Which printer is best for printing photos

Print photos yourself: tips for perfect pictures

We put all kinds of printer cartridges on paper: texts, tables, graphics ... But we find it really exciting to print complex images, such as photos.

Photos? Can't only a professional service provider print them out really well? No: also Modern printers for private use provide you with high quality images - a quality that you can increase with a few simple tricks when printing photos yourself!

On this page I therefore give you Tipshow to get the most out of your photos with your printer. We start with the selection and setting of the device, make a detour to optimize the image and end with the choice of cartridges and paper. So you can easily print out your photos yourself. We SUPER CARTRIDGES are happy to support you. :)

When is it worth printing photos at home?

Before we answer the question of how you can print out great photos at home, we should briefly clarify who this is actually suitable for.

Here are some advantages:

  • Stay at home: In order to print out the pictures from your last vacation or snapshots of friends, you don't have to leave the house, but rather go as far as your printer in the next room.
  • Fast: This means that you can hold your photos in your hands more quickly and there is no waiting time.
  • Easy: Send the pictures to the printer, done. There's no need to go to a store or search for online photo services.
  • Savings: You save the money on professional printouts.
  • Good print quality: Even "standard printers" produce images of ever better quality.

The subject of quality also brings us to the Disadvantages of domestic photo printing:

  • Quality: The image quality of standard printers is okay, but not on the top level of a professional photo lab. To achieve that, you need high quality ...
  • Printer accessories: This includes very good printer cartridges, special photo paper and preferably a photo printer, but an ordinary inkjet printer does a good job.
  • Costs: You will incur expenses by purchasing printer accessories - the more the more and the better photos you want to print.
  • Time: After all, you need the right amount of time to select the accessories, optimize the image and the printing itself.

Conclusion: Printing out photos yourself is suitable for you if you want a few photos of average quality - or if you are looking for one high quality ready to get you special photo printing supplies as well as a Photo printer to increase. Your own photo printing can become a real hobby and also perfectly complements hobby photography. In addition to the usual prints, you can also use your own photos to create your own photo gifts, such as a creative photo book, greeting cards or your own calendar, which you can pimp with photos. Such self-made photo products have a personal touch, which is why not 100 percent perfect results like those from the laboratory have their charm. The free program HP Photo Creations can be of interest to owners of HP printers on this subject. It helps with the creation of these and several other photo gifts.

Choosing the Right Printer: Ink or Toner?

To print photos at home, you need a printer, of course. In private households there is generally either an inkjet printer that works with ink cartridges or a laser printer that works with toner powder. Both types of printer can print photos, so you don't necessarily have to buy a new device. However, inkjet printers deliver significantly better results than laser printers - and special photo printers give the very best results.

Laser printer

Basically, laser printers score with high printing speed, permanent printouts, lower printing costs and a long service life. Standard devices can also print photos, of course, and very quickly, but the quality is not amazing - photos just don't look as brilliant as an inkjet printer.

Why this comparatively poor quality?

  • On the one hand because of the Color point size, i.e. the size of the color dots that the printer sets: In laser printers, the color dots are relatively wide because they work with granular toner that is also melted. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, have ink nozzles that create tiny dots of color from ink that promote particularly fine results.
  • On the other hand because of the Color gamut: Laser printers usually print with four colors, while special photo inkjet printers with many more colors juggle photo blacks and shades of gray.

Inkjet printer

Inkjet printers deliver far better print quality than laser printers. Such a device is suitable for you if you only want to print photos every now and then, but they do razor sharp should be - with intense colors, smooth color transitions and clear contrasts. Of course, you can make as many pictures as you want with an inkjet printer, as long as you are not afraid of the higher costs compared to the photo booth in the drugstore or the photo studio.

Another benefit of inkjet printers for photo printing is that they use specialty paper for photos - aptly "Photo paper" called - can print. The choice of paper plays a major role in the image quality when printing photos, which is often underestimated, which is why we explain this to you in more detail below.

A third advantage of inkjet printers is their low purchase price. But be careful: the purchase is followed by high Printing costsif you only use original printer manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. So-called “refill ink cartridges” - for example our SUPER CARTRIDGES - are cheaper and more environmentally friendly made in Germany. For this purpose, used, empty printer cartridges are cleaned and refilled with new ink. That protects the environment as well as your wallet!

Especially for pictures: photo printer with inkjet printer

One particular type of inkjet printer is special Photo printer. They are not cheap (around 500 to 700 euros), but they improve the print quality so much that photos can only be distinguished from laboratory images with the most precise analysis. So if you do often Best quality images want to print out, consider buying such a special device.

Where does this higher image quality come from? Classic inkjet printers have four ink cartridges for C.yan / blue, M.agenta, Yellow / yellow and black - that's why they are also called CMYK printers. Photo printers, on the other hand, have additional photo inks for black and white and color photos. An ink set can contain up to ten individual inks! The best known are photo black and gray ink. This is how photo printers print one larger color space than conventional inkjet printers and enable significantly more color-intensive, high-contrast images.

If you are interested in a photo printer, look for the following features when buying:

  • Memory card slot: Take the memory card out of the camera or smartphone, slide it into the printer - you can already choose which images to print.
  • Digital camera connection: This allows you to transfer photos via cable from your camera to the photo printer.
  • Bluetooth interface: How to transfer pictures wirelessly from your smartphone to the printer.
  • WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: Thanks to WiFi, the printer can also print photos from the cloud.
  • Image editing: You can often optimize images directly on the photo printer, so you don't need any PC software for this. However, the editing functions on the printer are usually reduced to basic changes such as red-eye correction.
  • Power consumption: Today there are printers with lower energy consumption - this way you protect the environment for all of us.

Last but not least: The image format of photo printers is usually limited. With the current models, you can generally only use the usual ones Photo formats Print out 9x13 or 10x15 centimeters, which is sufficient for most pictures. However, if you want to make prints in larger formats, you will find appropriate solutions on the printer market.

Dye sublimation printer

For the sake of completeness, we mention another type of printer: the dye-sublimation printer - thermosub printer for short. You only need it if you have your photos necessarily on different materials want to print, such as plastics or textiles.

In addition to this advantage, it has two major disadvantages, namely environmental pollution and printing costs. For printing you need ribbons that can only be used once, but only release around two percent of the color particles. This creates an extremely large amount of waste compared to inkjet and laser printers.

Optimize photos on the PC using software with image editing programs

You now know the different printer types and how they are suitable for printing photos yourself - but before you send your pictures to the device, optimize them on the computer. With just a little post-processing, you can get a lot more out of your recordings!

Help for editing offer umpteen Image editing programs: from simple software for laypeople to extensive software for professionals. Certain basic functions are common to all programs. So you can crop images and control their brightness, color or sharpness. In some cases, you can refine these functions. B. not only regulate the brightness of the whole photo, but also the contrast and exposure; bright areas can be highlighted, shadows can be emphasized. If you want to hire as little as possible yourself, they are automatic image correction and the Red-eye correction practical, which even offer basic programs.

At first glance, the selection of the available image processing programs and their functions is overwhelming. And admittedly: the extensive optimization of many photos requires patience. But for simple demands even slight adjustments with simple software are sufficient. If you then try a little, you will quickly find out which controls do what - and above all: improve.

If you've found fun printing photos yourself, you can go deeper into the matter and deal with tonal values, histograms and many other exciting topics. You can find help, for example, on the websites of (amateur) photographers, in specialist forums, in Facebook groups on the subject of amateur photography and image editing, on YouTube and from the manufacturers of image editing programs, who often provide tutorials. However: If you want to deal with the topic in more detail, it is definitely worth it comprehensive photo editing programs like for example GIMP or Photoshop

Correctly adjust the printer settings

You now have a suitable printer and have optimized your photos - you can start printing:

  • Version 1: You send your recordings to the printer, it prints them out, done. You can achieve better print quality with ...
  • Variant 2: Set up the printer correctly to optimally prepare it for photo printing!

Modern devices offer various settings. You probably already know some of them, such as paper orientation or double-sided printing. There are also options that you can use to specifically improve photo printing. This primarily includes the Quality settings, the Paper size and the Paper type - especially important if you are printing on photo paper! If you feel like it, you can also use the printer settings to upload your pictures mirrored to print.

Note: Print black and white photos

If you are noble Black and white photos want to print, do NOT do this via the option "in grayscale" in the printer settings, even if that is obvious! Instead, color the images in black and white with an editing program and then print them out regularly in color mode. The reason: especially with conventional inkjet printers for private use, images that were printed in grayscale mode are nowhere near as true-to-color as prints in color mode.

Exception: photo printer with cartridges with ink in special colors. Black-and-white printing of images and prints in grayscale works especially if the device can work with ink in shades of gray and other colors of ink. With such a photo printer, you initially spend more money on the higher number of consumables (ink cartridges), but this investment is worthwhile for the photo quality. In addition, you have more ink due to the higher number of cartridges.

Printer settings in the test

The effect that printer settings have on the quality of printed photos is amazing! To show you, we did a little test and printed out the same image with different printer settings.

  • First attempt: We chose "plain paper" as the paper type and the quality setting "Default". The printer delivered a nice looking photo.
  • Second attempt: We again selected "plain paper" as the paper type, this time as the quality setting "Optimal". The printer took significantly longer to do his work, but it was worth it: the printed image appeared more nuanced, more detailed, sharper.
  • Third attempt: We now selected “photo paper, matt” as the type of paper, and kept the quality setting "Optimal" at. The picture looked razor-sharp - and interesting: Suddenly, the quality of the first photo looked really bad! It seemed to have a yellow-orange tinge, while in the third photo the red looked really red, the white really white.

So it is definitely worth optimizing the printer settings when printing photos yourself!

The role of print resolution for photo printing

In the previous paragraph we looked at how you can improve the print quality using the printer settings. But what exactly does that mean? It basically means that you have the Increases print resolution. On this subject can be very say a lot, often mixing up technical terms. In order to clarify the topic, we summarize the most important things for you here.

A picture consists of many small pixels - You can see them when you get very close or zoom in. The print resolution now indicates how many pixels there are over a length of one inch (1 inch = 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters). This is called in English dots per inch (dpi), sometimes also "pixels per inch (ppi)" or "megapixels". For example, at a resolution of 300 dpi, there are 300 pixels per inch.

The basic rule is: the more points per inch, the higher the dpi value, the higher the resolution and the sharper the print image.

Often you do not read a simple dpi number, but an indication with "x", for example "5760x1440 dpi". Strictly speaking, that stands for them Image size. An example:The printer sets 5,760 dots per inch in a row and 1,440 rows per inch. In other words, it spits out a picture that is 5,760 points wide and 1,440 points high.

The important question now is: What print resolution do you needto print photos? As a rule, at least apply for qualitative photo printouts 300 dpi as appropriate. At less than 100 dpi you can clearly see individual pixels. 300 dpi are no problem for modern printers: normal laser printers offer a resolution of 600x600 dpi, while modern inkjet printers have several thousand pixels per inch, around 5760x1440 dpi or even 9600x2400 dpi! However, these are values ​​that computers can calculate and printers cannot actually deliver. I.If you are in doubt, use the higher possible print resolutionto be able to produce good results. In this way you also prevent misprints that use up your printer accessories and also pollute the environment.

Tip: We have dealt with the topic of print resolution in detail for you in the linked guide.

Use good quality printer cartridges

Your printer fits and is set correctly, your photos are optimized - are you finally able to print photos? Not quite yet, because we will first check your printer cartridges. You get high-quality images not only through a high print resolution, but also through high quality printer cartridges. With them, even (inkjet) printers with lower resolution achieve very good photo prints - sometimes even better than printers with higher resolution! This is mainly due to the better ink in quality cartridges.

You can find high-quality printer cartridges in our shop: We offer you refill ink cartridges and rebuilt toners made in Germany. By reconditioning used cartridges, our SUPER CARTRIDGES are significantly cheaper than the new ones from printer manufacturers, but at the same time more environmentally friendly.You don't have to throw yourself into expense or harm our environment to print out photos yourself. We only use certified inkthat is in no way inferior to the original inks of the printer manufacturer.

Use good quality photo paper

Your printer is set correctly, your printer cartridges are waiting - now it's finally time to start printing! But if you just want to print on standard copy paper: Don't underestimate the role that high-quality printer paper plays in the quality of printed images! Just special Photo paper really makes your pictures shine.

Photo paper is thicker than conventional printer paper and has a special coating:

  • Paper thickness: It is also called “grammage” because it is given in grams per square meter (g / m²). Standard printer paper has a grammage of 80 g / m² - photo paper significantly more, e.g. B. 170 g / m².
  • Coating: The surface of photo paper is either matt or glossy coated. Matt paper (or "grainy paper") can hide certain quality defects, such as image noise, that is, when digital photos look so easily cracked. It gives images more contrast and is particularly suitable for black and white photos. Glossy paper (or "glossy paper") can also easily enhance blurry photos and gives photos something noble, but is prone to fingerprints.

Photo paper put to the test

You can already see the great effect of good paper on print quality when you print photos on paper that is only slightly thicker than usual. The printer manufacturer's paper clearly overtakes that of the third-party manufacturer - this was demonstrated by the printer manufacturer testthat we carried out especially for you!

The test participants: an HP inkjet printer, a photo with strong light-dark contrast and lots of details, two matt printer paper from HP (120 g / m² and 100 g / m²) and two matt photo paper from various third-party manufacturers (110 g / m² and 120 g / m²) m²).

What I noticed first: the big price differences between HP and the third-party manufacturers! No wonder most people tend to go for the cheaper third-party paper. But our test results might change you: the printed image looked slightly washed out, grainy, pale in color on both papers from the third-party manufacturers - even though we had used real "photo paper" here! On the HP paper with 100 g / m² the image looked much sharper, the green was really green, the red really red. The best result, however, was clearly delivered by the HP paper with 120 g / m²: Contours and details were razor-sharp, the colors beautifully strong.

What do we learn from our test? It is worth buying thick paper from the printer manufacturer, photo paper is best. It's more expensive, but it makes a world of difference! A difference that you will now notice when you finally print out your photos. Because yes, you are ready now: Your printer is fed with top-quality paper and top-quality cartridges - let's go to photo printing!

Extra tip 1: color results differ? Calibrate printer!

You have used a good photo printer, quality ink cartridges, and excellent photo paper, and have tried out the printer settings and image processing - anyway the color results of the photo prints differ significantly from the display on the screen? Often this is a color cast that you couldn't see on your computer screen. A kind of fog or a pale photo printout could also show up when printing the photo itself. The reason for the color deviation between the monitor display and the print result can be a insufficient calibration of your printer be.

Why a printer calibration (printer profiling) may be necessary? Well, that's basically due to the color spaces used, which in this case are different on the monitor and the printer. While screens usually use the RGB color space (R.ot, Grun, B.lukewarm) to display color tones, printers work with the CMYK color space (C.yan, M.agenta, Yellow and Key Color Black).

You can calibrate your printer to match the colors. We have summarized how this works and further information in our guide "Calibrating the printer: What should you know about it?"

Extra tip 2: The camera is one of the deciding factors for the photo quality - also in print

If you only occasionally create photos yourself with the photo printer without high standards, you don't have to attach much importance to a good camera, because even the pictures created with the smartphone may be sufficient. Do you want against it high quality results we recommend Digital cameras with the appropriate specifications. But be warned: Hobby photography can take a lot of time to gain knowledge and money for equipment - and offers a lot of fun as well as a new "look" at your surroundings and possible photo opportunities!

Conclusion: print the photos yourself

You can easily print your photos by hand at home, especially if you have an inkjet printer. Before doing this, invest some time to optimize your images and set up your printer correctly. And invest some money to buy good quality printer cartridges and photo paper. As the icing on the cake, you might want to buy a photo printer - then you will be optimally equipped for your pictures!

Otherwise, it is advisable to have the images printed out by an appropriate service provider. If you want to go on an excursion, you can save your photos e.g. B. on a USB stick and visits a photographer or the photo printing station in a drugstore or supermarket. If you prefer to stay at home, visit one of the many websites where you can have pictures printed and delivered.


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Image sources:

  • Image ID: 62995857 - REDPIXEL, depositphotos.com
  • Image ID: 117561038 - Rawpixel, depositphotos.com

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