Dye Sublimation vs Inkjet Photo Printers

Dye-sublimation photo printers make premium quality prints and match the Crystal C prints that are produced by Fuji Mini-lab. Photo prints are delivered much faster compared to the regular inkjet photo printers and are resistant to water and handling damages. The downside of this type of photo printer is that it can only process one paper size and two surface styles, and has only one material source. Depending on your needs, the best photo printer for you may be a dye-sublimation photo printer or an inkjet photo printer.

Difference between Dye-Sub and Inkjet Photo Printers

Dye sublimation is a one-source-material, one-paper-size photo printing machine that offers one or two surface styles. In short, this is one device that is perfect for a particular niche of your photo printing requirement. Specifically, dye-sub photo printers are the best picks if you are looking for one-off 8 x 10 or 8 x 12-inch photo prints, or photo printing jobs that require you to deliver packages that fit an 8 x 12-inch frame. It is also a suitable choice if you are working on-location, such as during special events and occasions.

Printing Cost Comparison

The printing cost for dye sublimation photo printer is relatively comparable to that of inkjet photo printer which ranges from $1.50 to $ 2.00 per 8.5 x 11-print.

Photo Printing Flexibility

For high-end printing jobs, dye-sublimation photo printers tend to score more points than inkjet photo printers. Dye-sublimation printers are perfect for ID photos, bookmarks, fun stickers, ID badges, business cards and watermarks. Nontheless, inkjet photo printers remain to be the more popular choice for those who put premium to flexibility.

Photo Print Durability

Dye-sub photo prints come with a protective coating. Thus, you have photo prints that are fingerprint and water resistant. In fact, photo prints from dye-sub printers can last up to 50 years. You can not achieve this level of durability when using inkjet photo printers.

Photo Printing Speed

Dye sublimation printers deliver prints much faster than inkjet photo printers. Specifically, the fastest dye-sub photo printer can deliver prints in 45 seconds and the slowest printer model would require about 100 seconds. On the other hand, inkjet photo printers normally spend about 7 – 10 minutes to complete a page, which is also comparatively more expensive and inferior.

Borderless Photo Prints

The paper technology used in inkjet photo prints is far less advanced compared to dye-sub photo prints. You still need to cut the photo paper when using inkjet photo printer to get the desired photo sizes. In contrast, dye-sublimation provides for a simpler process as you are only required to clip off the edges to produce a full print photo.

Photo Paper Sizes

Conventional inkjet photo printers can accommodate different paper sizes, including those over A3 size. On the other hand, dye-sublimation photo printers are limited to 6 x 4 photo prints, although there are models that handle a maximum of A5 paper size. This does not necessarily present problems in as far as print size options are concerned, as dye-sublimation photo printers are not really positioned as replacements for conventional inkjet photo printers. Dye sublimation photo printers are designed for specific printing jobs, and it is definitely the best choice for this specific printing niche.