Managing your photo printer supply chain in challenging times
Eric: Supply chain issues have been a nightmare for many, including photographers and photo booth operators that print on site. Our friend Steve from Imaging Spectrum explains that things are starting to ease up and he shares his photo printer recommendations for 2022. Looking for printers or media? Steve and his team can help you out. For a comparison of all photo booth and event photo printers check out the infamous Imaging Spectrum Printer Comparison Chart. Thanks for sharing with us Steve…
Steve: Thanks Eric. Yes, the past many months have been a challenge but things do appear to be improving. Historically, most customers like to order printer supplies at the last minute just before their event. Unfortunately, that way of managing supplies doesn’t work in these challenging times. What has proven to work is keeping in touch with your trusted supplier (not Amazon) on a regular basis and grabbing what you can when it is available. It pains me to see the manipulation and price gouging that is taking place in the market. Some folks are not connecting with a value added reseller and are forced to pay outrageous prices at the last minute to get media for an event. Always try to keep some emergency stock in your supply room when possible as you never know what the future holds. Stay in touch with your dealer, build your inventory and gather what you can when it is available.
Another thing that has worked for my customers is to be creative. Offer your market premium sizes like 5×7 or 6×8, sizes which are often more readily available than 4×6 for some printers. The cost per print difference is minimal in the bigger picture (no pun intended). If you know how to sell you can turn this downside into a financial upside with a number of your clients. That said, here are my printer recommendations for 2022…
The Economy Class
Fujifilm ASK-300 Printer
Due to the extreme levels of printer backorders during the pandemic, Fuji is back to save the day. Not only is the media for it made in the United States, so there are no import delays, but the cost per print is super competitive. This printer is a great value buy and the quality is outstanding!
Its High Quality Mode produces extraordinary clarity, superior clear-cut text and sharp facial outlines. Another thing we like about this model is its compact, easy to transport and only weighs 26lbs.
Mitsubishi fans take note: This is the same printer body as Mitsubishi CPD-80DW, so now that he they are gone, this will fit perfectly in its place for your booth cabinet or cover.
DNP QW410 Compact Photo Printer
DNP really changed the game with this little beauty. This printer ranks among the most compact and lightest printers available in the global market today. Weighing in at only 13lbs! That is amazing given its awesome output quality.
The QW410 is perfect for mobile photo booth operations! The new photo printer is our smallest and lightest printer to date. It also runs easily off a battery, like a Jackery Power Station. If you only need smaller print sizes and like creative options in formats, especially the one of a kind 4.5×8 photo booth strip, this one is truly unique. It can do 4×4, 4×6, 4.5×4.5 and 4.5 x 8.
If you buy the DNP Wireless Connect Module accessory it is the perfect printer for iPad printing direct from Airprint.
Sinfonia S3 Photo Printer
Think high-capacity and fast print speeds! Some booth and event companies love high-capacity printers. The Sinfonia S3 holds a whopping 900 prints on a single roll! The cool part is the printer only weighs 33 lbs. even with its larger form factor.
As a bonus, it also carries a 3 year warranty. If you want high capacity and high speed, this is the printer for you.
Sinfonia CS2 Photo Printer
You have heard me say before that what I like about this model is the fact that Sinfonia did not sacrifice quality with the build. The outer shell of the printer is very durable considering its weight. This is the perfect fit for photo booth designs that require a small footprint.
DNP DS-RX1HS Photo Printer
Ideal for photo booths and event photographers, the DS-RX1HS combines inexpensive hardware costs, low media prices and high-end capabilities to provide the largest print capacity in its class and outstanding performance. This unique personality makes this printer a popular choice with photo booth builders.
If you are into high capacity printers then this is a solid choice. It can output 700 4×6 prints on a single roll before it needs to be reloaded. Usually printers with this kind of capacity are bulky and heavy, however, the DS-RX1HS is only 30 pounds.
HiTi P525L Photo Printer
We love the fact that Hiti has put a LCD to the front panel of the printer to allow the user to check print counts on the fly. The printer is super easy to load (front loading) and is a reasonable size for its 500 count 4×6 print yield per roll. You can print via USB or use the WiFi dongle (sold separately) for wireless print options. We like the fact that the wireless functionality is easy to set up (emphasis on easy) and allows you to print wirelessly from your computer or phone camera using the HiTi printing app (available free for iPhone or Android).
The printer also has the option to connect a card reader allowing you to print from your camera’s storage card which can be a huge benefit for event companies that also shoot outside of the booth. If wireless is your thing, then this is the printer to have.
The Performance Class
DNP DS620A Photo Printer
With its wide range of print size options, quick output, and innovative print technology, the DS620A is an extremely valuable revenue-generating asset for event photographers and photo booth owners. So if you are trying to save on space this may be the printer for you. DNP has improved its printer driver on this model, which will allow users to check remaining media, media format, printer status, printer life counter, color control data, firmware version and serial number.
The DS620A boasts a 14 percent increase in image throughput per hour for some of the fastest print speeds available—standard 4×6” images are produced in less than nine seconds, while 5×7”s are printed in about 15 seconds.
This model also has the most variety of alternative media types of any printer on the market. Metallic paper, several perforated papers and the ability to do large panoramic prints makes this printer exceptional.
DNP DS40 Photo Printer
This printer has proven to be a champion in terms it ability to take a beating on the road, as well as having exceptional print head life. To this day, one of the most compelling testimonials about the DS40 quality was from a customer who hit almost 200k prints! With the DNP DS40 you can also print to social media sized perforated paper opening opportunities to create new products for your customers. The printer has definitely earned its top position in the industry with its reliability and quality.
The Portable Dry Lab Class
FujiFilm Frontier-S DX100 Printer
If you are in need of a printer that produces a true high quality professional lab print, this is your printer. There is no dye sub printer that comes close to this printer in terms of versatility, print quality and format options. Dry lab technology rocks! It is classified as a portable printer and is all the rage in the high end event market. We love the printer!!!
From a market segment perspective, the versatility is unrivaled. The Frontier-S DX100 meets the diverse needs and challenges of the retail minilab, retail kiosk, high-volume portrait studio, Sports, Event and photo booth photography. The output is the same quality you would expect from a professional grade lab print. Skin tones are outstanding!
I’m here to answer all your questions about these printers, supplies and anything else we can do for your business.
Thanks for reading,