Landscape photography is one of the most enticing genres among photography enthusiasts. There are many hurdles faced while photographing impressive landscapes. So, it becomes necessary to plan a shooting trip properly and opt for the right equipment for landscape photography. Landscape photography requires high-end equipment to capture superb quality images with as much detail as possible. Photo printers play an important role for many serious landscape photographers which allow them to get high quality photo prints easily. They serve as the digital equivalent of the darkroom for landscape photographers.
Purpose of the Guide
There are different types of photo printers currently available out there. This makes it difficult for one to make a suitable one. This guide aims at giving you an insight into the main types of photo printers and the several factors that need to be considered while buying one for landscape photography. It also serves as a walkthrough for landscape photographers to know about the different features of a photo printer and how they prove useful for getting impressive prints.
Types of Photo Printers
When comparing printers, it can be seen that the digital photo printers are of two types - ink jet photo printer and dye sublimation photo printers. Let’s look at both these types of photo printers in more detail.
Inkjet photo printers
The ink jet photo printers are the most commonly used printers. They serve as the perfect holistic home printers and are thus useful for printing Web pages, text files and other digital media along with photographs.
Dye sublimation photo printers
Dye sublimation printers are designed especially for photography reproduction. These printers produce high quality glossy prints that are needed by professional photographers. They create the best quality photos but are more expensive than inkjet printers. So these printers are usually preferred by those who plan to do loads of photo printing at home.
Features of Photo Printers
Digital photo printers are extremely convenient to use and also save reproduction costs in the long-run. However, most photo printers are expensive, so one needs to make sure that they are picking the right one. As such, it is necessary to consider several factors when buying a new photo printer.
This is among the most important considerations for buying the right photo printer. Even though every photo printer has enough resolution for casual usage, professional landscape photographers require a printer with a resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dpi or higher.
Size is another factor which should be considered when comparing different photo printers. Usually, on-the-go photographers prefer smaller, ultra-portable photo printers. However, if the convenience of a compact unit is not essential then landscape photographers need to opt for bulky photo printers. These photo printers provide higher resolution prints and document printing options.
While choosing a photo printer, it is essential to make sure that it is compatible with the photographer’s digital storage devices. Some people tend to assume that every photo printer provides the same standard types of connectivity. However, most photo printers have some connectivity options such as built-in slots for SD cards, MMC cards, MiroDrives and more. Some photo printers provide direct USB connectivity while a few other photo printers do not feature any type of direct-from-camera printing options. These photo printers prove useful for those photographers who have to do a lot of photo editing on their computer.
Detail is very important in landscape and nature photography. Landscape photographers need to choose the photo papers such that they bring out all the wonderful detail and nuances of the nature that they have captured through their camera. It is preferable to use matte, satin, luster and semigloss media for landscape photography. Matte paper is usually smooth and gives low reflective quality while satin and luster papers provide a light texture on a photo base substrate. There is also an option of semigloss papers that have a smooth surface with reflectance between that is offered by glossy and matte papers. The reflection from a print determines the amount of details shown on the photo print after the printing process.
Inkjet photo printers mostly use two types of photo papers - warm or cool tone. The cool tone papers are brighter white while the warm tone papers have a subtle natural white tone. The overall look desired for a print depends greatly on the choice between warm and cool tones in photo papers. Also, it is essential to remember that the tone of the paper sets the print’s white point.
Most dye sublimation photo printers can generate a 4 x 6 inch borderless photo in about one minute. On the other hand, the inkjet printers’ speeds vary depending upon the number of ink nozzles that are used in the print head and the level of printing quality. So, the approximate printing speed provided by inkjet printers ranges from 20 seconds to one minute. This makes a high-speed inkjet printer as a sensible option for those who need to print lots of photos.
Nowadays, some printers give photographers the facility to edit their digital photos by using their built-in color LCD screens. These editing features include adding a time/date stamp or text caption to the photos, cropping the photo sizes or even performing multiple picture enhancements.
PictBridge direct printing
PictBridge direct printing is a common format used to connect cameras and printers directly through a simple USB connection. With this feature, the photographers can print photos directly without the need to print them through the PC.
Wireless network printing
Many new printers feature Wi-Fi support which allows multiple users on a wireless network to get access to the printer from home or office. Some printers are also connected to a wired network through an Ethernet port to provide shared printing facility for the connected computers.
Utilities of Photo Printers
When it comes to landscape photography, the inkjet photo printers are considered to be the perfect choice. These printers are designed to print outstanding quality pictures on photo paper. They have a few nozzles that produce tiny droplets of ink of about more than 1 Pico Litre to print high quality pictures. Some inkjet photo printers also provide memory cards which allow photographers to print all the pictures without using a computer. There are some other types of inkjet printers that enable photographers to print the photos directly from the camera. The inkjet photo printers are the best option for those who need to print plenty of pictures. They are not only lightweight but are also easy to carry. Currently, there are several options in inkjet photo printers available such as all-in-one photo printers, transportable photo printers and many more.
Top 5 Products
Canon photo printers are considered to be the best among photographers, and the Selphy CP790 is no exception. This photo printer provides excellent printing quality and is easy to set up and use. In addition to its high quality printing, it also offers Bluetooth and battery options that make it a perfect choice for landscape photographers.
Epson is a leading brand of electronic products. Some of its products include computers, tablets, digital cameras, televisions, video cameras, mobile phones, home theatre, hard drives, portable audio and much more.
HP Photosmart A526 photo printer comes with a built-in Photo Fix that simplifies the process of making prints look their best. It provides simple adjustments for improving the color, sharpness and removing red-eye from the image. This printer is compatible with PictBridge and can print 4 x 6 or 4 x 12 inch photographs. It is extremely handy as it can even print wirelessly with an optional Bluetooth adapter.
Canon Selphy CP780 produces amazingly sharp and richly colored photos. Even though this photo printer has an optional Bluetooth adapter and battery, it gives fantastic print quality.
The Polaroid PoGo printer serves as the best option for those who want to get photo prints of parties, outings, sports events and so on. It allows photographers to print small photos quickly and anywhere without any hassle of wires. This is an extremely portable photo printer that provides spectacular prints.
When buying a new photo printer, landscape photographers need to know the relevant terms that are associated with the printer. Listed here are some of these important terms with their significance for a photo printer.
- Inkjet printing:
- It is a type of printing wherein ionized ink is sprayed on paper in microscopic droplets to produce outstanding quality photos.
- Dye sublimation printing:
- It is a type of printing in which heat is used to sublimate the dye and transfer it to the photo paper.
- It determines the sharpness of the image that needs to be emulated on a photo paper.
- Direct photo printing:
- This technology allows users to use a memory card in the photo printer for printing photos without transferring them to a computer.
- It is used to print directly from the digital camera to a photo printer without using a computer as a medium to handle the transfer between them.