Getting Great Photo Prints From Your Digital Camera


 Getting Great Photo Prints From Your Digital Camera

This article answers questions about choosing the right printer, going over a few common photo printing mistakes, and giving some helpful tips on how to get the best prints from your digital camera. It also includes a list of top rated printers for different budgets.

Do you have a digital camera? Are you frustrated because your prints are terrible and you don't know why? This post will tell what kinds of printers to use, how to take care of them before printing photos, and how to take better photos in the first place.

Take Care of Your Printer

You are going to hear this time and time again - take care of your printer. Odds are you spent a good deal of money on it. It needs to stay clean, the ink cartridges need to be inserted properly and the paper has to be in perfect shape (no torn edges). Don't do anything that will damage your machine. If you have any doubts, ask for help at a local photo shop or office supply store.

When to Clean Your Printer

To clean or not to clean - that is the question. The answer is if you notice it's getting a little dusty, it is time to wipe off the exterior of your printer. Don't just start spraying Windex on all the buttons and knobs - you might break them. The exterior of your printer should be wiped with a dry towel or cloth. You can use very mild soap if there is any sticky residue left on the outside, but only use a small amount - too much can damage the exterior of your machine.

When to Change the Ink Cartridges

Most people wait until the ink cartridges are empty before replacing them, but if you're printing a lot of photos it may be time to replace them. Just remember - you need to make sure that your printer is not turned off when you remove or insert the ink cartridges. If the printer is turned off with the ink cartridges in it, they will probably leak. In this case, it is best to turn your printer back on and start a print job first - then remove the old cartridge before inserting a new one.

If the ink cartridges are empty, but you still see very light prints from your right-click menu [ NOTE: DO NOT REMOVE YOUR INK CARTRIDGES WHEN THIS IS UNLIGHTY] - it is time to open up your printer and clean out the interior. Cleaning out your printer often will make sure that the ink your printing with is of the highest quality.

Can I Can Get Better Photo Prints?

Not necessarily. There are a few things you can do to maximize the quality of your photos. First, make sure that you have all of your settings at their correct level [NOTE: Always read the instructions listed on every page of these manuals]. Then print your images at the largest size (at least 300dpi) and make sure to use the correct paper for your type of printer. If you have an inkjet, you should use glossy photo paper. If you have a laser, it will depend on what kind of laser it is - both Canon and Epson make very high quality papers for their machines.

Test Prints on Your Own Printer

These next few tips are meant to help you with printing photos, but if you are having trouble getting good prints from a digital camera or printer - don't be afraid to test-print one photo on your own PC/laptop with several programs and settings that you would naturally use. This will give you an idea of which settings and programs will give you the best quality print.

Once you have a few good test prints, go to the manufacturer's web site for your printer (or visit the digital camera site and download their print drivers). Follow the instructions on your printer or computer to get the maximum quality photo from each photo.

Polaroid/Colloquy Printer Test Prints

If you own a Polaroid/Colloquy instant film camera, you can order test prints for $1.50-$3 each through . You can also order general color test prints for your Polaroid camera or Colloquy printer. If you have never used these before, they are awesome.

Most of us have had this happen - you print a digital photo, but it ends up looking terrible. The colors are all wrong and the image is blurry. Don't panic - you probably just made one of the following common photo mistakes.

Common Photo Mistakes

1. You used the wrong paper with your printer or camera

As I have said several times before, you need to use the appropriate paper with your printer or digital camera. If you use a type of photo paper that is not meant for your machine, it'll come out pretty bad. Just make sure that you read all the instructions before printing any of your photos. Then test print one of them and make sure it looks right to you before going through all those expensive ink cartridges.

2. Your print was rushed - you printed just to check your settings

Rushing a print means not following the instructions very carefully. Most of us have done this, but it is better to have it done right than fast. If there are any question marks or anything that doesn't make sense - test print it and make sure the printer is working correctly before continuing.

3. You printed your photos with the wrong paper recommended by your printer or camera manufacturer (or the photo was not square)

Just Google "printed test" and enter your photo along with any of these words: square, fisheye, 3:2, wide conversion etc...


Remember to read all of your instructions when setting up your printer or camera and test print everything you have questions about. When printing from the internet, try to print out a small image first to make sure that it is printing correctly. Make sure that you are using the right sort of paper for your printer or camera - if not, try another paper. Sometimes the images on a photo CD may be too large to print - if so, save them on your hard drive and use a different program (like Photoshop) to reduce the size before printing.

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