Many of you probably use a printer on a daily basis, especially nowadays when printers are used in pretty much every work place and most households. If you have used a printer in the last couple of years then you have probably come across a whole range of different ink cartridges of all colours, shapes and sizes… one of the cartridges that often confuses people is the photo black cartridge.

To most of you having two black cartridges is a bit of a weird concept… why would anyone need two cartridges of the same colour? Well the answer to that question is fairly simple. A photo black cartridge and a regular black ink cartridge are not exactly the same colour and the quality of both will vary depending on what sort of paper you are printing onto.

A regular black ink cartridge will have standard dye-based ink inside. This dye-based ink will usually be a bit darker compared to the ink that photo cartridges contain. The quality of this ink is usually fine when printing documents or simple images onto regular paper. But when it comes to printing out photos on photo-paper, black dye-based ink doesn’t really have the same quality and will often appear to have a greenish tinge to it.

This is where the black photo cartridges and their pigment-based ink come in. The pigment-based ink is usually a slightly lighter shade than regular ink, but the quality when printing out on photo paper is far superior.

Comparing them both side by side, the regular cartridges is usually better for sharp shapes or text. The photo cartridges usually blend more and are better for printing out photos (duh!) or complex but smooth graphics. With this in mind a printer that has the ability to hold both types of cartridge, or maybe even various colour photo cartridges as well as a black one, will often use them both depending on what it is you’re printing and what you’re printing on.

So now you know the difference between the different types of cartridges and how they can help you print better quality images, you may want to know more about the photo printers that take photo cartridges.

We have compiled a bit of a list of the latest and best photo printers currently available on the market…

 Canon has their own range of photo printers that vary both in price and quality. One of the most popular from this range is the Canon PIXMA iX6550 which is a  A3 photo printer that will offer great quality print outs and is priced around £180.

Another great option from this range if your looking for something a bit cheaper would be the Canon PIXMA iP4850. It’s only an A4 photo printer but the quality of the prints it will do will not be that much different from the previously mentioned  iX6550. So at the price of around £80 the  Canon PIXMA iP4850 may be just what you need.

Epson also has a huge range of photo printers for you to choose from. There are a few Epson Stylus photo printers that will do the job of printing your family photos out quite well. The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 is a great photo printer if your willing to pay a bit extra for a really good printer. It costs around £300 but it is worth the money if you have it.

Kodak have released a couple of affordable printers that are great if you do have a bit of a tight budget but still want to get the most for your money. The Kodak Hero 5.1 printer costs around £100 but it can save you a lot of money when it comes to buying replacement ink cartridges. It’s technically not a photo specific printer but the quality of the photos that it is able to print can be just as good as some of the more expensive models.

So now you know all about photo printer and the ink that they use. Hopefully all of this information will be of some use to you in the future when you are considering buying a new printer.


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