Tips for choosing the best photo printer for professional results

As digital technology has continued its never-ending march, high-quality pieces of hardware like photo printers have become available not only to professionals, but also to ordinary photography enthusiasts.

Today, the majority of photo printers deliver excellent image quality that meets all the standards of commercial photo printing. However, the principle of garbage in / garbage out applies. Do not expect rich, vivid and detailed photographs when using cheap photo paper or low-quality ink, as the main factor in obtaining high-quality photos will not be the printer itself, but by the consumables used in it.

This is where the remanufactured high-capacity ink cartridges, such as these HP 301  examples are a Godsend for those who want to get the most out of their photo printers at the best possible price.

There are three main types of photo printing: Laser, Inkjet and full colour.

Laser Photo Printers

Typically used for high-volume document printing, these printers are the least commonly used for photo printing. They do not provide the same detailed images as inkjets or full colour printers. In addition, colour laser printers are comparatively expensive. On the other hand, laser printers have a very high print speed. So if speed is of the essence, a laser printer is definitely worth considering.

Inkjet Photo Printers

If you want high-quality, bright and vivid photos at an optimal budget, then inkjet photo printing technology is the perfect choice. Inkjets use high-quality dye, applied to the paper by spraying.

The advantage of inkjet photo printers over laser printers is not only in higher quality of colour reproduction, but also a much lower cost per print. This is both in terms of the cost of the printer itself and cheaper paper and ink cartridges used in inkjet photo printing.

However, before you rush out to buy one, there are downsides. The relatively low printing speed of an inkjet photo printer might be something you can overlook, but the fact that some cheaper printers can deliver slightly distorted results could be a significant drawback. For the everyday consumer, it’s a defect that you probably wouldn’t even notice, but if you are a professional photographer, then a full colour printer could be for you.

Full Colour Photo Printers

 Also known as the sublimation printing method, a full colour printer delivers top-quality colour prints that are superior to laser or inkjet options. But there is always a downside.

The first is the cost of the printers themselves. Secondly, consumables can soon mount up. In addition to special photo paper, you will have to take into account the cost of expensive sublimation ink.

Which will you choose?

In the final analysis, each of the above has its pros and cons, but it is important to remember that the printers themselves, no matter how expensive they might be, will not be able to provide adequate results without using the appropriate consumables. This applies to both the paper and the ink. Get all these factors right, however, and you will get a high-quality result that is as good as anything from a professional photo lab.

Image Credits: photo printer from Khomulo Anna/Shutterstock

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