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5 Best Dye Sublimation Printers for Photo Booths

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best dye sublimation printers for photo booths

Photo booths have always been a chief attraction of many events and get-togethers, and many still cherish their favorite memories through a photo booth-printed image. The changing times have demanded updates in everything around, and photo booths are no exception. If the traditional photo booths featured regular printers capable of printing the photos in a single size and format, modern times have changed the equipment used in photo booths. 

Now, photo booths feature innovative printers compatible with digital and physical paper forms. Although numerous printers fall into the category mentioned above, it is the due sublimation printers that seem to be producing the best quality photos for photo booths. The best dye sublimation printer for photo booths lets the user briefly have long-lasting, high-quality images. 

Product

Features

Canon SELPHY Portable Wireless Photo Printer, CP1300, Inkjet, Laser, Bluetooth, Compact

  • Compact design

  • High print quality

  • Long-lasting images

Liene 4x6'' Instant Color Photo Printer, Portable, Thermal dye sublimation

  • Customizable Liene application

  • Wireless connectivity

  • Filters and borders available

Epson Expression Photo Color Printer, HD XP-15000, Wireless, Wide-Format

  • Borderless prints

  • Mobile printing

  • Auto duplex printing

Epson Eco Tank Wide-format Color Printer, Photo ET-8500, Wireless, All-in-One, Color, Super tank

  • High printing speed

  • High accuracy

  • Borderless printing

Epson Picture Mate Color Photo Printer, PM-400, Wireless, Compact

  • Lightweight

  • High printing speed

  • Wireless connectivity

The users expect the printers at photo booths to be digitally compatible with wireless connectivity. As most people record their pictures on digital gadgets, the best dye sublimation printers for photo booths inevitably possess digital compatibility. Advanced technologies and novel features are being equipped with the current models of dye sublimation printers contributing to the comfort and convenience of the user.

Best Dye Sublimation Printers for Photo Booths – Buying guide

Due to the countless advantages of dye sublimation printers, numerous established manufacturers have developed their versions of dye sublimation printers with unique features. Many come in affordable price ranges and offer never before heard features and services. But as the number of options increased, the customers’ confusion also increased. Now it is difficult for any buyer to choose any printer from the many options available in the market, both online and offline. 

To find the best dye sublimation printer for photo booths, the best method is to check the essential features of a perfect printer. Some parts can make or break the product experience for printers, and validating the machine based on those features during the purchase can let the buyer have the best of the product.

The following section details those features which inevitably enable the user to find the best dye sublimation printer for photo booths

  1. Printing Speed: Printing speed is one of the crucial features of any printer, especially for dye sublimation printers for photo booths. As people do not expect to spend much time at the photo booths for pictures, it is inevitable for the stalls to have printers that can print much more quickly. Having a faster printer could also help move the long line in front of your business, and getting sharper images can only benefit your business in the best possible way. But it also should be taken care of to not compromise on the quality of the photos while focusing more on the printing speed.
  1. Size of the printer: The size and weight of a printer become quite crucial if you are running a temporary or make-shift photo booth. Having a lightweight photo booth printer can enable the business owner to be able to take it around whenever found necessary. Having a heavy printer could only cause practical difficulties for both the owner and the customer. But it has to be remembered that if all the other features are the best for a printer and the only downfall is its heaviness, it is advisable to get the printer as weight and size can be adjusted over time.
  1. Resolution or Clarity: The clarity of an image can be validated with its resolution. It is always better to have a printer capable of producing high-resolution images. Resolution is almost synonymously used to indicate the clarity and sharpness of the image produced, and DPI, or Dots Per Inch, is the unit used to measure the resolution. While buying a dye sublimation printer for photo booths, make sure not to purchase one with less than 300 Dpi resolution. Any printer with less than 300 Dpi could only create blurry images, and this is why they should be avoided at any cost.
  1. Size of the paper: Several dye sublimation printers are available in the market capable of printing photos in multiple sizes. It is always advisable to buy one of those printers when you are purchasing for setting up a photo booth. Because it need not be necessary for every customer to like a single size when it comes to photos. Some may have an affinity towards photo strips, whereas others may not. So, it is always better to be prepared for multiple customer demands.
  1. Connectivity: There are two kinds of dye sublimation printers available in the market, wireless printers and wired printers. The best positive of a wired printer is that it does not encounter any connectivity problems and thus can be considered highly reliable. But wireless printers have their share of advantages too. They are more convenient and compatible with intelligent storage devices, making them suitable for customers to take printouts from their gadgets.

Along with the printer’s specifications, much attention should be given to the sublimation paper, and the ink used to ensure that high-quality prints are produced. Many manufacturers provide sublimation paper and ink along with the printer, and it is advisable to buy such combo kits to have a good start on the process.

Best dye Sublimation Printers for Photo Booths Reviews

Although the features mentioned above can help any buyer have a high-quality dye sublimation printer for photo booths, one of the most crucial aspects of the purchase is choosing the proper manufacturer and brand to buy from. As many reputed printer manufacturers specialize in producing dye sublimation printers, the choices are too many and might be too confusing. So, the following section introduces the best dye sublimation printers for photo booths created by the field’s most promising and reputed manufacturers. The next part consists of the basic features of each of the chosen printers and a detailed review of them for the potential buyers to check on. The printers’ pros and cons are mentioned along with the latest update of the product and the reasons why it should be bought. 

1. Canon SELPHY Portable Wireless Photo Printer, CP1300, Inkjet, Laser, Bluetooth, Compact

best dye sublimation printers for photo booths

Description:

  • Brand: Canon
  • Printing Technology: Dye sublimation
  • Color: White
  • Connectivity: Wireless, Apple AirPrint, USB
  • Model: SELPHY CP1300

Performance:

The Selphy CP1300 model dye sublimation printer from the brand Canon is highly celebrated for output prints of multiple dimensions. It can support printing square-shaped photos to sticker prints in various sizes. Being wireless, it is compatible with multiple devices simultaneously and, thus, can be used to print numerous images in a unit of time. 

Comparison:

This printer seems relatively compact and easy to handle compared to many of its counterparts. They are the ideal printers for domestic use and small businesses like photo booths. The convenience of using this printer makes it undoubtedly one of the best dye sublimation printers for photo booths. Despite the small size, the printer has numerous unique features and lets the user choose the required length to print. All the kinds of papers used in it, may it whether or non-sticky, are all guaranteed to last for over a century without peeling off, cracking, or even fading.

Usage:

The Canon Selphy printer is created for the comfort and convenience of the customers. It comes with the Canon print application, which is supported on Android and Apple smartphones. The users can install the application and start using the printer remotely without having to present next to it all the time. This provides hassle-free usage possible for the user. Also, the wireless connectivity offered by the printer enables the user to connect any digital gadgets or USB devices to print the photos saved in them. 

Pros:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Multiple paper sizes supported
  • Compact design
  • High print quality
  • Long-lasting images

Cons:

  • Cannot print on more extensive surfaces

What’s new?

The extra battery pack offered by the Selphy CP1300 model enables the user to carry the product wherever they go without worrying about running out of charge. The sleek design also lets the user move it conveniently in their backpack. The machine also comes with a tiltable built-in LCD screen which enables the user to preview the image to be printed and control and navigate the printer correctly.

Why you should buy it?

Suppose you are looking for a printer capable of printing varying sizes of images without any manual intervention and with photos that can last for over 100 years. In that case, the Canon Selphy CP1300 is the most suitable one for you.

2. Liene 4×6” Instant Color Photo Printer, Portable, Thermal dye sublimation

best dye sublimation printers for photo booths

Description:

  • Brand: Liene
  • Printing Technology: Dye Sublimation
  • Color: White
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
  • Model: DHP 513

Performance:

The dye sublimation printer from the Liene brand can print high-quality images at the rate of 1 ppm for both monochrome and color prints. This instant photo printer enables the user to publish photos of dimensions 4×6 inches. It is capable of storing around 100 sheets of paper at one stretch. It also comes with three color cartridges at the purchase, ready to start working. 

Comparison:

Compared to its counterparts, the dye sublimation technology used in the machine makes it ideal for superior-quality photo printing. The dyes used in this machine can deeply penetrate the paper’s surface and produce vibrant and sharp images. The shades create a lamination-like outer layer to the photos, making them highly resistant to water, fingerprints, dust, etc.

Usage:

The wireless connectivity and instant photo printing technology enable a highly user-friendly experience for the buyer. The machine’s wireless connectivity is highly sophisticated and can connect with up to five devices simultaneously. The Liene application installed in the user’s smart device makes it even more convenient. Using this application, the machine can be correctly operated and navigated.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Customizable Liene application
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Filters and borders available
  • Able to withstand hundreds of years

Cons:

  • Works efficiently with genuine ink from the manufacturer

What’s new?

The device comes with a built-in hotspot which enables the user to not depend on any other networks from outside to operate the machine. It also does away with the issues and troubles caused by slow network connections. 

Why you should buy it?

Suppose you need a printer that offers exceptional customer support, high-quality prints, consistent performance, a user-friendly interface, customizable Liene application, compatibility to connect multiple devices, etc. In that case, the Liene dye sublimation printer is the best for you. 

3. Epson Expression Photo Color Printer, HD XP-15000, Wireless, Wide-Format

best dye sublimation printers for photo booths

Description:

  • Brand: Epson
  • Printing Technology: Inkjet
  • Color: Black
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wireless
  • Model: XP 15000

Performance:

The Epson Expression dye sublimation printer can print at 20 ppm for monochrome and color prints. It performs well with the Epson brand’s original ink cartridges. It can print high-quality photos in the sharpest and clearest resolution possible.  

Comparison:

The rear tray of this printer, with a capacity of 50 sheets, makes it ideal for bulk professional projects. The rear tray can accommodate multiple paper sizes and even sticker paper. It can support forms of dimensions from 4×6 to 13×19 inches.

Usage:

The manufacturers have equipped the machine with multiple user-friendly features like auto duplex printing, remote printing, mobile printing, voice printing, and many more.

Pros:

  • HD prints
  • Borderless prints
  • Mobile printing
  • Auto duplex printing
  • Dash replenishment feature

Cons:

  • Perform well only with genuine ink from the Epson brand

What’s new?

The manufacturer’s dash replenishment feature does away with the user’s requirement to manually check the ink level and refill it accordingly. The device is equipped with sophisticated technology that checks the status of the ink and orders them automatically as and when required.

Why you should buy it?

If consistency is the feature you want in your dye sublimation printer, then this Epson printer equipped with the Dash replenishment feature is the best pick for you.

4. Epson Eco Tank Wide-format Color Printer, Photo ET-8500, Wireless, All-in-One, Color, Super tank

best dye sublimation printers for photo booths

Description:

  • Brand: Epson
  • Printing Technology: Inkjet
  • Color: White
  • Connectivity: USB, Wireless
  • Model: ET 8500

Performance:

The wireless printer from Epson prints at a maximum speed of 12 ppm for color prints and 16 ppm for monochrome images. 

Comparison:

Unlike the many other printers available in a similar price range, the print head of this machine exhibits excellent accuracy. 

Usage:

With several user-friendly features like auto duplex printing, mobile printing, borderless printing, high accuracy, etc., the Epson printer is undoubtedly one of the best dye sublimation printers for photo booths.

Pros:

  • Auto duplex printing
  • High printing speed
  • High accuracy
  • Borderless printing

Cons:

  • Genuine ink should be used 

What’s new?

The Epson intelligent panel application, which makes effective scanning, copying, and printing of images possible, is the newest addition to the device.

Why you should buy it?

The device saves a significant amount of ink by replacing ink cartridges with ink bottles.

5. Epson Picture Mate Color Photo Printer, PM-400, Wireless, Compact

best dye sublimation printers for photo booths

Description:

  • Brand: Epson
  • Printing Technology: Inkjet
  • Color: White
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
  • Model: PM 400

Performance:

With 36 ppm for monochrome prints, it is one of the best-performing dye sublimation printers in the market.

Comparison:

Compared to the other printers, the printing speed is relatively high for this printer, with only 36 seconds required to print one image.

Usage:

The compact design and lightweight build make the PM400 printer one of the most user-friendly devices.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • High printing speed
  • Wireless connectivity

Cons:

  • Cannot use any other ink other than the original one from the brand

What’s new?

Mobile printing and other wireless printing are the latest additions to the device.

Why you should buy it?

This is the best dye sublimation printer for photo booths if you want a printer compatible with multiple intelligent gadgets that provides an easy-to-use interface.

FAQs

1. Can photo printers be used for sublimation?

Yes, photo printers can be used for sublimation. Sublimation printers are one of the best choices for printing fine-quality photos. Regarding photo printing, sublimation printers seem to be a much more affordable product than regular inkjet printers. They can offer more unique features than regular ones, which contribute generously to the final quality of printed photos.

2. What is dye sublimation photo printing?

Dye sublimation is one of the popular methods of printing images on fabrics and other surfaces. It vaporizes the ink and fuses the images onto the surface, making them permanently pasted there. The dye sublimation printers are capable of producing high-quality photos, too, and thus, are now widely used for photo booths and other photo printing events.

3. Is dye sublimation better than an inkjet?

Dye sublimation is generally considered better than inkjet printers when it comes to printing quality, especially for photos. For quick photo printing, sublimation printers are suggested by the experts. The dispersed dyes used instead of regular inks in the dye sublimation printers can produce far better-quality pictures, and the sharpness and clarity of the printed images are incomparable.

4. What type of printer is needed for sublimation?

If you want to carry out sublimation on surfaces or fabrics, using a sublimation printer conceived expressly for the sublimation process is always better. Regular printers can’t be used for this process as the ink and the paper used are all specially made for the sublimation printers. The inks used for sublimation are called disperse dyes, and the paper used for the process is called the sublimation paper. 

5. Does dye sublimation fade?

No, dye-sublimated images do not fade quickly compared to regular printed images. The reason behind the longevity of the dye-sublimated pictures is the process involved in the printing. Instead of pasting the image on the surface, the dye sublimation printers fuse the images into the surface by heating the ink. This enables the images to be one with the character and last much longer than usual prints.

6. What equipment is needed for a photo booth?

A great quality camera and printer are required to run a photo booth. Suppose you like to have a more profitable photo booth capable of affordably producing higher-quality images. In that case, using the best dye sublimation printer for photo booths is always advisable.

7. Is sublimation better than screen printing?

Although numerous pros and cons are associated with each printing method, sublimation sometimes seems much better than screen printing. The significant advantage of the sublimation printer over screen printing is the quality of the images. The images created and printed by the sublimation printers do not fade or crack easily. They last for hundreds of years and would not peel off very quickly.

8. Is sublimation the same as heat transfer?

No, the processes of heat transfer and sublimation are essentially different other than the fact that they both use heat as a tool to transfer the image to the target surface. Regarding heat transfer, the device uses heat to paste the image to the surface. The printer uses a high temperature in sublimation to fuse the image with the target surface. The images printed using a sublimation printer tend to last longer than that published by a heat-transferring device.

9. Can you use sublimation ink in any printer?

No, you cannot use the sublimation ink in any printer, especially the traditional regular printers. The printers must be specialized enough to support sublimation ink cartridges and use them properly for printing purposes. So, they have to be used in sublimation printers only. Several printers are available in the market which supports both the sublimation process and regular printing process, in which both the traditional and sublimation ink can be used.

10. Is the sublimation ink waterproof?

The sublimation is not essentially waterproof, but the finished images are highly waterproof. Thus, the users are requested to spray materials like cotton with a protective polymer layer if they use sublimation ink for DIY designs without a good sublimation printer. It is also advised that the clothes printed using a sublimation printer not be washed repeatedly in hot water. The water’s temperature may cause the ink’s melt from the fabric and eventually result in bleeding.