The Best Photo Printers for Your Digital Pictures
Some photo printers lack color vibrancy, while others leave lines across your photos.
While you could send them for professional printing, you want to save money and print at home – all while enjoying the convenience of printing when you want.
Finding the best photo printer can be hard, especially with the options available today. Before you buy the first five-star review printer you see, you might want to consider a few things first.
How We Rated the Best Photo Printers
You’ve seen one photo printer you’ve seen them all, right?
Some photo printers are designed for the quick print, while others make scrapbook-ready printouts and vibrant photo cards that you could frame and be proud of.
To help you pick the right photo printer, we compiled a list of the top brands and based our ratings on the following criteria:
- Cost: While you should never buy based on price alone, we did take the time to evaluate the cost versus value.
- Color Options: Sometimes you want to print in color, other times you want to set the mood for a scrapbook project in black and white or sepia. Not all photo printers can accommodate this, which is why we considered the printer’s color options too.
- Output Quality: A dedicated photo printer should match the output quality of your local drugstore. Quality is measured in print resolution DPI. The higher the DPI, the better the photo quality.
The 10 Best Photo Printers Money Can Buy
These photo printers were handpicked for their color availability, output quality, and overall cost. They can print frame-ready pictures in seconds, and give you control over when and how you print your favorite photos.
- 8 Dye based inks for amazing gradients and color, 3 of which are dedicated grayscale inks for beautiful black & white...
- The Optimum Image Generating System reproduces colors as you intend them by logically selecting the optimum ink...
- Compatible with Individual CLI 42 Ink Tanks (Black, Gray, Light Gray, Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow);...
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to appreciate the beauty of the Canon Pixma Pro-100. Average consumers still enjoy this professional quality printer that can print photos in just 34 seconds and offers stunning results.
The Pixma Pro-100 holds up to 150 sheets and offers 4800 x 2400 dpi. It uses an eight-ink system for gallery-quality prints. You can print in monochrome and full color.
If you tend to store your photos on your phone, you can link wirelessly and print directly from your phone without using a computer middle-man.
- This printer is designed for use with Epson cartridges only, not third party cartridges or ink. Cartridges described as...
- Beautiful borderless photos - easily print high-quality 4"x6" & 5"x7" Photos
- Ultra compact design - lightweight, portable printer saves space
The Epson PictureMate is a selfie-takers dream.
It has a print resolution of 5760 x 1400 dpi and takes just 36 seconds to print a 4 x 6-inch photo. Compared to the Canon Pixma Pro-100, it is lightweight, and you can move it around the house with ease. The PictureMate does monochrome and full-color photographs.
On average, the PictureMate is more affordable than the Canon Pixma.
The color quality is not as refined as the Canon Pixma Pro, but the detail is still stunning enough to hang up on the wall and be proud of your work.
- Sticker photo paper for use with HP sprocket photo printer or sprocket 2-in-1 printer
- Peel-off & sticky-backed photo paper (100 sheet count); Operating temperature range: 68 to 77°F; Storage humidity: 30...
- 2X3-inch fun size to Print and share.
The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is a dedicated, easy-to-use photo printer that you can take with you just about anywhere. It takes a little longer to print (averaging 40 seconds), and only holds ten sheets of paper at a time.
This printer is more for quick, instant-access to photographs – turning your smartphone into a Polaroid. Overall, the print resolution is 313 x 400 dpi. You can print in color and monochrome, but you will need the app if you want to change the photo’s color first.
The neatest feature for the Sprocket is that it doesn’t use ink, which means there is no cost to replace ink cartridges. Instead, the unit uses heat and transfers the image onto a piece of paper. It runs on batteries too, which makes it convenient for taking around.
- For Fujifilm instax SQUARE Cameras
- White Frame Borders
- 2.4 x 2.4" Image Area
The Fujifilm Instax Share is another on-the-go photo printer option. It runs off batteries like HP Sprocket and uses square-format film. It is fun to use and gives you that classic Polaroid print.
You can print about 160 prints per charge, and it is relatively easy to use. It does print in monochrome and color, but you need to use the dedicated app.
Print quality is 800 x 800 dpi, which is slightly better than the HP Sprocket’s quality. The unit also comes in black and white.
- Multi-function chip resetter
- Maintenance box Chip Resetter
- Do not throw away your expensive maintenance box. They can be resetted and reused
The Epson SureColor is more for printing at-home and offers professional-quality prints. To get that quality, however, you need to pay a hefty price.
With that price comes a print speed of three pictures per 60 seconds. You get a resolution quality of 2800 x 1400 dpi, and it holds up to 120 sheets at a time.
The color range is extensive on the Epson SureColor, including monochrome and vibrant full-color prints. It also has a professional color calibration for more experienced artists. Overall, the Epson SureColor is impressive, but not designed for the beginner who wants to print out this year’s holiday card.
Instead, this photo printer is designed for high-quality at-home prints and used by professionals.
The software is more complicated than other at-home photo printers, which is why it is not ranked first on our list.
If you want a printer you will get long-term use out of, and a printer that lets you avoid sending your photos to the drugstore for prints, this is still a great option.
- Don't get stuck in an 8 inches x 10 inches world; Print your favorite photos up to 13 inches x 19 inches
- With a 6 color ink system including gray ink and 9600 x 2400 maximum color dots per inch, the results are incredible...
- Print wirelessly from any Wi Fi enabled computer around the house; Ink droplet size: 1, 2 and 5
Another wireless photo printer to consider is the Canon iP8720. This printer has a 9600 x 2400 dpi and uses six ink colors, including gray so that you can create crisp black and white photographs.
It averages 14.5 images per 60 seconds when printing in monochrome. Also, it can print up to 13 x 19-inch photographs, which makes it ideal if you want frame-ready prints at home.
While it doesn’t offer professional-grade printing, it is an affordable option compared to others. Its ink replacement is affordable as well.
- ONE TOUCH PRINTING: Convenient printer dock lets you print photos direct from your smartphone; includes android dock pin...
- HIGH QUALITY PHOTOS: Fast, Easy System Prints Standard 4 inches x 6 inches Photos in Brilliant Color & Stunning Detail;...
- MAXIMUM DEVICE COMPATIBILITY: Dock features 5 pin micro USB for Android & USB host for printing from iPhone, iPad,...
Kodak’s Dock Photo Printer offers one-touch printing. It has the quick printing technology that mimics Polaroids, so you can instantly access photos from your phone. Your phone can dock right on the device for easier use, but you also have a USB option for photos you pull off your computer.
It prints only 4 x 6-inch standard photographs in color and monochrome. It does boast D2T2 Thermal Transfer Technology, which means you do not worry about bleeding or fading during the print process.
You can also use the companion app to add stickers, photo filters, and templates for more customizations to your photos.
The Canon Selphy is a sleek, portable on-demand photo printer boasting an average print time of 47 seconds. It prints up to 256 dpi and works with smartphones and computers.
You’re limited to traditional 4 x 6-inch prints on the Canon Selphy, but the product claims photos can last up to 100 years with their dye-sub technology. When prints come out, they dry instantly, so no worries about smudges.
You also have a tilting LCD screen for more control over your prints, and the printer is small enough that you can take it on-the-go or move it around the house.
Its pricing is similar to other on-demand photo printers.
- Stunning Print quality. From stunning photographs with creative filters to detailed documents put the 6 individual ink...
- Enhanced connectivity. Enjoy the simplicity of connecting your smartphone, tablet and all your favorite devices with...
- Stylish & compact. The PIXMA TS9020 Wireless printer is the all-in-one that fits perfectly anywhere in the home, is...
The Canon Pixma is more than a photo printer; it doubles as a regular printer too. This all-in-one has a 9600 x 2400 dpi resolution and offers excellent photo quality considering it does text too.
It is ideal if you do not want two printers in the house, and while it is pricey up front, you are paying for high-quality printing all-around. As an all-in-one, you get scanning and copying out of your Pixma too. For added convenience it has an SD card reader built-in, so you can automatically add your card and select the pictures on the five-inch LCD screen.
- Eliminate steps in repetitive tasks and sync
If you want a genuinely professional photo printing experience, then the Canon imagePROGRAF might be your best choice.
It comes at a hefty price tag from the manufacturer, but with that you can print up to 17-inch high-quality photos in color and monochrome.
It comes with an 11-color dye system and features detailed blacks and gradations. It prints at 4800 x 2400 dpi and takes about two minutes to print a larger format picture – but worth the wait when you see the quality.
You can send photos wirelessly from your Canon professional camera or phone, and it also has an app integration for your computer. It is a big printer – weighing over 70 pounds.
A Buyer’s Guide for Finding the Best Photo Printer
If you are in the market for a photo printer, here are a few things to keep in mind while you shop:
- Photo Quality: If buying a dedicated photo printer and not an all-in-one, you should consider the print quality above all else. Some might claim to have stunning print results but to achieve drugstore-quality prints you need a unit that utilizes dye ink instead of pigment ink. Dye ink systems create crisp images with bold colors, and photographs won’t bleed or fade.
- Print Size and Format: While on-the-go smaller units only print traditional 4 x 6-inch, you need to consider your total size and format needs. Printing from social media works well with smaller photo printers, but if you want to print pictures at home for your wall, you want one that can at least reach 13 x 19 inches.
- Size and Weight: If purchasing a dedicated photo printer only, you will have two printers in your home. So, you do not want a printer that takes up considerable space. A professional-grade printer will require more space and won’t be easy to move around from room-to-room – with most averaging over 40 pounds. For portable photo printers, look for lightweight models you can fit in a purse or backpack.
- Ease of Use: Do you want to spend hours fumbling with complicated software or enjoy one-touch printing? If you are getting into photography professionally or as a hobby, then you might want a more complicated, in-depth printer setup. For the everyday printing, however, pick something with quick access, smartphone printing, and easy computer software.
Printing at Home is the Ideal Way to Capture Life’s Moments
All too often we take photographs on our smartphones, post them on social media, and rarely see them in print.
No matter what type of photo printer you choose, you will get more enjoyment out of the photographs you take when you can hang them on the refrigerator, put them in a frame on your desk, and hang them on the wall at home.
Printed photos are never out of style. They are perfect for finishing a room, adding personal touches to living spaces, and share memories with everyone who visits your home.