Lab-Quality Prints At Home

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If you haven’t heard this before, it’s all about the print! Having a digital camera with a super-high resolution only really serves it’s purpose when you make a print. That’s right, sending a 10.2 megapixel image of your kids to Grandma will only upset her. Why? Because when she opens it up in her e-mail program, her screen will be filled with one whole eye of her grandchild! I’m not kidding you either. Most high-res images have to be re-sized (lower resolution) prior to e-mailing them, leaving the high-res images for one thing… a print.

Ink jet printing of images at home used to be for the rich and famous. That’s because ink jet printers that would produce lab-quality results were VERY expensive. Sure, you could get a good printer for a few hundred bucks, but you could still expect lines in your images from uneven ink distribution among other things. These days, for a few hundred bucks you can get an awesome inkjet printer that will print very high quality prints. They even make compact photo printers that you can pick up for less than $100.00 that produce 4×6 prints that are just as good as you could get from a lab.

Personally, I currently use a Canon PIXMA ip4300. It’s last year’s model, but I got it for $100.00 with a $100.00 mail-in rebate. Essentially, I got a free printer less sales tax. You can’t beat that. Canon and Epson are the two best ink jet printers in my opinion. Most pros who print in their own lab or studio use them, and you can get a REALLY good printer for probably less than you would think. Their high-end printers are still expensive, but probably still less than you would think.

  • EPSON Photo R2400: This is an amazing printer. You can print borderless 13×19 photos and they claim to print an 11×14 in less than 2 minutes. If you like to print black and white, this printer will have you reeling when you see your first B&W print. It uses Epson K3 inks, which will last far longer than you or I will. You can also use EPSON’s fine art media for some really stunning prints. This printer is on my wish list. You can pick it up for $729.95 with a $100.00 mail-in rebate from B&H Photo here.
  • EPSON Photo R1800: Another great printer from EPSON, this will also print borderless 13×19. The inks used are EPSON’s UltraChrome High-Gloss inks which they claim will last for over 200 years. The black and white prints are excellent, though not as impressive as the R2400. You can print all common print sizes up to 13×19. This printer can be yours for a mere $469.95 with a $100.00 mail-in rebate available here.
  • EPSON PictureMate PM 260: This little printer packs a punch. You can print lab-quality 4×6 images from a printer that costs less than $100.00! Factor in ink and 100 sheets of EPSON 4×6 photo paper and your cost per print comes in at around $0.25! So if you do a lot of printing, this guy could save you some cash in the long haul. This printer is compact, easy to use, and provides great results. It’s great for everyday prints, those who scrapbook, or anyone else who just wants awesome 4×6 prints. You can pick it up from B&H Photo for $94.95 here.

That’s it for today! Tomorrow and Thursday will be “No Post Wednesday and Thursday” since I will be out shooting on the Navy’s newest destroyer at sea. I have the awesome opportunity to take her on her maiden voyage (before the Navy even assumes custody) and on top of that get to shoot while I’m there! That just rocks! Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share some shots with you and tell you about the experience! Have a great Tuesday!

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