In most cases, they have memory slots for the memory cards from your digital camera and a small monitor to preview the pictures. All you need to do is pop the memory card from your camera into the printer, choose the pictures you want to print and you’ll have instant prints.
These printers are designed to be a secondary printer – not to replace your full-size model. You can take them on vacations, to sporting events or to other activities and print pictures right on the spot.
When shopping for a portable photo printer, there are several things to consider.
The first thing to be sure of is that the printer has the same type of memory card slot as your camera uses. Most of the printers have all the common formats, but there are some that only support certain types. If you can’t use your digital memory in the printer, it’s not going to be of much use to you.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you want a preview screen. It’s much easier to choose which pictures you want to print if you can see them first. Some of the lower priced portable printers don’t include a screen, however, so this is something you’ll need to decide.
The final thing to check is how much the ink and paper will cost per print. Some of the portable photo printers use an all-in-one cartridge that has the ink and the paper included in it. In other cases, you’ll need to buy them separately.
The models that sell the ink and paper separately tend to cost more to operate. In some cases, you could be spending $0.50 to $1.00 per print which is quite expensive when you compare it to the cost of most photo labs or websites where you can have your pictures printed.
You will probably pay a little more for the convenience of instant prints, but it shouldn’t cost you that much more than having them printed professionally.