Printers that produce photo-realistic images have 4 or 6
different ink colors, some with separate black ink cartridges.
Resolutions vary from 300 to 2400 dpi, a cluster of these
printer ink dots
are required to produce a single pixel of a given color.
More on Printer Ink Dot comparisons.
For best printing quality, the source should be approximately 300
dpi. Multiply the print size by the dpi to determine how large a
source image you need. For example, a 4x6 needs 6 x 300 dpi or
1800 pixels across. Smaller source images will make your
printouts less sharp. The ink and paper you use make a huge
difference in the quality and longevity of output.
You can buy ink cartridge refill kits that are much cheaper than
buying the real thing. Check to see what your dealer/manufacturer
has to say about using refill kits, it may cause warrantee and
Printing multiple photos on a single 8.5 x 11
page can reduce costs, as good photographic-quality paper is
expensive. You can arrange the images on a large work area
yourself using an image editor, or use a program designed for
that purpose. There are a number to choose from including
HP Photo Finishing (free) and
Photo Paper Saver
(shareware), which is reviewed at
Feather River Canyon News.
Printing Low Resolution Images
Expanding a small image before printing can sometimes improve the
printout results. Another option is the PhotoShop plugin
Genuine Fractals which
expands an image using Fractal mathematics.
Printouts are more delicate than photographic prints. To extend their life,
Artist's Workable Fixatif is recommended to seal and protect your printouts.
Using Acrylic instead of glass for framed photos will reduce fading due
to UV Rays.
Nearly all of today's printers produce excellent results,
take a file and give them a test drive to judge for yourself.
A good test image would be a portrait taken outdoors with blue sky in the background.
ZDNet Printers Guide (reviews)
About.com Inkjet Printers
ZDNet Test your own printer online
Test your printer with these high resolution sample images
Luminous Landscape Testing an Epson printer with various paper and inks
Ted's Inkjet Fade Test Various papers are tested for fading (HP 722c)
Wilhelm Imaging Research Life of displayed ink-jet and photographic prints
Genuine Fractals PhotoShop plugin to produce higher quality printouts
Photo Paper Saver Shareware program to print multiple pictures on a single page
QImage Pro 3.1 $30 program to print multiple pictures on a single page
Poster Software $16 shareware that prints designs and photos on multiple pages
Products and Services
PrintRoom Inexpensive prints from files via Internet
Mystic Color Lab Printing service
Lightroom Ilfochrome (prints directly from slides) and digital printing services
EverColor Fine Art scanning, printing, laminating and mounting services
Xyron Laminating machine
Luminos Special ink and paper supplier
The Stock Solution Ink, paper and archival sprays
Marrutt Lyson long-life (25-30 years) inks and media
Friskars Paper Cutters