Is a Snapshot Printer Right for You? Take the Test and Find Out

By: Christine Peppler

The digital camera significantly advanced the ease and convenience of capturing and sharing images when it was introduced years ago. For those shutterbugs who wanted a hard copy of those images, the ability to print and edit photos at home was a hallmark. Additions to the line up of printers available in recent years have provided even greater convenience however; allowing the immediate gratification of producing prints anywhere we go rather than waiting to return home to produce the images we capture. Snapshot printers have added portability to the process of creating prints.

Most of the major printer manufacturers now offer snapshot printer models. By answering just a few questions about their individual preferences, consumers can determine if these handy printers are the right choice for them.

Is there a frequent need to print pictures while away from home?

Snapshot printers allow users to take them anywhere they go. In general, they weigh from 2.5 to 5 pounds and are built for portability with handles for easy carrying. In addition, they connect with a camera or memory card directly or via a wireless connection such as Bluetooth or IR cutting out the need for a computer. Portability is the primary reason for selecting a snapshot printer.

Is there a need for a very simple and easy process to create prints?

Snapshot printers perform only one function, creating prints from a digital camera. Because of this and the ability to remove the computer from the equation, the printing process is very simple. Snapshot printers accept only precut paper to create 4x6 or in a few instances 5x7 or 4x12 prints, thus no trimming is needed once printing is completed. Most snapshot printers also offer a small LCD screen to allow users to make quick edits to crop pictures or make other adjustments. Ease of use and the space saving aspects of snapshot printers are another common reason for selecting them.

Will the printer need to produce text documents?

If users want a printer that will readily produce photographic prints as well as text documents a snapshot printer should be thought of only as a second device as they do not multi-task. These printers produce prints of the images on a camera exclusively. In addition, the sizes of the prints they are capable of producing is generally limited to 4x6 although some models offer other sizes as mentioned previously.

Is overall cost and quality of prints more important than portability?

The average snapshot printer is not expensive but offers no savings over their multi-tasking cousins. The average price is in the neighborhood of $80 to $200 with a per print cost of between $ 0.25 to $0.45. Snapshot printers are primarily dye sublimation or inkjet and offer very good photo quality although it is certainly not superior to the larger and more versatile full sized printers. The choice to purchase a snapshot printer is generally not based on superior print quality or pricing.

Clearly, snapshot printers rule the market for offering consumers the ability print photos immediately, any where they may take their camera. Although their functions are more limited than all-in-one or many traditional printers they meet a need for creating very good quality prints quickly and easily.

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