These days, purchasing a dedicated digital photo printer for developing your digital photos may be a more costly and necessary route than selecting a reputable digital printing service. There are many services online that will print your digital photos. If you need results faster, almost every modern drugstore or photomat offers digital printing. Usually this is as simple as placing your digital cameras memory card in a machine and selecting which photos you want and any other options. Your images then print right before your eyes.
Digital photo prints usually cost the same or even less than traditional prints, but the savings go even deeper. One of the biggest advantages digital photography has over traditional photography is that you can choose to only print the images you want. Imagine the money you would have saved over your lifetime if you could pick and choose your film based prints. No more dozens of blurry throw away images, now digital photography technology has made it easy for you to simply submit the images you actually want, not the ones you dont.
The real question is one of quality. Luckily, the technologies that are involved are advancing rapidly. Todays digital prints are made to last decades without fading or discoloring. The lifetime of a professionally printed pictures is now equivalent to the lifetimes of film based pictures. This is another major advantage that professional digital printing has over do it yourself photo printers, they last longer. The prints that you make yourself with most consumer photo printers do not share the long lifespan of prints that have been made professionally. This is mostly due to the use of commercial grade archival paper and ink in the printing process.
Preparing your photos for printing is really easy. First, you can make any desired corrections to image quality with your favorite photo editing software. Then, you simply save your images (usually as .jpeg) and upload them over the internet to the photo printers website. If you are printing them locally, you would simply take your memory card with you and either place it into the self service machine or hand it to the clerk.
If you ordered your photos from an online photo printer, you can usually expect your images to arrive at your home in 2 to 5 days, depending on the service you choose and other variables. You will likely be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the images you receive. If you are using a relatively modern digital camera (with high enough resolution), the resulting images will be the same quality or better than if they were developed from film. Digital based photos at higher resolutions store more “information” (pixels) in the image than can fit into the fine grains of film. This extra data makes for finer, better prints.
As you can see, there are many cost effective options for digital photo developing. So, save your money on a photo printer and get those images ready to upload. Its fun, its easy, and the pictures will last a lifetime.