Picture Perfect: Choosing and Using a Digital Photo Printer

choosing the right printer

A digital photo printer is one of the most important items in a photographer’s toolkit. Advances in printing technology have now made it possible for photographers to produce high quality images with a digital printer that are as good as those created using darkroom chemicals. However, choosing the right printer can be a challenge as there are now so many on the market that all offer different options. Whether you wish to create exhibition quality prints in your own home or simply want to print your own personal photos, the following guide will help you choose the perfect printer for your needs.

What Size Printer Do I Need?

Digital photo printers are divided into three main categories which are standard, compact and large format. Standard printers can handle most picture sizes and offer additional benefits such as scanning, copying and printing directly onto a CD or DVD. Compact printers are smaller, portable versions of standard printers that are ideal for those that need to print photos while travelling. Portable printers can also be operated without a computer by connecting a camera or phone directly to the printer using a USB port, memory card or even Bluetooth. Although compact printers are smaller in size, the more expensive models can produce high quality photos as good as those from a standard printer. Large format printers can produce larger images up to 13×19 inches and are ideal for professional photographers or those that wish to print banners or posters.

Inkjet Vs Thermal Printing

Another thing to consider is the quality of the pictures that each printer can produce. The majority of photo printers are inkjet and work by depositing tiny dots onto the paper that make up the final image. High resolution printers display 9,600 dots per inch, whereas the cheaper models typically spray around 1,200 dots per inch. Thermal printers use a technique known as dye sublimation that involves heating different colour dyes before depositing them onto specially-coated paper. A protective film is then sprayed over the top of the dye to prevent smearing. If you would like to produce high quality photos that are guaranteed not to fade over time, then prosumer inkjet printers are your best choice but are more expensive than standard models.

Getting The Most Out of Your Printer

As well as choosing the right printer, it is important to consider what type of paper and ink you will be using to create your photos. Thermal printers require an all-in-one kit that includes paper and ink for each different brand of printer. Inkjet printers allow you to be more flexible when choosing your supplies, and online stores lik Stinkyinkshop.co.uk offer a wide range of different ink cartridges for digital photo printers.

When choosing a digital photo printer, it is important to consider more than just the initial purchase price. Cheaper printers use smaller ink cartridges that you will need to replace more often. A professional grade printer uses larger ink cartridges, so you will be saving money on each photo you print over time.

John Sollars started his printer cartridge supplier company in 2002 which is committed to paper recycling schemes. He enjoys sharing his printing insights online.

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