How Many Photos Do You Print?

Do you print your digital images?

Do you print your digital images?

Here’s an interesting snapshot of an online poll. I found it on the home page of the Digital Photography School web site.

I am one of the “1 in 1,000” group.

It must be sobering reading for ink-makers like Hewlett-Packard, Epson and Canon. They’ve been trying for years to get users to print more. But only 15% print one tenth of their photos or more.

Of course this is not a scientific poll – random sample and so on. But I bet it is pretty close.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if HP et al reduced their ink prices drastically I am sure we’d all print more. With all the business analysts and MBAs they employ I would have thought they could analyse consumer behaviour and sales. I am sure they are not in the sweet spot of the demand curve.

What HP could do is to produce a line of budget printer ink for, say, half the price or less of the regular product. They can position it as a product that does not last as long, have as true colours and so on. They can try it in some test markets and see how it sells. That’s what the packaged goods vendors like Procter and Gamble do. It explains why we have so many brands of nappies (diapers).

It’s also about shelf space in the stores. I bet HP could squeeze out independent ink vendors from stores like Office Depot if they had a low-cost high volume line of inks. Note Office Depot is a big presence in Bangkok. Most Central department store locations have a branch.

I may buy myself a digital picture frame for Christmas. There’s one I like in Fortune Mall for about 8,000 Baht. That’s about US$240 or 160 Euro. One cartridge for my Canon Pixma MP610 costs 500 Baht. It takes four. So for the cost of 16 cartridges I can have an unlimited A4 sized display of my photos.

I have bought “only” 27 cartridges since I bought the printer in late 2007. I cut back my printing after my initial enthusiasm because of the ink cost. Still that is 13,500 Baht in ink whereas the printer cost only 8,000 Baht.

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7 Responses to “How Many Photos Do You Print?”

  1. mdee88 Says:

    I’m in the 1 in 100-satisfies me to see it in print-just the good shots.

    • BKKPhotographer Says:

      How do you keep your prints? Do you frame them, keep them in an album? I used to keep albums but found I rarely looked at them. Most of my friends want emailed copies of photos – not prints.

  2. Michael Willems Says:

    Print! I agree absolutely.

    I print, 13×19 inch on a Canon Pixma Pro 9500. 13×19 rocks, and I have the laminated – $25.

  3. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Some advice for digital picture frame buyers: http://www.geekiegadgets.com/2007/top-10-tips-for-buying-a-digital-photo-frame/

    I have to be particularly careful in Thailand. “Trading standards” are not well enforced here. I think I’ll put some test pictures on my own memory card and insist on trying it in any frame I want to buy.

    Also merchandise returns are difficult to impossible here.

  4. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Here’s an excellent article on saving money on ink and toner: http://www.slate.com/id/2198316/

  5. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Do you think this graph is accurate: http://reflectionof.me/relative-prices-of-different-liquids-1

    It prices HP printer ink at US$0.70 per mL (milli-litre).

    I feel somewhat ashamed to be a former HP employee. Surely this is blatant profiteering?

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