Let’s just face it. Printing is no longer a priority for the average photographer. What they do look for is the ability to upload as soon as they shoot and as seamlessly as possible. That’s why they look for cameras that come with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. This is precisely why smartphones have become so popular these days. That’s also why you will see a lot of the new cameras that are getting released these days have an array of communication options. That includes the more upmarket DSLRs as well. Such are the demands of social media. They are all competing to take a slice out of it.
But then every now and then we feel the sudden urge to print. We feel that some images deserve a large format printout so that we can hang it on our favorite wall. Sometimes it’s just the urge to have a tangible image in our hands (which is no wonder because the art of photography was always meant to yield in something tangible in the hand). Sometimes it could just be out of a demand from someone in the family or friend circle. Asking if they can have a copy of a certain image you took.
Whatever may be the reason, a printer at home that can print excellent lab-quality photos is a nice thing to have. Not that every one of us can actually afford to have one (because such printers can be very expensive), nor does it make sense for all of us to own one; especially if you only print a few images a year. But the thing is a photo printer can come in handy when you actually need one.
Another way to look at it is that a printing solution at home will give you the ultimate freedom in terms of how you want the final image to come out. An image is not ready until it is printed because there is a lot that can happen still when you start post-processing. Additionally, if your computer screen is not correctly calibrated the final printed image will look a lot different when they are printed.
On top of that, you need the right printer. It is imperative that the printer has the capability to produce the kind of tonal range that your image has. It must have more than 4 separate color tanks at the bare minimum. Ideally, though, you need at least 2 blacks and 5-6 color tanks so that the colors produced in the image look natural.
Additionally, the printer should use ink manufactured using the right technology. The older dye-based inks had major issues in terms of quality of output and their longevity. Modern pigment based inks are way better in terms of both. Not to mention the resolution of the printer. Lower resolution printers might be good for school project works and the occasional printing at home. But they are unsuitable for professionals who need nothing but the best quality to hand over to their clients.
To be honest the whole printer buying exercise can easily get confusing. This is where our guides on how to select the right printer for our needs come into the picture.
No two photographers have the exact same requirements when it comes to buying photo gear. It is thus unthinkable that they would have the same photo printing requirements. You could be a professional photographer and regularly hand out prints to your customers. You could be someone who prints A3 or large format prints at home for exhibition or for mounting on a frame. Whatever be your reason if you are looking for the best photo printers that you could opt for then you need to check out our review of the best professional photo printers.
On the other hand, you could be an amateur photographer who has the habit of printing your best images for the family album. Maybe you are someone who has just begun to use a digital camera and would occasionally make a print to adorn your work table.
For someone like you, a professional printer would be a bad investment. Something that gives better value for money is what you should be looking for. You should take a look at some of the best portable photo printers that we have reviewed.
Then again, you may want to walk the old path, hand over your digital images to a local photo lab and be happy to wait while they churn out the prints. It is convenient, in a way, and has its own merits. Here is a list of the best professional photo printing services that you may want to look at. If you would like to print a canvas or a photo book you should check out our post on the best canvas prints and the best photo book printers.
On the other hand, if you wish to save yourself from having to visit the photo lab every time you need something printed then you could opt for one of the many online photo printing services that we have reviewed.
Scanners are quintessential tools for a photographer. Especially, for someone shooting slide films and or looking for an effective way to convert his / her negatives into color images. But there are other important functionalities of scanners. These include the need to digitize old and rare prints. Many times rare family photos having outlasted their storage life badly require a new lease of life in the form of a digital copy. A quality scanner something that can digitize at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI and above is, therefore, a must-have. This review of the best Epson photo scanners may help you locate the best photo scanners that you need.