If photo companies want us to print more often, they need to make it a whole lot simpler.
I think that one of the biggest things that I hear from all the manufacturers out there is that print is on its last legs, evolving, becoming more niche, etc. And to be very transparent, I think that they have themselves to blame. It’s only been in the past year that I’ve been bigger efforts from Fujifilm, Canon, HP (sort of), and Epson to really reach out to younger audiences. By that, I don’t necessarily mean age, but more photographic age. There are still so many photographers that don’t know what their images look like on a print and haven’t had the opportunity to really get prints made. I think that Bluetooth can honestly make this so much easier.
Before I get into bluetooth, I want to address a bigger problem: the fact that all that we’re pushing on folks is 8x10s because they’re cheap. the problem is that lots of us operate with screens that are larger an an 8×10. Heck, some iPad Pro screens are larger. So if that’s the case, why would I want to see my image on something so small? Why can’t we go up to 17×22 inches?
This is a pretty big problem, and the idea of printing larger and with specialized papers/materials is making it all more of a niche product. There’s nothing wrong with niche products, but there needs to be both sustainability and customer support for it. On top of that, it needs to be made easy.
Modern professional grade photo printers have Wifi integration built in and they can connect to your home network with ease. But why isn’t there Bluetooth? Bluetooth I think would genuinely support not only a more mobile workflow, but also making things easier. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with Canon and Epson printers only to get annoyed at some sort of issue that comes up with an OS update on my Mac. Bluetooth I genuinely feel would negate that issue. If the printer is in an area of the dwelling or office that has a bit more spotty service, then bluetooth is a viable option. Chances are that your printer isn’t honestly very far from your computer either. In general, you’re also not sending files that are a gig in size too. Most of the time, you’re printing one image at a time.
So my please is to companies to offer updates to their products.