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Photo Printing at Home - Free Computer Tutorials

Posted by Jim Bernstein

In this tutorial we will show you how to print photo quality prints at home from your digital pictures. We will also show you what hardware and what software you need to do this type of printing.

There are many different levels of cameras, printers and software to choose from depending on what type and quality of printing you want to do. Digital cameras can cost as little as the low $100s and up to several thousands. Decent photo printers can range from the low $100s up to over $500. Software can be as little as freeware which costs you nothing to close to $1000. Many photo printers or cameras will come with some sort of photo editing software.

Things to consider when buying a digital camera include features such as mega pixels, zoom and shutter speed. Mega pixels can be described as the resolution range of a camera where each mega pixel is equal to than 1,000,000 pixels. The higher the mega pixels a camera has the more detail the pictures can contain and the more they can be enlarged without losing quality. Zoom is of course how close you can zoom into the item you are trying to photograph. Shutter speed is a measurement of how the camera's shutter remains open as the picture is taken. The higher the shutter speed is, the more clearly a moving object can be shot. You may have noticed blurry images on moving objects in pictures that is caused by a low shutter speed.

Features to look for when buying a photo printer are resolution, print size, speed and cost. The higher the resolution the clearer the photo will look. A decent photo printer will print at 4,800 x 1,200 optimized dpi color. Some printers will only print 4 x 6 prints while others will do 5 x 7, 8.5 x 11 and larger. Print speed is how fast the printer will print the photo. 60 seconds is a reasonable speed to print a 4 x 6 photograph. The larger the print, the longer it will take to print. Cost is another factor to look out for. Just remember you get what you pay for. A nice photo printer for the average user will cost $150 - 200. Most of the time you can print samples at the store to see the quality that the printer has to offer.

Photo editing software is the final feature covered in this tutorial. Like mentioned earlier, many cameras or printers will come with some sort of basic photo editing software that most likely will be fine for the average user. Typically with this type of software you will be able to crop, brighten and remove red eye from your photographs. If you want to do fancier things such as special effects, complicated editing etc you will need to go with a higher end photo editing program. Some examples are Adobe Elements ($100), Adobe Photoshop ($600) or Corel Paint Shop Pro ($80).

So in summary for the basic camera, printer and software setup you can spend around $500 and have some nice equipment to shoot, edit and print your photographs.


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