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pisto1981

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Have any of you got any suggestion on a printer? I have a budget of around £200.

I will mainly be printing snap shots of my family but would like the opportunity to print some high quality pictures taken on my d3100

Thanks
 

Big Mike

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Have you considered just using a photo lab? By the time you figure in paper and ink (especially for high quality prints), it's not different than ordering prints from a lab.
 
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pisto1981

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When you say photo lab, do you mean a shop with a machine in that you put your usb stick in and print the pictures? If so, i always thought the quality was not as good as it could be. was i wrong?
 

Big Mike

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Like most things...there are a range of Photo labs.

I have a professional account at a professional photo lab, and that's where I do most of my printing. The prices really aren't that high because it's a very competitive market. But there are also several cheaper options. For example, around here, I could send (or bring on USB) my files to Wal-mart. They have quality machines...just not well trained staff to run them, thus the quality is hit and miss. We also have Costco stores with photo labs in them. The prices are very low, and the quality is often good enough for personal type photo...but not quite as good/consistent as the pro labs.

I'm not sure what you have locally around you...but it would be a good idea to just see what is available and try some test prints. You may find that your local drug store has a good photo lab.

With all that being said...I do still have a photo printer at home...and while I prefer to send out my photos for printing...I do still sometimes print at home. The 'best' inkjet photo printers are often made by Canon or Epson...but there are certainly plenty of options. One thing to look for, is how many different inks it has. The better inkjet printers for photos, will have 4, 5, 6 or more different ink colors. But you soon find out how expensive it is, when you want to replace the ink cartridges...and it cost more than the printer did in the first place.
 
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pisto1981

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Thanks Big Mike, i'll start testing this weekend
 

MLCIII

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Big Mike said it best. Photo labs offer some serious advantages for printing on different mediums, printing with archival materials, printing very large sizes, and doing it all for very competitive prices.

With that, I also have a printer, the Canon Pixma Pro 100 which I highly recommend. In the long run I'll probably only break even. But I can have lab-quality prints instantly. I don't sell my work, I bought it because it was incredibly cheap after rebates. But it gives me the flexibility to print whenever I want. And I find it fun. I definitely display more of my work now instead of everything just disappearing into the digital archive forever.
 

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