Recommend a photo printer

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JoeChick10
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Recommend a photo printer

Post by JoeChick10 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am

As an X-Mas gift, we are looking to potentially get my dad a photo printer. He has an office and enjoys gathering family photos (taken from iPhones), printing them at CVS (or somewhere similar) and hanging them up. Printing at CVS is expensive so we wanted get him one to print his own. If this is worth doing, I would think the photos need to print in similar quality and at a variety of sizes but mainly 5x7.
  • Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
  • Can you recommend a good one?
Thanks!
Last edited by JoeChick10 on Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Teague
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by Teague » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:15 am

JoeChick10 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am
As an X-Mas gift, we are looking to potentially get my dad a photo printer. He has an office and enjoys gathering family photos, printing them at CVS (or somewhere similar) and hanging them up. Printing at CVS is expensive so we wanted get him one to print his own. If this is worth doing, I would think the photos need to print in similar quality and at a variety of sizes but mainly 5x7.
  • Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
  • Can you recommend a good one?
Thanks!
You say he is "gathering family photos, printing them at CVS.." Does this mean he is finding old negatives and making prints of those? If so, he needs something to scan the negatives first, and a printer to print them. But that's not the case if the photos are already digital.

To your questions:
-Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?

No, this would not be worthwhile economically for the very low volume you mention.

Can you recommend a good one?

Probably, but we need to nail down just what he is wanting to do first.
Semper Augustus

DSInvestor
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by DSInvestor » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:16 am

It has been a while since I've used a photo printer but I recall that the ink is expensive and the printers can clog up. I'd suggest sticking with an outside photo printing service if only printing 5-10 per year.
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Topic Author
JoeChick10
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by JoeChick10 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:20 am

Teague wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:15 am
JoeChick10 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am
As an X-Mas gift, we are looking to potentially get my dad a photo printer. He has an office and enjoys gathering family photos, printing them at CVS (or somewhere similar) and hanging them up. Printing at CVS is expensive so we wanted get him one to print his own. If this is worth doing, I would think the photos need to print in similar quality and at a variety of sizes but mainly 5x7.
  • Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
  • Can you recommend a good one?
Thanks!
You say he is "gathering family photos, printing them at CVS.." Does this mean he is finding old negatives and making prints of those? If so, he needs something to scan the negatives first, and a printer to print them. But that's not the case if the photos are already digital.

To your questions:
-Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?

No, this would not be worthwhile economically for the very low volume you mention.

Can you recommend a good one?

Probably, but we need to nail down just what he is wanting to do first.
Good point. He is printing from photos taken from an iPhone. I will adjust post as well. Thanks.

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Watty
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by Watty » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:23 am

JoeChick10 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am
Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
I assume that you actually meant more than a lot more than that but even then the problem is that if you do not use it regularly the ink will dry out and clog the print heads.

The ink for photo printers can be very expense so be sure to price that out before you buy a printer.

There are likely online photo printers like Costco or Snapfish that might be less expensive.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:24 am

JoeChick10 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am
As an X-Mas gift, we are looking to potentially get my dad a photo printer. He has an office and enjoys gathering family photos (taken from iPhones), printing them at CVS (or somewhere similar) and hanging them up. Printing at CVS is expensive so we wanted get him one to print his own. If this is worth doing, I would think the photos need to print in similar quality and at a variety of sizes but mainly 5x7.
  • Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
  • Can you recommend a good one?
Thanks!
No, it's not a worthwhile investment.

I would suggest you look into Costco's photo service. Photos are uploaded, cleaned up (if you want), and then you order prints. $.59 for a 5x7, shipping is free. CVS is the same. Is this what you consider expensive?

I will tell you that if a color printer sits, things dry up (ask me how I know). Our printer just died, and we have no intentions of replacing it.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

TN_Boy
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:27 am

JoeChick10 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am
As an X-Mas gift, we are looking to potentially get my dad a photo printer. He has an office and enjoys gathering family photos, printing them at CVS (or somewhere similar) and hanging them up. Printing at CVS is expensive so we wanted get him one to print his own. If this is worth doing, I would think the photos need to print in similar quality and at a variety of sizes but mainly 5x7.
  • Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
  • Can you recommend a good one?
Thanks!
? Printing 5x7 at Walgreens, CVS, etc is dirt cheap. A 5x7 is $3. 4x6s are less than 50 cents.

But ink jets need photo paper and ink cartridges, and I've found those to be expensive.

Unless he just wants a printer, give him a gift card to CVS ..... unless he is doing high volume printing, it makes zero sense to buy a printer.

Actually you can order prints from national print outfits (like mpix) where a 5x7 is more like $1.29, and the print quality is likely to be higher than what you get from CVS. They of course mail you the prints and you have to pay postage. Still not expensive.

From what you've said the printer is a non-starter.

Teague
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by Teague » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:33 am

Ok, got it, the photos are already digital. Good.

It makes no economic sense to print at home for such a low volume. However, printing your own offers other rewards.

First, understand that what you print at home will not look exactly like what you get from a traditional chemical process. The surface will look different, generally not as glossy as the traditional RA-4 process from CVS or Costco or wherever. But, what you loose in surface properties is weighed against what you gain, which is often an increased color range (gamut) from home inkjet printers, at least the good ones. And the ability to adjust the color, brightness, etc. of the print at home is really nice. And no waiting for the drugstore to get 'er done. You want a print? A minute or two later, there you go.

Is it really economics driving your decision? If so, a home photo printer is a non-starter. But if you think he would enjoy the other benefits, then we can talk.
Semper Augustus

ohai
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by ohai » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:34 am

Also, inkjets kind of force you to use them, as the ink heads dry and they clean themselves by wiping off more ink.

goblue100
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by goblue100 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:24 am


No, it's not a worthwhile investment.
+1
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MathWizard
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by MathWizard » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:04 pm

A home photo printer is not an economical choice, but it can benice to print pictures right away. My wife did this for a party with the (now discontinued ) Kodak Easyshare printer. We really liked the dye sublimation printing, though it was slow (45 seconds per print) and had large ongoing paper/ink cost. The closest current printer would be the Canon Selfy dye sublimation printer.

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climber2020
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by climber2020 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:21 pm

Get them printed at Walmart. He can upload the pictures to Walmart's website and have them shipped to the closest store for 9 cents per 4x6 print. I think the one hour service is 25 cents per print.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:28 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:21 pm
Get them printed at Walmart. He can upload the pictures to Walmart's website and have them shipped to the closest store for 9 cents per 4x6 print. I think the one hour service is 25 cents per print.
He wants 5x7. Walmart is $.69 to have them mailed. Costco and CVS are $.59.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

LifeIsGood
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by LifeIsGood » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:56 am

At that low level of usage there is little justification for buying a photo printer for all the reasons mentioned above. I have a Canon Pixma Pro-100 and love it. The print quality rivals most drug store photo printers and despite infrequent use I've never had problems with clogged print heads. It will occasionally go on sale for around $60 after rebates.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Recommend a photo printer

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:19 am

JoeChick10 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:09 am
As an X-Mas gift, we are looking to potentially get my dad a photo printer. He has an office and enjoys gathering family photos (taken from iPhones), printing them at CVS (or somewhere similar) and hanging them up. Printing at CVS is expensive so we wanted get him one to print his own. If this is worth doing, I would think the photos need to print in similar quality and at a variety of sizes but mainly 5x7.
  • Is this a worthwhile investment if he's only printing 5-10 per year?
  • Can you recommend a good one?
Thanks!
1. No. The ink cartridges will dry out if not used regularly. And, they are expensive.
2. Costs per page/picture are high considering price of printer, photo paper, and ink.
3. If you are wall hanging, then likely printing an 8x10 and framing to larger with matte.
4. A lot depends on the quality wanted (higher price inks and photo paper) , amount printed, print size, and how the photos will be used.
5. FWIW: 4x6 photo paper is more common and sometimes cheaper than 5x7.
And, 4x6 will fit in a standard business size envelope so can be mailed. About 3 pics is less than 1 oz for 1 stamp.
6. OTOH: If he has a photo printer, he will likely print much more because it is available, convenient, and fun!

*The Canon website has occasional ink/paper bundled deals.
j :happy
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