Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Epson PictureMate Personal Photo Lab

By Christina VanGinkel

With all the advantages of digital cameras, one that many still do not take advantage of is printing their own pictures without the aid of a typical photo developer. One of the most common reasons for this is that they do not have a computer. Well, that is no longer a valid excuse. For those who do not have a computer, or for those who do, but not always with them whenever they may want to print a digital photo just taken with their camera, you now have other options available besides running to the nearest photo lab.

Epson printers have a perfect choice, their Epson PictureMate Personal Photo Lab for one, which prints 4" by 6" prints. So perfect are the features of this mini wonder, that once you own one, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. Available in two versions, either the PictureMate, or the PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition, either is sure to be a fit for your needs. What is the difference between the two you might be wondering? There are a few, mainly, the PictureMate need the camera used to snap the pictures for viewing the snapshots, with an LCD screen for text, while the PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition has a built in Premium 2.4" Color Photo Viewer with Tilt. The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition prints slightly faster, with a comparison of 75 seconds to 125 seconds, offers personal settings, manual adjustments, and more choices for printing output. The deluxe prints borderless, classic border, wallet, proof sheet plus Mini-wallet, and 3" x 4", Disney® borders [15], with the basic only offering borderless, classic border, wallet, proof sheet and additional cropping features not found on the basic.

Similarities are many though. Both offer prints for about $0.29 each, that are smudge and fingerprint proof, perfect for households with children! For approximately 104 years when framed, and up to 200, when stored in an acid free album, prints are also fade-proof. (Length of time the photographs will last will also be determined by actual storage method and other conditions such as humidity levels, temperatures, etc.) Both print in Color, B&W, and Sepia, and use a 6-color ink system, and 5760 optimized DPI. Both offer wireless Bluetooth photo printing and direct store to & print from CD-R, Zip drives, and thumb drives. With a price difference of $70.00, which features are important to you, will help you determine which model to choose. Both are less than $200.00, so either is a bargain for someone wanting to print digital photos without the aid of a computer.

What reasons would exist for someone to want to go this route, besides not having a computer? If you scrapbook, this could be the perfect printer for those extended crops away from home. With a small footprint, and easy carry handle, either choice is a breeze to bring along, or even to move around the house to wherever you may be working. Life expectancy of the photos is another valid reason many may choose to go with these particular printers.

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