Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Photo Printer?
- 2 What Is The Difference Between A Photo Printer And A Regular Printer?
- 3 What Is The Best Resolution For My Printer?
- 4 What Supplies Do I Need To Print Photos At Home?
- 5 Which Printer Is Best For Photo Printing?
Anyone can print beautiful images from home with a photo printer. Gone are the days of having to email your photos to Walmart or Walgreens and then having to make a specific trip to the store to pick them up. Even worse, and we shudder even to remember it, were the days when you had to carefully count how many pictures were on a roll of film, take the rolls to the store, only to end up with half the images low quality. With today’s technology, you can take hundreds of pictures in only a few minutes and then handpick which ones you’d like to print and display. The guesswork is taken out of the process, and you are guaranteed high-quality photos since you can select what you want to be printed. And, with an instant photo printer in your home, you don’t even have to leave the house to get your beautiful pictures and display your memories!
What Is A Photo Printer?
A photo printer allows you to do your photo printing at home so that you can get your favorite photos off your phone and onto your wall. If you ever want to save yourself the trouble of having to go to the store to print your pictures, then buying a photo printer is the way to go. You could always print your photos on a regular printer, but they won’t be nearly as high quality. While a photo printer is specifically designed to print photos, you can also print word documents and your child’s school papers. Depending on the printer, there are typically two categories that printers fall into; dedicated snapshot printers and near-dedicated photo printers.
Dedicated Snapshot Printers
A dedicated snapshot printer, sometimes called a small-format printer or compact printer, is designed to only print photos, especially smaller photos. You can print "snapshot" size pictures, with the paper size being 2x3", 4x6", and the largest print size is 5x7". Keep in mind that not all portable printers will print all three photo sizes, so be sure that the printer you get will print the desired size for all of your photography needs. Since the compact photo printer is smaller, letter-size paper stock won't fit. While at first, this can seem like a disadvantage to not print every size, but a dedicated photo printer has plenty of benefits that make it stand out among its printing peers.
These printers are much smaller than the typical bulky printers you have to make space for in your office. Most snapshot printers are so small that they can even fit in the palm of your hand! This means that your printer just became a portable photo printer that you can take anywhere you want. You don't have to be tied down to your office or desk to print beautiful photos instantly. You can take your compact printer to parties or your child's games and print photos for the group right away! In our world of fast food, lightning speed technology, and instant gratification, a portable printer can quickly become a necessity that you never knew how you lived without it before!
Another benefit of a dedicated mini photo printer is its niche of only printing photos and making sure those photos turn out as impressive as possible. Since most of them connect to your phone wirelessly, your phone's screen acts like a store's photo kiosk, allowing you to edit the picture, crop the image, fix red-eye or blurriness, and even add filters right before you print. That way, you know exactly what the photo will look like instead of having to mess with tons of confusing buttons on a regular stationery printer. A dedicated snapshot printer or small-format printer is focused not only on portability and ease of use but also on printing the highest quality pictures possible.
Near-Dedicated Snapshot Printers
A near-dedicated printer may not give you nearly as high a quality of photos, but on the other hand, it does give you more versatility in what size paper you can use. It is geared toward people and photographers who need to use and print with various paper sizes. A near-dedicated printer is typically the larger printer you see in people’s homes in their office that plugs into the computer. However, it’s not quite the same thing, even though it’s the same size. There is a further distinction between photo printers and regular printers.
What Is The Difference Between A Photo Printer And A Regular Printer?
With a multifunction printer or all-in-one printer, you can take care of all your office needs for printing reports, scanning documents, and even printing your child's homework. A regular printer can also print pictures in a pinch. However, they could turn out somewhat grainy and not that great of quality since a multifunction printer is designed to print the printed word. You can increase the photos' quality by using a higher quality paper. Still, if you really want consistent, rich, and accurate colored images that would make any photographer proud, you may want to consider getting a near-dedicated snapshot printer for your photo needs. With a photo printer, you can still print any documents you need as well. The choice between a multifunction printer and a near-dedicated photo printer will depend on your printing needs. If you consistently print more documents, consider a regular printer, but if you print many varying sizes of high-quality photos, consider a photo printer.
With a near-dedicated snapshot printer, you have the freedom of printing on larger size paper, along with the luxury of high-quality photos that look like they were printed professionally at the store.
Like with a dedicated snapshot printer, not every printer will offer all of the paper size options available. You’ll want to look at the specifications for the individual printer you wish to buy to ensure that it will accommodate your desired paper size.
What Is The Best Resolution For My Printer?
The resolution your inkjet printer will need depends entirely on your preferences and how crisp and clear you like your photo prints. Keep in mind that with a higher resolution, your image will be sharper and more detailed. But this also means you'll go through ink more quickly, and the printer itself will be more expensive. A printer that can consistently produce professional-looking photos, like what your favorite professional photographer or studio would print your family photos, baby pictures, graduation announcements, or engagement photos on, will typically have a resolution of 2880 x 1440 dots per inch (dpi). Suppose it’s not quite in the budget to buy a professional photographer’s printer. In that case, you can easily get away with an inkjet printer that produces resolutions of 1200 dpi and find plenty of options on the market. With a 1200 dpi resolution, you can still create rich and vibrant photos that any amateur or average photographer would be happy to use, and the printer will do justice to your vacation or family photos.
What Supplies Do I Need To Print Photos At Home?
Special photo paper and ink cartridges are needed when printing photos at home so you can create glossy, vibrant pictures. How much money you need to set aside each month for printing costs depends on the amount of printing you do and what kind of printer you own. Depending on what printer you end up purchasing will determine what types of printer toner or ink cartridge you need to buy. Some photo printers use pigment or dye-based ink, or others, like a laser printer, don’t use ink and instead use toner.
An inkjet printer uses ink cartridges. The ink cartridge uses tiny nozzles that emit ink droplets directly onto the photo paper, creating bright colors and images. The actual printer is cheaper right off the bat than a laser printer. However, you may end up paying more in the long run for its upkeep since pigment or dye ink cartridges are much more expensive than toner. The average cost per page when using black ink is 5.5 cents, while the average cost per page when printing a colored page is 8.9 cents. You can reduce the amount of money you spend on ink by making sure you buy a printer that allows you to replace individual colors as they run out, instead of having to replace all of the ink cartridges at the same time. Most inkjet printers can print up to 16 pages per minute. They are an excellent option for anyone who wants a vibrant print quality and prints plenty of word documents, reports, graphics, or image-heavy documents, at home or in a small office.
A laser printer doesn’t use an ink cartridge but uses toner instead. Toner powder lasts much longer than ink and doesn’t cost as much. While using static electricity, the drum attracts the powdered toner from the cartridge to the light-sensitive drum. The drum then rolls the toner onto your matte paper or glossy paper, and the toner is melted onto the paper by heat from a fuser, creating clear, crisp images and text. Printing black and white pages on a laser printer cost 3.9 cents per page and 8.3 cents per colored page. The average cost per page is cheaper with a laser printer since the toner lasts longer, meaning you don't have to replace it as often as an ink cartridge. They typically have a print speed of up to 100 pages per minute. However, laser printers are usually much more expensive upfront than inkjet printers and take up more space. Laser printers are ideal for offices with a high print volume, where you need a printer that is capable of churning out large quantities of document printing at a time.
A dedicated snapshot printer uses thermal dye or ZINK paper. When printing with a snapshot-style printer, it is relatively easy to calculate the cost of using it since the thermal dye and paper will come in a combo pack for a fixed number of photos. You would divide the paper and ink cartridge cost by the number of pages you can print, and you can quickly see how much it’ll cost per page to print on your mini photo printer. ZINK or Zero Ink is a new technology that is available with some portable printers. With ZINK paper, there is no ink cartridge. It instead uses the special ZINK paper that produces the image from the chemicals impregnated in the stock paper when heated by the printer. Even though you save money by not needing to buy ink, ZINK photos are not as great a quality photo as pictures printed with ink or thermal dye. You wouldn’t want to hang any of these pictures on your wall, but they’re sufficient for wallet photos or Polaroid pictures.
Which Printer Is Best For Photo Printing?
Once you’ve narrowed down if you want to buy a dedicated snapshot printer or a near-dedicated snapshot printer, as well as decide if you need to buy an inkjet printer versus a laser printer, you are nearly set! With our help at Fun Photo Creator, you don’t have to sift through hundreds of printer options; we’ve already done the work for you! Whether you check out options like the ZINK Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer, the Canon Pixma 11x17 iX6520 Wireless Business Printer, or the HP ENVY Photo 7155 All in One Photo Printer, our expert team at Fun Photo Creator has got your back! You can check out more detailed reviews on our favorite portable photo printers here or the best 11x17 inkjet printers here. Make sure you buy a quality printer, so your beautiful photos and memories don’t have to stay trapped on your phone any longer but can be displayed all-around your home for everyone to enjoy!