With the latest photography printers on the market, you have the ability to create better high-quality archival images right in your home or small business compared to a traditional photo lab. It's a very rewarding experience when you can make a digital image and then professionally reproduce it in minutes right before your or your client's eyes. Also, having the correct printer with pigment-based inks will mean long-lasting prints that will resist fading.
The Best of the Best Photo Printers and even the Best of the Rest Photo Printers are dominated by the industry leader, Epson. Every printer reviewed in the Best of the Best uses pigment-based ink. When selecting the photo printer that is best for you, consider the type of ink, select the most individual ink cartridges and go for the highest image resolution.
Select the Best Type of Ink:
There are two types of inks available for ink jet printers, dye and pigment-based ink. Pigment-based inks are much more stable, the colors are more vibrant and most importantly, they are qualified as museum or archival quality lasting upwards of 200 years! In order for this to happen, you will always need to use the manufacturer's professional paper with your printer (Epson printer + Epson professional paper). The Best of the Best Photo Printer is the Epson Stylus R3800. It has significant advancements in black and white printing with a three-layer gray technology and also reproduces stunning color prints up to seventeen inches wide.
Select the Most Individual Cartridges:
The main reason for selecting a printer with individual ink cartridges is you will only pay for the colors that you use. If you printed a few stunning images of the Greek Islands, cyan and light cyan will be supplying most of the ink. Not using more separate cartridges will add to the cost per print and is very wasteful for the environment. I would never recommend a printer with anything less than six individual cartridges and if you can, purchase a printer with at least eight individual cartridges. The Epson R1900 has a cartridge called a Photo Gloss Optimizer sprays a surface evening resin when needed.
Once you select your more color stable pigment-based printer and the maximum number of individual cartridges, the next item for your awareness is the nozzle size of the printer head. While the particle size of the pigment inks allows for sharper images, the smaller droplet size, measured in picoliters, gives the printers faster operation. In addition to the droplet size, you will be faced with the printer's actual resolution. Resolution is measured in DPI or dots per inch. The more dots that a printer can fit in one inch, the higher the resolution and the sharper the image, so you should always opt for at least 1,440 dpi. Printers, like scanners, are listed with two numbers as in 5,760 x 1,440 dpi, so only the second number has any value. In this case, you will be purchasing a printer capable of reproducing an image with a minimum resolution of 1,440 dpi. You can certainly print at double the resolution, or 2,880 dpi, but this will also cost you double the ink cost.
When you select the best pigment-based inkjet printer with the highest number of individual ink cartridges, have a minimum resolution of 1,440 dpi, a small droplet size measured in picoliters, and use the printer manufacturer's professional paper, you will be assured your beautiful photograph will provide a lifetime of appreciation and beyond. You will have furthered your fine art abilities and have an additional backup of your family memories.