10 × 15 photo printers
Simplicity and quality photos
A good photo printer 10 × 15 must be simple to use, efficient, fast and, of course, develop quality shots. Good news, it is possible to find on the market that meet all these criteria. Our advice to choose.
If they can do it, at least they do well. The picture quality has improved in recent years to the current rate is quite acceptable, similar to that of professional laboratories. This is true for printers with ink-jet or on the principle of thermal sublimation. These two technologies, which share the market equally, have radically different operating principles. Printheads of ink jet printers are made up of nozzles which eject ink droplets onto the paper. Thermal sublimation, in turn, reproduces the image by superimposing on paper the three primary colors (yellow and magenta and cyan finally). A possible fourth layer, transparent, is deposited as a protective varnish. No ink, this time, but a material which, in the solid state on the roll, is converted into gas in contact with the heated printheads. The color cools and fixed to the paper.
Same unit cost
At equal quality, the rational consumer would give importance to the choice of technology if at least one was cheaper than the other. But this is not the case
The dye sublimation printers may have a slightly lower purchase price. But in use, the two technologies are equal. Consumables (thermal ribbon or ink, and paper) are in the same price range. Note that the thermal sublimation allows better control of the budget to the extent that the supplies are provided for a given amount of impressions. The inkjet printer cartridges offer a greater number of random draws. All colors are contained in a single cartridge, it must be changed as soon as one of them is exhausted. A constraint that gives an unpleasant mess sensation. Less obvious, waste is just as real in the case of thermal printing: each print is only used the colors of ribbon needed for the photo, the others are discarded.
Finally, the unit cost of a picture comes to much the same . It is close to that practiced by professional laboratories (about 30 cents), but if it does not take account of the gradual decrease in prices linked to the volume (it reaches up 0.08 cent at some photo labs Internet) nor that these laboratories do not support the customer the cost of missed impressions.
Remains as printing itself its home pictures offer undeniable comfort. But beware, the hobby can turn to the phobia whether to spend hours! The time required for printing a picture varies according to the builders, between 35 and 60 seconds. These data do not include the time required to transfer the file to the printer and it treats (integration, printing, validation). Our tests rather conclude that an average of 75 seconds (1). For large volumes, so beware!
PictBridge, Bluetooth et wi-fi
In practice, these printers do not need to be connected to a computer . It is of course possible to print from a PC connected to the printer. But these autonomous devices also communicate well only with cameras, regardless of brand. It is the vocation of the PictBridge standard, today overwhelmingly adopted (only 4% of printers 10 × 15 sold in 2007 did not meet this standard). This connection between the two devices is still mainly using a cable supplied with the camera . The connection technology without wi-fi wireless is not yet widespread in the world of photography. However, with the spread of sensors on mobile phones , Bluetooth is becoming commonplace. But few printers that incorporate this technology, we must include in the budget an additional accessory, not supplied, to make it compatible machine (a USB Bluetooth, 20 euros). It will be possible to start printing directly from your phone.
The range of file transfer options would not be complete without a good connection. A USB port to read files stored on devices ( USB key , hard drive ). With a memory card reader, you can directly insert the card from the camera into the printer. When present, the reader often supports multiple formats (most common: Compact Flash, Memory Stick, SD Card, etc.) but check first before buying if the reader reads your card. Transferring photos from a memory card or USB flash drive, preview rendering can be done on a screen ... Attention to this point, their presence is not systematic and quality, and their size vary .
Last checkpoint: with printers 10 × 15 , it is possible to print anywhere, anytime. A space-saving printer facilitate travel. But it will then it adds a battery, almost always sold separately as an option (about 60 euros).