If you look at our 2009 holiday gift guide, neither the camera nor the printers sections have recommendations for little, standalone photo printers. This probably wasn't intentional, but the fact is, they've become sort of niche products that I'd be hard-pressed to recommend these days. With so many other ways to get prints and enjoy and consume digital photos, it seems like these single-function printers, regardless of size, are just more tech clutter. I say this because I own two that have done nothing but collect dust this year.
This doesn't mean I don't make individual prints (though lately I've been making more photo books) or regularly view my pictures, because I do. There's just much better ways of freeing the photos trapped online or on a hard drive.
Online printing The Web has roughly a gazillion ways to view and share digital photos as well as order prints or various other products. So, the first step is to find one you like and will use, and sign up. It's been, um, awhile since CNET examined the topic of online printing services
, but DigitalPhotos101
have current reviews on the subject. According to both sites, HP-owned Snapfish
comes out on top. Snapfish does mail-order, but its retail partnerships
allow you to do in-store pickup. It, too, is where you can get my favorite photo gift, the giant $50 wall clock
(there's a smaller $20 version as well). Also, while it's going to seem like I'm a rep for Kodak by the end of this post, I've been a longtime user of its printing services. Its new professional print options
yield particularly nice results.… Read more