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Amazon offers cheap photo prints to Prime members

Taking a swipe at services like Shutterfly, Amazon will print anything from snapshots to photo books to calendars.

Amazon is now offering low-cost photo printing to Amazon Prime members and Amazon Drive customers.

Called Amazon Prints, the service takes photos uploaded to Seattle-based Amazon's cloud drive service and lets you print individual snapshots at different sizes or create custom photo books. The Amazon Prints website says custom stationary and calendar options are coming soon.

Standard 4x6 photo prints start at 9 cents, but larger, 5x7 prints are 58 cents and 8x10 photos are $1.79. Photo books start at $20 for a 20-page book.

Dan Ackerman/Libe Ackerman

The service works by pulling photos from Amazon's cloud drive, which is part of the Amazon Prime service. My phone automatically sends photos to Amazon Drive as a backup, so I was able to instantly access my photo collection and select a couple of photos to print. The images cropped automatically to the 4x6 size, but I was offered the opportunity to adjust the crop and to choose between a matte and glossy finish.

I selected five photos to print from my archive and was quoted a final price of 54 cents, including free shipping, with a delivery estimate of 3-7 business days. The new service is a shot across the bow of Shutterfly and other photo printing services. Shutterfly 4x6 prints start at 15 cents.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.