Whether you’re a professional photographer or a camera-loving smartphone user, your photos can quickly add up and take up significant amounts of space on your hard drive. There is nothing like having thousands of digital photos available at your fingertips.
However, for those more memorable photographs, you will almost certainly want a print version. Whether you’re adding a beautiful portrait or photograph to your portfolio, or simply printing out a nice picture as a keepsake, you want to make sure your print is as high-quality as the original photograph. Here are some features your new printer should have in order to give you the best-printed photographs:
Inkjet or Photo Printer
Experts generally recommend inkjet printers for photographers, graphic designers and other people who rely heavily on printed photographs and images. Although inkjet printers can have slightly higher operating costs, they produce much higher quality images than laser printers. Similar to inkjet printers, photo printers also produce higher quality images, but photo printers are used almost exclusively for photographs – instead of inkjets which can be used for presentations, data charts and other documents.
When deciding whether to get a photo printer or an inkjet printer, be sure to keep your printing needs in mind. Photo printers can often accept memory cards from digital cameras directly, so you don’t even need to connect your printer to a PC to print. Many photo printers are also smaller than inkjet printers, making them more portable.
Both photo and inkjet printers can produce borderless images similar to film prints. However, photo printers are generally slower than inkjets when it comes to producing these images, and photo printers may require special paper and dye ribbon, adding to operating costs.
Unlike inkjets, photo printers can’t use standard 8.5×11-inch paper and cannot print black text very well. This makes them much less versatile than inkjet printers and less desirable for careers whose printing needs go beyond photographs. Photo printers are generally preferable if you will solely or primarily be printing photographs, and inkjets are good if you need a bit more versatility.
Color and Image Quality
For superior color quality, make sure your printer allows an ink set that offers pigment-based ink of vibrant, stable colors with smooth gradations. This should also include very pronounced black tones with fine details. Ink droplet size is also worth looking into – you want minimum ink droplet size to be about 3.5pl – to produce the sharpest images. Printers that offer higher maximum resolutions will also produce gallery-quality color and black-and-white prints. Try to look for printers that have maximum resolutions of 2280×1440 or 4800×2400 dpi, or similarly high resolutions.
Compatibility with Various Media
Compatibility with different media types is another important factor when deciding on a printer. This can mean printing directly to CDs or DVDs, USB 2.0 port or other various media. For photographers printing 4×6-inch photos, this may not be completely necessary. For inkjet users, however, make sure your printer can support different paper lengths. Many will support 4×6-inch and standard 8×11.5-inch photos and pages. But based on your needs, you may want to make sure it can handle wide-output printing and larger sheets of paper, 17 inches wide and larger.
Finding the best photo printer will vary significantly depending on your individual needs and uses. As a photographer or amateur photographer, however, you definitely want a printer that can produce the high-quality prints you expect. There’s nothing worse than taking a beautiful photograph, only to have it produce a grainy image when printed.
For any other inkjet or other printer-related needs and inquiries, talk to one of the impartial, knowledgeable staff at Cartridge World. Find a Cartridge World store near you.