Choosing the right photo printer for you is somewhat a complex task if you want to choose the right match for you.
There are many things you need to take into consideration so you make sure you get your photos printed in the best possible way. When choosing a color printer there is no better way to compare than to print one of your own images on a variety of them and compare the results. Barring that, you can read reviews or ask around.
If you are looking for quality in photography, then a good specialized photo printer may not be the best fit when printing regular text. You also need to keep in mind the cost of the printer's accessories as it is not only about the printer itself.
For example a good high quality photo printer will require a lot of ink and it's recurring costs may soon exceed the cost of the printer.
A word on printer resolution...
When it comes to printers, resolution is not the final determinant for the quality of your final print result. This is because, each pixel on an ink-jet printer isn't a single drop of color but a cluster of many drops. For ink-jet printers, the size of the small ink drops is more important that the dpi.
A really big secret for getting an amazing photo print not in the printer.
As amazing as that sounds, a huge difference, and something that can make drastic results on the photos you print lies in the paper you use. If you have a low cost printer and don't really want to upgrade to a "bigshot" photo printer, then you can definetly go for this option.
Get the best paper, the special photography paper and print your photos on it, and you will be surprised of what your printer can accomplish with the right instruments.
If you are not necesarilly a profissional photographer and want to make the most of both your digital camera and your printer, then by making a small investment on a good printer ink and some great photo paper at your local print shop, and they will definetly make it worth your investment.
Next time you at someone's birthday, you'll be able to take as many photos as you want knowing that you'll print them really cheap and making the most of your printer.