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Advice on portable photo printer and digital camera

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I need advice as to what the best portable photo printer and digital camera is out there with the following requirements.

1) Cost effective (economic...no more than $200)
2) Low cost per print
3) Can produce a print job (either the camera or printer) with a watermark without the use of a computer
4) Great quality
5) Both should be very portable
6) Only looking for a max print size of 4x6"

Let me know.

Thank you.
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Question by:sscal
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 35206102
sscal,

What kind of volume in what kind of time span are you looking to do? Are you limited for space and do you need an idiot-proof setup? These things make a huge difference. Also, are you looking to spend $200 on everything, or $200 on each?

Cheers,
LHerrou
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by:sscal
ID: 35207880
We are looking at a rough price of $200 for each. We are not looking for high volume. We would be using this setup maybe 2-3 times a year with about 300-400 prints on each one of those times. I would like something very portable and "idiot-proof" but we are not limited on space (this kit will be traveling hence why the portability).

Thank you.
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lherrou earned 250 total points
ID: 35208982

For printers, I would look at either the Canon CP800 (first link below) or the new Hi-Touch HiTi P110s. Both of these have pluses and minuses. The Canon has a small capacity (max 36 sheets of 4x6) but also can print a range of sizes (4x6 max, though). The Hi-Touch has a 60 sheet capacity, but can only run 4x6 prints and 1X1 photo stickers. It's also a bit quicker in real production. Neither are going to crank out the volume needed for a major event, but nothing else in your price range is capable of that either. Both the Canon and the Hi-Touch run about 30 cents a print for materials (purchased in packs of ink and paper). Given that the Canon is cheaper up front, you could get two of them for your $200, and more than make up any speed issues or time lost in cartridge swapping.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-SELPHY-Compact-Printer-4350B001/dp/B003YL412A
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LZUPP6

As far as the camera is concerned, I would probably lean towards the Nikon L110 (http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-L110-Vibration-Reduction-Black/dp/B0034XIMG4). There's a newer model out, the L120, which has brought the L110 below $200. I think you'll find it's a solid reliable camera for the price, and it doesn't shout out "I'm a cheap consumer point-and-shoot" to clients or event attendees.

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by:sscal
ID: 35209093
Thank you for the information. What about the watermark, which is very important for our company? Are either of these pieces capable of having an image loaded for use as a watermark without having to use a computer?
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Assisted Solution

by:lherrou
lherrou earned 250 total points
ID: 35209311
Yeah, I don't know of a low-price digital camera that will do that for anything close to your price range. This is also true of most printers in your range. However, the Hi-Touch can use what they call eFrames (and created with their eFrame Converter software), which are designed to be virtual photo frames that get applied to each image - you create a TIF image in Photoshop, convert it using their software, and load it into the machine - when the photo prints, it has your festive frame (border) around it. I am thinking that could likely be re-purposed to your needs.

Instructions on the eFrames is here, you might be able to figure out if that will work for you: http://www.hiti.com/english/images/products/P110S_eFrame.pdf

Otherwise, you'll need to have a computer in the mix.
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by:sscal
ID: 35209488
is there any portable printer or camera of any price that can do the watermark the way I want it. Maybe we could go higher depending on what we are getting in return.
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 35209858
While it's technically possible to watermark in-camera (see http://www.cosy.sbg.ac.at/~pmeerw/Watermarking/psivt09/psivt09_slides.pdf), I am not aware of any camera that presently does it. Most pro users rely on EXIF data to show copyright, etc, and there's little call for something like this in inexpensive cameras.

There are event photo printers capable of it. Take a look at the Sony UP-CR15L, which sells for around $1300 (here the documentation: http://www.sony.net/Products/DP-driver/snaplab/data/HowtoCreateWatermarkCR20L_CR25L_CR15L_english.pdf), but not anything close to your pricerange.

Do you not think the eFrame approach would work?

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Author Comment

by:sscal
ID: 35209948
Thank you for the information. I think that the eFrame could work but I am on a time crunch and really have no room for error so I don't really want to simply guess that it could work.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 35211964
Just for ideas
there is portable pocket printers for use with most cameras that have usb support and can also use the simm card  adding a watermark may have to be a two step phaze.
SiPix Pocket Colour 200 Portable Photo Printer USB
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SiPix-Pocket-Colour-200-Portable-Photo-Printer-USB-New-/120662676661
Canon ES40 DYE-SUB Compact
http://www.myshopping.com.au/ZM--1197847777_Printers

As for the camera that is a tall ask  with such a huge range available
but this artical assists with what you need in a camera.
How to Use a Digital Camera as a Scanner or Copier
http://www.ehow.com/how_5567427_use-digital-camera-scanner-copier.html
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 35212457
One other thought that occurred to me - don't know if this is possible or feasible price-wise, but there are clear self-adhesive laminating films that you can apply over inkjet or dye-sub photos to try to give them a longer lifespan. If you could get your watermark embedded in the film, and then apply the film over the photos, you might be able to achieve your goals.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 35243379
Objection:
While I understand that the Asker didn't get an answer with what they wanted, that doesn't mean that a real effort wasn't made. There are not cameras and printers in that pricerange that meet the asker's criteria.
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 35302920
I recommend #3, split between comments http:#a35208982 and http:#a35209311

While there isn't an actual solution within the Asker's price range, I provided advice on a good camera that would be well-suited to the intended use, and a printer that potentially could be a work-around solution.

The current awarded answer consists of primarily of three links, one to a eBay listed for a low-quality printer that printing supplies are no longer available for, one for slightly lower-end consumer model of a Canon printer that I recommended, and one that does not appear to be relevant to the question at all.

{edited for clickable links - _alias99}
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