Best photo printer 2021
In this guide to the best photo printers of 2019, we look at the top devices for ensuring your photos look their best when you make physical copies of them.
No matter if you’re a professional photographer or merely a keen amateur that likes to take holiday photos, you’ll want the very best photo printer your budget can stretch to – and we’re here to help.
These days, there’s a huge range of photo printers to choose from, so our best photo printers guide is here to make things more simple. We’ve picked the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to photo printers – from affordable desktop photo printers for everyday use to expensive studio-quality professional photo printers and even wireless printers that can be used with a smartphone.
The best photo printers come in every shape and size, from budget photo printers that are easy to use, portable devices and even professional-level photo printers. Fortunately, this means that no matter what you’re looking for, you should be able to find the best photo printer for your needs.
Not only have we collected the very best photo printers for a huge range of budgets and use cases, but our very own price comparison tool will also scour the internet for you and deliver the best prices.
Inkjet printers with refillable ink tanks have a distinct advantage when it comes to running costs and the Canon Pixma G6050 comes with enough ink for 7,700 colour pages or 18,000 in black and white. It’s a multifunction device which means there’s a scanner built-in that can be used to make photocopies and although there’s no fax facility, it has Wi-Fi built-in and an auto-duplex mode. It prints photos slowly, but accurately and thanks to the excellent integration of the ink reservoirs you can print hundreds of them without having to fork out for new cartridges.
Canon Pixma G6050
Despite its sleek dimensions, this smooth 3-in-1 inkjet device can print on A3-size paper and uses not four, but six inkjet cartridges to achieve superior colour accuracy. It means your ink costs are rather high, but it’s worth it for the beautifully shaded results. The scanner is only A4-size, but it makes very high-resolution scans and combined with the high print resolution, you can make near-identical colour copies. There are no fax and print speeds that are slow, but in all other respects, the Epson Expression Photo XP-970 is hard to beat. For an idea of its performance, you can read our review of the almost identical Epson Expression Photo XP-960.
This A2-size print-only device will suit any business that needs to turn out professional-quality large-format colour documents. It uses Epson’s nine-colour UltraChrome HD ink set for lifelike colour shading, which comes in high capacity 80ml cartridges. Add the paper roll option and this machine can handle high print runs, or turn out impressive panoramic posters. Unsurprisingly, it takes up quite a bit of room and the cost is high, although considerably lower than outsourcing your prints.
Epson SureColor SC-P800
Canon has done well to cram all of the key features into this pleasingly compact 3-in-1 device. It can print, scan and copy up to A4-sized paper and handle envelopes, card and every kind of glossy photo paper. Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity are built-in, the touchscreen interface is huge and there’s even a slot for an SD Card. The best thing about this printer, however, is its excellent print quality. The print resolution is a rich 9,600 x 2,400 dpi and it uses six inkjet cartridges, instead of the usual four, to achieve superior colour fidelity.
It looks a little ungainly with the refillable ink tanks ruining the symmetry of this otherwise compact all-in-one, but it’s the refined EcoTank system that sets this model apart from the competition. If you can swallow the high price tag, your ongoing ink costs will be very low and Epson’s five-colour printing guarantees excellent image quality, especially with photos on photo paper.
Epson EcoTank ET-7750
This humble all-in-one can scan and copy, but its real strength is in printing photos. Frustratingly, there’s no Ethernet port or USB port for printing from a flash drive and it churns very slowly, but the results are surprisingly good for such an affordable inkjet. The supplied starter cartridges are rather light on ink, but if you replace them with high-capacity carts, then the running cost is competitive too.
Sitting at the top of Canon’s Pixma range, the TS9150 looks like a premium product as you might expect, with a giant touchscreen display nestling up-front. It also boasts high-resolution printing and scanning and Canon’s excellent six-ink system. By using black pigment ink alongside dye-based colours, photographic prints look especially realistic.
Canon’s most affordable printer to include ink tanks instead of cartridges is a modest 4-in-1 that could work well in a small office that needs to run out of lots of colour documents. It prints very slowly and cannot print on both sides of the page, but in all other respects, it holds up well. The cartridge-less system is very economical and the box includes enough ink for 6,000 mono and 7,000 colour pages.
Canon Pixma G4510
By including an automatic document feeder (ADF) and a fax facility, this 4-in-1 device is aimed at the small, or home office. However, with separate pigment ink for printing black and white text and four more inkjet cartridges for colour, it happens to print very fine photographs very well. There’s also an SD card slot for camera users and inbuilt Wi-Fi enables cloud printing and remote smartphone control. Both printing and scanning are done at a fairly high resolution, which means you can make decent photocopies using the 20-sheet ADF.
Canon Pixma TR8550
HP’s oddly shaped all-in-one includes every feature from a fax facility, to an SD card slot, while giving you easy access to them via a colourful touchscreen interface. The coloured inks are combined in one cartridge and if you subscribe to HP’s Instant Ink service, it will be automatically replaced just before you run out. It feels a little flimsy, but photos prints, in particular, look vibrant.
- We’ve also highlighted the best small business printers