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Can you use a color laser printer for photo printing?

by yiwakawa / September 20, 2005 4:59 AM PDT

I want to know if you can use a color laser printer to print photo? I have the HP photosmart 7450 and want to get something better. Since I don't have a color laser printer I don't know what the photograph will look like?, or if you can print photo on a color laser? I am looking at Samsung CLP-510 it has 1200 dpi, so it's about the same as the HP 7450 that I don't like any more.
Is this a good idea or can you think of a better idea? I am new to printing photo on a printer, so I can use all the help.

Thank you for your time and help.


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Not a bad idea at all...
by jrmar07 / September 20, 2005 8:30 AM PDT

I help people with that question often at work.

Staples has the largest selection of printers anywhere.
Color Laser Printers, so that's where I would look.

Just make sure you get atleast 2400dpi. I would reccommend the Konica Minolta Magicolor 2400W with the $100 rebate. You will be paying atleast $400 for that Samsung, so I would go for the Konica Minolta. You can even go in and test it out, open it up and compare it for yourself.

I found some paper you would be using for nice photos as well.
Photo Laser Paper Glossy or Matte, your choice.


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Can you see the difference between the 2400 & 9600 X 600?
by yiwakawa / September 20, 2005 9:31 AM PDT

Hi thank you for your help. Can you tell me one more thing. Can you really see any differance between the 2400 & 9600 X 600 dpi on laser photo paper? I know that My HP photosmart ink jet when printing some things will leave a white line on paper and my friend's Cannon ink jet don't but I think his was $400 mine was under $100. 2400 dpi I can buy soon, but I got to save for the $700 9600 X 600 if it's better!
And I thoght Konica just made camera!

Again thank you for your help!

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I can...
by jrmar07 / September 20, 2005 9:59 AM PDT

Your best bet is to go in and see one for yourself. If it looks to be worth the extra $$$ than go for it. I'd be happy with either.

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Went to Staple Did not get any help!!!
by yiwakawa / September 23, 2005 10:38 AM PDT
In reply to: I can...

OK today I had the time to get to Staple. I looked at all the color laser they had. I got sample from the magicolor 5430 and the OKI C5200 on regular paper. I asked the sale person if I can see the sample in photo paper, but He told me that I won't be happy with it and pushed me towards a ink jet about $300. He told me that the ink cost for the laser too high and the prints are bad, but my friend talked about how he runs out of ink in his $400 ink jet all the time and I got the same problem with my HP. I am not a professional phtographer, but I want a printer that has good prints and smudge proof ink. From what I know about laser printer the ink in the machine last longer than ink jet printer.
Man the two laser printer had great pictuer it's better than my HP on regular paper. I think the laser will work great on photo paper!
Do you know anything about the magicolor 5430? the price was good.
Again thank you for your help everyone!

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Photos with Laser Indeed
by wakzak / September 23, 2005 11:55 AM PDT

Depending on your demand for quality yes you can print photos with no problem using a laser printer.
The inital cost of the printer can be higher,The toner supply and demand will run less later /TCO.
I print Photos on the laser everyday,when I need Excelent quality I go and get the photo printed via a High quality Photo Printer and I am extremely happy. Everyone who sees the laser prints comments how good they look,until the Photo professional looks at the
laser print. For me it saves me money and it will outlast the home user photo printer many times over.
The toner gives me excelent results.Not as many color defination as a 8 ink photo printer. Oh well, Thats 8 inks I didn't buy every howmany prints. Same toner for 1 year now. try that with an inkjet photo printer!

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Photo Paper | Laser Printers
by lewisedge / September 24, 2005 2:23 AM PDT

Photo paper is unsuitable for use in a laser printer. Use it only for inkjet printers. For best quality get 30lb 110+ brightness presentation paper to print photos on a laser printer. Still, the quality from a laser printer, no matter how expensive, will not equal the quality of a good inkjet photo printer. I recommend the Canon PIXMA iP4000 for photos because the cost of ink is lower than many other brands, you can buy good cartridges for that printer from third parties for even less, the printer has two software selectable paper sources, both photo and document quality is excellent and the printer is available for a good price.

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Laser Printer On Sale
by lewisedge / September 24, 2005 2:42 AM PDT

Beginning tomorrow, September 25th, Staples has the Okidata C5200ne color laser printer on sale for $399.98 after $200 in rebates. It's network ready with its own built-in Website, fast and offers a duty cycle of 50,000 pages per month. That price is not much more than the Minolta, which is slower and has no built-in networking. If you're satisfied with the Okidata's photo quality, this is a great price.

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Ink jet
by JerriEricd / October 13, 2005 4:58 AM PDT

I have an HP 1215 photosmart printer. It prints great photos but I do not use it frequently and when I go to use it the ink is dried up. I bought a Konica MagicColor 2400w and was very disappointed with the print outs for photo's. No gloss to them. I sent and email to Konica and they got back to me the next day along with a phone number and name of a tech person. The tech person said that the printouts on glossy paper are actually of lesser quality then non glossy. I tried both and decided to take the printer back. Then I saw the OKI CN5200ne at Staples for $599. The test prints were very glossy on regular paper. Staples also said not to use glossy paper. Well $599 or even $399 is more than I want to spend. I'll wait for the price to come down furhter. I tired of running to the store to buy ink for my photo printer. I can settle for lesser quality laser printing but not poor quality.

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I do it all the time
by trussman / September 23, 2005 7:55 AM PDT

I have a 6 color photo inkjet and the 2400w. I save the inkjet for the photos that I really want to have impeccable color, but I use the 2400w for the routine photos and with the right paper, it's almost impossible to realize that it is only a 4 color printer with a limited resolution (at least compared to the inkjet.)

Here's the secret to these results. Use a matte photo paper intended for inkjets. I use Canon or Epson heavyweight matte paper and the results are spectacular.

DO NOT EVER use any inkjet paper other than matte. The other injet papers usually have a plastic based coating which will melt in the heat of a laser and may ruin the laser.

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Using a Color Laser Printer For Photos
by lewisedge / September 22, 2005 9:35 PM PDT

If you can find a nearby Staples office supply store, they will usually have an Okidata C5150N and the low-end Minolta color laser printers available for demo. You can look at the demonstration output, which includes photos, to determine if you'd be pleased with the results. I have both an Okidata C5150N color laser printer and a Canon PIXMA iP4000 color inkjet printer on my network. For printing color documents, I prefer the Okidata. For color photos I prefer the Canon which produces lab-quality prints on glossy photo paper. I've never seen photos printed on any color laser printer that actually look like they were printed in a photo lab. Viewed from a distance, laser photo prints can look really good, but they do not yet rival the best of the color inkjet printer results on glossy photo paper.

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hp color laser
by hankst / September 22, 2005 10:17 PM PDT

if you go to you'll find the prices to be less. I'd print out the price and go to staples with it. The HP Color printer that I saw was 399.99 and it does an awsome job. Keep in mind that it's easier to buy cartridges for the hp as well since hp is everywhere. If you compare the machine to Cannon you'll find hp is faster and the color is more vibrant. The cannon was too yellowish.

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Look into cost per picture
by jmacm / September 22, 2005 10:33 PM PDT

Black and white laser printers are usually much cheaper to run then their inkjet counterparts. For color though, inkjet is usually much less expensive. Cost per page for a color laser printer runs between 7 and 15c per page, but this is for a brochure/handout type job with about 5% coverage. For a photo, expect much higher costs. Those toner and imaging drum costs add up fast. Another word of warning--cheap color laser printers use multi-pass printing. This means the imaging drum gets used up four times faster for color prints.

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Inkjet = better photo quality
by bostechie / September 22, 2005 11:27 PM PDT

Sure you can print photos with a color laser. I have the Konica Minolta magicolor 2400w which I use for color brochures. This said, I would never use it to print my digital photographs because its not really designed for the quality of output I desire. If you want to use photographic paper such as Kodak, Epson or the like it won't work in the laser. However, if you are not that picky the above laser will print photos. I do suggest using high grade color laser paper. Personally, I'd go with a 6 color inkjet or 8 color inkjet printer if you can afford it.

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Dell Color Laser Printer and photo paper clash
by Kamesh Aiyer / September 22, 2005 11:53 PM PDT

Maybe I did something wrong, but the first (and only) time I tried to use photo paper in my Dell color laser (3100CN) it made a mess of the paper and there was color toner over all the moving parts. It took a few runs of regular paper to clean it out.

I haven't dared use photo paper in it since.

The quality on regular paper is pretty good though unlikely to satisfy a photo aficionado.

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My Brother color laser printer - Model: HL-4040CDN
by K515 / April 13, 2010 7:26 AM PDT

I create photo comic books. I want to use this
printer to print out my photo comics, and on double sided regular computer copy paper. My
printer box is unopened and the box says I get with high-yield toner
cartridges: black, 5000 pages, cyan, 4000 pages, magenta, 4000 pages,
yellow, 4000 pages based on 5 % page coverage (letter), and I showed
this to my mom, and she doesn't know what 5 % page coverage means -
won't I be using up a lot of toner when printing out my comic book pages
because my comic books graphics cover the whole page (except the white
border) and I think (I might be wrong about this - never used a laser printer before) my printouts would be covering 100 % or even 200 %
of the page since I'll be printing double sided pages? I brought this
printer to reduce my cartridge-buying frequency and to maximize my
output per set of cartridges. Did I buy the right printer for my needs?

This printer has a $400 value but I got it for $300.

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Laser toner likely longer lasting color,
by k_graham / September 23, 2005 1:01 AM PDT

I've had laser output around several years as we have a laser color copier at work.

We had posted a Fuji Century print in a South facing window and a Color copy.

Guess what Century print is most likely for archival storage in the dark because after a couple years it had altered quite a bit. The Laser print also altered after a couple more years. The yellow in the print fading out.

Inkjet color is much thinner and subject to fading and the 100 year claims are again in archival settings.
ie. probably acid free mounting in a book which is kept closed. Typical guarantees on signs run about 3 years with UV resistant plastic overlay.

Fade resistance can be enhanced by laminating with UV resistant laminate which typically reduces the fading to 1/5 of regular rate of fade. However this is special laminate and not the regular laminate normally available at stationery stores. The store should have some documentation available indicating it is UV resistant.

Regards paper, inkjet paper is specialy coated and laser paper is not and there are good papers available for either. For laser Hammermill Color copy paper and card are pretty good.

Don't forget to properly view the photos a daylight bulb makes a difference for inside. I like 6500 degree. Whereas a cold fluorescent is 4200.

Ken Graham

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Canon vs HP
by bigbear639 / September 23, 2005 1:20 AM PDT

I'll put my Canon Pixma up against any HP Printer or Photo Processing Service. Besides the much larger individual Ink Tanks save you a bunch of $$$$$ over other brands.

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Check out the Xerox Phaser 8500
by Axlerod / September 23, 2005 2:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Canon vs HP

Print a photo on photo grade paper on the Phaser 8500 or the 8200 and see if you feel the same way. I wouldn't trade you.

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Photo printing on laser-like printer
by Joseph61 / September 23, 2005 1:20 AM PDT

I am using for over a year now a LED printer From OKI
(OkiData C5300) to print my digitally made photo's.
Recently I found on their website a piece of free SW to enhance the photo printing for a newer model(C5400).
The result is great even with the older printer.
Decent print speed and on decent paper a very good result!
Cheers, Joseph

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The "cheapest" best alternative
by John Hoyle / September 23, 2005 1:52 AM PDT

I have a great little Epson C80 inkjet that has always done near perfect photos on inkjet photo paper and glossy paper. I still use it for photos that I have done some heavy editing on or for a quick print for a relative that stops by and wants a particular picture.
But what I do now is a lot better and saves me tons of money on ink and high priced paper. I just email my pictures to and then go pick them up at my local store in about 2 hours. At 17-25 cents for a 4x6 picture, you simply can not duplicate the quality, speed or ease of this technique. Costco is not the only vendor that will do this, but for someone that has a store nearby, it is as easy as a cheese sandwich.
I am not a shill for Costco, but for other than custom photos that you are preparing (and realistically, how many of those do you do every month?), simple digital pictures or scanned photos out of your albums, the online approach can't be beat for quality or cost.

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Laser for printing photos
by Axlerod / September 23, 2005 2:08 AM PDT

I have a Xerox 8200 Phaser printer and LOVE IT! I print out the Most beautiful photos ever. This is a solid ink technology and the ink fuses at a lower temperature. Xerox has the new model, 8500 out now and with a lower price, around $899.00. I know the cost may make it prohibitive for a home machine, but the tech support and service has been excellent. Ink is moderately priced and LASTS a long time. Overall I spend less on ink refills for this printer than I did for my Epson inkjet printer with the same printing volume. The machine is medium size and compact. Check it out on Xerox's website.

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Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No
by hunterdk / September 23, 2005 8:37 AM PDT

I have used a variety of color lasers with mixed results on a variety of papers. Most of the paper stock you would pick up in the office products store are for deskjets and don't hold laser applied color very well.

The first problem is to remove red eye and other imperfections in some photo fixit software. I use PaintShop Pro mostly for that.

Next is the type of paper you select and the amount of glossy finish it has. As a general rule, I have used a succession of Minoltas, (currently using a DL2300) with good but not superb results and a Dell Dell 3000CN with good enough but not striking results. Again the proof is in the paper.

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Think about it.......
by THESEER / September 23, 2005 11:30 AM PDT

Ink jet the ink is set in the paper so the paper finish shows , if glossy or flat or satin you can see it. The laser uses a heat set that glues the plastic like ink to the surface of the paper,we all know that something embedded into the paper will out last anything that is glued to the surface of the paper. It is that simple photos with an ink jet (a good one) are far better that any laser could ever hope to be. Epson has a great one but it is not cheap, some day I may have one. Look at a laser photo it will never look like a photo from a good photo shop but you can find ink jets that will look as good as a photo shop print also some have test to last around 100 years or more something glued (heat set) will never last that long.
Good luck.

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Photos on a Laser printer?? YOU BET !!!
by Mark0 - Technologist / September 23, 2005 12:26 PM PDT

There are three popular printer types available to USA consumers today that can print photographic art:

1. The Inkjet
#1 Cost to operate
#2 Photo Quality
#3 Speed
#2 Initial Cost
2. Color Laser
#3 Cost to Operate
#3 Photo Quality
#1 Speed
#1 Initial Cost
3. Thermal Dye Sublamination
#2 Cost to Operate
#1 Photo Quality
#2 Speed
#3 Initial Cost

I happen to own one of each. ALL of which will print a photograph, but ''your mileage may vary'', depending on what you expect the output to look like.

The inkjet is one of the most popular as well as EXPENSIVE to operate available. Don't let those cheap prices fool you, I don't know how many 8x10'' glossy photos you can print on yours before you need to replace the cartridges, but mine would last about 20 pages (on a good day) and MUCH LESS if there was a few weeks or months between print outs.

As you already know: modern top of the line inkjets will produce fine looking photographs, but at $60+ for a set of ink cartrages (my printer) my 8.5x11'' photo album sheets were costing me upwards of $3.00 a page!!

Last year I bought a MagiColor 2400DL to replace my inkjet printer. While the printer cost me $500 new, I've gotten 400 color pages out of it so far and still have %40+ toner left to print more. Even if I only got 500 total color pages out of the set of toner cartridges that CAME WITH the printer, total cost per page is roughly $1.25 each. (this is out of the "low yield cartridges" that CAME with the printer!)

Stock toner refills are EXPENSIVE:$472 list for the HIGH yield ones. However, these cartridges come with 2.5x the toner. Using the yield of my current cartridges as an example, I might expect to get 1250 color pages out of the $472 high yield cartridges bringing the cost per page to $0.37!!

Then again, I was able to find a TONER REFILL KIT that has as much toner as the high yield cartridges for $165.00!! I'll let you do the math on how much it would cost per page using the generic toner. <grin>

While the pages FLY out of the laser printer as compaired to the Inkjet, the output is better than a newspaper print, but not as good as a Inkjet or TDS printout. (about as good as magazines)I do notice some grainyness and some color shifting. However, my family can't tell the difference, so what do I care?

An added bonus is that the prints won't fade as bad as injets AND they are water proof!!

I've recently added a TDS [T]hermal [D]ye ublamination printer to my collection. This thing prints WONDERFULL photographs, if you like 4x6'' (postcard) sized photos. The printer cost only $150 and the current list price (can be found cheaper) for the 108print kit is $29.95, which brings the cost per print to about $0.27 each!!

Ok, like I said, your mileage may vary. Most of the color lasers will print a 'demo sheet' and you can see for yourself what each model may or may not do right @ Office Depot or other store which has them setup.

Personally, I don't even use my inkjet anymore. Unreliable and to expensive to operate.


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Who makes a TDS printer?, and how long do laser print last?
by yiwakawa / September 23, 2005 2:55 PM PDT

Hi thank you for your help.

#1 Can you tell me who makes a TDS printer? I think I like the idea of color laser printer, but TDS sounds like a great idea. Can you print a 8 1/2 X11" print a TDS or is it only for ths small print? Are the print smudge proof, and do they last?

#2 How long do the print made with color laser last? Do any of you know?

Again thank you all for your help, All this info's greatly appreciated!

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Canon CPxxx TDS Photo Printers
by Mark0 - Technologist / September 24, 2005 11:34 AM PDT

To answer your question, Canon, Kodak, Sony, Panasonic, Xerox and even DELL sells TDS printers, however there is a hitch:

1. ALMOST all models are designed for photos do only that: Print 4x6" (and a little bigger/a little smaller) photos. (excepting ONE model rare discontinued Panasonic and a few strange "off brands")

2. Like inkjet print cartridges, you can only use the supplies that are made for the printer. You can't use Canon's supplies in a Sony printer and vis-versa.

As such, as far as I know, only Canon has a 108 print kit for $29.95 LIST that brings the cost of these 4x6" photos down to less than $0.27 a picture. The others are MUCH more expensive but may follow suit to compete with Canon.

3. The 4x6" prints that my CP400 makes are spill proof (cepting the cardboard/paper they are printed on) and JUST LIKE A POST CARD BOUGHT IN A STORE.

They claim that the prints will last a long time. Maybe I should print the same picture out on a Laser/TDS/Inkjet and sit all three in my southern exposure front window and see what the results are?


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DYE SUB printer for the Prosumer
by drwho / September 24, 2005 4:46 PM PDT

the KODAK 1400 DYE SUB printer is the ideal PHOTO ONLY printer if you want to do FULL SIZE prints.

It's around the same price as COLOR LASER printers plus there is a $100 Rebate on it right now so it ends up being even less expensive for the base cost.

Obviously the supplies are not cheap, around $90 for a 50 page refill and $50 for a 25 page refill; however, IF you are going to do a LOT of prints you might want to get a commercial model printer instead.


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Kodak Pro Printers....
by Mark0 - Technologist / September 25, 2005 1:03 AM PDT

Ok after some quick research:

Kodak Professional 1400 Photo Color Dye Sublimation Printer (301x301 DPI, Color, PC/Mac - SKU: 8116253)
Price Range: $412.85 - $490.12 from 10 Sellers

This places the cost of the printer (dono if this is before or AFTER $100 rebate) right in the range of low-end color laser printers and on-par with the "top of the line" inkjet printers.

So how much do the supplies cost?

Kodak Ektatherm Print Kit Matte for Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer - 50 A4 Size Paper and Ribbon
(SKU: 8335788) Price Range: $72.50 - $86.94 from 9 Sellers

A4 is pretty much a 8.5x11" (although metric) sheet. Using the cheapest supply cost (without shipping) the cost per page is $1.45 and considering that you COULD print 4 photos per page ($0.36) and cut them out, the cost of operating this printer appears to be simular to the published cost of many of the "photo inkjet" printers today, however with better looking and longer lasting output. Besides NO INJETS TO CLOG!!

An added bonus is that while its not as fast as a laser printer, I know of NO INKJET printer that can produce a 8x10" glossy photo in 45-90 seconds!

I surely would consider this printer instead of a Color Laser printer.

I'm suprised that CNET and the other publications don't give these types of solutions more press.


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kodak 1400 pro dye sub printer vs laser printer
by cornose / September 30, 2005 12:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Kodak Pro Printers....

I am not a pro photographer, so I was not sure spending almost 500 dollars on this printer was such a good idea,
but I have been using the 1400 for about 4 weeks and it is nothing short of fantastic.
Its prints are better than any ink jet I have seen or owned and I have owned epson, cannon and hp ,mid to hight end printers. It was very easy to set up and get printing,I would think It will be far better than most any laser printer.
Its few draw backs are, it is heavy and loud, the kits are a bit costly. and it is only good for printing photos.
but if you want great looking prints and have the room, this is one great printer. By the way kodak says 90 sec. for an 8x10, I may just be lucky but I get mine in about 70 sec.

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I think this is the printer to buy!!!
by yiwakawa / September 25, 2005 6:24 AM PDT

It looks like this is the printer that I was looking for, great picture, fast, and the price is somewhat acceptable for my budget. I think my HP ink jet cost more to run than this with full dpi, and supreme HP photo paper. The Kodak 1400 is $2 a print retail so it's great for my budget.
I want to know how long the printer lasts?
I want to see one in real life. This is too cool!!!

Thank you all for all your help!!!


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