Finding an ink-efficient printer is every printer owner’s dream. Less ink usage means you’ll save on printing costs in the long run. Unfortunately, most printers don’t offer this advantage. You’ll find most people complaining about how much they’re still spending on ink cartridges, yet all they do is print text. So, it’s only natural to wonder if photo printers use even more ink.
The frequency with which you’ll need to change your ink cartridges in a photo printer is about 30% more than that of a text printer. Every picture you print will need more ink compared to one page of text. Using more ink along with color cartridges being more expensive than black cartridges is why the costs are high.
If printing photos is part of your job or lifestyle, a photo printer is a must-have. I would argue that any creative needs a photo printer. For this reason, you need to learn ways to cut back on how much ink you’re currently using. It also helps to know which photo printer is the most cost-effective. I’ve shared this and more below.
How to Reduce Ink Usage in a Photo Printer
Printing pictures at home is very convenient and cost-effective. Think about it, while you won’t have to get a printer or ink cartridges, you’ll end up spending more working with a professional because they’ll include profit margins in their service. In the long run, you’d be better off getting your own printer. However, this presents a new challenge.
The best photo printers are not exactly affordable. It will cost a pretty penny to get a printer that prints professional-level images and doesn’t use too much ink. So what do you do? The best thing you can do is find a reliable printer within your budget and come up with ways to save on ink usage. The following tips will come in handy.
If you want to save on ink usage, you need to avoid wastage at all costs. Reprinting one image several times will cost you a lot because each print uses up a lot of ink. Therefore, before you begin printing your images, take some time to select which images you need to print.
Some people print out an entire album then select the images they need. Don’t use this approach. A better approach is to choose which images you need from your device, store them in one folder, and print only those. This way, you’re not wasting any ink on images you don’t need.
It’s also essential to ensure the images are in tip-top condition before clicking that print button. If you miss an edit and notice after printing, it means you’ll have to reprint the image again after editing, which will use up even more ink. Also, don’t be in a hurry to touch the images after printing. Doing so increases the risk of smudging, which will require a reprint as well.
View the Images Before You Print
Sometimes, you may be in dire need to see what the pictures look like on paper before selecting which ones you need. You can save ink in such scenarios as well. Consider the following tips:
- Reduce picture size: If you’re not sure which images you need, reduce the printing size so that you’re using less ink.
- Use draft mode: Compared to high-quality printing, you’ll require less ink.
- Print contrast strips: These allow you to see multiple images on one page, which is more cost-effective than printing each individually.
Reduce the Color Saturation
The more saturated the colors are in the pictures, the more ink you’ll need to use. You can reduce your ink usage by reducing how much color each image has. However, this tip only works if you don’t need high-quality, exhibition-worthy pictures.
Consider Printing in Grayscale
If you don’t really need colored images, another quick way to save on ink is to print in grayscale. To do this, all you have to do is to reduce the color saturation to zero. In these settings, all images you print will be in monochrome or grayscale.
However, it’s important to note that some printers will still use the colored ink cartridges even when the saturation is down to grayscale. They do this to make the black in the picture appear richer. Therefore, make sure the printer is set to only print in black and that the color ink is turned off.
While this seems counter-productive, it’s an effective way to minimize wastage. When your ink cartridges stay in the printer unused, they have a high risk of drying up. When this happens, you’ll lose even more ink. Besides, dry ink can clog the nozzles, resulting in even bigger problems like ink splatter and expensive repairs. Don’t let it get to that.
You don’t have to print multiple images. Reduce the printing size or print contrast images to keep the printer running and ink in good condition.
Source: PC Tech Magazine
Reduce the Image Resolution
Image is resolution is written in Dots per Inch (DPI). The higher the DPI parameters in your printer settings, the higher the image resolution will be. A higher resolution is going to need more ink compared to a lower one. Therefore, if your images are not for exhibitions, it helps to lower the DPI parameters.
To change the resolution in your images, you have two options:
- First, check to see if your printer menu has this option. Most printers do. If it does, all you have to do is lower the resolution.
- Alternatively, you can change the resolution using third-party image editing software.
Buy Specialized Photo Ink Cartridges
You may also benefit from buying ink cartridges that are designed to print pictures. These tend to be more efficient than standard ink cartridges. Therefore, you’ll end up spending less on your cartridges.
Furthermore, invest in quality printer papers designed for pictures. Cheap paper may cause your printer to jam, thereby leading to wastage of ink and paper.
Source: Inkjet Wholesale
Get a Photography-Friendly Printer
A printer that’s designed to print photos will also be more cost-effective compared to a standard printer. These come with specialized ink cartridges and often include settings you can adjust to minimize ink usage in relation to resolution. Some of the best options on the market include:
- Epson Artisan 1430: It’s perfect for amateur photographers. It features a 6-color dye-based system, and it’s designed to work with over 60 different media types. What’s more, it features high-yield cartridges.
- Canon Pixma Pro-100: This printer is an excellent option for professional photographers. It also features a 6-color dye-based system and high yield cartridges.
- HP ENVY Photo 7855: This wireless printer works with Alexa and features a powerful app that makes printing so much easier. What’s more, you have the option of getting affordable Hp ink delivered to your doorstep every time you run out.
If you were wondering if photo printers use more ink, they do. Now you know. Compared to text printers, you’ll need to buy ink cartridges more often if you want to print images. However, this should discourage you from getting a photo printer. As you have seen, there are multiple ways to reduce your ink usage and save costs.
The most important is getting a good printer that’s specifically designed to print photos. These often include specialized ink cartridges that print images without using too much ink. Also, remember to print often to prevent your ink from drying. This is the most common culprit of ink wastage in ink printers.
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Roy is the leading content creator here at Your Photo Advisor. He is a hobbyist photographer that loves the business side of things. He blogs about IT, cybersecurity, business, and more at Davis Tech Media.