CVS Photo Center

As an online photo lab, we wanted to get an idea of the value and services, along with the good and bad aspects of developing film and printing photos at retail photos centers and doesn’t factor in photo gifts or cards. This review is from our research and includes results from an informal social media poll. See all retail photo labs reviewed.

CVS Photo Center

Film Developing CTA

Old & expired film

Developing old film

With over 45 years of developing film, The Darkroom will professionally develop your old film and color, contrast and density adjust every frame

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With around 9.600 Retail locations*, CVS Photo Centers are convenient and located in nearly every region. CVS was very popular in our social media poll, but Google reports that online searches for Walgreens Photo Center were one of the lowest among the big box retailers. For printing photos, CVS ranked 4th best photo printing service of 2017 with TopTenReviews. It’s not clear if it’s for their online or in-store photo centers.

CVS is one of the last three major retailers that even supports film developing and development for disposable cameras. Walmart Photo Center and Walgreens Photo Center being the other two. Customers drop off film rolls or single-use cameras in-store (film developing not available from their website) for shipment to a processing center in Greenwood, S.C., which is run by Japanese photo company Fujifilm. Keep in mind that they won’t return your film, but only supply digital images. CVS also continues to sell single-use cameras. See our single-use camera reviews

Pros – Ranked #4 photo printing service with TopTenReviews. Because most towns have a local CVS, they’re convenient to use for prints and film developing.

Cons – For Film Developing, It was nearly mentioned by everyone that CVS Photo Centers doesn’t return the negatives, and as Jake from Texas puts it “The negatives are the point!”. A common complaint was quality, both in scanning and printing, and very long turnaround times. See excerpts below for examples.

CVS Film Processing
CVS Photo film submission box


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CVS Film Developing
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Walmart Photo Lab | Costco Photo Lab | Sam’s Club Photo Lab | Target Photo Labs | CVS Photo Center | Walgreens Photo Lab
Have an update or something to contribute? Please let us know!

Source: 2017

Excerpts from users about their CVS Photo Experience

Some were edited for readability, some grammar, and brevity. 

Wilson A, Atlantic Beach, Florida –  CVS photo still develops film in my area, but only C-41. They have to send it away and it takes about 4-7 days. However, they do not send back your negatives. All you get back is standard 4×5 prints and a CD with your photos on them. I found this out the hard way.

Jake S – I only got my film developed at CVS Photo Centers and I’m pretty satisfied with the prints. The downside is you don’t get your negatives back and it takes like 5 weeks. The price is good for the quality and I would definitely develop from them again.

@zerlix_detroit – I’m in Michigan…Most of the drug stores (CVS, Walgreens) stopped because the C-41 machines broke down, they send out their film. I use a local camera shop for the 35mm and 120.

@danbien30, Poughkeepsie, NY – When I got into 35mm I started shooting like a madman figuring “oh when I worked in the photo at Walmart (in 2008) we processed film”. They don’t. I also checked Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens in my area (Poughkeepsie, NY). Nothing in-house, they all send out with a week or more turn around time. Also, they DO NOT send negatives back as I asked. There is, however, a wonderful place about an hour north (Albany) that processes c-41, E6, etc… very pleased with the results. A little pricey, but I’ll take quality.

Charles R. L, Virginia: Nearly all CVS’s have switched to digital-only processing and printing, mostly DIY.

@burlesontx , Houston, TX. – CVS sends out the film to be processed at their district photo lab.

More on CVS Photo Printing

Maintain precious moments with custom picture prints from CVS Photo. Utilize CVS Photo online image printing service & print images in a variety of shapes & sizes! Make certain to have a look at CVS Photos totally free same-day photo printing alternatives.

Seeing your kid grow is never simple, but you can make it fun for both you and your youngster with personalized growth charts! Make tracking their development part of their morning regimen, utilizing the height chart you made special for them. Select from a range of themes to fit the character of your kid! From a quite pink castle standing tall to charming little monsters climbing a ladder, you can capture precious moments and turning points in an enjoyable way!

Wondering how to embellish for your upcoming party? Look no further! At CVS, you can produce your own celebration designs with customized image banners. Make a picture banner for your upcoming celebration and it will make the ideal backdrop for images! You can personalize your picture banner with photos of the current graduate and text to say congrats. We have a wide variety of themes like welcome home banners, birthday banners, anniversary banners, and more. You can even create a full image banner print of your preferred photo from your newborn’s picture shoot, to hang over their baby crib!

It’s more than just a photo– it’s a memory you’ll hold onto for the rest of your life. CVS Picture can turn your preferred minutes into cherished keepsakes with CVS Photo high-quality photo printing! With you in mind, CVS provides a selection of image printing services, making it easy to take your pictures from the screen to your house, workplace, or wallet! Print photos for any frame size to hold on your wall or to offer as a gift. Or, go big and print your electronic camera pictures on a poster with CVS Photo high-quality picture augmentations. Can’t pick simply one photo from your child’s first picture shoot? No problem, you can put them together with collage prints! Order your high-quality image prints from house or go into the store and get them immediately.

Relive the very best day of your life over and over once again by creating a picture wall in your home using installed image prints of your preferred wedding event pictures and quotes about love. Mounted images likewise make great gifts! They are a stylish, contemporary way to embellish your work office or apartment. The panel prints are tough adequate to stand, so you can decide whether you want the print to hold on your wall or sit on your desk.

Turn your favorite memories into something you can hold onto. Create square & wallet image prints, wall art, image banners, personalized development charts, and more with CVS Picture! Design and order your prints online or go into among our stores and quickly print your favorite memories in any size. Sharing and maintaining the minutes you treasure could not be easier, thanks to CVS photo printing online.