My Afternoon At The Target Kodak Kiosk

Last week, we relayed the unveiling of Facebook connectivity at Target KODAK photo kiosks, but we didn't dig into the details. I'm a strong believer that you have to do something for yourself to get the real picture, so today I headed to a nearby Target to get a feel for the new feature.

Last week, we relayed the unveiling of Facebook connectivity at Target KODAK photo kiosks, but we didn’t dig into the details. I’m a strong believer that you have to do something for yourself to get the real picture, so today I headed to a nearby Target to get a feel for the new feature.

If you’ve ever used a KODAK photo kiosk before, not much is different. I hadn’t, so I actually got stuck. I was expecting a huge Facebook button on the touch screen, but you have to select a product first – basic prints, photo book, collage, greeting card, etc – then select an “input source.” Choose Facebook and enter your standard login information.

Choose an input

I only have 86 photos spread across 8 albums, but it still took about 45 seconds for them to load. It kind of dragged, to be honest, or maybe I’m just impatient. The kiosk gives you the option to sort your photos, either by album or by date. You can also just load them all without sorting. My photos were separated by album. Clicking on an album selected all the photos within for printing. Expanding the album let me pick individual photos within the album to work with. Small albums expanded quickly, while my 60 photo album took 35 seconds to expand. It felt slow. Once you’ve chosen your photos, click “Done” to move onto resizing and editing.

Sort photos

Sizing options include:

4×6 (default)
5×7
8×10

When you resize, you’re given the option to “keep the original size.” Keeping the original size retains a copy of the original, giving you one of the new size and one of the default.

Editing options include:

  • Picture enhancement (low/med/high)
  • Zoom and crop
  • Facial retouch
  • Remove pet eye (I tried this on a photo of my dog and it gave him soulless black eyes – very creepy)
  • Remove red eye
  • Add text
  • Sepia
  • Black and white

After editing and resizing, hit “Done” if you want to keep the changes and choose a new photo to edit or resize. Hit “Previous” if you want to undo the changes and choose a new photo to edit or resize.

When you’re in the checkout, you can finalize the order, remove or add photos, or add a new product to the order. I wanted to try out the greeting card feature, so I chose “Order Another Product.” A prompt asking if I wanted to “keep the same input” appeared. I chose to switch inputs, forcing me to log back into Facebook. Keep input! The login process can lag.

Checkout

Making a greeting card was very straightforward.

I haven’t taken advantage of the new high-resolution photo option, so all of my Facebook circa 2008/9 photos were rather low-res. 4×6 prints looked fine. 5×7 was decent, while 8×10 looked pretty low-quality. The best photos, strangely enough, were ones I took with my iPhone 3G. Photo buffs might be more discerning. I asked the clerk whether the kiosks supported high-res Facebook photos, and she said they did. I wish I could have tested it, but maybe some of our readers have. Anyone try it out?

When you place the order, you’ll need a password from the photo clerk to complete it. A receipt prints with the expected pickup time. I placed the order at 12:55 PM and was due to pickup at 1:30 PM, but my photos were actually ready at 1:10. It seems the pickup time reflects the worst case scenario, but since an employee actually has to feed the printer, you have to consider the human element. It’s likely to be far faster than what they tell you. If I were to use this in the future, I’d place the order first thing and continue shopping.

A few tips:

Check that your Target actually has the feature. Use the KODAK kiosk locator to confirm.

If you’re in a hurry, avoid crowded Targets or go during midday, when there are fewer shoppers.

If yellow warning triangles with an exclamation point inside show up on a photo, that photo is going to be fairly low-res. It’ll still print, but it won’t be pretty. Consider lowering the size or choosing a new photo.

Final word:

It works. Loading photos can take a little longer than you’d like, but the whole process is quick. The clerk was very helpful and the printing took a fraction of the time they estimated. On a busier day, that might be a different story. For now, I’d stick to 4×6 prints for $0.25 each ($0.20 if you order between 31-99 prints or $0.15 for 100+) and maybe the occasional greeting card as a joke. The quality is very dependent on the quality of the source photo, so don’t pay $1.50 for 5x7s or $2.89 for 8x10s unless you have high-resolution stuff to work with. My larger photos turned out pretty poorly, but I don’t blame the kiosk.