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Choosing between a Photo Printer or Inkjet Printer

Photo printers are specifically designed to create photographs that rival any 35mm film print. Photo printers use inkjet or dye-sublimation (dye-sub) technology (also called thermal wax printing). When deciding whether to get a photo printer or an inkjet printer, keep these points in mind:

  • Photo printers can often accept memory cards from digital cameras directly, so you don’t even need to use your PC to print your digital photographs.

  • Although a number of different sizes of photo printers are on the market, most are smaller than typical inkjet printers.

  • Photo printers can’t use standard 8.5-x-11-inch paper.

  • Photo printers are lousy at printing black text, which makes an inkjet printer far more versatile.

  • Both photo and inkjet printers can produce borderless images (just like a film print), but a true dye-sublimation photo printer is far slower than an inkjet, and the special paper and dye ribbon it requires make it much more expensive over the long haul.

If you’re a serious amateur or professional digital photographer, a photo printer is worth the expense. For a typical home PC owner, however, a standard color inkjet printer is the better path to take.

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