To find the best quality photo printer, you need to know just what exactly makes a photo printer “quality.” What do you need to look for in a photo printer? What specifications does a photo printer need to have to become high in quality?
#1: High Resolution
Before anything else, the resolution can play a very big part in the quality of a photo printer. Printers that have a resolution of 4,800 and 9,600 dpi are considered very good photo printers, given that they are capable of color printing. Of course, inkjet printers are more commonly used for photo printing, and many photo inkjet printers have resolutions of 9,600 dpi.
However, this may also vary based on the type of printer used. For instance, color laser printers can have maximum resolutions of 9,600 dpi but their quality may only be comparable to 2,400 dpi resolution of inkjet printers. Likewise, dye-sublimation printers have a very low resolution of 300 dpi but they can produce top-notch photos sometimes even better than those which 9,600 dpi inkjet printers have produced. Therefore, the printing mechanism is also important to consider in measuring this aspect.
#2: Good Speed
Printers with low quality have poor technologies and these make them very slow printers. Real high-quality printers have good printing speeds. Some of the best quality photo printers have a printing speed of as fast as 10 seconds for borderless 4’’ x 6’’ printouts. But the speed of the printer is also based on the size of the printout. Larger photos require longer printing time, but they shouldn’t take too long. An example would be an Epson printer that can print 11’’ x 14’’ borderless photos in around 2 minutes, while another similar printer from Canon takes 7 minutes in printing the same size of borderless photos. The Epson printer has higher quality, in such cases.
#3: Number of Nozzles
For inkjet printers, the nozzles are like the paintbrushes which create the images on the paper. These nozzles produce the ink droplets that will be applied onto the paper, and these droplets are what draw the images that come out as photos. More nozzles mean that the printer is able to print more precise images and details, and the device can replicate a digital image exactly as it is seen on screen with very little details left behind.
#4: Minimum Picoliter
The picoliter is the size of the ink droplet produced by the nozzles of the printer. Smaller picoliter sizes make the printer able to print more precise details of the photo. Even the smallest alterations in the shadow of the image are precisely replicated if the picoliter size is very small. The smallest picoliter size that top-quality photo printers use is 1 picoliter.
#5: Number of Inks
The inks of the printer are what make the images fully colored. When a printer makes use of more inks, it is able to produce more exact color combinations, enabling it to replicate the very exact shades and hues of the image to be printed.
#6: Photo Applications
Most photo printers have installer CDs or software that have applications that enable the users to edit the photos according to their liking. These applications enable you to adjust the resolution, brightness, contrast, and even the appearance of the printer. There are also effects that can be applied to the photos using these applications like color adjustments (sepia, negative, black and white, etc.) and even frames and text inclusions.
The next time you’re looking for the best quality photo printer, consider each of these aspects to make your final decision. Good luck!