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Basic fact on Photo Printers

What are photo printers?

Photo printers fit into a range of printer types. They are optimized for printing photographs, which means that more attention is paid to color quality, and less to text quality and speed. They are available in a wide range of sizes -- there are several on the market that are very small, so that you can take them along with your camera and print photos on the go. Many, including the portable printers, will connect directly to your digital camera, so that you don't need a computer to print out your pictures. Others will have slots for digital media cards, so you can simply remove them from your camera and pop them right into the printer.

Photo printers start at $150, but printers that offer professional-quality printing will start at $300-$500.

How do photo printers work?

Most photo printers are basically inkjet printers with six-color cartridges (light cyan, light magenta, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) rather than the usual four-color cartridges.

There are also some that use a technology known as thermal dye technology (also known as dye sublimation), which basically melts ink "crayons" onto the pages. These can provide high-quality color, but are not really suitable for anything but photo printing.

What costs comes with photo printers?

Necessarily, the cost of the ink is going to be higher than for a normal inkjet printer. If you print out a lot of photos, prepare to pay heavily for cartridges.

What are the advantages of photo printers?

  • High-quality color.
  • Connects directly to camera (or takes digital media cards).
  • Portable printers can travel with you.
  • Immediate photos.


  • More expensive than normal inkjet printers.
  • Slow.
  • May not print normal text well.

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