Printing Photos Yourself
The photos look awfully cute on Facebook, but it would be nice to have something on your desk to show off to your co-workers. Developing photos in the dark room used to take hours, but with a digital camera it can be as quick as plugging your memory card reader into a home printer. Here are the best options for getting good quality prints:
- Go online:
The services you use for sharing your prints generally offer good quality printing and a fair amount of editing options. You’ll find competitive pricing by shopping around, and online services allow you to print a range of print sizes as well as photo gifts and calendars – most of which can’t be done on a home printer. The main disadvantage to this method is having to wait for the mailman.
- Hit the stores:
Wal-Mart, CVS, Staples and many other national chains now offer in-store photo printing. Just bring the memory card straight from your camera (or copy them to a USB stick drive) to use the stores’ machines to perform minor editing (cropping, color correction and turning color photos to black and white are the most common services available). In-store options for photo gifts are not usually as varied as the online shops, but there are more choices than with a standard printer.
The prices of quality photo printers has come down significantly in recent years, making printing photos at home a viable option. Many are incorporated with the capability to print off of your computer and scan or copy your documents, while some allow you to plug your camera’s memory card directly into the machine so you can print directly. Best of all, there’s no waiting.
At-home printers cannot yet print photo gifts or most of your larger prints, and the cost of the ink cartridges can begin to mount, but here are a few of the best bets:
All-in-one: HP PhotoSmart Premium Fax All-in-One Inkjet
High quality prints plus fax, copy and scanning features make this a machine that will take the place of many in your home office. With slots for your memory card plus a space for a CD or DVD of photos, the ease of use is hard to top. This model is also wireless – so anyone in the family can print their photos from their computer on this machine.
Single Function Injket: Canon PIXMA iP4300 Photo Printer
This printer is made simply for printing photos, so it doesn’t have the bells and whistles. But it’s good at what it does, has one of the highest resolutions of printers out there, and prints at lightning speed.
Compact Photo Printer: HP A636 Compact Printer
Compact printers are easy to take on the road and take up less space on your desk.This model has a large easy-to-read touchscreen despite the small footprint. Print quality is top-notch, and it’s loaded with editing options.