As we all know, there have been huge changes in the way in which we take photographs with all manner and means available to capture digital images, together with suites of software to turn the photo we actually took into something we didn't take. We have come a long way, even in the last 10 years.
It was about 10 years ago when, having invested in a digital camera for the first time, I was persuaded to invest in a photo printer and the option I chose at the time was this Kodak Easyshare Photo Printer 300. In those early days of digital images, most of us would still have a 35mm camera and we would pay to have our pictures developed by a specialist. You would often see people coming out of Boots excitedly viewing their holiday snaps. Pre-printed envelopes would fall out of almost every publication, imploring us to send off our films for developing.
Within a very few years we have seen a proliferation of digital options and most of us store hundreds if not thousands of digital images on our computers - or phones - or hard drives - or memory sticks - the list goes on. Few of us now go to the trouble of getting photos developed in the traditional old-fashioned way, but when we do want a hard copy and want the convenience and security of not having to involve any third parties we can get it printed ourselves on machines such as this one.
The Kodak Easyshare photo printer 300 is an all singing all dancing plug in photo printer that connects to your computer via a standard USB connector and allows you to print copies on proper photographic paper. The printer uses Pictbridge technology.
The printer itself plugs into the mains and a cable connects the printer to your computer or camera. A cartridge slots into one of the two longer sides, This holds a supply of photographic paper to allow you to print standard 6 x 4 prints.
Once you have set up the smart looking silver and black machine (which initially includes loading the software from the disc provided) and selected your image to be printed, the printer whirrs into action sucking in a blank sheet which is then drawn through the printer and out of the opposite side. To ensure that the colour is faithfully reproduced the sheet goes back and to 3 times so that each colour is separately applied. It takes not much more than a minute for each print. It's really very clever. You should get a pack of 40 prints per colour cartridge. You then need to replace the cartridge with another at a considerable cost.
Once it has been spat out, you need to leave the print for a few minutes to dry and then you can peel off the side strips and handle it and treat it like any other print you may have got from the chemist.
Initially when we first got this, it was a great novelty. This was a new technology and it advanced apace such that there have been a whole host of more advanced and improved models. It has now got to the stage whereby I can't get hold of consumables easily for what is seen now to be a dinosaur.
It has sat in its box in the cupboard for at least 3 years and I came across it a couple of weeks ago and set it up to print some photos of our grandson and a few snaps from our visit to my elderly father. It's still plugged into the laptop here and I will continue to use it for as long as my available cartridges and stocks of paper will allow. After that, it will once again fall out of use and I know it won't be worth getting any more consumables.
If you see one of these older models going cheap and fancy buying it, it is certainly worth researching whether or not you can still get and are prepared to pay for the consumables you need.
Whilst the machine works very well and I am pleased with the quality of the prints it is a bit limited in its ability compared with today's alternatives and it is a far better option to invest in something newer and better.
It is however entirely fit for purpose and I have never had any problem with it.
Finally, reference the headline, hands up all those who remember this Tommy Steele classic from "Half a Sixpence", 48 years ago in 1963!
Altogether now......and if you're singing it for the rest of the day, I hope you don't antagonise others too much!
'Old it, flash, bang, wallop, what a picture
What a picture, what a photograph
Poor old soul, blimey, what a joke
Hat blown off in a cloud of smoke
Clap 'ands, stamp yer feet
Bangin' on the big bass drum
What a picture, what a picture
Stick it in your fam'ly album