Printing photographs is a process that requires more than just retouching the captured images. Much depends on the quality of the equipment and photo paper, as well as the correct printer settings. Today we will talk about professional photo printing at home. You will find out which photo printer is best suited for this, what criteria to consider when buying it, and which specific models you should pay attention to.
Is home photo printing justified?
First, let’s find out whether it is worth printing photos at home at all? Printed shots are now taking on a new life and are on the wave of popularity among interior designers and many others. There are a lot of fashion trends associated with photographs. You can stretch jute strings somewhere along the wall and hang small square Polaroid pictures on them. Or place beautiful frames with your favorite family frames under glass in the interior.
If you prefer to regularly update photos in the interior, then often using the services of photo studios or Internet printing companies can be inconvenient and unprofitable. It would be more rational to buy a good printer for your home. In this case, you can not only save money, but also protect personal pictures from prying eyes. You can also print photos whenever you want. You only need to spend money on equipment once, and then savings will follow.
If you do not go into complex calculations, it is safe to say that printing a photo at home is justified, provided that you create a large number of frames. Buying a printer for 10–15 pictures per month is definitely not advisable. This is convenient, but it will not work quickly to recoup the equipment.
Types of photo printers
All printers suitable for printing photos are divided into several categories. They differ in technological features, price, quality of the created images and their cost.
These are the most common photo printers. They are cheaper, but require constant replacement of consumables. Ink cartridges run out quickly, but you can find a solution in buying CISS — a continuous ink supply system. CISS consists of several jars with multi-colored ink, from which flexible tubes are connected to the print head of the printer. The user only needs to periodically add new paint. The durability of printed photos depends on the quality of the ink and paper used. Colors and saturation are better preserved on original consumables, and cheap paints quickly fade in the sun.
For home use, an inkjet printer is the best option. It combines good quality and adequate printing cost. Exact figures depend on the photo paper and inks used.
These devices are more expensive than inkjet ones, but the cost of images created with their help is many times lower. Instead of liquid ink, these printers use a special powder. Such devices print about twice as fast as inkjet ones, and the quality of photographs is almost the same. The image on paper keeps well, but in the sun you can gradually burn out — over several months. The most common laser printers are brands such as Canon and Brother.
These printers are the most expensive of all, but the print quality is at a high level. The pictures are saturated, the color reproduction is very accurate. Another advantage of photos printed on such printers is their durability. Pictures are not afraid of exposure to moisture or light. A special protective layer is applied to the surface of the photo, which preserves the original colors.
Sublimation printers do not use ink or toner. The technology is based on a special paper with a foil layer, which contains a dye. It is fixed under the influence of heat. Accordingly, special paper is needed for the operation of the device. Each print is more expensive than an inkjet or laser printer, but you get the best quality.
MFP, or multifunctional device, can be both inkjet and laser. Its main advantage is the ability to solve various problems:
- creation of photocopies;
- sending faxes.
Such devices are also suitable for home professional photo printing, but they are more expensive than individual printers.
Criteria for choosing a printer for the home
There are a number of criteria to consider when purchasing a device for printing quality photos at home. The main parameters to pay attention to:
- Print format. For the home, a device that works with A4 sheets is enough. Most of the photos are printed in the format 10x15, 13x18 or 21x30 cm. It is not practical to buy a large-sized model for printing on A3 sheets at home — few people use these at home for their intended purpose.
- Permission. In print, it depends on how noticeable color transitions are and how well the image is worked out. To create high-quality prints, a printer with a resolution of at least 4800x1200 pixels per inch is required. The higher it is, the better the photos.
- Colors. Modern photo printers run on at least 6 cartridges, while advanced models can have 8 cartridges. The latter allow you to achieve studio quality. Some manufacturers even equip their devices with several shades of black — this is useful when printing b / w photos.
- Paper. It is important to pay attention to the maximum paper weight. It will depend on whether you can print photos on self-adhesive, cardboard or canvas. For most inkjet printers, the standard paper weight is between 60 and 300 g/m².
- Resource. If you plan to print a lot, pay attention to the supply of ink. To reduce the cost of a photo, it is better to immediately buy and install CISS. Many manufacturers of photo printers have begun to produce devices with factory ink supply systems in recent years.
Which printer to choose?
Specialized photo printers are sold in stores, but overpaying for them is not always justified. Most often, you can limit yourself to a universal and more affordable option. For example, you should look at models such as:
- Canon PIXMA TS5040 is a budget photo printer that prints at 800 x 1200 dpi.
- HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 5075 M2U86C is a compact MFP with inexpensive consumables and good performance (up to 17 A4 color pages per minute).
- Canon PIXMA G1411 is a good home photo printer with factory CISS.
- Epson L312 is one of the top photo printers with a print resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi, factory CISS and a speed of 15 A4 pages per minute.
Before buying a printer, it is better to immediately ask about the cost of consumables. Some manufacturers sell them at high enough prices that make home photo printing irrational and unprofitable.