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Q: A photo printer that's economical to operate and of high quality? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: A photo printer that's economical to operate and of high quality?
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: tinkywinkey-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 06 Oct 2006 12:23 PDT
Expires: 05 Nov 2006 11:23 PST
Question ID: 771357

Found many photo printers that are cheap to buy and expensive to get
ink for, I'm looking for something a bit more logical, with at least a
workload of 10 photo's a day.

The source photo's will be from digital camera's ranging from 3 to 6
Mega Pixles as well as Phone's with Digital camera's.. possibly a
Bluetooth connection ability and a few interfaces of memory cards such
as SD and the sort?

Thank you.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 06 Oct 2006 13:14 PDT
Hello Mao of the ever-changing Google Answers name,

Nice to see you again.

Have a look, please, at this very recent review of photo printers:
Photo Printers Reviews 

which identifies the Epson PictureMate Snap as printer with
reasonably-priced "consumables" as they put it, but that still
produces high quality prints.

Does this strike you as the sort of thing you're looking for?

By the way, ConsumerSearch is an interesting site that
reviews-the-reviews, so to speak, so with this one source, you can
find a wealth of well-screened information.

If the Epson is not what you're after, though, please let me know what
sort of additional information you would need to be able to make an
informed choice.



Clarification of Question by tinkywinkey-ga on 06 Oct 2006 13:48 PDT
Hi Pafalafa,

I need to change when the people up above block the account for some
reason and they take their good time in getting it released again. ;-)

I'm not worried about the price of the unit, more so the price of the
consumables and I didn't find any numbers and cost estimates of lets
say per picture-size?

My real question is which printer has a great total cost of ownership
with reasonable features?  I'm willing to pay more for this to be done
right as I end up shipping what I buy internationally and it'll cost
more to return items than the item itself so I do spend more on making
the right decision from the beginning. :-)

Subject: Re: A photo printer that's economical to operate and of high quality?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 06 Oct 2006 20:29 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I've found a few printers that I'd like you to consider, but to tell
the truth, most everything I read points me in one the
Epson PictureMate line of printers.  They are routinely rated highly
for picture quality and convenience, and are regarded as one of the
lowest cost printers around, in terms of per-print cost of

There are a few other options to look at as well, and I've provided
information on all of them below.

Right up front, though, let me note that most of the high-quality
consumer-oriented photo printers produce mid-sized prints...generally
4x6 or 5x7 inches.  If you had different capabilities in mind, please
let me know through the usual means, and I'll see what else is out

For starters, here's a pretty good overview article on the per-picture
costs of various printers.  Note, though, that the article is more
than a year old, so it's already becoming a bit dated:,119573-page,5/article.html
Photo Printers: The Price of Great Pictures
March 03, 2005 

One of their top recommendation is the Epson PictureMate:

...It prints only on 4-by-6-inch paper, but it will print two
wallet-size photos on one sheet.

...We found the PictureMate a pleasure to use--and the least expensive
to operate of all the printers we tested. Epson advertises that prints
cost 29 cents each; its $29 print packs come with 100 sheets of paper
and an ink cartridge, which the company guarantees will last at least
100 sheets.

[NOTE that more recent article put the per-picture cost even lower, at 23 cents]

Other printers mentioned in the article had much higher consumables costs:

...Printing costs for the HP Photosmart 375 are more than three times
higher than the PictureMate's

...The Sony DPP-EX50's unique TV interface makes it a fun addition to
the living room, but you'll get equally attractive prints at a much
lower cost with the Epson PictureMate

Another thumbs-up for the PictureMate can be found here:

...The Epson PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition (*est. $150) is
recommended more often in reviews than any other photo printer, due in
no small part to its low ink and paper costs. This model has just been
updated with a new look and next-generation inks as the Epson
PictureMate Snap (*est. $200). A 100-sheet paper pack with ink costs
about $23, so photos cost about 23 each.

And here:

...Remarkably low operating cost, about 29 cents per print

...The PictureMate from Epson is a photo printer designed to produce
lab-quality prints from the comfort of your own home. With its simple
one-touch printing, 5,760 x 1,440 maximum dpi resolution, and
convenient PictureMate Print Packs, this printer is a remarkable
combination of quality, ease of use, and affordability.

The official PictureMate site is here:

where you can compare specs on the various models available.  They
seem to offer all the features you mentioned, in terms of memory,
downloads, etc.


There are other options, of course, although I didn't see anything
about the others that would make them a clear choice over the
PictureMate line.  Still, it pays to do a careful comparison before
making a choice.

This one can do 4x8" prints:
Canon SELPHY CP510 Compact Photo Printer 

...The Compact Photo Printer SELPHY CP510 is so incredibly fast--and
surprisingly affordable-- it will change everything you thought you
knew about Canon photo printers. It's simply amazing....The CP510
produces brilliantly colored, long lasting prints that rival the
appearance and durability of images created by a professional photo
lab. It takes just 74 seconds to create Wide size (4" x 8") prints.
Postcard size (4" x 6") images print in just 58 seconds, and credit
card size pictures require only 31 seconds to print.

...Immediate prints direct from your digital camera at less than 30
cents per print.

This one's an unusual looking printer that's gotten some nice reviews:
HiTi Photo Printer 630PS

...These small footprint printers produce borderless 4" x 6" prints
with 256 gradation levels per color which are dot-free thanks to
continuous tone printing.

...Anyone that uses a photo printer, inkjet or dye sub technology,
knows that the cost of consumables (ink, ribbons, paper) can quickly
exceed the cost of the printer. The HiTi 630PS has a per print cost of
only 40, its 50-print kit that includes the ribbon cartridge and 50
sheets of paper for $19.95.

Here's the HiTi website:

Kodak makes a printer than can keep the per-print costs down to a
reasonable level if you purchase the supplies in the larger packs:
Easyshare Photo Printer 500

...The Photo Printer 500 makes 46-inch prints directly from virtually
any digital media in about 60 seconds

...The PH-40 print packs contain the ribbon cartridge and two packs of
printing paper with 20 sheets in each pack. The ribbon is good for all
40 prints, separating the paper into two packages helps keep it
fresher. The street price is $24.99 so the "per print" cost is rather
high at $0.62 each...The PH-80 print pack for $39.99 will make 80
prints ($0.50 per print). For the greatest value buy the PH-160 print
pack, it's $46.99 and makes 160 prints which lowers the cost down to
an economical $0.29 each.

This Sony probably comes close in per-picture price to matching the Epson:
Sony DPP-FP55 Thermal Photo Printer

...For the most part, the new Sony PictureStation DPP-FP55 ($150
street) can serve as the archetypal dedicated photo printer. Limited
to 4- by 6-inch photos, it can print from PictBridge-enabled cameras,
memory cards, and computers.

...For a thermal-dye printer, the DPP-FP55 also does well on cost per
photo. If you buy the most economical paper-plus-dye pack ($35 street
for 120 photos) the per-print cost is just over 29 cents. That's more
expensive than it is with some ink jet?based photo printers?Epson, for
example, offers a 270-photo pack for its PictureMate models, including
the PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition, that works out to 24 cents per
photo. But it's a reasonably low price for thermal-dye technology.

And this HP PhotoSmart is comparable to the Sony:,1895,2010282,00.asp
HP Photosmart A516 Compact Photo Printer

...Cost per print is a touch higher than I'd like, at a minimum 29.2
cents per photo, based on $34.99 (direct) for packs with enough ink
and paper for 120 photos.


I hope this is enough information to help you make a well-informed decision.

And like I said earlier, if your interested in some other class of
printers, just let me know, and I'll start afresh.

All the best,


search strategy -- Google search on [ "photo printer" per-picture cost ]

Request for Answer Clarification by tinkywinkey-ga on 07 Oct 2006 02:55 PDT

Great results, I'm convinced of the PictureMate, now which one on
Amazon is the edition we're talking about? Is this the right one?


And I found the Bluetooth connector to enable it to receive pictures
from Cell phones.

Also, I would like a list of the availale ink and paper packs which
are in Glossy and Matte (if I spelled that non-glossy paper
correctly). :-)

I prefer Amazon please. :-)

You have qualified your answer, I just got a little greedy. ;-)



Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 07 Oct 2006 05:42 PDT
Thanks...I'm glad to hear you're going with the Epson, as it seems to
have gotten a good deal of thoughtful praise.

Their latest high-end model is the Snap:
Epson PictureMate Snap 4x6 Photo Printer 

which has a nice-sized tilt-viewer built in.

Epson offers several lines of paper packs, but they actually make it
harder than necessary to figure out which ones go with which printers.
 For starters, though here is the Amazon link to the glossy paper and
ink combo for the Snap:
Epson PictureMate Snap and Pal - Color ink and Paper Pack ( Glossy,
4x6, 150 sheets)

and a similar link for the matte paper:
Print Pack Matte 100SHEETS for Picturemate Pal/snap/flash 

The paper seems to be a bit cheaper if ordered directly from the Epson site:

PictureMate 200-Series Print Pack - Glossy

PictureMate 200-Series Print Pack - Matte

so you might want to check that out as a possibiity as well.

Hope you have lots of reasonably-priced fun with it, and let me know
if there's anything else you need.

tinkywinkey-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $25.00
Thanks Pafalafa!


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