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What to look for when buying a printer

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What to look for when buying a printer - Want to buy a printer? Don't know what to look for? Take a look at our advice.

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Epson Stylus Photo PX810One aspect of photography that digital photography and technology has transformed is printing. Of course, photographs are still printed but the way we do it is totally different. You can pop into your local camera store and use a kiosk to output a few prints from your card or CD, or you can work using the Internet using one of the many online printing services available. Indeed the Internet option is well worth exploring because of the creative professional quality options available, from business cards and greetings cards to professional quality, self-designed books complete with fly jacket.

Of course, what has been transformed beyond recognition is home printing. Previously, to print at home meant a wet darkroom, a room that had to be blacked out. This meant that you had to be pretty committed to printing.

Now thanks to inkjet technology, anyone can produce film quality prints at home – with some printers you do not even need a computer. Not only that, it you get really keen and have the budget you can print A3+ (13x19in) or even A2-sized prints. The playing field when it comes to printing is more level than ever before.

If you want to get involved yourself, there are plenty of photo quality printers on the market. Some are dedicated photo printers but there are also all-in-one machines that can copy, fax and photocopy, as well as print. In terms of photographic quality output, the latest models are amazing and they are capable of excellent, film-like results.

We have concentrated on inkjet printers here because of their versatility in that different print sizes and many surfaces are available. The only option is dye-sublimation (dye-sub) printers and are also worth a look if you only make set size prints. You have to use dedicated media in such machines and size options are limited but they promise excellent stability and light fastness.
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