By Ann Young 4 days ago Photography Gear
Print your own digital photos at home.
Need a good but inexpensive printer for your photography? There are many genres where you can’t do without the photo printer: portrait and wedding photography, instant snapshots from social networks and travel.
Most printers are now equipped with pigment-based mechanisms that have several ink containers and produce color prints with ultra-high resolution and the size of 13×19 inches. Modern processors, embedded or additional software, control tools, vacuum feeders, LCD displays and multi-channel wireless connection are common features in this carefully compiled list of the best photo printers for photographers.
Max Resolution: 4800 × 2400 dpi | Max Print Size: 13 × 19 inches | Inks/Dyes: 3+5 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 33 sec
⊕ High-quality printing and assembly
⊕ Print Studio Pro2 Plug-in
⊕ ChromaLife Customized Ink
⊕ Optimal image generation
⊕ Double paper trays
⊖ Not found
For a specialist who needs a professional photo printer for studio, this space-saving model is a great option, with a capability of wide-format printing on discs. ChromaLife 100+ printing system with 8 independent dyes creates lifelike printouts with properly set color reproduction and brightness. The inks, including 3 monochrome ones, have been compiled to resist fading for a century and allow you to achieve smooth printing on glossy paper.
The OIG Intelligent System selects the best ink blend to reproduce what is depicted on your PC monitor. Between the two separate trays, you can use such materials as art or glossy photo paper, A3+, A4, Letter and solid media. You can connect via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, AirPrint and PictBridge, which is rather versatile and convenient when you work with alternating sources.
Professional printer and plotter for A2
Max Resolution: 2400 × 1200 dpi | Max Print Size: 17 × 22 inches | Inks/Dyes: 4+8 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 55 sec
⊕ Professional print quality
⊕ LCD with status monitoring
⊕ Print Studio Pro2 Plug-in
⊕ 2-way vacuum feeder
⊖ Bulky and expensive to operate
⊖ No roll-paper option
It is the best color printer for photos due to the ability to print photos in exceptional quality and A2 format in four minutes. The fine technology allows printing with microscopic droplets and an expanded print head in a separate container for quick replacement. The head is equipped with nozzle status sensors for anti-clogging.
It has a dozen different ink containers for matte and glossy printing along with a color optimizer, such as a clear coat for gloss uniformity and anti-bronzing. To secure consistent and accurate color printing, an advanced L-COA engine is incorporated to perform image post-processing.
Lower cost alternative for high-quality prints
Max Resolution: 5760 × 1440 dpi | Max Print Size: 13 × 19 inches | Inks/Dyes: 2+4 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 27 sec
⊕ Inexpensive printouts and operation
⊕ High-resolution double-sided printing
⊕ Adjustable borderless formats
⊕ Compact for wide-format
⊖ Fewer cartridges
⊖ No printing on roll paper
The affordable widescreen Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 can handle borderless prints up to 13×19 inches. It operates on 6 ink cartridges with a special setting for monochrome images that improves the color gradations and tonality through red and gray inks.
The tray can contain two hundred sheets. So, in addition to being the best photo printer for photographers, it’s fit to work with documents. You can print through USB, Wi-Fi (including Direct), and the popular mobile printing standards.
Pro-quality prints on canvas, roll paper, CD’s
Max Resolution: 5760 × 1440 dpi | Max Print Size: 13 × 19 inches | Inks/Dyes: 1+8 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 64 sec
⊕ Excellent color accuracy and resolution
⊕ Large capacity cartridges
⊕ Roll paper feeder
⊕ Printing on discs
⊖ Profiles only for Epson paper
⊖ Shared black ink channel
This technologically advanced printer for photography has excellent high-resolution printing features. The model can roll out a print of up to 13×129 inches for panoramic canvas or a no border image of 3.5×5 inches and more. The roll feeder is included among the components. So you can immediately perch a 132-inch roll on it and start customizing the aspect ratios of printed images to the demand of your clients or artistic views.
Alternating between matte or glossy requires no change of settings, the device does it automatically. The model supports USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity.
A small-in-one with A3 photo ability
Max Resolution: 5760 × 1440 dpi | Max Print Size: 11 × 17 inches | Inks/Dyes: 1+5 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 11 sec
⊕ 4.3-inch touch screen
⊕ Printing on discs and from a memory card
⊕ Individually replaceable cartridges
⊕ Built-in scanner
⊖ Limited paper capacity
⊖ More expensive ink
Being the best color photo printer, it is a great copier or scanner with intuitive touch controls as well. This model is smaller, lighter and cheaper than many similar all-in-one devices. Despite its compact size, you can produce A3 photoprints and rely on the 6-cartridge carriage to blend realistic colors and spread them evenly across the larger canvas. The A4 format scanner has highly sensitive components that, combined with the printing mechanism, give out nearly identical color copies.
The device is capable of connecting to any portable device for printing, including through Wi-Fi Direct. It even supports hands-free and voice-activated printing modes.
Premium home printer for photographers
Max Resolution: 4800 × 1200 dpi | Max Print Size: 8.5 × 11.7 inches | Inks/Dyes: 1+5 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 17 sec
⊕ Good print and scan quality
⊕ Front & rear paper support
⊕ Creative filters
⊕ Attractive design with 5-inch touch screen
⊖ Limited print width
⊖ Speed could be better
Pixma TS9150 is one of the best photo printers for photographers due to the stunning quality of printing and scanning. It is aided by the manufacturer’s superior six-ink system that also uses the Photo Blue feature for reduced grain size. The mixture of black-pigment and dye-based inks creates impressively realistic color combinations.
Countless connectivity methods allow you to print through Internet or Bluetooth using PictBridge and Cloud or insert memory cards and even use CDs and DVDs to print on. Build quality and design are excellent, including several color variations and a retractable expandable tray.
All-in-one with cartridge-free printing
Max Resolution: 5760 × 1440 dpi | Max Print Size: 8.5 × 14 inches | Inks/Dyes: 1+4 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 42 sec
⊕ Economical to operate
⊕ Wide range of connections
⊕ Separate paper/photo trays
⊕ Two-sided auto printing
⊖ The tonal range is insufficient
⊖ Bulky and expensive
It looks a bit retro with multi-use ink cartridges. The five-color printing produces undoubtedly great results, especially on photo paper, but consumes less ink and saves costs.
This model comes with multiple ink tanks, one containing 140 ml of pigmented black and the other three with separate 70 ml basic color containers and an additional black ink one. Reaching nearly a pint, the ink is enough to accommodate up to 3,400 6x4 inch prints.
The standard operations, such as scanning or copying, plus printing from memory cards, are carried out through a button and 2.7-inch display interface. Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity are supported, along with the USB interface.
Made from recycled printers
Max Resolution: 4800 × 1200 dpi | Max Print Size: 8.5 × 11 inches | Inks/Dyes: 1+3 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 16 sec
⊕ Wide range of connections
⊕ Two-sided printing without borders
⊕ HP Smart App
⊕ Dedicated paper/photo trays
⊖ Combined color cartridge
⊖ Overpriced ink
The device can scan, make copies and fax. On top of those useful office features, it is the best printer for photographers, processing borderless images up to A4. Thanks to the powerful application, printing is available from social networks or cloud environments, such as iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox.
Mobile printing is possible even without a network. Scanning using a smartphone’s camera is available as well. Access to the SD card slot is easy – via a color touch-screen display interface. If you print photos frequently, save on your HP Ink subscription to auto-replace ink before it runs out.
I'd recommend to buy another HP model, namely, HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer, if you need built-in wireless printing and wired networking.
For commercial printing operations
Max Resolution: 600 × 600 dpi | Max Print Size: 6 × 9 inches | Inks/Dyes: none | Print speed (Standard B/W): 8.3 sec
⊕ One of the fastest
⊕ Many format options
⊕ Economical and environmentally friendly
⊕ Compact, portable
⊖ Resolution could be higher
⊖ USB connection only
The option is perfect for visiting photographers who also perform high-quality printing on the spot. It only takes 8.3 seconds to make one print.
The ability to leave your watermark at the reverse side is an important benefit. You can generate any type of prints, starting from normal and going to square, panoramic, and the 2-inch ones that come out of a photo booth. The additional free Hot Folder software opens the possibility to use the high-speed and high-quality print modes.
Bright mobile photo printer
Max Resolution: 291 × 291 dpi | Max Print Size: 2.1 × 3.4 inches | Inks/Dyes: 1+3 | Print speed (Standard B/W): 80 sec
⊕ Easy setup and use
⊕ Ultra-compact and bright
⊕ Kodak Mini 2 app
⊕ Lifeprint hyperphoto technology
⊖ Speed could be higher
⊖ Not cheap to operate
For those who require something small to turn digital images into physical ones, here is the best photo printer for photographers working on the go, users of smartphones and social networks. The prints have the dimensions of a credit card. The special app allows you to browse and edit images from your phone or social networks.
The portable device works from batteries and uses a four-pass printing process. This creates layers of bright color and a transparent safety coating for resistance to moisture, stains and scratches.
Stylish instant photo printer
Max Resolution: 318 × 318 dpi | Max Print Size: 2.4 × 2.4 inches | Inks/Dyes: none | Print speed (Standard B/W): 13 sec
⊕ Fast speed and long-lasting shots
⊕ Add captions to photos
⊕ Integration with social networks
⊕ Compact attractive design
⊖ Photo develops within 2 minutes
⊖ Only one format
These printers are capable of turning the digital images stored on your portable devices into physical prints. You can either manually send for print the images from your phone’s storage or set the device to automatically produce all images marked with a special Instagram hashtag. This makes it the best color photo printer for events where you can make such a hashtag known and let the guests join in the fun. The printer itself will only take 13 seconds per shot. But the recipient will have to wait another couple of minutes to see it in full beauty.
The battery can last for about 160 prints with an 800×800 pixels resolution.
Canon Pixma Pro-100 WirelessOUR CHOICE
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Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000LARGE FORMAT
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Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000AFFORDABLE
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DNP DS620A PrinterPROFESSIONAL
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Kodak Mini 2 HDPORTABLE
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Whether you have chosen a professional desktop or portable photo printer that fits in your pocket, print quality will always be a priority. That’s exactly what distinguishes professional photos from amateurish or those made in a booth. I described many characteristics in several large groups according to their importance in order to explain how the printers for photography presented in the top differ from each other and what makes their printing quality high.
A value of high importance is the print resolution measured in DPI or dots per inch. It relies mainly on the configuration of the gateways and printhead. You would ideally want higher values, starting from 2,400×1,200 in color, since those mean smoother and more detailed print quality.
The amount of ink is responsible for the coverage of colors. Look for 6 shades in designated containers at least. Separate matte and photo-black inks are necessary for monochrome prints, especially if you switch between matte and glossy paper. Separate nozzles for these different blacks will save ink and switching time.
The main types of dyes are inkjet inks. The pigment-based ones consist of tiny particles that are placed on the paper surface and stored without fading for up to two centuries under appropriate conditions. These have two main flaws: metamerism, or a slight color change appearing at certain viewing angles or with different color sources, and a reduced brightness compared to the dye-based inks.
With inkjet printing technology, the consumable materials are purchased separately according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Most professional photo printers are inkjet. With thermal ink, both the ink and the paper must be purchased in a set limited by a number of prints. The special processed paper called Zero Ink or ZINK with varying degrees of heating creates an image out of its chemicals.
Many formats are now available, from the familiar Letter, A4, A3+ and standard 4×6-inch photo to panoramic borderless paintings 13 inches wide and the length of a roll of specialized paper. Many desktop printers support large format roll printing. In some cases, the feed adapter can be purchased separately.
Print speed depends on the number of nozzles and the size of the print head. The speed is often indicated in seconds (print time of a monochrome 4×6-inch image in standard quality) or in the number of identical pages per minute (ppm). A couple of pages per minute is sufficient speed to avoid forming a long queue.
Multifunctionality. In addition to printing photos and disc covers, you can consider using multifunctional devices that can send and receive faxes, make photocopies, scan documents, slides and film negatives.
Portability. To produce mementos on the spot, a portable machine must be used. There is a specialized group of printers designed to only work with a smartphone and not oriented to connecting to a computer. You cannot use them for documents.
The source of printing can now be not only PCs, for which printers are equipped with Ethernet, USB, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi ports. Many models also support printing from a smartphone/tablet (AirPrint or Android Printing technology), a digital camera (PictBridge support).