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Photo Printers

Old 06-22-2006, 10:24 PM
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Default Photo Printers

My wife wants me to get one of those small portable photo printers so that she can print photos from our digital camera. What do you guys recommend, I was looking at the Epson Picturemate Viewer Edition and the Canon Selphy DS810. Are these any good or should I look at something different. Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks John
Old 06-22-2006, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

I did quite a bit of research before buying the PictureMate with the viewer. Pass on the PictureMate without the view (not the same quality) and pass on the HP printer as well as the older (now obsolete but stll being sold) Selphy printers using dye sub technology. When comparing these printers it’s more about comparing the ‘cons’ than comparing the ‘pros’. Consumer Reports points out the technology is now so good the number of ink colors isn't an issue, a printer can accurately control the distribution of the three primary colors to get any color. Just happens the PictureMate cartridge uses 7 or 8 colors of ink.

Selphy cons: diff size prints or paper requires diff size paper trays.

PictureMate con: only prints on 4x6 paper, but you can change between print sizes (wallets, etc). Cartridge and paper are sold bundled so you can’t buy just the ink if needed. This matters because if you use 3rd party paper (like to print postcards) you can end up with a bunch of leftover Epson 4x6 photo paper and no ink…buy the ink and you are stuck with a bunch more photo paper. (Note: ‘bundling’ is a violation of fed trade laws, but that’s the way it is.)

This is weird; I’m in Asia right now, bought the PictureMate before coming here. There are a lot of 3rd party photo papers for these little photo prints that is not available in the US. However, the paper isn’t exactly 4x6; it’s 100x148mm, just a hair smaller. When printing with the camera’s flash card plugged into the PictureMate's card reader it knows the diff in paper sizes and resizes the picture inappropriately, leaving a ¼-in white bar at the end of every borderless pic printed. If not using a true 4x6 paper, I need to either print with a border (causes the picture to be resized correctly) or print thru my computer or thru the camera using the PicBridge feature. Not big a deal, just be aware of it in case the wife ends up printing postcards somewhere in Katmandu.

The PictureMate ($200 MSRP) is not as portable as other printers, tho there is a battery option for it and a powerpoint (12v cig lighter) option. It’s this toaster looking thing. My thought is I don’t want to drag the printer around everywhere, portable or not, that’s what the camera’s memory is for. When I get back to my apt I download that day’s images and print thru the computer. Don't really need the LCD on the printer but this model has better print quality than the old, non LCD version, so I read, but couldn't find one to compare actual prints.

If considering a Canon Selphy DS810 ($150 MSRP) also consider the next Canon printer up, the Pixma iP90 ($250 MSRP). It prints on up to 8-1/2 x 11 paper (meaning 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 photos on those size papers).

Lastly, what I did before buying the PictureMate was take a picture with digi camera and haul the camera and its USB cable into the stores, and test printed the same image on all of the printers using the USB input on the printer and PicBridge in the camera. I bought the PictureMate for the print quality, would buy it again.

If you have specific questions about the PictureMate, ask.


EDIT: whatever you decide to get your wife, 4x6 is a common size for photos. Costco sells an excellent quality photo paper, a little heavier than most photo papers (a good thing!) in a box of 300 sheets (150 x 2 pkgs). May not be necessary if you buy the PictureMate, but I am currently getting about 130 borderless pix from an ink cart, about 30% more than Epson estimated, (100 sheets comes with the ink cart). That means you will need to buy extra paper.
Old 06-23-2006, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

Believe it or not, you can send your photos to Walmart for one hour photo and they are much cheaper than printing your own. I have been doing this for a while now.
Old 06-23-2006, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

My wife has the small Canon Selphi printer and it is awesome...works perfect no problems
Old 06-23-2006, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

mgarrett - 6/22/2006 10:06 PM

Believe it or not, you can send your photos to Walmart for one hour photo and they are much cheaper than printing your own. I have been doing this for a while now.
Wouldn’t doubt it. Where I am in Asia there are businesses that are specifically photo printing centers. You either plug in your memory card and select the images you want or hand the card to the guy at the counter, pay per print. The one down the street has 8 stations, and usually a waiting line.

Actually, for send your digi images out to be printed, the current generation of cameras has picture ordering s/w built in. I can choose the pix I want printed, quantity and size, plug the camera into my computer, and click on [go]. The pic files are automatically emailed to the pic printing business at the end of the street. I just need to walk down there and pick them up.

Owning a printer lets you make changes/adjustments, tweak an image to get a certain print quality. It also lets you print on diff types of papers. For a quantity of snap shots it might be better to print at the Walmart or whatever.
Old 06-23-2006, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

Eyeball - 6/23/2006 12:47 AM

mgarrett - 6/22/2006 10:06 PM

Believe it or not, you can send your photos to Walmart for one hour photo and they are much cheaper than printing your own. I have been doing this for a while now.
Wouldn’t doubt it. Where I am in Asia there are businesses that are specifically photo printing centers. You either plug in your memory card and select the images you want or hand the card to the guy at the counter, pay per print. The one down the street has 8 stations, and usually a waiting line.

Actually, for send your digi images out to be printed, the current generation of cameras has picture ordering s/w built in. I can choose the pix I want printed, quantity and size, plug the camera into my computer, and click on [go]. The pic files are automatically emailed to the pic printing business at the end of the street. I just need to walk down there and pick them up.

Owning a printer lets you make changes/adjustments, tweak an image to get a certain print quality. It also lets you print on diff types of papers. For a quantity of snap shots it might be better to print at the Walmart or whatever.
Exactly. And actually I was talking about the service where you upload to their site and order them. You can do all of your tweaking before you upload them. I agree though, on being able to print on different style papers.
Old 06-23-2006, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: Photo Printers

test

Old 06-23-2006, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

I recommend not getting one at all and use a third party like CVS, Snapfish, Koday or my favorite Sony Imagestation. You can upload and store your digital pics for free and have them
printed out and mailed to you. You don't need a printer, ink or paper plus you will not get frustrated when the printer jams, you waste ink or the photo did not print right.
You can also make some nice gifts on these sites and create photo albums, plus they act as a back up

just my 02.
Old 06-23-2006, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

I agree with those who say don't buy a photo printer. I upload my photos to the local Walgreens. They print them - sometimes in less than an hour - and I walk over and pick them up. Costs a lot less than printer ink and paper supplies and quality is excellent.
Old 06-23-2006, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Photo Printers

I am with mgarrett and all above - Go with one of the web-services - snapfish or whatever or better yet... go to CVS or Wally world where you can edit to your hearts content and make every picture perfect. Walmart is unique in that you can do it on line and pick-up inperson. I don't think you can edit on their site which is why I like doing it in the stpore on their machines. Much much cheaper than printer ink and paper - and much better!!!

There are great HP and other photo printers but I can see almost no reason to use them unless you need a print at home or business immediately.

Also if you do go to a store and they have different print prices on the machines go for the cheapest - I have found no difference in quality - sometimes you pay extra to get them immediately.

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