Choosing a Photo Printer
Choosing a Photo Printer
Using digital photography allows people to display and store their images using various types of media. Digital photos can be displayed on a digital photo frame, by setting your computer's screensaver to cycle through the pictures you have stored on your computer, and posting them out on the internet for family and friends to view.
Some of us still like to have an actual photograph to hang on the wall and display for guests to see. For this you need a good printer.
There are many different printers on the market today to choose from. Here are a few tips to help you know how to pick a printer that will work best for you:
How much should you spend on a printer?
Most printers on the market today will produce a good quality photo for you to print. Whether you spend $79 or more you will get a pretty good photo. Lower end photo ink jet printers might be a little slower and offer less features while a higher end photo ink jet printer may be faster, have more features, and offer a more true photo quality print.
Now .... think about how much you will be using the printer. Are you going to be an occasional user or a serious user? This might help you decide if you should purchase a lower end or higher end photo printer.
As with any new purchase it's not a bad idea to ask someone you know who may have what you are looking for.
Ask them how it works for them, how often does the ink need to be changed, what kind of papers can they use for printing, and of course, how much did they pay for it and if they are happy with their purchase.
Not only will you be purchasing a printer, you will be buying ink and photo paper as well. So check out the different brands and how much they cost. A printer can be relatively inexpensive. It's the ink you'll be spending the money on after the initial printer purchase.
The cost for printers, ink, and photo papers can vary in price from manufacturer to manufacturer. Do the research before going into the store so you can make a well informed decision, otherwise it can get a little overwhelming with all the choices available and you may get something you don't want or don't really need.
What are you looking for in a printer?
Some printers don't even need to be connected to the computer for you to view and print your photos, there is a display to review the pictures right on the printer.
These types of photo printers may have multiple memory card reader slots available and may also come packed with additional features to fix the photo, rotate your photo, crop your photo, and add a frame to your photo before printing.
There are also all-in-one printers that print good quality photo prints, print documents, copy and scan documents and photos, and some might even come with a fax.
Other printers are dedicated or professional photo printers. These are typically going to be your higher end photo printers; for a serious amateur photographer who may be printing quite a few photos and professional photographers.
Printers come in a variety of sizes. If you don't have a lot of space on your desk and you think you will only print 4 x 6 photos or 5 x 7 photos, then a more compact printer may be the way for you to go.
There are printers that will print up to 8 x 10 photos and even larger printers that will print 11 x 17 photos and larger.
Different Printer Brands.
There are many different brands of printers on the market. Here is a small list of the more popular ones for you to think about.
- Hewlett Packard (HP)
So as you can see - it's just a matter of deciding what you think you will need and what you think your future needs will be.
I will mention my parents were given one of the small compact photo printers as a Christmas gift a few years ago (I can't remember the brand name). It was a fairly decent printer and the quality was OK, but it went through the ink fast. It seemed like after printing a dozen photos they were buying new ink - expensive!
I bought my parents an all-in-one HP printer a couple of years ago for maybe $79 - $99. They don't use it very often but when they do it prints out nice photos.
Personally, I'm an HP fan. I have two of their printers. One of my photo printers I've had for years and it still works great and I get great photo quality prints. My other HP printer is a larger format printer that I've had for a couple of years, awesome color, great quality prints, and I can use the ink until there is literally nothing left.
In between my medium format HP printer and my larger format HP printer I purchased a larger format Epson printer. Although I do think the quality of the print was just a teeny bit better, you weren't allowed to use the last drop of ink, which ended up costing a bit more.
I ended up selling the Epson printer and buying my larger format HP printer and couldn't be happier.
I have some friends who have purchased Kodak printers and have been quite happy with them.
I also know someone who just purchased a Lexmark printer, so far they are very happy with the quality photo prints they are getting.
So .... research. It is important with any new purchase. You want the best for what you can afford to buy.
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