Compact Photo Printer Features to Compare

A compact photo printer is a very useful device for professional and amateur photographers alike. Amateurs like the ability to print their photos out without the need of a computer. Professionals can use these to check the exposures in a similar way to how Polaroid cameras were once used.  If you are choosing compact photo printers, then you will need to do your homework to make sure you're choosing the right one for you.

There are many different compact printers available from different brands. Most of these have different features which will need to be considered. Compare all of the different features to ensure that you're getting the best printer for you.

Cost Per Print

One of the most important features is the price. While the price of the printer itself might seem to be most important, you should actually consider the cost per print. By looking at how much it costs per photo, it will be easier and cheaper to use over a long time. Paying slightly more for a printer which is much cheaper to run is often better than buying the cheapest printer available.


Another feature that you will need to consider is the size of paper that the printer can handle. Compact photo printers are available, which print up to 8.5 inch wide paper. These are capable of producing photos on a letter sized piece of paper.

There are also much smaller compact printers which can print a 4 or 5 inch wide photograph. These are much more affordable and easier to carry around with you. If you are considering taking panoramic photographs, then look for an option for printing panoramas.


Most compact photo printers can be powered using a battery or by being plugged into an electrical outlet. Take a look at the quoted battery life to decide which printer will be suitable.

If you intend to use this printer for a long time, then removable batteries might be of interest to you. This would make it possible to remove and change the battery and keep a few charged.

Dye Sublimation or Inkjet

There are two different types of compact photo printers available - inkjet and dye sublimation. Dye sublimation printers use special paper and cartridges to produce your images. These are often cheaper to buy and smaller. However, running them is generally more expensive.

Inkjet printers are slightly bigger and are normally more expensive to buy. There are also a few different inks that you can use. The best inks are pigment based inks which will last for longer without fading.


Some compact photo printers can be connected to an external CD or DVD burner. This makes it possible to backup the photos on your memory card onto a CD without needing to use a computer. This is an extremely useful feature, as it means that you can reuse the same memory cards again before you copy the photos onto your PC.

Memory Cards

The most convenient way of using a compact photo printer is normally to print from the memory cards. This is simply a case of popping the memory card out and putting it into the printer. Then, you can select the images that you want to print.

LCD Screen

Some photo printers have a built in LCD screen. This makes it easy to review the photos that you want to print and also allows you to make minor edits to the images.