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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Toolbox: Inkjet Printers

What you need to know about photo printers today

By the way, just as the megapixel count is just one of the factors that accounts for digital camera image quality, dpi is just one of the factors that accounts for print quality. Ink quality, the paper used (and its compatibility with the ink), printer driver settings, the size of the ink droplets and how they're placed on the paper and combined to produce the various colors—all of these factors and more are part of the equation.

Other Photo Printers
Inkjets aren't the only photo-quality printers out there. Dye-sublimation (dye-sub) printers are another option. Dye-subs produce durable continuous-tone images and have no ink nozzles to clog. The main drawback to dye-sub printers is size: Most print only up to 4x6 inches, and those that go larger cost a lot more than letter-sized photo inkjets. Small dye-sub printers start at less than $200, and are offered by a number of manufacturers, including Canon, Fujifilm, Hi-Touch, Kodak, Olympus, Panasonic, Sanyo and Sony.

For those who need to make really huge prints, Canon, Epson and HP offer large-format inkjets that print on long rolls of paper 24 to 44 inches wide. The 24-inch models cost from $1,300 to $3,500, and the 44-inch models cost from $5,000 to $6,000.

If you need copying, scanning and/or faxing capabilities, you might consider one of the all-in-one photo printers, such as the Canon PIXMA MP800R, Epson Stylus Photo RX620 or HP Photosmart 3310 All-in-One.

Canon (800) OK-CANONwww.usa.canon.com
Epson (800) GO-EPSON
Hewlett-Packard (800) 752-0900



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