Best Photo Printer 2019 • 0 Photo Printers Reviews
The history of the photo printer
The development of the photo printer is historically based primarily on two basic inventions and their continuous further development: that of photography itself and that of printer.>
The history of photography
The basics of photography go back to 11th century.
The first known photo, a so-called heliography, on a asphalt coated, polished tin plate, comes from French Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, from years 1826., according to historical knowledge
Until 20th century each photo was unique, because a simple duplication was not possible due to the direct exposure of the final carrier,.
Only the development of the negative-positive procedure enabled the contact procedure and thus an arbitrary multiplication of a photo once taken.
The 1924 introduced Small format led to the compact camera format used to date and made photography accessible to a broad public.
The described Art of Photography is simplified also described as Analog photography and is replaced to the end of 20th century in wide parts by the so-called Digital photography.
Pictures are now stored not more on picture carriers, like Small format films,, but in digital Data format on a Camera memory or a other Storage medium will be written to other from not.
1991 will be presented at the computer show CeBIT the first digital camera.
The further development of the technique and above all prices, far below those first models, those converted more than 1.000 Euro made digital cameras accessible in the following years large parts of society, so that today can be found in almost each household such camera.
In addition there are mobile phones installed cameras, which have significantly influenced photographic behaviour, especially young people, in last years.
The history of photo printing
The history of the photo printer is that of the further development and specialization of the inkjet printer. Starting in the 1960s, the ink jet printer replaces in the 80s the private household previously common needle printers.
Inkjet printers are like laser printers so-called matrix printers, in which a print image is composed of individual dot >combination, which are so small and densely arranged that for the human eye a overall image is formed.
laser printers and ink jet printers developed parallel, whereby ink jet printers, were able to establish themselves significantly more successfully in private households mainly due to long time significantly lower acquisition costs,.
Especially the color printing distinguishes the ink jet printer. Already simple models of first generations were able to print images in usable resolution.
At the beginning of the 2000s individual manufacturers first explicitly launched photo printers advertised inkjet printer models on the market as photo printers. Due to their specific equipment, properties and functions these models are particularly suitable for photo printing.
In parallel, classical photolabines have increasingly lost importance. As a result of individual misinvestments large laboratories printer manufacturers the feed in private households and here the release of the classic image development.
Construction and functional principle of a photo printer
Basically, a photo printer is usually a classic ink jet printer.
Since most current inkjet printers are also suitable for high-resolution photo printing, the demarcation between inkjet printers and pronounced photo printers is not always easy .
However, there are some features and functions, that suggest inkjet printer designation photo printer.
inking ink, consisting of inking pigments and a carrier liquid, becomes from the nozzles a print head in single, tiny dots sprayed onto a medium, to be printed paper, for example.
The horizontal movement of the print head and the vertical movement paper transport, line for line, a grid from individual points, that result in a complete image for the human eye.
Decisive for its quality, in the form of its fineness, is the number at individual points on a limited space. This dot density is given in dots per inch (dpi) so in pressure points per inch.
For photorealistic print-outs however not alone a preferably high resolution, thus a high dpi-value is decisive.
On the contrary, the result of a photo printer with lower dpi count can be more appealing than the same result of a photo printer with higher dpi count.
A crucial factor is for example the used printer ink. Normal inkjet printers work with four colors: cyan, magenta, yellow (Yellow) and black (Black).
These basic colors are printed in individual dots on top of each other or tight next to each other and result in observation by the human eye almost all existing colors.
However, the CMYK color model has weaknesses in the photorealistic representation. Thus the combination of the mentioned colors results in none optimal display of the complementary colors red, green and blue.
Photo printers therefore work with additional colors, which can compensate weaknesses of the usual equipment and thus also optimal color results.
- Contrast black / Photos black
- Photo cyan, photo magenta, gray
- Red, Green, Blue, Orange
- Clear ink
Due to the composition, that allows deeper penetration into the paper not, this printer ink but not is suitable for print on coated photopaper. Here is a substitute for unpigmented dyestuff ink for use.
The dye inks also referred to as dyet inks are stained because of their molecules and not because of the particles they contain. The ink can therefore deeper penetrate the paper and are therefore also suitable for photopaper.
For dye inks there is a higher oxidation risk, why print-outs faster under UV radiation bleaching.
Some inkjet printers work exclusively with pigmented inks, that are sufficient for everyday use, use, especially for expression of fonts,. A reduction of the contained particles also allows higher print quality which also allows print of photos.
Others models work with a additional cartridge. For some this must be used in exchange for the normal black.
The additional use of Hellcyan and Hellmagenta solves this problem. The use of Grey as separate ink enables finer gradation for black-and-white photographs.
Alternatively, some printers work with a technical solution: the print head has nozzles, that allow change the drop size for ink application.
If Red, Green, Blue and Orange are provided as separate Colors, additional Changes in the Standard colors are necessary under Circumstances Additional Changes in the Standard colors.
In result the mentioned additional colors enable a clear enlargement of the printable color spectrum. A classic inkjet printer achieves a variance of about 400,000 different colors.
The colors hellmagenta, light cyan, gray, red, green, blue and orange extended expression doubles this color space to about 800.000 differentiable colors.
For comparison: the human eye can distinguish about 2,4 million colors from each other .
Thermal sublimation printer
As alternative to inkjet printing some manufacturers photo printers offer as alternative based on the thermosublimation process. In this process colour waxes, are evaporated and applied to special paper under temperatures of up to 400 °C.
The dyestuff is located on a dyestuff film, which emits more or less color depending on the temperature level.
thermosublimation printers enable large color depth and high color saturation and thus high quality of the printed photos. Oppose high Acquisition and high Consumption costs.
Functions and features of a photo printer
In addition to the extended color features named different functions or at least their emphasis a inkjet printer with option photos to print from a voiced photo printer.
Some of these functions are already found at simple printer models, that are not explicitly labeled as photo printer . To rating the quality of a photo printer some functions are basic however.
Photo printer tests compare individual models with each other and compare their feature range as well as quality and convenience of use the individual functions functions Basic technical Properties also influence Quality and Suitability under different Prerequisites and Requirements.
The maximum equipment of a photo printer consists of a total 12 individual ink cartridges with the colors cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Grey, Red, Green, Blue, Orange and Clear Ink.
With this equipment optimal results can be achieved. Slightly imaginable, that this scope leads to high acquisition and not last high consumption costs. The gain in quality may be clear for the pro whether it justifies for the private user and hobby photographer the associated costs is objectively difficult to evaluate.
But already models with slightly extended color gamut, like those with additional ink cartridges for the colors light cyan, light magenta and grey, enable clearly improved photo prints
The trade offers a variety of different paper grades, which differ significantly in individual properties.
Weight, Texture, Coating, each of these Properties affects Print Results and should be found in the possible Print Settings Caution.
error at print settings the quality of the end result can clearly influence negative . To avoid error reliably , some photo printers have a built-in paper sensor.
It detects Art and Properties of the loaded Paper and adjusts the Print properties Automatic.
As with all other printer types is a crucial criterion for quality of a photo printer its flexibility for connection to a possible data source, such as a computer.
- WiFi Direct
Depending on Model and Operating system the Connection is made in Universal Plug and Play procedure (UpnP) or requires additional Installation of Drivers or Software components, for a complete Functionality.Software components, for a complete Functionality..
The speed of the data transmission in the USB procedure depends significantly on the used version (USB 1.0 – 3.0).
Since the USB connection is made via a suitable cable, the flexibility of this interface is limited accordingly.
Also USB, without additional components, only allows connection of a device (photo printer) to a computer. access is accordingly limited.
For this purpose, the printer is connected via LAN cable to a network router via which all connected computers, with the corresponding authorizations, can access the printer.
As with USB connection, connection via a LAN cable is naturally subject to certain spatial restrictions.
As with the LAN connection, requires a connected network router, that represents the connection node between computers or other end devices and the printer, However, the data exchange is carried out by radio, so that the photo printer is comparatively flexible, can also be set up spatially separated from the router and the connected end devices.
A printer with WiFi-Direct function forms an independent Base for the wireless data exchange with a connected, at least WLAN-enabled terminal device.
Devices with the operating system iOS or Mac OS X can be connected with this function without further settings a connection to a printer in network.
Printing without PC
Suitable for this are USB sticks and the different types of memory cards.
Another Possibility of Direct printing is the so-called PictBridge method. The method introduced by numerous manufacturers in cooperation method enables direct connection of a camera to a printer via USB.
So images direct can be printed from camera memory. In this case difference individual printer models differ in operating comfort – for some models only one image can be printed after the other, while others allow several images to be processed in one print job.
If direct is to be printed from connected media or camera, this is much more convenient if the photo printer has its own display. On this screen pictures can be viewed and, if necessary, edited to a limited extent.
without this control possibility the results of a expression are difficult to estimate in advance and circumstances unsatisfactory. A relevant quality criterion, in direct comparison individual printer models, are size and quality of the built-in displays.
Even the best photographer is used to check his images afterwards at PC and to optimize them with image processing. brightness, colors and contrasts can be optimized problemfree, small errors, such as the well-known red-eye effect, are quickly eliminated.
If you want to print from a camera or from a data carrier without around via a computer direct, some photo printers still offer the option to make extensive adjustments . A manual correction on the display and with the controls of a photo printer is conceivable uncomfortable.
Models with the possibility of image processing therefore often have an automatic function. This optimizes images to buttonpress automatically.
Such a automatic usually delivers convincing results, if you want to make individual changes anyway, you have to rely on the possibility of manual correction. If a photo printer is to remove red eyes when portrait , it needs a automatic face recognition.
A special device class are small, mobile photo printers for on the go.
The easy-to-use devices are rarely bigger than a shoe box, often even handy like a book.
You have a network-independent power supply and suitable interfaces for data carriers or the described PictBridge procedure.
Some models have a WLAN function or Bluetooth, specifically designed for communication with smartphones.
Also with mobile photo printers different printing methods are used, which are characterized by the quality the printing results and last but not least the associated costs.
Most models work with a maximum size of 10×15 centimeters, but there are also models with slightly bigger and smaller maximum formats.
- Mobile Inkjet Printers
- Mobile thermal sublimation printers
- Mobile “ZINK” Printer
Due to the limited size, six colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, (photo)black, light cyan and light magenta) are usually used.
Inks and Paper are often offered as Set and allow a strong limited number on Printing.
So prints in Thermal printing are immediately smudge-proof and long-term waterproof. Also with these models deliver manufacturer paper and the necessary ribbon often in a set.
However, no comparable colour ribbon is used, but the colour pigments are already in special printing paper. By heat these become visible and thus produce the desired image.
Thus this method resembles the well-known principle of the immediate cameras of the 80s and, like this one, is characterized above all by the comparatively high costs of the consumables.
Known Photo Printer Manufacturer
Most manufacturers of classic ink jet printers also offer pronounced photo printers. Some have specialized in this segment and often convince with long-term experience in area photography.
Until today it enjoys an outstanding reputation as manufacturer of photo cameras in private, as in professional use. Canon is now the world leader in this segment. Since 1979 the offer has been extended by range printing systems.
Inkjet printers of Company Canon are offered in various Product lines with numerous models. Some of them are explicitly advertised about their suitability to photo print.
Canon offers besides ink jet printers for private and small commercial use, which are suitable for documents- as well as for photo printing, mobile photo printers, which work in thermosublimation process.
For the professional use offers canon photo inkjet printer, which can produce images in A3 and even in A2 format.
Until today the name Polaroid is synonymous with the 70s and 80s popular camera. The company founded after Insolvency in Years 2001 is now officially called PLR IP Holdings and produces Sunglasses among other things small mobile photo printers, that work with the described “ZINK”-technology.
Besides printers we develop and produce Epson scanners, digital cameras, computers, laptops and other electronic devices.
Epson offers inkjet photo printers in medium and upper price segment.
1984 brings HP the first inkjet printer, based on the thermal inkjet technology, the HP ThinkJet to the market.
For the Private user HP offers an extensive offer on laser-, ink-jet- and multifunction printers. The inkjet models are predominantly suitable for photo printing, but are not explicitly marketed as photo printers.
For professional user the offer also includes large format graphic printing systems.
Sources of supply – specialized trade vs. Internet
The offer of photo printers from various manufacturers is very extensive.
Not everyone maker advertises their models explicitly as photo printers, even if these provide outstanding results in image presentation.
Finding the suitable model is therefore a certain challenge.
photo printers are offered in computer stores, in electronics stores, in electronics departments of department stores and via online stores.
Manufacturers and Online dealers offer comprehensive Descriptions of the technical Details and Functions and allow a meaningful Direct comparison of individual models.
Moreover, it is easy to get an overview of acquisition and consumption costs and thus make a long-term satisfactory purchase decision.
photo printer tests are a crucial help for anyone looking in supply diversity for simple orientation.
Warranty- and Warranty conditions differ in Online-trade not from stationary trade, so that a purchase over serious providers is to be regarded as riskos.
Basics of a purchase decision
A long-term satisfactory photo printer Purchase decision depends on a Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Factors.
Properties that are indispensable for one user are insignificant or at least secondary for another.
The right choice depends on individual needs, demands and requirements. Some basic questions can help to clarify these aspects and to make the right choice based on their answer.
– What should be printed?
The near answer is: photos. However, at closer view the answer is not sufficient for choosing the appropriate photo printer. Basically, as already described, a distinction can be made between designated photo printers and printers with optional photo printing.
While you can print with a classic ink jet printer, also without adjustment the ink composition, often passable photos, pure photo printers are rather unsuitable for document printing because of this color composition.
The photo printing required unpigmented black ink provides no high-quality type. In addition an extensive equipment with additional colours causes clearly higher consumption costs, which hardly pay off with very rare use.
The alternatives systems, like the thermosublimation print or the ZINK-procedure are hardly suitable for quality and cost reasons for a photo print beyond the photo print> application.
It is therefore necessary to clarify whether a photo printer is intended as an additional device for pure photo printing or whether it should be used as the sole printer also for further tasks.
Besides this basic decision, the question about the print size is a crucial test and purchase criterion. Most Photo printer in classic construction print images up to A4 size.
Some models additionally enable pressure on A3. larger formats can only be found on professionals devices.
mobile photo printers are limited in maximum size in addition . Also known as postcard printers, they print photo printers usually on a maximum paper size from 10×15 centimeters.
– How often should the printer print?
The question after print frequency and amount also refers to the selection of the appropriate system. inkjet printer are also characterized by the negative properties associated with the factor ink.
Since ink dries up, this could clog the nozzles of a print head and print results could be so negatively influenced, a regular cleaning of the print head is necessary.
This in turn leads to ink consumption, independent of printing, which, depending on model, can fall significantly into weight. If printing is only rare and in small quantities, this additional consumption can significantly increase the printing costs per page.
Systems like the thermosublimation pressure and the ZINK-procedure are indeed more expensive in the procurement and in the costs for the necessary consumables at first sight , however none consumption without pressure, so that the cost per image can fail under circumstances lower.
– From which data sources should be printed?
The most common application situation is probably the connection of a printer to a computer. On this computer, images can be viewed and edited before they are sent to the connected printer in a print job.
Before, however, the images must be transferred from the camera to this computer. If this step is to be saved, suitable interfaces on the photo printer. are required.
Card reader, USB interface or PictBridge are the common variants, that allow a photo print without detour via a computer. Printing directly from Smartphone is possible Bluetooth, AirPrint and WiFi-Direct.
If you want to print regularly from independent data sources or directly from the camera, a suitable display simplifies the work with a printer considerably and should be considered accordingly in a selection.
– Where to use the printer?
The selection of the necessary interfaces of a photo printer also determines its flexibility with regard to its placement.
Wired Connections are naturally restricted.
A connection via WLAN or WiFi-Direct, on the other hand, increases the Radius in which a printer can be placed around a connected computer.
Mobile Photo printers offer the greatest distance flexibility.
At the same time, however, their printing properties are strongly limited.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
❓Sind even printed photos worse than those from the laboratory?
no, not necessarily. However, some conditions must be fulfilled in order for maximum quality of photo print to be achieved and for it to withstand comparison with professional laboratory print.
Here the quality of the printer, the choice of the suitable printer paper and the printing ink count. Only if optimal conditions are created here, the results can also be convincing.
❓Bedo you need special photo paper?
yes. Although it is possible to print with a photo printer, if it is inkjet printer, in principle on any paper, the results will be very satisfactory with simple paper but not.
The trade offers photopaper in different finishes, qualities and sizes, which is optimally aligned to the photoprint.
If the photo printer is a thermosublimation printer or even a ZINK model, the print is possible even exclusively on suitable paper.
❓Für who should buy a photo printer?
Whether a purchase is worth it or not is usually a individual, very subjective decision.
If you want to be able to hold a photo on paper in your hand at any time, without a lot of logistic effort,, the cost for a photo printer and its maintenance, regardless of comparison with alternative method such as a laboratory development, will not discourage.
Nevertheless, the cost comparison makes sense. Photo printer Tests and Comparisons give the Printing costs of a Photo printer in Costs per Picture (CPP) thus in Consumption costs per printed Picture of a given size, for example 10×15 cm.
The costs usually refer to the pure ink consumption. Naturally, designated photo printers, that work with additional colors are more expensive in consumption , than those that print using the simple CMYK process.
The calculation of the CPP is also based on a fixed number, with ink equipment, printed pages.
If printing is seldom carried out, consumption is caused by drying out and cleaning, which additionally increases the cost per page.
For thermosublimation printers the costs result from the prices for necessary ribbons.
A Photo in Format 10×15 cm, printed on local printer, costs total, depending on printer model, between 10 and 50 Cent.
mobile photo printers, which usually work in thermal sublimation process, have an average cost of 30 to 50 Cent.
Although the development in the lab, about online order or also at a automatic machine, in a drugstore or a department store is not infrequently more favorable, here, however, the additional effort, travel and possibly shipping costs must be included.
The nevertheless on average higher costs for a photo from the home printer can be justified however for photo enthusiasts easily by the clear gain in impact on the result.
❓Was you have to consider everything when printing?
A perfect print result depends on different factors:
- Color representation – screen vs. printer
- The resolution of the image to be printed
- The photo paper
- The printer ink
What applies to the display on different Monitors becomes even more apparent in the ratio between the Display on the Monitor and a following Expression: Here, too, unwanted Differences occur under Circumstances Unwanted Differences.
The reason for this is the calibration of a monitor: color saturation, brightness and contrast are often set at the factory to monitors by radiating colors to stimulate purchase. As a result, corrections on image have a different effect than desired: If you correct the supposed to bright and cool display of a photo on the monitor, the expression is circumstances to dark and its colors to warm.
The solution, used by all those who professional work with the image processing is the calibration of the monitor. Since this is difficult to do alone with eye, the trade offers so-called colorimeter.
These devices make it possible to use the corresponding software, to set a monitor so that the displayed colors, as good as technically possible, which correspond to real colours and also with expression no nasty surprises must be expected.
For a satisfactory quality a resolution of the original in height of at least 300 dpi is usually given.
Depending on size of the image, however, appealing results can already be achieved with resolution of 150 dpi. Below this the quality decreases noticeably.
photopaper is also coated, usually in several layers. Special plastics, that are applied to the paper give it properties, that optimally align it to the photo print:
✅ Too deep penetration of the printing ink is prevented
✅ The contrast is increased by especially white paper.
✅ The surface is high-gloss
✅ The paper is scratch and abrasion resistant.
✅ It is protected against fingerprints and splash water
✅ Fading caused by sunlight is prevented
Really high-quality special paper is correspondingly expensive. Pro sheet the costs are often between 50 Cent and over 2 Euro.
Thermal sublimation printers work with special paper, which is often offered in set with the necessary ribbon.
The most costly is photo paper for photo printers, that print using the ZINK process. Please note, however, that there are no additional costs for ink or ribbons, as the ink particles are contained in paper.
❓Lohnt the grip on third-party ink?
Depending on manufacturer printer ink is a costly working material. A significant savings, with simultaneous unchanged higher quality, promise many foreign suppliers.
If you like to take a lot of pictures, maybe even Pictures at local Computer or if you work creatively with Photos, you will quickly learn to appreciate the Preferences of a Photo printer.
If you want to do without quality a laboratory development and not, you should choose a photo printer that, in addition to the CMYK color scheme, works with additional colors, which enable photorealistic display>.
Together with high-quality photopaper, results can be achieved that leave no wishes unfulfilled.
The possible equipment modern photo printer test winner offers far-reaching convenience and even enable independence from computers. Images can be viewed on the photo printer and direct can be printed.
Maximum Flexibility offer mobile photo printers.
Still in holiday, in front of place, the recently made remembrance photo on paper in hands hold or inspire the friends at the party with the latest snapshots?
With the devices in pocket size this is no problem.
In addition to the acquisition costs, the print costs are in most cases higher than those for the development of a photo in a laboratory, at a online provider or at a vending machine in a drugstore.
For photo enthusiasts the own expression opens however numerous creation possibilities and above all an unrestricted comfortable access, at any time.
Designated photo printers are additional devices, that are used for a specific purpose. They are suitable for domestic “everyday office life”, not least because of the consumption costs, only to a limited extent.