Photo Printing — Not The Scam We Thought It Was

This is all a bit late, I know, but it’s probably worth pointing folk to if they’re not habitual readers of the excellent British computer magazine PCPro. Their cover story on photo-printing (registration required to read full reviews) in the February issue is a very sound, thorough and and detailed piece which makes some surprising conclusions:

  • Getting your photos printed on the high street is not always cheaper than printing them yourself;
  • It’s also not always better, in terms of quality and durability;
  • Inkjet cartridges and their contents are not always complete rip-offs (and ink is only the fifth most expensive liquid on earth, not the most….)
  • Epson comes out of it looking remarkably good, particularly its Stylus Photo R800 which now sells for around $300 (pictured above).

The study was conducted with the help of Wilhelm Imaging Research, which has its own detailed results of testing the R800 and other models.

I must confess I’ve been very skeptical about home printing of photographs, given how cheap some Internet services are. I also reckon that unless you spend a lot of time and practice you’re not going to get the same results as professionals — and that time and practice can use up a lot of expensive ink and paper. But as PCPro point out, for larger pictures it may actually work out cheaper, and better.