Home Printing Vs. A Service?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by imac abuser, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. imac abuser macrumors 6502a

    imac abuser

    Mar 1, 2004
    I have to ask how do you all feel about home printing (photo printer), vs. going to Walgreens (store), or using like snapfish or another internet service? I mean who has the best quality, and what makes the most sence for a run of photos after a vacation? I use a canon pixma ip1500 photo printer, and it works well. However I'm curious cost vs quality what's the best option. Also I have noticed Best Buy has some photo printing stuff now a days anyone use that at all?

  2. pooky macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2003
    Printing at home is almost always more expensive than printing at a regular photo place. Also, if you print using an inkjet printer (unless it's a pretty fancy one), the prints will fade pretty quickly, and will run if they get wet. I have some prints I did with my inkjet that after 3 years are drastically faded. Pictures that I got printed at a cheap lab and were in the same place still look basically the same.

    I print at home if I want to run off a quick copy to see how something looks printed, or to see how a photo would look on the wall. If it's something I want to keep, I get it printed for me.
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Printing at home can be cheaper than having a shop doing for you for larger sized prints. For 4x6 prints, one can do better with some shops. As an example the Epson PictureMate does prints at 29 cents each. Some shops are charging well under that.

    Print fading depends on the printer model, the inks and paper used. Many printers have better print life than traditional lab prints. Your printer has a 30 year print life in a frame, about the same as many lab prints.

    For me I went with the PictureMate for my 4x6 prints and the Epson R1800 for my larger prints. Despite working at a camera shop, I find that I print more from home.
  4. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    it depends on your needs. for volume i like to use stores, if its the occasional print ill do it at home. also an issue is the color profile,at home you can calibrate it but when you send it to a shop you need to make sure your files are calibrated to their profile.
  5. rugonnaeatthat macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    An Australian Magazine did a series of tests on printing on home printers. I can't remember all the figures, but I did remember that it worked out to cost over $2AU ($1.54US) to print a full colour A4 - add to that the photopaper which if you buy the good stuff is about $1 a sheet (75cents US) and it does seem rather expensive.

    Convienience gives the home printer strength, if your not in a hurry get a shop to do it.
  6. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    I get my prints from mpix, great service and prints, and a superfast turnaround. From my Mac back to my door in 4 days.
  7. snap58 macrumors 6502


    Jan 29, 2006
    somewhere in kansas
    Same here. I print some at home, but when I want really good ones and larger ones, especially BW, I use Mpix. Their BW prints are on real photo paper, big plus if you intend to show prints. Several local photographers have them printed by them for their shows. I also like to have their booklets printed when I have a series, very reasonable prices. Plus I send the links out to who ever may want them so they can order prints, saves me a lot of pain with family and friends that always want prints of something.

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