What a minefield this can be.
Image printing can be achieved at home on a colour printer, or can be sent away to a processing lab without having to do the work yourself.
Based on my experience the most cost-effective route is to do your own image processing, and then pay a dedicated printing site to create the print for you.
So, I have included here links to both hardware suppliers (for those who want to do their own printing) and to processing labs for those who want to send their digital files away to be printed.
There is a third way to be considered, and that is to use your images to create a photo book (see below).
The three components required are a printer, suitable photographic paper, and printer inks.
In general the higher the price the greater the output quality. However, it may not be the cost of the printer that is in question but the cost of replacement inks - so bear this in mind when you choose a printer.
Amongst the choices for photographic image processing I would include printers from Epson, Canon and Hewlett Packard.
Epson The choice for quality photo printing (in order from least to most expensive) is between the:
Expression Premium XP-900 Prints up to A3 Uses individual inkswhich means that you only need to replace the colour used, helping to save costs.
Expression Photo XP-960 Uses Epson’s six-colour Claria Photo HD Ink to produce superior-quality, long-lasting photographs (up to A3), with smooth tonal gradations, rich, vibrant colours and deep natural blacks.
Stylus Photo 1500W - Uses Epson’s Claria 6-colour, dye-based ink-set, has a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440dpi and small 1.5pl droplet size. The glossy prints (up to A3+ in size) are of high quality showing fine detail and smooth tonal gradations.
SureColor SC-P600 - Is a top-of-the-range, printing up to A3+, superb quality, high productivity and superior wireless connectivity. It features Epson’s new nine colour UltraChrome HD and Vivid Magenta ink to produce excellent quality prints with excellent black density. It has twin paper paths that allows printing on photo and fine art papers, canvas and thick media, while the machine’s roll-paper capability is perfect for high-impact panoramic images. The unique 2.7 inch, colour touch panel interface, makes it simple to set up and manage, even without a PC.
Canon The choice for photo enthusiasts (in order from least cost to most expensive) is between the:
Canon PIXMA iP8750 6-colour system that includes grey ink for exceptional colour and mono prints. The individually replaceable single ink tanks also come in XL sized (i.e. large) packs.
Canon PIXMA PRO-100S Advertised as Professional quality, cloud connected, 8-ink, A3+ printer it is capable of producing quality images, especially if used with genuine Canon paper and inks.
Canon PIXMA PRO-10S 10-ink pigment based system for professional quality prints
Canon PIXMA PRO-1 Top-end high quality A3+ printer, with 12 single-ink system. Print resolution up to 4800 x 2400 dpi.
Hewlett Packard (HP) Here is one for those who just want reasonable quality in a smaller size, at low cost:
HP ENVY 5546 With its wireless connections it is easy to connect the ENVY 5546 to your smartphone, tablet or PC allowing quick printing of your photos and documents. Using the free HP Printer Remote mobile app, you can manage tasks and scan documents from your phone.
You can create borderless 10 x 15 cm photos in brilliant colour with ease. With the 2.2” graphics touchscreen display you can select a range of options, including quiet mode, to print without causing disruptions in any room.
The cost of replacement inks has always been a sore point with those who use ink-jet printers.
The manufacturer's advice always is to use their own inks for best quality (and to preserve your rights under their guarantees).
In practice many people use third-party inks simply because they are so much cheaper.
You must decide for yourself on the route you want to take.
To search for CANON papers click here.
For Epson papers click here.
For HP papers click here.
Rather than printing for yourself your digital files can be uploaded to a commercial printing company.
Turn around is usually within 2 days, the quality for most prints is normallly perfectly adequate, and the unit costs are probably lower than if you had printed the images yourself.
Amongst these companies are:
This is my favourite way of displaying worthwhile images. The link to Blurb (below) is an affiliate link and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on this link. This does not increase the costs to you, but it does provide you with a quick and convenient route to my favourite creator of self-designed books. If I did not think that Blurb provided a good service at a reasonable cost they would not feature on this page.
I always use BLURB . - the quality of printing is very high, the strength of the book binding is very good, and the delivery is both secure and timely.
They also supply free templets for book design. For those of you in the USA try:
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Where you see a link please assume that it is an affiliate link. By using these links you will pay nothing extra for the product, and any income generated through those links will help to cover the cost of maintaining this site. I try at all times to provide informative reviews and information about various products.The partial funding through affiliate commissions with Amazon, ShareaSale, SmugMug, TradeDoubler, Corel, Serif, 7-dayshop, Topaz, On1, Webgains, ACDSee, Calumet, CJ Affiliates, VigLink, Jessops Photo, Digital Photography School, and any other specifically named company does not in any way affect the cost of the item to you. The cost is exactly the same as if you had gone to the merchant site directly.
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