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What Cartridges Get the Most Photo Prints Per Dollar

Admit it. We all love printing our personal photos at home. Even though, technically, having photos printed in bulk by a third party such as Shutterfly or Walmart may turn out cheaper, nothing can really beat the convenience and ease that comes with the possibility of printing in the comfort of your own home. In addition, with those third party services there’s the downside of having to wait–usually at least an hour (and that’s if you rush it). In other cases, you even have to wait several days to receive the package! Printing at home of course allows you to see and use the photos immediately. So, now that you’ve decided that you do want to be able to print your favorite family photos at home, whenever you want to, the next question is which cartridge would be the best? Which cartridge would give me the most prints at the lowest cost?

There are several factors you might want to consider first. For example, you need to take into account that you are printing photos, after all! Most likely you want these printed memories to look sharp and last as long as they can. Since that’s the case, remember that you need to pay for quality. Sure, you can find bargain ink cartridges out there, but you’ll also get cheap prints. “You get what you pay for!” If you’re willing to settle with mediocre quality photos, then by all means, go for the cheaper, mediocre quality ink. But if you want excellent quality photos, expect to pay for it.

Also, you need to consider what type of printer (and therefore the cartridge), you should buy. Generally, it is accepted that inkjet printers are superior to laser printers when it comes to printing photographs, furnishing results that have excellent contrasts and vibrant colors. Laser printers also, of course, have the ability to print in color, however, the price for colored toner is quite high, and you’d really have to be printing a huge amount of photographs to make it worth the money you spent. Therefore, most likely, if you know you will be printing a good number of photos, along with the usual documents and projects at home, then your best bet would be to invest in an inkjet printer.

Another factor to consider when deciding on a cartridge for printing pictures at home is something called “page yield.” “Page yield” refers to how many pages a certain cartridge can print, and thankfully companies such as Canon, HP, and Epson have already done all of the hard work for you. You can easily go online to any of their websites and find the specific page yield for the cartridge you are intending to buy. This is the only way to accurately calculate cost. Of course, the more pages a certain cartridge can print, so then, the more photos it can print as well. And, the nifty thing about Canon is they’ve thought about that too! They even included “color photo sets” along with “page yield.” You can check out the charts for all of their cartridges here.

Of course, even after considering all of these factors, the bottom line is you need to investigate for yourself and find out precisely how many photos you can print for a dollar. One individual already attempted this, in order to do a real cost comparison between printing at home and using a third party printing company. He found that when he bought a Canon PG-210XL/CL211 ink cartridge for $19.96, he was able to print 116 photos before the quality started to diminish. When you compute that out, it comes to about $0.17 to print a photo, which means, you can print about 5 photos for a dollar. Remember though, that’s just calculating the ink, and not the photo paper yet. So, looking forward to printing photos at home? Just remember to do a bit of homework first!

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