8. How Big Can You Print
The resolution of your device’s camera dictates the quality and the size of your images. To find out if your phone can produce high-quality photo prints, you’ll need to look at its megapixel count.
So what does megapixel stand for, anyway? Pixels are small dots on your phone’s sensor that capture light and color. And the prefix mega indicates the amount of those dots are in millions.
A 6-megapixel camera means it has 6 million pixels. In general, the higher your phone’s megapixel count, the bigger the prints you can produce.
If you have an iPhone 6 with an 8-megapixel camera, you can print up to 10.88 x 8.16 inches before the quality goes down. Meanwhile, a 12-megapixel iPhone 7 can print up to 14.29 x 9.49 inches since it has better resolution.
This means that both can handle 4×6 prints easily, if you’re looking to fill up those family albums.
You can find out more about your particular phone’s specs by visiting the Apple website.
7. What Are You Printing For
Another crucial factor you need to consider what you want to print your photos for. That way you’ll know the proper size to use.
If you like to show your photos up-close to your friends, then stick to the standard print sizes. The options people often use are 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 inches. They’re big enough for people to enjoy viewing but small enough to maintain the best resolution.
But what if you want to print large photos that you want to display on your wall? Most iPhones these days, including the old iPhone 6, can produce big 8×10 prints. And that’s big enough for most uses.
After all, if you go any bigger than that size, you’ll have to sacrifice some of your image quality.
But the good news is that resolution doesn’t matter as much when it comes to large prints. Why? Because people tend to look at them from afar so they don’t really notice the loss of detail.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can print your photos in whatever size you want. After a certain point, the pixels in those images would still so big that you’ll start losing details.
As a rule, stick to 21.76×16.32 inches at the most for 8-megapixel phones. As for the newer 12-megapixel versions, you can get up to 28.59×18.99 inches without losing too much quality.
6. How to Use AirPrint
There are a lot of quality printers available for regular consumers. But if you print from your iPhone a lot, consider getting one that’s compatible with AirPrint.
Apple AirPrint allows you to connect your iPhone wirelessly via wifi to your printer. It’s convenient since you don’t need cables to do it, and you can do your tasks easily on your device through an app.
Some of the best options you have include:
- HP Officejet Pro X551
- Brother MFC-J6920DW
- Canon Pixma MX922
To use AirPrint, you’ll need to pair your phone and your printer first. Once connected, select any app AirPrint-compatible app such as Safari or Photos to print your file.
Simply tap the Share button at the top of the screen and select your printer. If if you did everything correctly, you should have a photo ready in less than a minute.
And what if you have an older printer which doesn’t have Airprint? You can always send your images via email or your favorite cloud storage (such as iCloud).
Once you download the photos to your computer, you can print it like any regular picture.
5. What Photo Paper Should You Buy
Glossy and matte are two main types of photo paper you can use for printing. They both differ in how they look, so you have to figure out which one you prefer.
If you want your photos to look sharp, choose glossy. Its smooth surface allows you to see details in your images.
Meanwhile, if you’re feeling artsy, you should try matte instead. It has a textured surface which makes it look elegant. Since it’s not as sleek, it also tends to create a softer look as opposed to its glossy counterpart.
Photo papers come in different sizes. You can buy them in 4×6, 5×7, and even 8×10. Most home printers can only print standard A4 which is 11×8.5.
If you want to print anything bigger than that, going to a print shop would be a better choice.
4. How to Get Your Photos Ready for Printing
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to learn how to print a picture using your home printer.
Once you hit the print icon on your computer screen, you’ll see a dialogue box that shows you several options. First, go to Paper Size and select the one you’d like to use in the drop-down menu.
Next, click on Paper Type and choose between matte or glossy. And finally, go to Photo Size and pick the one that matches your photo paper’s dimensions.
This may surprise you, but you don’t have to produce high-resolution prints all the time. Printing at a low resolution not only saves you ink. But apart from that, people also wouldn’t notice the diminished details when they’re far enough from the image, anyway.
To change your picture’s quality, open the file on Photoshop. Next, go to Image and select Image Size. Now, change the Resolution to 180 Pixels or keep it at 300 if you want the best quality.
Just remember not to go any lower than that value or you’ll end up with a pixelated picture.
Nevertheless, reducing your image resolution isn’t necessary in most cases if you’re only using a home printer. In fact, you can even create high-resolution 8×10 prints even with an iPhone 6. Especially since its camera’s resolution is still more than your printer’s 2400×3000 max print size.
3. Try a Portable Printer for More Convenient Printing
If you’re not the type of person who likes to work around large printers, then compact printers might be for you.
Portable printers are gaining popularity among smartphone photographers for the convenience they offer. They’re small enough to fit in your pocket, and some of them can even print photos without ink.
HP Sprocket and Canon Ivy are some of your best options if you’re looking for an iPhone printer. They feature Zero Ink technology to activate the colors from a special photo paper using heat.
As a result, they’re smaller than average printers since they don’t need big cartridges to hold ink.
You can also connect these printers wirelessly to your phone via Bluetooth. Since they’re portable and easy to use, you can bring them anywhere unlike their bulky office counterparts.
The only problem is that these portable printers can only print wallet-sized photos. That’s a big setback especially if you want to print 4×5 photos or bigger.
If you don’t mind sharing 2.5×3.5 inch images with your friends, you should still get it.
2. Use an Online Printing Service for Less Hassle
Using your home printer may be convenient, but it has a lot of limitations. First, it’s not cost-effective since ink is expensive. Another drawback is that some printers produce low-quality photos.
Now, you must be wondering: “Where can I print photos for cheap?” Well, you can always look for online printing services such as Printastic, Chatbooks, and Shutterfly.
They have apps that let you upload your favorite photos online and buy prints with a few taps on the screen. It’s the easiest way to order prints.
One advantage of using online services is that you can print photos in a variety of sizes bigger than 8×10. Furthermore, they also offer products such as photo books and posters that you can’t make at home.
1. Visit a Real Print Shop
If you don’t trust online print stores, then consider going to your local print shop instead. After all, sometimes it’s better when you get to see everything in real life and have real interactions with professionals.
For the most part, brick and mortar print shops function much like online stores. But the difference is that, in most cases, local print shops have experienced employees who are willing to share their expertise.
You can always ask them for advice and tell them what you want to get out of your prints. Most professionals also choose them over online services, so you know you’ll get the best results.
Before you go to the print shop, save your photos on your thumb drive or a CD and give it to the print shop. They will then transfer your files to their system and print them for you.
Alternatively, you can send your documents to them via email or cloud storage which is even more convenient.
There are many methods to print iPhone photos. In the end, it’s all a matter of what you want to get out of your photos.
If you like sharing snapshots with friends, using a portable or home printer would be fine. It can even work for Christmas or gift cards.
But if you want high-quality results, then consider going to your local shop or try online services. For canvas prints or prints you want to sell, a photo printer at home won’t be enough.
Everything is user-friendly nowadays. So don’t be afraid to try different options to satisfy your needs.