Choosing a printer for photo printing at home, everyone wants to use a reliable and fast technique that will produce high-quality photos. In the process of choosing between inkjet and laser models, the question arises of which one is better to print on. In this manual, you will find a detailed description of all the criteria to choose the best photo printer for your home.
We will acquaint you with new popular sublimation technology. We will not bypass professional models for photo printing, which, in turn, is a rather profitable business. At the end of the article, there is a large selection of ratings of printers in different price ranges and an overview of their main characteristics.
Photo printer manufacturers
If choosing a conventional laser printer you have a wide choice among manufacturers, then in the segment of inkjet color everything is limited to the products of several market giants. We are talking about the popular three: HP, Canon, Epson. The models of each of them cover almost all price segments. In terms of print quality – even in a professional direction.
HP was the founder of laser printing and entered color during the market boom in this direction. It often falls short in terms of valuable service and consumables. But the LaserJet line is still very popular with customers.
Canon was a pioneer in color photo printing. It still holds the leading position. Prices for cartridges and inks are among the lowest on the market. In addition to inkjet, the company develops new modern technologies.
Epson has recently been focusing more on devices that are already equipped with continuous ink supply systems at the factory. This allows you to significantly reduce the cost of one color print. The maintainability of such equipment is an order of magnitude higher than that of their direct competitors. With CISS, the user can simply forget about cleaning the cartridges and their constant refueling. The printheads in the newer models are less prone to contamination. In case of problems, it can be easily cleaned at home.
Criterias of choice
Color rendering quality
The quality index directly depends on the number of colors that are used for mixing. Basically, this indicator is equal to three primary colors: pink, yellow, blue. Depending on the class of the printer, they may actually be enough to get a good photo printing. But there are models that use more colors. It can be five, six, or even more. This allows you to achieve shades as close to real ones as possible. And when using the original color profile, they are almost identical.
When buying, you should not rush to the lower and more affordable price of the device itself. Many people forget that for printing, you still need to regularly change or replenish consumables, which costs a lot of money. Some models are so gluttonous that an amount equivalent to the cost of the printer itself is spent on refueling them in six months. It is very easy to find out the cost of one print. Divide the price of a set of cartridges by the estimated number of photo printing they can take. This information is often provided by the manufacturer. If the cost of printing is very important, then look for models with continuous ink supply systems. And also do not forget that you can install the CISS on the printer yourself.
To get the highest quality pictures, you should accordingly choose devices that can support high resolution. This parameter is measured in dots per inch. Depending on the importance of the indicator for you, you can focus on the figure of 1200 dpi. The larger the numerical value, the better. But the cost of equipment increases in direct proportion. The droplet size, although less influential, also matters. This parameter will decrease with increasing resolution.
It is worth paying attention to the print speed. This parameter is really important in work. For home use, fast printing is not always necessary. But if the printer is used for business purposes, then high productivity in a certain time is more likely a plus than a minus.
These characteristics include:
Types of Printing
Printers are divided into several groups according to the type of printing. Each of them has its own pros and cons.
This option uses a special toner to perform its work, which is applied to a sheet of paper and baked in an oven at a high temperature. Color laser printing is expensive due to the high prices for toner powder and is inferior in quality to inkjet. There is nothing difficult in servicing the cartridges themselves. Often you will have to change the photo and the magnetic shaft, the blade for cleaning the waste powder. All of these parts are inexpensive, but replacement requires some skill.
This type of printing allows you to print better quality photos on your printer. Initially, consumables, and in particular original cartridges, have a significant cost. But the user has an alternative in the form of reusing the cartridge or buying replacements. When choosing a printer of this type, you should remember problematic cartridges that can dry out after a long idle time. The printheads have the same usage problem. The way out of the situation can be considered models equipped with a continuous ink supply system.
One of the newest and most advanced technologies offered by manufacturers on the market for sublimation and thermal sublimation. These printers use special solid consumables in the form of thin films of different colors. In the process of printing, under the influence of temperature, they turn into a gas state and are applied to sheets of paper.
The principle of operation of such a device is very similar to laser, except for the use of LEDs in the printing process. What exactly this printer is able to do is reproduce all the shades of the original in very high quality. This opportunity was highly appreciated by professionals who tested the technology in practice. The only drawback is the cost of one color photo print. It is still relatively large. According to the assurances of market experts, in the future prices will be compared with the types of printing already available on the market.
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Which printer should you buy?
Your need for the type of print and the printer itself should be determined from the scope of its future use: