Choosing a Photo Printer
With some many different models to choose from it’s a bit of a minefield as to which printer to choose. We help you decide which printer is best for you.
Buying a photo printer for Home Use
Usually the main considerations when buying a photo printer for home use are cost followed by print size. Smaller dye sub printers which are ideal for home printing which just printed 6″x4″ photos (postcard size) have been around for years with models like the HiTi 630PS, HiTi Photoshuttle and the very popular HiTi 730PS which also printed 7×5 and 8×6 photos.
Recently Mitsubishi have launched a printer for less than £350! – This printer, the Mitsubishi M15E which is possibly the worlds least expensive professional dye sub printer, prints 6″x4″, 7″x5″ and 8″x6″ photos and is built to the same high standards as their other printers which are twice the price and it has the same high quality output as the rest of their professional range which are build using a metal construction and are known for being extremely reliable.
Buying a photo printer for Business
The main considerations when buying a photo printer for Business are detailed below. It is always worth looking at the “what we think” section of the product details of a printer for an unbiased view of what we think.
Simply, what print sizes do you want to print? Double deck printers like the CP-D707DW can hold two different type of media whilst other printers have rollback technology which allows 6×4 and 6×8 from the same media. The W5000 is unique in that it offers a multitude of print sizes.
This is the maximum number of prints the printer can print without having to change the media. Larger capacities are more beneficial for things like photo booths or theme parks. Double deck printers will hold twice as much media as a single deck model and if the media used is the same size then the second printer is automatically used when the first one runs out of media. The Mitsubishi M15e and M1e hold 375 8×6 prints or750 6×4 prints.
Some printers have a panoramic function, some printers can print multi-strip prints or use postcard media, some even print double sided. If these features are important then check the printer specifications. It’s also worth checking compatibility with your computer or operating system. It is now possible to print two different print sizes on the same media without wastage on printers using rollback technology. This enables the unused part of a ribbon when printing a 6×4 on 6×8 media to be used for future 6×4 prints following the printing of a 6×8 print.
Whilst the price of the printer is important, so is the price of the media. They don’t usually vary much but depending upon the quantities you will be printing it could add up. A good example of this is the Mitsubishi M1E and the M15E. They are both identical printers in operation but use different media as they are designed for slightly different markets. At the time of writing the media for the least expensive Mitsubishi M15E meant that you had to print over 5000 prints to justify the savings of buying a more expensive M1E. Take a look at this comparison between the M1E and the M15E. Mitsubishi system printers usually use lower cost media but cannot be used with a PC or Apple Mac.
This might seem like a strange thing to choose a printer on although if you have existing printers or plan to buy more at a later date then holding a single stock of media would have advantages. Also worth checking media costs as well although always make a cost per print comparison and not a cost per box as different media may have a different number of prints per box.