Our newsletter often extols the virtues of professional photo printers and they remain the best option for anyone looking to produce display quality photos and artwork. But what If you don’t want the inconvenience of busting out your A2 photo printer and firing up photoshop to print that 6×4 photo you just took? The answer could well be compact photo printers that help you with photo printing on the go.
Compact Photo Printers
Unlike standard desktop photo printers, Compact photo printers are devices that can print photo’s without the need to connect them to a PC (although you can still do this on most models). Unlike a standard inkjet machine, these devices use a different printing method and print only onto predefined paper sizes (6×4, postcard, 2×3 depending on the model).
Devices such as the Canon Selphy range of machines use a Dye-sub printing method that involves ink being vaporised from a film roll onto the sheet of paper. The resultant print shares a similarity to the type of prints you would expect when you used to have a film developed at a photo lab before the digital camera revolution.
The key benefit of a compact photo printer is in its ease of use. You can print from a computer directly, straight from a memory card or even using use the Wi-Fi to print directly from your Apple or Android smartphone – making it simple to snap a photo and have a hard copy within seconds.
Another key addition to the compact range of machines is HP’s Sprocket printer, which is essentially a polaroid camera for the selfie age. Capable of printing onto 2×3 card sized photo papers, the sprocket is designed to fit in your pocket so you can take it anywhere. It can be linked up to a variety of mobile devices and using the HP app, allow you to instantly print photos onto card-sized photo stickers. See the video here.
Sprocket uses ZINK technology (Zero Ink), a completely new printing method where the paper itself contains the ink required to produce the photo. Much like dye-sub printing, the resulting output is excellent quality, durable and water resistant.
Whether you are looking to compliment your professional photo printer or are looking for a hassle-free way to quickly print snaps, compact photo printers are definitely worth a look.