Imaging Spectrum Blog

The Seven Best Printers to Complete Your Photobooth

The printer world is always changing and so must our blog. Please read the newer article, The Top 9 Printers for Your Photo Booth.


 

Seven Best Photobooth PrintersThe question of what is the best printer for my photo booth is a popular topic that is always up for heated discussion in photo booth forums and chat boards. Depending on your booth design and many other factors, the opinions and responses can be quite different. For some, choosing a photo booth printer can be a bit overwhelming. However, with the help of this article you can find the right printer for your needs.

Each day we get many calls asking “what are the best photo booth printers?” From my previous blog posts about photo printer choice you would find out that quality is very subjective. Some are concerned about reliability and for others the decision is more about the wallet. Other topics of daily discussion include support from the dealer and the manufacturer.  Durability “on the move” is also important.  Most experts agree that dye sub technology is extremely reliable, very consistent and easy to manage. With that said, the question becomes “which dye sub printer is right for my photo booth build?”

When educating booth owners and builders on photo printers and photo booth technology, it seems to be helpful when I describe printers in terms of “performance” and “economy.” Why? Let me explain. The printers in the performance category as I have listed below are very different from the printers in the economy category. Performance printers share some similar characteristics with each other like speed, build and a higher price point. Economy printers tend to be slower and have a lower price point. Some of the economy printers also tend to not take as much abuse as the higher priced performance models. As you read about the different printers in the different classes, think of which ones might be a better fit for your build and workflow or, what I like to call your photo booth “personality.” And there is now a new class I have dubbed Dual Media Printers. More on that at the end of this post.

The Economy Class

Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-sMitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Photo booth printer
Mitsubishi designed the CP-K60DW-S from the ground up to be used as a photo booth printer. It’s not the fastest printer out there but it is fast enough and it has some very cool features. The K60 is compact so it’s great for smaller photo booth builds. Much like its big brother the CP70, the K60 is solid with a metal body. Front loading makes changing the media out a very simple operation. One of our favorite features of this printer is that it can make a square 6×6 inch print. This feature has been popular with event photographers and now it is starting to catch on with some photo booth companies allowing users to offer instagram style prints.

SINFONIA CS2Sinfonia Shinko CS2 Photo Printer S6145
The world’s smallest and lightest professional photo printer! You have heard me say before that what I like about this model is the fact that Sinfonia did not sacrifice quality with the build. The outer shell of the printer is very durable considering the weight of the printer. This is the perfect fit for photo booth designs that require a small footprint. The CS2 photo printer is currently one of the best value buys in the economy class given its robust design.
DNP DSRX1 Photo Printer
DNP DSRX1
The DSRX1 remains unique relative to weight and size in its class. This unique personality makes this printer a popular choice with photo booth builders. Its print capacity is impressive, considering it can output 700 4×6 prints on a single roll before it needs to be reloaded. Usually printers with this kind of capacity are bulky and heavy; however, the DSRX1 is only 30 pounds!

HiTi 510L
HiTi P510L Photo PrinterThe HiTi 510L photo printer also has a very unique profile in the economy class, but for very different reasons. For booth builders that like to have a ‘portal’ for picking up prints, this printer fits the profile. When the prints eject from the printer, unlike the other printers shown here, prints from the 510L land on top of the printer body, (see picture at right.) Some builders also prefer the ribbon load with this printer as the ribbon is housed in a single cartridge, which conveniently snaps into place with little effort.

The Performance Class

DNP DS40
DNP DS40 Photo PrinterIf you are willing to spend the extra money for a best of class product, the DNP DS40 photo printer is an excellent choice. Photo booth workflows typically do not demand the kind of speed (or components) that this printer provides, however, that doesn’t stop it from being high on the “quality build” part of the performance class. To this day, one of the most compelling testimonials about the DS40 quality can be found here. That blog post says it all. With the DS40 you can also print to social media sized perforated paper opening opportunities to create new products for your customers. (Click here to read more about the new DS40 perforated media.)

MITSUBISHI CPD70DWMitsubishi CPD70DW Photo Printer
We recently highlighted the CPD70DW photo printer as the “printer of the month” in our photo booth newsletter. What I like about the CPD70DW photo printer is its ability to be used inside and outside of the photo booth. For event photographers using Darkroom Core or Darkroom Professional Software in a traditional event workflow, the speed and processing power keep the lines from getting too long. If you are working with Darkroom Booth software in your photo booth, the CPD70DW’s small footprint and stability make it an excellent choice.

Dual Media Printers

BRAVA 21
The Brava 21 Dual Media photo and sticker printerWith the introduction of the Brava 21 earlier this year we had to create a new class and we came up with Dual Media. Dual media printers can print high quality photo prints just like the other printers in this article, however, they can also print photo quality stickers. That’s right, with a change of the paper you can print photos with a peel away sticker backing. Great for the bride’s memory book – no glue needed. Some companies are providing their customers with “memory boards” – photo booth attendees peel the back off one of the strips and stick it on a decorated board. Stickers are also a great marketing tool for branding and promotions.

Ask for Sample Prints

Lastly, if you have read this article and are having trouble deciding on a printer; please contact us for sample prints! This is a service Imaging Spectrum has been providing to our customers for years – sample prints are a great way to let you experience the quality of each of the printers first hand. Click here to request sample prints. Feel free to give our photo booth team a call if you would like to learn more about these printers or Darkroom Booth Software. 800-342-9294

Videos

We would also suggest watching videos of the printers in action.

Thanks for reading!

Steve

mm
About 
Steve has over 30 years of professional imaging industry experience and is Sales Manager at Imaging Spectrum.

24 Comments

  1. Tim

    May 15, 2016 - 7:20 pm

    Hi which one of those printer has wifi on them?

  2. SteveB

    April 7, 2016 - 10:15 am

    Valerie, there is only one that is natively wireless. That is the Hiti 520, which you will find in the updated blog article. Click on the link at the top of this blog post. Top 9 photo booth printers.

    SteveB

  3. Valerie

    April 5, 2016 - 10:37 am

    Are Any of these printers wifi capable

  4. Alin

    February 21, 2016 - 3:41 am

    Helo guys. Very good information about the printer’s… but what about the rest of the parts? It could be possibel to recomand an camera photo, printer, softwere, screen/tablet, flash that could make the photo booth work at max ? Thank you !

  5. cesar

    February 10, 2016 - 4:06 am

    Please E-mail me the price of all the printers. Thank you

  6. cesar

    February 10, 2016 - 4:02 am

    Please send me the price of the all the printers via my e-mail.Everything I read are all good except now need to know the price for my final decision

  7. SteveB

    June 17, 2015 - 11:43 am

    Joan,

    If you purchased the printer from Imaging Spectrum, please feel free to contact them for free tech support.

    SteveB

  8. SteveB

    June 17, 2015 - 11:42 am

    Jose, you have been emailed the price list.

    Thanks again.

  9. Jose

    June 15, 2015 - 7:32 pm

    Hello, can you please send me a pricelist to my email?
    Can you send the printer to Miami?
    Thank you

  10. joan

    May 10, 2015 - 1:14 pm

    hello,

    i am a photobooth owner in Cyprus using the darkroom software and i recently bought the Mitsubishi cpk-60w printer for my 2nd photo booth. I am having a problem with the printing of photos as a blue smudge like pattern is printed on any white item in the booth including the background. I tried adjusting the printer’s settings and also the software’s settings, as well as the lighting, the flash and camera settings but still nothing works. Any idea what it might be?

    Thank you. I would appreciate any kind of feedback.

    Joan

  11. mm

    Eric Woodchek

    March 2, 2015 - 2:53 pm

    Both printers are solid choices.

  12. mark mendoza

    February 19, 2015 - 5:29 am

    So the the best printer would be the mitsib0ishi ?

  13. Steve B

    October 14, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Sam,

    Thank you for the note. The Hiti 720L is typically not considered for mobile photo booth applications.
    you can find it here:
    http://www.imagingspectrum.com/hiti-720l-digital_printer-88.d1435.00a.html
    The printer weight is 60lbs. Sometimes you do see these in areas where the booth is a permanent installation (where a 1000 print roll is desirable and weight does not matter).

    In the price range you are looking at the performance printers are good choices. The DNP DS40 and Mitsubishi 70 are solid choices.

    Feel free to contact me at steve@imagingspectrum.com to discuss in further detail.

    Regards,
    Steve

  14. Sam

    October 13, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    Hi,

    A big fan of the site… Spent a lot of time here perfecting my Photobooth workflow. I am now just in the stage of expanding my workflow to include a print option.

    I have been looking at the DNP DS 40 & DNP DS-RX1. With the first option giving me speed, but low volume print run (7 Seconds per image, 400 images per roll) and the second sacrificing the speed option for larger volumes (14 Seconds per image, 700 images per roll)

    I have recently been made aware of an option that gives me both… HiTi P720L (7 seconds per image and 1000 images per roll)… Do you have any experience or knowledge of this printer? I can’t find it in your reviews!

    And I guess the most important question do you have a recommendation on which printer to go for in the price range of $1000-$1500 with an extra print roll?

    Workflow: Canon 60D – Macbook Pro – Auto Import Lr4 (with an import preset) – Slideshow output (to 32″ tv) and auto export setup.

  15. Steve B

    September 29, 2014 - 7:57 am

    Tim,

    There is an older discontinued Sony printer called the UPCX1. They still make a media kit for that printer which produces 2×8 strips in pairs of 2. If you can find that printer, we have the media kits for 2×8.

    Regards,
    Steve B
    Imaging Spectrum

  16. Tim W.

    September 29, 2014 - 4:03 am

    I’m looking for a 2×8 strip, not 2×6. What printer does this? Thanks!

  17. mm

    Eric Woodchek

    July 25, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    @Kirill – very interesting video. We have not tried that with the DNP DS40, of course the mfr. does not recommend printing in that position.

  18. Kirill BY

    July 19, 2014 - 9:43 am

    AFAIK, K60/D70 are able to print & be loaded in vertical position. Both are constructively supports rolls of media in vertical position and cuttings wouldn’t stuck into photo-tray. See 3:58 of this test-drive video at http://youtu.be/SKlpiPSAIds?t=3m58s.

    I am wondering is it possible to do the same with DNP DS40? It is a great option, that allows to significaly reduce the size of photobooth.

  19. Steve B

    June 7, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    Kirill,

    Feel free to contact the manufacterers about custom software options.

    Yes the DNP printers both do glossy and matte.

  20. Kirill BY

    June 7, 2014 - 1:19 pm

    Steve,

    Thanks for your help. I am kinda new to dye-sub printers. Do you think it is possible to modify DNP’s or Mitsubishi’s drivers for single 2×6″ option? I mean is it even possible on hardware-level? I am not sure about mentioned printers designed for Win/Mac but it could be done (in theory) to any device driver especially on Unix- based OS.

    Also, what about the matte print option for DNP DSRX1 and DS40? Are they capable to print in ‘matte’? I only found ‘TBD’ sign at your specs.

    Thanks!

  21. Steve B

    June 6, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Kirill,

    Currently there are no printers that do a single 2×6 without using an entire 4×6 sheet of media in the process. Since the 2×6 is achieved by cutting a 4×6 in half, the 2 @ 2×6 is standard.

    2) When we say that certain printers work well outside of the booth we are typically refering to faster printers that can also do well in more demanding “event” environments. Those environments are much different from booth workflows and usually require the higher speed models.

    3) Outside of Windows and Mac driver environments you would need to work with the manufacturer for any custom Unix development.

    Feel free to call us and ask for a member of our Photo Booth team. The details are easier to discuss live.

    Thanks!

    800-342-9294
    Steve B
    Imaging Spectrum

  22. Kirill BY

    June 6, 2014 - 4:23 am

    Hi, Steve!
    I am looking for a printer from your list.

    1) Is there any printer capable to print single 2×6″ stripes?
    Your comparison chart says all of them are able to cut 2×6″, but the products specifications says DNP is only capable to print doubled stripes 2x(2×6″), but not single. Mitsubishi’s specs at your catalogue also marked as ‘Now with 2×6 Photobooth Strip capability’.
    But the manufacturer’s brochure says just ‘2×6″ Multi-cut’, so it doesn’t specify is it a single cut for 2×6 or doubled 2x(2×6″). Tech specs are also not clear. It says ‘printer will cut 4×6” sheet into two photo strips – 2×6”’. Is it going to be a single stripe 2×6 or two stripes of 2×6 with a same image? http://me-vis.com/products/imaging/2-x-6-multi-cut-photo-strip-print-option/

    I am really confused about unnecessary double-printing. Both printers are able to store 3-4 of last images in memory in order to make a quick copy. Do I need to waste 50% of extra paper for second stripes with a same image?

    At this point your comparison chart is not precise:
    – DNP printers are not capable to print single 2×6″ stripe. Only 2x(2×6″) of same image. They are also not able to print it matte. Gloss only. See manufacturer tech specs.
    – Also it is not confirmed that Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S and CPD70DW are able to print single 2×6″ stripes.

    2) Why did you said Mitsubishi can be used outside the photoboth?
    ‘ability to be used inside and outside of the photo booth’ – does it have an bluetooth or wifi module?

    3) Are any of those 7 printers work on Linux or any other unix- OS (excl. Mac)?

    Choosing between DNP DSRX1/DS40 and MITSUBISHI CP-K60DW-S/CPD70DW for those params:
    – option for single 2×6″ print (extremely important);
    – option for matte print;
    – print capability;
    – manufacturer support (drivers for Linux or any Unix- OS);

    Any suggestions, Steve?

  23. Andrew Blackburn

    May 9, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    I’ll cast a vote in favor of the Sinfonia CS2. We’ve run these for the last two years in our booths without a problem. Not quite as fast as the DS40 but never have trouble keeping up with booth sessions.

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