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Definition: photo printer


A printer designed to print on extremely white photo paper that is coated to keep the ink from smearing. Photo printers are available that support all sizes of photo paper; however, some are dedicated to only wallet-sized 3x5" or 4x6" prints. When introduced in the mid-1990s, inkjet printers were not up to par for photo-quality prints, but the dye sublimation technology was, and still is, used (see dye sublimation printer).

Today, many regular inkjet printers from companies such as Epson, Canon and HP accommodate the heavier photo paper stock and produce excellent prints. See digital camera, photo scanner and inkjet printer.




The FARGO FotoFun
One of the first photo printers on the market, the FotoFun was introduced in 1995 at a breakthrough price of USD $595 for a dye sublimation printer. (Image courtesy of FARGO Electronics, Inc.)






The CYCOLOR Printer
Introduced in the early 1990s, CYCOLOR was an amazing technology that never materialized. Like film, image transformation took place inside the CYCOLOR paper, which was sensitive to light (see CYCOLOR). (Image courtesy of Cycolor, Inc.).