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Buying tips

Useful Tips - Printer Buying Guide

Photo Printer

    Photo printers can be placed in two categories, inkjet printers and dedicated photo printers. If you are looking for a general all purpose printer that can print photos you should look into a photo inkjet printer. These printers are regular inkjets but have more color options to provide better color quality. Dedicated photo printers are just for that-- printing photographs. If you plan on printing more than just pictures with this dedicated photo printers, you will need to find a separate printer for any everyday printing you might have.

    You will find that most photo printers will give you a connection to print directly from your camera or memory card with out the need of a computer.

  1. Price Range  
  2. $80-$500

  3. Advantage & Disadvantage  


    • Immediate pictures
    • Vibrant colors (high quality color)
    • Ability to print directly from the camera or memory card

    • Some printers are designed for just printing pictures. Youíll need a separate printer for text.
    • More expensive
    • Slow

  4. How Photo Printers Work 
  5. Most photo printers you will find are inkjet printers with six color cartridges, by adding light cyan and light magenta to the normal gamut of colors. The use of six color inkjets produces finer color graduations than standard four color printers. The more colors a printer offers will give you more accurate and bolder colors.

    If you are looking to print more photographs that are black and white, look for a printer with different options for black ink or with grey inks. The grey inks help produce shading easier, making the out put quality of black and white photos better.

    You should keep in mind when looking for a photo inkjet printer that four color inks can print excellent photos. Yes, the more colors a printer has can print at a higher quality but donít base your buying decisions on what the list of specifications the printer offers, but on the output you see. Ask to see a printed test page to judge for yourself.

    When looking for a dedicated photo printer you will have an option of inkjet or dye sublimation technology. Using a dye sublimation printer allows you to print photo lab quality pictures at home. Thermal dye technology works differently than an inkjet technology. While an inkjet lays down the colors as individual dots, dye sublimation printers melts the dye from a ribbon followed by an overcoat on to the page. The extra coating protects your prints from fading and water damage. Because thermal ribbons are dry, compared to the liquid in inkjet cartridges, your photos will be brighter, will have less chance of smearing, and will last a little bit longer. A down side to a dedicated photo printer is you might be limited to what size a prints you can print. Most of these printers offer a maximum printing size for 4x6 inches.