What’s a good printer to use with my photobooth?

Wow I’m glad you asked because there are literally hundreds of printers and most of them are not good to use with a photo booth.  There are really only two inkjet printers I would recommend.

The first is the Epson r280 which costs around $100 from www.newegg.com. Office supply stores like staples and office depot  often have online coupons that will bring down the price $10 or $15 dollars, but beaware of the small print in coupons that do not apply towards technology items, like printers.

The second is the Canon IP4500 which is about $115 through www.newegg.com. Personally I think the canon is a little nicer printer even though it costs a bit more.

Now you’re probably thinking what makes these two printers so much better than all the rest? Simple, they are fast, they will do a 4×6 from the time you hit print in about 40 to 45 seconds. The box says they will do it in 25 seconds but that is not including the data processing time. But to take advantage of this speed your computer must have USB 2.0 ports! Most computers made in the last 3 years have USB 2.o as standard. If not the combination USB/firewire to PCMCIA card recommended in the previous post will get your laptop up to speed. When ever you go out to do a gig make sure you take lots of extra ink and paper.

Now let me stand on my soap box for a minute. ONLY use expensive manufacturer’s ink and paper! Canon and epson inks on canon or epson paper are very duralble and should last a life time. It is true you can buy cheap third party inks and paper , but often these inks will fade in months and the paper has a lot to do with how long a print lasts as well. The only other paper I can recommend is Red River paper.  If you use the epson then I recommend buying ink from

http://www.costcentral.com/proddetail/Epson_CLARIA_HICAP_MULTICOLOR_PACK_F_R260_R380_RX580_R280_RX595_RX680/T077920/N53719/pricegrabber/

$80 might seem expensive but these are high capacity inkjet cartridges that last about 50% longer. A great deal.

For canon users there is a 4 pack of color inks that goes for $44.00 from here:

http://www.nextwarehouse.com/item/?283975

If you are really a bargain hunter you can call up www.staples.com and request a price match and then buy a coupon for staples off www.ebay.com 🙂

Now most of the time the standard 2×6″ strip is what people like, but the cool thing about ink jet printers is you can buy double sided paper and print things on both sides! Here’s a company that does this called Photoboof.

What happens if you want to make larger photo strips that are say 4×10″ long and printed two up using 8×10″ paper? Well these ink jet printers slow down considerably so the best thing to do is buy a duplicate printer and then use a function of Windows’s operating system to pool the printers together. Basically Windows will work both printers at the same time and send the next print job to whatever printer is ready. Cool huh? Here’s an article that explains how to printer pool.

The next article will discuss adding drapes to your booth as well as getting the FREE scripts installed that make the photobooth run smoothly.

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