To Print or to Upload?
Printing at Home
The latest rage? Printer "docks" that a camera sits in, like the Kodak Easyshare DX7590 ($199; kodak.com/go/easyshare). It lets you make prints straight from the camera. But there are other great printers that work from the camera's memory card, like the Epson PictureMate ($199; mypicturemate.com for stores). To get the best prints, remember:
High-quality paper gives you nicer, longer-lasting prints. Don't skimp and waste your time with cheap stuff.
If you're unhappy with your prints, check the camera manual. You can usually set your camera to hold lots of pictures with less quality, or not so many pictures but with better quality. For printing (versus e-mailing), change the settings so you get fewer photos of better quality.
Web Sites and Software
- Photosite.com lets you set up your own free Web site. The main point is to create albums and slide shows to share with others, but you can also order prints.
- Snapfish.com has no charge for storing and viewing photos from the site, and prints are cheap at 19 cents each. Mail in old-fashioned film, and they'll upload the pictures for you to show friends.
- Ofoto.com, owned by Kodak, lets you share and store pictures, and delivers high-quality prints to your home on Kodak paper.
- Nero PhotoShow Elite software ($50; nerophotoshow.com) allows you to make some of the greatest musical slide shows we've ever seen, complete with animated special effects. It can also help you set up your own Web site, burn photo CDs, order prints, and more.
- BrilliantPhoto ($29; brilliantlabs.com) helps you organize thousands of pictures by attaching key words, ratings, and descriptions to them for easy sorting. It links to shutterfly.com for ordering prints.
There's Still the Drugstore
If you don't want to invest in an at-home printer and don't have the patience to upload and order prints online (particularly a problem if you have dial-up modem service), just take your digital camera's memory card to the photo counter at a drugstore. Most now have digital kiosks. Put the memory card in, select pictures to print, and pick them up the next day.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, September 2004.