Prints, nothing happens

You need to install the ActiveX Image uploader. Please ensure that you have allowed pop-ups from PhotoPanda.co.uk.

2. I get a popup message informing me to download the Image Uploader but it doesn’t download

Check beneath the address URL bar of your browser to see if there is an information bar requesting permission to start the download. Click this to allow the Image Uploader to be installed.

3. A message appears on IE8 saying ‘"Internet Explorer had stopped working - a problem has caused the program to stop working correctly"

If you are experiencing IE8 locking up when installing the Image Uploader; you will need to disable DEP protection in IE8.
To disable DEP; "Local Administrators can control DEP/NX by running Internet Explorer as an Administrator and unchecking the Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > “Enable memory protection to help mitigate online attacks” option. Once the Image Uploader has been installed, the DEP can be re-enabled.

4. I am having problems uploading via Firefox/Safari/Chrome (Java)

The Image uploader on Firefox, Safari and Chrome is a Java applet. Before these browsers can run Java applets you must have the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) properly installed and enabled. Starting in Firefox 3.6, you also need the new Java plugin included in Java 6 Update 15 and above. Installing or updating Java Manual install or update 1. Go to the download page at www.java.com 2. Click the Free Java Download button. 3. Click the Download Now button to start the online installation. 4. After the installation is complete, you must restart Firefox. MAC users may have to update the MAC version of Java.

5. I have installed Java but Firefox does not allow me to upload my files.

If Java is not working, make sure that the Java plugin is enabled in the Add-ons window:
Open Firefox.
At the top of the Firefox window On the menu bar, open the Tools menu, and click on Add-ons. The Add-ons window will open.
Select the Plugins panel.
Click on the Java item to select it.

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Payment

1. How can I pay for my prints?

The standard method is using a credit or debit card. We can also accept payments through Paypal.

2. I am ordering from the Republic of Ireland, can I use my Laser card to pay?

Unfortunately we cannot process Laser card payments. You may pay with creditcard or Paypal.

3. I would like to pay for my order with my American Express card, is this possible?

Unfortunately we are unable to process American Express cards at this time. You will be able to use Visa and Mastercard or Paypal.

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Privacy and Security

1. How long will you keep my images?

The image files are kept for one month to allow easy reprinting in case of any problems. At the end of this period they are deleted.

2. Where will my digital images be stored?

Your images are stored on our in-house servers. These machines are located in secure facilities and are accessible only by authorised employees.

3. What's the policy on rights for photographs?

Different copyright laws apply depending on where you are located. Please address yourself to the relevant local authorities to obtain more information. Furthermore, if you wish to have images printed which have been taken by someone else, you will need written authorization from that party to do so.

4. How secure is the online payment system?

The server used for orders uses the HTTPS protocol to encrypt all communication between clients and the company. It has a SSL certificate that certifies its identity, thus ensuring clients can be certain they are communicating with a trusted company.

5. How confidential is the service provided?

We are not allowed by law to send sensitive material such as photographs of a sexual nature by post. In addition we choose not to provide such images to our customers. If you have any doubt, please contact us for further guidance.

6. Can I use my favourite pictures in a document or put them on my web site?

If the photographs are your own, that's to say taken by yourself, you are allowed to do whatever you wish with them. But if they have been purchased or have been taken by someone else, copyright laws apply. So please make sure of the rights attached to the images before using them.

7. What do you do with the information I provide when ordering?

Your information is securely stored to allow you to easily work with us. After your first order, we keep track of your details - except your financial details - which allows us to process your order faster.

8. How do I subscribe to the PhotoPanda newsletter?

We advise you to subscribe to our newsletter. This way we can keep you posted on discounts and changes in software or products. To subscribe, go to: http://www.photopanda.co.uk/pages/newsletter_subscribe

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Shipping and Delivery

1. I'm worried about how my large prints will be shipped. Can I request special measures be taken?

Customer satisfaction is our primary objective and the orders are packaged appropriately.

2. I would like to send my order to a close friend or relative. What should I do?

Our website allows customers to use separate billing and shipping addresses.

3. I received my dispatch email 7 days ago and haven't received my order. What should I do?

If your order hasn't arrived after the relevant period of time, please check with your local sorting office to see if they are holding any packages for you. Otherwise, please email us with your order number and full address.
Even in the absence of a notification your order may be at the sorting office. We would advise you to check there before contacting us.

4. How will my order be delivered?

We use Royal Mail and couriers.

5. I live in an area of the world not represented by a local site. Will PhotoPanda deliver in my region?

While we do offer worldwide shipping, delivery times may vary according to regional postal services. Please contact us with your specific query and we will attempt to give you an estimated delivery time.

6. The products I received were damaged during transport. What should I do?

Please email us quoting your order number.

7. If I order multiple products, will they be sent together?

When ordering multiple products, individual items may be shipped separately. As such they may be delivered on different days.

8. I've placed my order with you and would like to change my address. Is this possible?

Yes, providing the order has not been shipped. Please contact us with the alternative address.

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Digital Photography Terminology

1. What is compression?

The translation of data into a format that requires less storage space than the original data.

2. What is a file format?

Computer files can be stored in various ways. Just as a book can be written in many languages but contain the same information, a file can be stored inside a computer in many different ways. File formats are the digital equivalent of languages: in the same way that we can't understand every language, computers cannot understand every file format.

3. What is a pixel?

Digital images are made up of hundreds of thousands of small squares called picture elements or pixels. The more pixels you can fit into your image, the clearer your image will be as more pixels mean that there is more detail in the image.

4. What is resolution?

Resolution is a measure of the sharpness and clarity of an image. It indicates the number of picture elements or pixels that make up an image. The higher the resolution, the more pixels in total, and therefore the bigger the disk space needed to store the file containing the image.

5. What is cropping?

To cut out or trim unneeded portions of an image or a page is to crop.

6. What are firewalls and proxy servers?

They are devices used to protect computer networks and computers from intruders. They can sometimes interfere with legitimate network activity by being over-restrictive.

7. What is matt?

Coated paper with a dull, no-gloss finish is known as matt finish.

8. What is calibration?

Calibration is the setting or correcting of a measuring device or base level, usually by adjusting it to match or conform to a dependably known and unvarying measure.

9. What is DPI?

Dots per inch. A measure of resolution for printers, scanners and displays.

10. What is Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is an image-editing program produced by Adobe Systems Inc. It is the industry standard tool for image manipulation and is used extensively by both amateurs and professionals. It is very expensive. A more affordable version is Adobe Photoshop Elements which costs less than £100.

11. Is the cropping centred - meaning the same amount on both sides?

Yes, cropping is from the centre of the image and equal amounts will be lost from two sides of the print. Cropping will vary depending on the original file size (x and y dimensions) and the print size selected. The preview will show you what will be lost in production if you select "crop to fit". You have the option of adjusting the crop area within the Basket by clicking the thumbnail preview to open the crop tool. If no cropping is selected the preview will show white borders on two sides of the image if the file size does not match the print size. It is important that you check the preview to see how your image will appear in print.

12. Do you provide a retouching service?

We do not provide this service. If you wish to have your images manipulated, you will have to do so yourself using software such as Jasc Paintshop, Adobe Photoshop or try an on-line service like Fixmyphotos.com or Bellamax.com.

13. How do I obtain the images from my digital camera?

The best option is to use the software received with the digital camera to transfer your images to your computer. Alternatively, you can just connect your camera to your PC or Laptop and open the folder of images on the camera, copy and paste to a new folder on your device.

14. I ordered a conventional print from a digital image and the result has white borders. Why?

Digital images sometimes have a smaller width than images taken from conventional film cameras. That is why we have different formats, "conventional", "digital" and "traditional", each adapted to its respective image size. If you choose to have an image taken from a digital camera printed on a conventional format print without selecting the crop to fit option, you will receive a print containing white margins on either side due to the smaller width of the source image. It is important to check the preview to see your image as it will appear in print.

15. What is the difference between "digital", "conventional" and "traditional" sizes?

We use "digital sizes" to describe prints with an "aspect ratio" of 3:4 as this is the most common size for digital cameras, and "conventional sizes" to describe prints with an aspect ratio of 2:3 as this is what 35mm film users are used to. "Traditional sizes" of 5"x7", 8"x10" and 10"x12" do not match either of these aspect ratios but are still popular and therefore offered by us. Unless you have resized your files to a traditional size they will either be cropped or have white borders depending on which option you've selected. Please check the preview to get an idea of what the final product will look like.

16. What is aspect ratio?

Aspect ratio describes the height-to-length relationship of an image. A square has an aspect ratio of 1:1 as the height always matches the length - for every one unit of height there is an identical unit of length. The aspect ratio of a rectangle is arrived at by comparing the length to the height. With a 4"x6" print, this rectangle has two units of height for every three units of length, and hence has an aspect ratio of 2:3. The easiest way to visualise this it is to think of televisions. We were all used to the traditional TV shape (which has an aspect ratio of 3:4). Then longer widescreen televisions came along. Now when we watch old programmes or videos, we sometimes see a border on the left and right side of the screen as the aspect ratio of the broadcast is shorter than the aspect ratio of the widescreen TV.

The majority of digital cameras capture images in an aspect ratio of 3:4, though digital SLRs use an aspect ratio of 2:3 and some cameras can be switched between the two. If you want to avoid cropping (which can result in heads being cut off, for example) you need to pick a print with an aspect ratio which matches the image.
If you want to, you can calculate the aspect ratio of your images. Look in your camera's manual for its resolution or hold your mouse over the image to display its dimensions (e.g. 2048x1536). Divide the larger number by the smaller one. If the result is 1.33 (e.g. 2048 divided by 1536) then you need "digital" size prints such as 4"x5.3" (as 5.3 divided by 4 equals 1.33). If the result is 1.5 (e.g. 3000 divided by 2000), this requires a "conventional" size print such as 4"x6" (as 6 divided by 4 equals 1.5).

17. I discovered several more images on my hard disk. Can I add them to my order?

We are sorry but once your order has been sent, it cannot be modified. Please send a second order with the additional images.

18. Can I cancel an order that I sent by mistake a few hours / days ago?

Please email as soon as possible to try to resolve the problem. It is not always possible to intercept the orders as they go through the printing process very quickly.

19. I wish to check the status of my order. How can I do so?

Please email with your order confirmation number and we will track the order for you

20. How do I know if my order has been received?

Once the payment has been successful an order confirmation screen appears and shows the order number. We will also send an email to the address supplied. If a long span of time elapses from the time of your initial order and no email confirmation order has been received, please check your spam/junk folders to see if the email may have been filtered out. If this is not the case you can also contact us supplying your full name and post code (billing and shipping) and we can check for you.

21. Is there a limit to the number of files I can send via your software?

No, you can send in as many images as your require.

22. What should I do to get my images ready before uploading?

There is no need to resize any files unless you are cropping to a specific print size that we offer prior to upload. The Image Uploader will automatically compress large files without loss of print quality so you can submit the original JPG files directly from your camera.

23. Can I get discounts for large orders?

We have introduced banded pricing to ensure that the more you send, the less you spend. If you subscribe to our Newsletter, you will also be informed when we have any promotions running that may save you some money.

24. I have received a quality warning, what should I do?

The warning is there for guidance to inform you that you've selected a low resolution image and we cannot guarantee if this will lead to the best result. Please consult our "Print Resolution Chart" for best results. If still unsure, please email and we will advise you further.

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