If you are into photography, you are probably well aware of how practical it is when you have your own photo printer that can bring to life your every photo masterpiece in a matter of minutes.
However, finding the best photo printer might present a challenge for many, especially if you don’t really care about the technicalities and want to pay your full attention to making photos, instead of spending hours and hours figuring out how certain printers function.
For that reason, this guide will simplify the search and help you to easily find your perfect fit and spend your free time more productively.
How to choose the best photo printer
Certain aspects of photo printers make a much bigger impact on the overall performance than others, and these are the characteristics that you should pay your closest attention to:
The most important aspect for any printer, not just a photo printer, is definitely print quality. The printer might have a ton of features, be affordable and practical; however, if its print quality isn’t satisfying, it is all for nothing.
What photo formats do you want to print? That is the only question you should ask yourself considering this characteristic, and depending upon your answer, choose the printer that will deliver exactly what you need.
Monochrome or color
Do you want to make only black and white photos and you need a monochrome printer, or are you into color photos and should turn your attention to color inkjet and color laser printers? That’s all up to you. The dilemma isn’t hard; nevertheless, you must decide before the actual purchase in order not to buy something that will prevent you from fulfilling your full potential.
Different users demand different features in order to be satisfied. However, you cannot expect certain functions/features to be included in printers, such as for example paper shredder. These features would make printers too expensive, and therefore, less attractive for customers, which certainly isn’t the manufacturer’s interest.
For that reason, your expectations considering printer features should be focused on more practical things such as connectivity. Is there a LAN or a Wi-Fi connection, or what type of ports does the printer have?
Feature-rich product is always a better option. For that reason, always go for as many features as can, especially those considering networking, or a variety of available ports.
Best Photo Printers
Epson SureColor P800
A Photo Printer Ideal for Fine Arts Devotees
If you are attracted to fine arts and in general appreciate an excellent print quality, Epson SureColor P800 is the device for you.
Although it isn’t among the most affordable photo printers, its overall performance and feature-rich design will quickly convince you that this is the device you need.
Epson SureColor P800 supports a maximum resolution of 2,880×1,440 dpi and can work with roll-based media (13” or 17”) and various formats including A2, A3, A4, B3, B4, B5, C5, C6, Letter, etc. This printer has a solid printing speed of three monochrome pages per minute and around 90 seconds for producing a full-color A4 print. Also, it offers support for Windows, Mac and Android and comes along with a modest 12-month warranty.
Epson SureColor P800 offers decent connectivity and comes fitted with one USB2.0 port, 100Mbps Ethernet and wireless connection, and is compatible with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Moreover, it comes along with Epson Easy Print software and allows for printing from nine 80 ml ink cartridges that include: Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta and Yellow color.
More importantly, this printer delivers great print quality, with vivid and accurate colors and overall presents one of the best inkjet photo printers available and a great solution for both professionals and enthusiasts.
- Excellent print quality
- Supports a variety of formats
- Paper roll add-on must be bought separately
HP ENVY 7855 Photo Printer
Excellent Versatility at a More Affordable Price
HP ENVY 7855 is good quality, multi-function printer that delivers fast printing performance (15 ppm black and 10 ppm color), and more importantly, excellent photo prints that make it a great option for both home and office use. Its photo prints have well-saturated colors and crystal-clear image, while text and graphic prints are smooth, with rich colors and deep blacks, but with some minor bending in dark areas.
This printer offers a clean design, comes equipped with only two ink cartridges (one tri-color and one black one) and provides solid connectivity that incorporates BT connection, dual-band Wi-Fi and LAN port for wired connection. Also, HP ENVY 7855 allows for Wireless Direct printing, as well as printing from both USB and SD cards, and offers support for Windows, iOS, Mac and Android.
HP ENVY 7855 can also be used as a scanner (it requires around 14 seconds to scan and create a 300dpi PDF) and a copying device (it needs 15.7 seconds for copying an A4 document), and comes along with an HP Smart app that allows you too easily perform all these tasks.
Overall, if you are looking for the best home photo printer, with excellent overall performance and great versatility, HP ENVY 7855 is the device for you.
- Excellent photo print quality
- Great versatility
- Good connectivity
- Pricey ink
- It lacks physical function buttons
- Below average scanning speed
Epson Expression Photo XP-970
Easy to Use All-in-One Printer
If you are into photography and are looking for a practical, yet high-quality printer that you can successfully use in your home or office, Epson Expression Photo XP-970 is the device for you.
This printer can also be used as a scanner or copy a machine and comes fitted with plenty of connectivity options (one USB2.0 port, SD card reader, Wi-Fi connection and LAN connection) that make this printer a highly versatile device suitable for a variety of tasks – not only photo printing ones.
Epson Expression Photo XP-970 comes along with six cartridges (regular four CMYK cartridges, as well as light magenta and light cyan) and allows for borderless 11-by-17-inch printing, which is one of its main advantages over the competition. Also, this printer supports Wi-Fi direct and is fully compatible with iPhone and Android-based devices, as well as voice-activated printing.
Unfortunately, this device has a few drawbacks, such as the slow print engine and high ink cost. Nevertheless, if you are searching for the best all-in-one photo printer, with an exceptional printing quality, Epson Expression Photo XP-970 is everything that you need.
- Excellent photo quality
- Good connectivity
- Easy to use
- It lacks automatic document feeder
- High ink cost
- A bit slow
HP ENVY Photo 6222
A Basic, Solid Performing Photo Printer
HP ENVY Photo 6222 is a basic, multifunction printer that won’t amaze you with its print quality; however, it will deliver more than usable photo and document prints that surpass the quality of the other printers in its price range.
HP ENVY Photo 6222 can also be used as a scanner and a copier and is compatible with both Windows and Mac-based systems. Moreover, this device delivers a print speed of 13 ppm in the case of black and white pictures and speed of 8 ppm when talking about color prints, and comes equipped with both dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection. Also, it supports borderless printing, two-side printing and can work with mobile devices thanks to the HP Smart App.
Unfortunately, this printer also comes with a few drawbacks that include high ink price, but more importantly, the requirement for you to provide your credit card number in order to install the device (and be included in the HP Instant Ink program), which is a deal-breaker for many people.
All in all, if you are after a versatile, but basic photo printer at an affordable price and are willing to accept its rather strange rules, HP ENVY Photo 6222 is surely one of the best photo printers you can find on the market right now.
- Easy to install
- Decent print quality
- Expensive ink
- Printer’s installation demands for your credit card number
- Device randomly disconnects itself from your network
Canon Pixma TS5320
A Decent All-in-One Home Photo Printer
Finding a good quality home printer, with solid versatility and excellent photo print quality is what many families are after, and Canon Pixma TS5320 delivers precisely that.
Thanks to the great mobile device support and compatibility with apps such as Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria and Canon’s own Canon Print App, you can print images and documents directly from your Smartphones or Social networks such as Instagram or Facebook. Also, with the help of Easy-PhotoPrint Editor App, you can easily create collages and other artworks.
Canon Pixma TS5320 is compact and stylish-looking. It is available in black, white, green and pink color and can be used as a copier and a scanner as well. Moreover, this device allows for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection and is fitted with a USB-B port for wired connection with your computer.
This printer has a print speed of 13 pages per minute; it comes with two 100-sheet trays (one in the front and one in the back) and rear feeder that can hold up to 20 letter-size photo paper sheets.
Canon Pixma TS5320 supports borderless letter-size print and is fitted with a two-cartridge system, where one cartridge contains black and the other one green, red and blue ink.
In other words, Canon Pixma TS5320 has everything that you might expect from the best home photo printer: good photo print quality, good mobile device support, and of course, an affordable price.
- Good print quality
- Solid mobile device support
- It lacks support for SD cards and USB sticks
- The color cartridge must be replaced as soon as one of the color reservoirs is empty
- High running costs
Polaroid ZIP Photo Printer
An Unorthodox Everyday Photo Print Solution
Quality and the value of a product can’t always be determined by the strict rules and specification charts. Sometimes the value can be measured by the level of fun and enjoyment a certain device is providing you, and an example of such device is definitely Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer.
This is a printer that won’t provide a perfect photo or image print quality but will bring a lot of fun, excellent portability and usability. With the help of Polaroid Zip App, you can easily edit and adjust your images before the print, while, thanks to Polaroid Mobile App, you can pair it with your iOS or Android-based devices and print directly from them, saving some valuable time.
Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer offers Bluetooth connection and has a 500mAh rechargeable battery that can, unfortunately, hold only up to 25 prints. More importantly, it works without cartridges and ink. However, it requires for special Zink photo paper, with embedded heat-activated color crystals, which ultimately leads to a high running cost of around 0.5$ per a single sheet.
Overall, if you want the most enjoyable photo printer available, go for Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer and you sure won’t regret it. Nevertheless, if the true photo quality is what you are after, some other printers would be a more suitable option.
- Inkless print
- Good mobile device support
- Not the best print quality
- The rechargeable battery is of small capacity
- High price per print
Canon IVY Photo Printer
An Enjoyable, Easy to Use Pocket-Sized Photo Printer
If you are just looking for fun and are not expecting a top-class photo print quality, nor want to get the best photo printer available, Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer might be an option for you.
Although pretty similar to Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer, this one still offers a bit of different experience and gives an additional accent to photo editing and creation of a perfect memory photo. With the help of Canon Mini Print App, you can easily edit your photos or images on the iOS or Android-based mobile devices (add frames, stickers, drawings, etc.) and then print them directly on IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer.
This printer supports only a modest maximum resolution of 314×400 dpi and delivers images of mediocre quality. Nevertheless, it is fun to use and allows for a lot of editing, which is its key selling point in the first place.
IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer comes in black, white, green and pink color, with a 500mAh rechargeable battery and a Bluetooth connection. More importantly, as the other devices of this type, it doesn’t require ink, but only the special Zink paper, that makes its running cost pretty high, just like with the Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer.
Altogether, Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer guarantees a lot of fun, but it’s surely not cheap.
- Easy to use
- Not the best photo print quality
- Expensive to use
Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Printer
A Fun, but Expensive to Run, Portable Photo Printer
Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Mobile Printer is a printer that brings a lot of fun and nostalgia with its Instax Mini square format images, making it a perfect option for every generation.
It is compact, portable, fitted with Wi-Fi connection and equipped with a rechargeable battery that allows for up to 160 prints per charge. Unfortunately, its running costs are pretty high and surpass both Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer and Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer; however, that doesn’t change the fact that it is highly enjoyable and practical to use.
Thanks to the Instax Share app, Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Mobile Printer allows for direct printing from your Android and iOS devices and makes all of your social media content easy to edit and print. Nevertheless, its photo print quality isn’t the best, but that isn’t its main advantage anyways.
This printer is made to be fun and enjoyable and that is something it is doing flawlessly. The fact is that its usage is expensive, but who ever said that having fun must be cheap?
- High running costs
- Not the best photo print quality
Do you really want to keep all of your photos stuck in your computer, phone, or cloud storage forever? We already know the answer, so go back to the beginning of this article and read it again. Find your perfect photo printer and start choosing your favorite memories right away!