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How to Choose a Photo Printer

When it comes to buying a photo printer, there appear to be so many different options and features to choose from. As one of the industry’s key players, Canon’s models are no exception. If you’ve decided however that the quality of photographic reproduction is your goal, this is the guide for you.

 

 

 

Inkjet or Laser?

One of the first considerations is deciding what type of printer you need. An inkjet printer sprays tiny dots of ink onto paper and are generally cheaper than laser printers (though you may pay more in cartridges in the long run).

Laser printers, on the other hand, use a powdered ink called toner. The paper gets electronically charged to attract the ink into position. It’s then fused with heat onto the page. Laser printers work best for text and generally for printing quickly at high volume.

In terms of colour printing, inkjet printers produce high-quality images but are usually slower. Colour laser printers, are faster than an Inkjet printer but can produce lower quality pictures.

 

Dye or Pigment?

If you’re buying an inkjet printer, some brands may promote “pigment” inks. Standard inkjet printers use dyes, which is fully liquid. Pigment inks, on the other hand, are tiny particles of powdered inks mixed into a liquid base.

While dyes are absorbed by the paper, pigments build up on the paper’s surface in layers. This allows pigment dyes greater resilience to fading and smudging,

That said, there isn’t much of a difference in the actual print quality to the untrained eye.

 

 

 

What About DPI, PPM and IPM…

When looking at the description for any printer, you may be confronted with a series of acronyms. Some are self-explanatory, like PPI (pages per minute), while others are not as obvious. Here are a few key terms and what they mean:

 

 

DPI

Dots per inch – DPI describes the resolution of a printer based on how many dots fit in an inch of the print. A larger DPI accommodates more dots, which results in a sharper final image, but this also uses more ink. Typically, a 300 DPI is the standard for a good quality print. Higher DPIs are necessary for printing professional photographs.

 

 

PPM

Pages per minute – While this is self-evident, the PPM measures printing speeds at the rate of A4 pages printed a minute. The fastest PPM usually measures the speed at the lowest print resolution, however. Laser printers typically have much faster PPM rates.

 

 

IPM

Images per minute — this is another measure of speed. The difference between PPM and IPM is that the IPM is a standardized rating set by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). It measures speed based on how fast a printer prints three standard test documents in one minute: MS Word, MS Excel and PDF. Each document is four pages long with a combination of images, graphics and text.

IPMs are more reliable than PPMs as individual manufacturers may test the print rate with varying amounts of content on a page. For example, one may test the speed with only a few lines of text per page, while another may test with a combination of text and images. If you want to compare like-to-like, look for the “ISO PPM” rating. 

We’d recommend spending some time deciding which features you’re most interested in to make sure you pick up a printer that’s going to be able to do all of the things you need it to.

 


 

Photo Printer Focus – The Canon Pixma Pro-100S
Why Choose The Canon Pixma Pro-100S?

 

The 100S offers professional quality prints in sizes up to A3+. Whether you’re an amateur seeking to improve upon your skills or a professional aiming for gallery quality prints, this printer is sure to meet your needs. So what makes it such a great option?
8-ink dye system
This printer’s 8-ink dye-based system includes three monochrome inks that use Chromalife 100+. These inks enhance colour reproduction, delivering rich, glossy, vibrant prints you won’t achieve with your average printer.
Professional editing software integration
Canon’s Print Studio Pro plugin offers compatibility with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. This takes the stress out of finding the correct print settings and enables you to print straight from your professional software.
Accepts thick media
As you would expect from a machine built to print photographs, this machine prints onto Gloss, Matte and Fine Art papers up to 350gsm.
Speed
Pixma Pro-100S prints a 4 x 6 inch borderless photo in only 34 seconds – so it’s fast. If you’re printing A3 you’ll achieve a bordered A3+ sized print on just 1.5minutes. Just think, in a matter of minutes you could fill an entire gallery.
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A guide to Fine Art and Photo Printing

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