May 28, 2024

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Print digital photos yourself: why and how?

Print digital photos yourself: why and how?


It is cheaper to print larger quantities of photos and photo albums at an online photo service or photo store. If you want to print smaller quantities or need the photos right away, it is more interesting to print the photos yourself. What do you need, what do you care about, and what is the cost?

Where can you print photos?

Photo services are especially useful if you want to print larger quantities, photos, and special albums. An Internet connection and a computer are necessary. If you do not have an Internet connection or find the photo service too complicated, you can go to a specialized photo store.

Photo kiosks are useful if you want to print a limited amount of photos quickly and don't have your own photo printer. The size is usually limited to 10×15 cm. You can also print photos using your printer. However, you must meet some requirements.

Which printers are suitable?

All printers can print photos, but to get high-quality photos, it's best to use an inkjet printer that has at least four cartridges. Additional ink cartridges, for example, special gray or black photo ink, provide images with better contrast, nicer gray values ​​and more realistic colors.

However, choose a printer with sufficient print resolution. A 10 x 15 cm photo needs a resolution of 1200 x 1800 pixels to avoid loss of sharpness. Printing a photo clearly in A4 format requires 2500 x 3500 pixels in ideal conditions. Print quality depends on the image viewing distance. If it's larger, you'll still get acceptable images with fewer pixels.

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Paper, ink and additives

The best image quality is achieved using ink and paper from the same manufacturer. Manufacturers offer a wide range of photo paper in different finishes, such as (semi-)glossy and glossy. In addition, standard sizes are available, such as 10×15 cm.

Many printers have a special “tray” or tray for photo paper. More expensive printers often have an additional tray on the back that allows you to print larger or thicker paper sizes without bending the paper. These printers also have additional features, such as a color display that allows you to make some adjustments to your images before printing them.

It's also possible to print photos directly from a USB stick or memory card, or wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet, thanks to support for Apple AirPrint and the Mopria print service for Android.

How long do self-printed photos live?

Self-printed photos have a lifespan of eighty to one hundred and twenty years. This is a little longer than the images taken from the laboratory. The image is printed with ink and photo paper from the same manufacturer and stored behind glass or laminate.

An important tip is to store the newly printed image in the dark for several hours after drying for a few minutes, until the ink settles. Uncovered pictures fade faster than pictures placed in a picture frame with glass or laminate.

What is its price?

Inexpensive, photo-capable printers often have cartridges that hold multiple types of ink in a single container. If one ink is empty, you will need to replace the entire cartridge. The cost of these printers ranges between fifty and eighty euros. But it is expensive to use: up to eighty cents or more per 10 x 15 cm print. If you only print a photo occasionally, this may be cost effective.

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However, if you print photos often, printers with refillable ink cartridges, such as the Epson EcoTank inkjet, are more economical. These devices are more expensive and cost several hundred euros, but you significantly save on printing costs. Standard photos can sometimes cost less than a dime, which is cheaper than many online photo services.

Standard printers with imaging capability fall between these two extremes in terms of cost. Its cost ranges between eighty and three hundred and fifty euros, depending on print resolution, speed and options. A standard photo print costs between twenty-five and fifty cents, depending on the price of the machine, the ink used, and the type of paper.

If you don't want to worry about printing costs or buying new ink on time, a printing plan might be right for you. You purchase a number of prints for a fixed monthly amount and the required ink is automatically mailed. Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP offer such plans. Subscriptions cost between one euro and twenty-five euros per month.

This article previously appeared in an edited form Standard.

All articles about inkjet printers on Diskidee.