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Old Nov 4, 2002, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default Is it cheaper to produce your own pictures?

I'm new at this and I have tried to go through the historical articles to find the answer to this question but have not been successful. I've purchased a Canon S30 (which is great) and have begun snapping pictures all over the place. To have these pictures developed at WalMart is about 45 cents a picture. While at WalMart I noticed that I can buy 60 sheets of 4X6 photo paper for around $7. That equates to a little over 10 cents that I would be spending on the paper. I suspect the real costs are in the printer ink. I ran a couple of pictures through my printer (an HP G55) and got terrific results. What I don't know is how many pictures (generally) can be produced before the cartridges need to be replaced. The color cartridge on the HP G55 is around $30. That would mean I should be able to print off at a minimum 100 pictures to break even. Would running my own pictures be less than printing them at WalMart? Thanks for your help.
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Old Nov 4, 2002, 12:24 PM   #2
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First, I would not buy the 4X6 photo paper. You can buy the 8.5X11 for near the same cost and double your printer paper. Office Depot, Office Max, etc often have sales buy one get one free. Go to this link on Steve's web site and download the free Kodak printing software:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/digso..._printing.html

Cost will vary on ink cost. I have calculated that my ink cost are about 10 cents a page. I do refill my own ink cartridges. You can see the discussion at this post:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4159.
Cost of ink without refilling would be closer to 60 cents a page for the ink.

I like printing my own pics because I can print what I want.
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Old Nov 4, 2002, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default 45 cents?

Just kinda curious about what you paid at Walmart. Sounds like you used a Walmart that doesnt have the full digital lab but used one of those machines that they have at Walmarts. If you go to the Walmart web site you can get 4 by 6 inch pictures done for 26 cents a peice, then for another (think it was 1.98) they mail you the pictures. Or they send them to the closest Walmart to you for free. Even if the Walmart doesnt have the digital lab there. Dont use that machine at Walmart as its way more expensive. Its kinda tuff to beat the price on little 4 by 6 inch prints but its cheaper to print your own 5 by 6 and 8 by 10 or 8.5 by 11. I use an Epson 780 which was replaced by the 785 EPX, same printer but prints without computer has card reader built in (the 785 epx that is). I dont use Epson ink though i use an ink i get from an online place that is much much cheaper and the ink matches Epson ink perfectly. For 4 by 6 i dont even try to beat Walmart but i print all biiger pictures myself.
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Old Nov 5, 2002, 1:50 AM   #4
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:P Thanks. All they had at our WalMart was just a photo booth for digital prints. Just checked their web site and according to their web page they will allow me to upload my film, print off my pictures for 26 cents each (4x6), and pick them up at our WalMart. (My wife likes the 4X6 size for her photo album.)

I haven't found a way to reink the HP G55 but the WalMart website strategy appears to be best. I'll give this a try and save printing them off for when I'm in a hurry.
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Old Nov 5, 2002, 9:23 AM   #5
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Look at www.photoworks.com seem to have better prices.
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Old Nov 5, 2002, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Is it cheaper to produce your own pictures?

Thanks for the link, Phil. That's a great price and, presently, my preferred way of printing.
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Old Nov 5, 2002, 4:37 PM   #7
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Default Cheaper to Produce Own Prints?

Just from the point of view of life of prints that you print at home - I wouldn't think that the ink life from a typical HP, Epson, or whatever, will have the life expectancy or overall quality of a photo-print shop.

I have been told that the ink from inkjet printers will fade much more quickly than a studio produced photo (provided they have the correct equipment). It's like the difference from printing up a quick flyer on you home PC or getting true 4-colour production from a printer.


Just my opinion - your mileage may vary. ...jww
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