is it really worth buying a photo printer?

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my daughter is off to study arts at university and would like me to get her a photo printer as she plans on leaning heavily on her photography skills for her projects. now i have found this article which is pretty good at the what but not so much the why. I mean it does extoll the picture quality etc but i would like to know if realistically, if you need to be printing sort of 5 A4 images a week, does it actually work out cheaper than getting them printed online or at boots? and is it actually of a better quality than these things?
ive had a little look online for pricing and i cant help but think that with those prices and after buying photo paper and all the various inks that it requires, it would be a bit of an expense...
does anyone own one or can tell me in what situations they really are worth it?
 

nivrip

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damy said:
does it actually work out cheaper than getting them printed online or at boots? and is it actually of a better quality than these things?

Probably not now that the prices at Boots etc. are fairly reasonable if you get a fair number printed. Printer inks are not cheap.
 

floppybootstomp

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What do 5 x A4 images cost to print at Boots or other High Street photo printers?
 
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well like nivrip says if you print off alot they can be very cheap but most likely we have estimated she will need maximum 5 prints a week of something like an A4 size, which actually isnt that cheap at boots, probably around a tenner maybe just less i think but still like you say inks are expensive and thent heres all the papers etc
 

floppybootstomp

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£10.00 a week for a term at Uni (Three years? One Year? Just one term?) is expensive no matter the length of time needed to produce these prints.

Unless you're willing to spend a huge amount of money on a photo quality laser printer capable of photo quality then an inkjet will be the best choice.

Let's get the most important piece of advice out of the way first of all: Avoid Lexmark for they is rubbish.

For quality printing from standard inkjet printer (as opposed to dedicated photo printers) stick to the big three: HP, Epson and Canon.

If a printer is required for other UNi work it's probably worth getting a printer to cope with both text documents and photos.

Another option could be a mono laser printer (between 80 and 150 pounds) for black and white text documents and a dedicated photo printer. The mono laser printers are very economical.

As for which is best, which is the most economical and what's the best choice between a 'normal' printer and a photo printer - I don't know.

I've always favoured HP, every one of their printers I've bought has been good but I've purchased a couple of turkeys from both Epson and Canon. The Epson was recommended in a magazine review incidentally, which was what first woke me up to the fact that magazine reviews are 99% payola.

However, things change, markets shift, companies change manufacturing processes and others here will say good things about Epson and Canon based on their own experience.

I can only recommend despite what I've said that you seek out reviews, particularly with regard to economy, or hope somebody here will come up with some real time experience.

It's also worth thinking about printers that take three seperate colour cartridges rather than one tri-colour cartridge, that may work out more economical.

It's also possible to buy refill cartridges at a much cheaper price than the official ones but sometimes these don't produce such good quality prints.

As for paper, if you can reach a branch of Staples it's worth checking out their occasional special offers as sometimes you can get bargains in A4 photo paper. Plus there are many online suppliers of photo paper who offer good prices.
 
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that is really kind of you, il need to discuss all these options with her to see what she is happy to do and what she thinks will work best for the demands of her course. i too have always stuck to hp, il go to canon for cameras etc but printer ive always been a loyal hp-er.
really good idea about sepearte ink cartirdges too... hadnt even thought of that
 

floppybootstomp

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Forgot to mention Kodak printers as they're relatively new to the market.

They've had good reviews and I'd certainly consider one.

They are all multifunction printers though, none do only printing.

The best thing about Kodak printers is they claim cheapest print costs out of all the manufacturers and reviews would seem to bear this out. They look good too, imo

Link
 

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