How to choose a photo printer

Photo printer is a specialized printer that is designed for output on paper highly realistic and detailed images.

How to choose a photo printer: features you need note

how to choose a photo printer

When choosing a photo printer, it is worth considering the following technical device specifications:

  1. A type;

  2. Print resolution;

  3. Connection interface;

  4. Additional functions.

It’s worth remembering that a photo printer is a specialized device, and it is intended for printing images, not documents or similar materials. Of course, functional limitations on text output from such “office equipment” is not, but because of the high cost prints this is impractical.

Also worth mentioning is portable photo printers.

Printer type

There are two types of photo printers that differ in principle. work – inkjet and sublimation.

Inkjet Photo Printers

Inkjet photo printers

Inkjet photo printers print as follows – toner (paint) in liquid form through special nozzles is applied in drops directly onto a piece of paper. Due to the fact that most models of such devices support 6-8 colors, print quality high enough and good color reproduction.


  • Ability to print images of various formats, up to A4;

  • Relatively low cost of printing;

  • Ability to print texts, documents, etc. (but it’s in any case impractical);


  • High noise level;

  • Low color rendering relative to sublimation photo printers;

  • Low water resistance of prints (however, in some models ink that is resistant to moisture is used);

Sublimation Photo Printers

Sublimation photo printers

In sublimation photo printers, toner is applied to a special film. When printing, the head of the device heats it, paint boils and transfers to paper. It provides deeper color rendition.


  • Excellent, according to most photographers, color rendition;

  • Low noise;

  • The water resistance of prints on all models of photo printers;


  • The high cost of consumables;

  • Thus, the inkjet photo printer is well suited for home use, but sublimation – for professional;

  • Inability to print texts and similar documents.

  • Limit on the size of prints (the vast majority photo printers support paper with a format of no more than 10 × 15 cm);


Thus, the inkjet photo printer is well suited for home use, but sublimation – for professional.

print resolution

Print resolution is one of the most important features. photo printers. It determines image detail and smoothness. color transitions. Photo resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi).

Getting expensive for home use photo printer with photo resolution over 4800 × 1200 dpi impractical. This density alone provides sufficient smoothness and detail of the image. For infrequent prints with higher resolution you can contact the appropriate salon.

In addition, photo printers with a print resolution of more than 4800 × 1200 dpi are expensive – both the device itself and consumables – and low speed. And how inkjet and sublimation.

In addition to resolution, the quality of prints in inkjet photo printers are affected by the number of shades in the cartridge. Models which support 8 toner colors, provide the best color rendering and smoother transitions.

Connection interface

Connection Interface

In order to provide a sufficiently high print speed, requires quick connection of the photo printer to the computer. therefore the interfaces that are used in such devices the following:

  1. Traditional USB;

  2. Wireless wifi;

  3. Wireless Bluetooth for communication with a smartphone;

  4. Card reader for connecting memory cards;

  5. USB to connect a smartphone or camera.

USB means a wired connection to a computer. The advantage of this standard is its high transmission rate. data – faster than Wi-Fi or similar interfaces. therefore printing delay is minimal. The disadvantage is obvious – it will be required Place the printer directly next to the computer.

Printers that support Wi-Fi, you can put in any location at home. In this case, they act as network. Optimal data transfer speed for wireless photo printers for most users. Moreover, on such devices you can send pictures from other devices in the local network – several computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.

Bluetooth connectivity is good for printing from smartphones, tablets, etc. Some computers also support this. interface, but the convenience of communication can only be called controversial.

Card reader allows printing directly from standard memory cards SD and the like. Pretty useful interface, if you often have to print images from cameras and cameras on paper. But in as the main standard for connecting it is better not use.

USB connector (external) allows you to connect to a photo printer smartphone or camera. Works like a card reader or Bluetooth – that is, it provides convenience in some cases, but for use as the main is not suitable.

The main interfaces for connecting photo printers are, of course, USB and Wi-Fi. Models equipped with both of them will be great a solution for home or even a small studio.

Additional functions

Additional functions

Additional features do not determine print specifications. photo printer, but make using such a device more convenient and enjoyable. These features include:

  1. Touchscreen. Great for printing photos with a memory card, flash drive or a camera connected via USB. He does selection of source images more convenient;

  2. Editing photos. Another handy feature when printing without a computer. It allows you to carry out a small retouch of pictures (crop them, rotate, apply filters and masks) before putting them on paper;

  3. Built-in scanner. Allows you to digitize paper or film prints and negatives;

  4. Plain paper support. Suitable for printing documents, texts, etc .;

  5. Built-in memory. Allows you to copy photos to memory devices and print without connecting a computer or smartphone.

As it usually happens, additional functions of photo printers lead to an increase in the cost of the device. Therefore acquire a model with these capabilities is only worth it if really required.

Portable photo printers

Portable Photo Printers

Portable photo printers should be allocated in a separate class. it compact and lightweight devices that allow you to get fingerprints anywhere and easily connect to a smartphone, tablet, and in some cases even a camera. They provide high quality. images and maximum print speed.

However, portable photo printers have two serious disadvantage:

  1. They only work with branded supplies – and It is a special photo paper;

  2. The print size is usually very small, as a result of which such devices snapshots can only be used as souvenirs.



Among the manufacturers of photo printers can be identified:

  1. Canon Known for compact photo printers designed for home use. Provide sufficient print quality for undemanding owners and are very democratic price;

  2. Epson It produces quite expensive photo printers, but with advanced functionality and high image quality;

  3. Fujifilm. Another manufacturer is reasonably priced photo printers. It has good print quality, but in in most cases requires special supplies, which, in turn, can be quite expensive;

  4. Polariod. Produces compact printers that only work with branded supplies.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a laser printer, the secrets of choosing a printer for the home and basic criteria for choosing paper for the printer.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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