Compact Printer - These small printers
produce 6x4in prints. You have a choice between the inkjet or dye-sub
These can easily be connected directly to cameras, mobile phones and
computers via a range of methods such as Bluetooth, USB, Infrared and
even WiFi. Many of them also accept memory cards and have an LCD screen
where you can preview your picture before printing.
A4 Inkjet Printer - Modern inkjets offer
high quality and high speed printing that can match that of
conventional photographic prints. The latest models now boost a
resolution of 9600x2400 DPI.
Recent advances in ink and paper quality have also improved the
lifespan of inkjet prints, which can now last as long as colour silver
halide prints. Choose a model which has a USB connection and built in
memory card slots.
A3 Inkjet Printer - Slightly more
expensive than A4 models. The operation of these printers is the same
as other inkjets. As inkjet printers, print line by line, you may find
an A3 model useful for printing banners by attaching a roll of paper
and using the right software.
Multifunctional Printer - These all-in-one
digital photography printers are useful if you are on a limited budget.
They provide printing, scanning, copying and even fax facilities in one
unit, freeing up valuable desk space. Quality isn’t as good as
individual devices, but standards are improving which make these a good
Printer's Technical Terms
Maximum Print Size - When buying a new
printer you need to consider what size of photographs you want to print.
Standard inkjet printers print up to A4 size, which is about 8x12in.
This gives you a good range for your pictures, but if are a serious
enthusiastic who wants larger prints, then, the A3 printer is for you.
This will give you prints up to 16x12in which look very impressive. The
only constraint at this level is cost. The bigger the printer, the
higher the running costs.
A really popular printer at the moment is the compact inkjet printer.
It only produces 6x4in photos, but is ideal if you want to quickly
print your photos to show your friends.
Printer Resolution - As with cameras, the
resolution of inkjet printers is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The
higher the dpi rating, the better the print quality.
Most recent inkjet printers range between 4800x1200dpi and
9600x2400dpi. Dithering also affects the print quality of a photograph.
Dithering is the term used to describe the colours produced by a
pattern of dots. The driver software of the printer usually determines
how good the dithering will be.
In practical terms, you can only get a true representation of the
quality of a printer by examining the photographs it produces.
Ink Types - There are two basic types of
inkjet printer ink...dye-based and pigmented. Pigment inks are more
expensive but don’t fade as quickly as dye-based inks. A disadvantage
of pigment ink is that it's a matt finish and doesn’t absorb into
glossy papers easily.
You can’t mix and match these inks. If you have an inkjet printer that
uses a dye-based ink, then you must use this type or you could damage
Most inkjet printer inks are available from third-party manufacturers,
which produce an ink cartridge that is compatible with each model of
printer. They are generally never as good as the manufacturer's own
brand with regard to quality and longevity.
Dye Sublimation - An alternative process
to inkjet printing is dye-sub. Drops of ink are placed onto specially
coated paper. A ribbon with thermal dye is used in this method and the
results generally look much more like traditional photo prints.
Most commonly used by compact printers but some A4 printer models use
this technology as well.
Dye-sub printers have the advantage of being simplistic and convenient
but are disadvantaged by not being as versatile as inkjet printers.
When you buy ink for these printers you also get enough print paper to
match, so you know roughly how many prints you are going to get from
each cartridge. Useful for working out your cost-per-print.
Photo Paper - As with inks, the best
quality prints are achieved with the printer manufacturer's own brand
of paper. Other brands of paper can be used and will generally produce
good results without the same risk that you have when using third-party
Photo paper comes in a variety of formats and sizes. You can have
finishes in matt, pearl, satin, glossy and even ultra-glossy. These
formats give greater control over the final appearance and feel of your
Didn't find what you're looking for?