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10 Best Photo Printers for Photographers: Choosing Guide

Printing your photos is a delicate task requiring competent machines. This article will highlight some factors you must review before acquiring a photo printer and the best choices you can make. Without further ado, let’s get into it straight away.

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Photo Printer

When selecting a photo printer, you should explore a few factors. These elements help you identify which gadget suits your printing needs.

Printing Technology

Printing Technology

Photo by Khomulo Anna on shutterstock

There are multiple types of printing tech, including inkjet, dye sublimation, and laser printing. Laser printing, however, isn’t that popular in photo printing because of its inability to reproduce specific color gradients.

Inkjet printers are more suitable for the job since the devices can use multiple paper types. However, inkjet printers use expensive ink, which can clog when left dormant.

Dye sublimation printers are an excellent portable option. These printers have a dedicated ink set, making it easier to calculate printing costs. However, if quality is your main objective, inkjet printing is superior.

Consider what photo sizes you will print more often and the dimensions you will likely publish. A 13″ wide and standard letter-sized model will suit most beginners. This size is compatible with the 13 x 19″ format, a frame large enough to camp on your wall.

If you want to take it a notch higher and go professional, a 17″ wide. This size will allow you to go for prints up to 17 x 22″ wide. Furthermore, you can print large panoramic sizes.

You can go a step further and aim for the 24″. However, this level requires several supporting materials, like paper tray setups. Furthermore, you’ll need to use it and maintain the printer to prevent clogging regularly.

Speed, Resolution, and Colour Claims

A man is using a photo printer.

Photo by Olena Yakobchuk on shutterstock

Thanks to the International Organization for Standardization, the playing field in quality and requirements for printer manufacturers is equal. There are a few metrics you should consider including:

  • PPM: This refers to pages per minute, which dictates the speed of your printer. It may vary in color.
  • Duty cyclerefers to the monthly limit of your printer. Aim to print lower than the duty cycle number to slow down the wear and tear of your printer. 
  • DPI: Dots per inch refers to the number of dots your printer can exact on a square inch. It shows how efficient your printer is in high-resolution and detailed imaging.

Connectivity

Most modern printers are equipped with some form of connection. Some of the standard connectivity features include:

  • Wi-Fi: This technology allows you to send work to your printer directly without cable.
  • Ethernet: While more common in office setup printers, they allow the printer to connect to the internet.
  • Wi-Fi Direct: This peer-to-peer network doesn’t correlate to your Wi-Fi. It establishes a connection between your device and printer.
  • USB: This is the most common form of connection on most printers. You can connect external hard drives or other devices and print them through these ports.
  • SD cards: Some printers have slots for SD cards where you can insert these devices and select the file you wish to print via the printer’s screen.
  • NFC: A more advanced form of wireless tech, near-field communication allows your printer to connect to your smartphone simply by touching it.

Ink Costs

 

The photo printer printed out a family photo.

Photo by PixieMe on shutterstock

Depending on your volume of work and budget, you need to factor in ink costs. Luckily, you can directly measure the ink cost per page. However, this depends on the printer model.

The best way to navigate these costs is to select a subscription package, especially for your home setup.

Paper Handling

When considering your photo printer, you must consider its paper-handling ability. All printers can work with 8.5 by 11 paper stacks. Review whether it can handle legal envelopes, index cards, and glossy stock.

Also, review the size of the input tray. If you go with a smaller size, you’ll have to feed it paper regularly.

5 Best Portable Photo Printers

The following are recommendations for the best photo printers you can carry around. Let’s get into it.

Polaroid Hi-Print

Polaroid Hi-Print Photo Printer
Image credit: amazon.com

Specs

Type: Dye Sublimation

Dimensions: 3.13 x 5.9 x 1.06 inches

Ink: Two all-in-one cartridges

Connectivity: Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: No

Supported Photo Size: 2×3

Print Resolution: 219 dpi

Price: $84.00

Pros

  • Relatively easy to use
  • Decent image quality
  • Great build design

Cons

  • No SD slot

 

Canon Ivy

Canon Ivy Photo Printer

Image credit:amazon.com

 

 

Specs

Type: Thermal

Dimensions: 3.2 x 4.7 x 0.7 inches

Ink: ZINK (Zero Ink)

Connectivity: Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: No

Supported Photo Size: 2×3″

Print Resolution: 314 x 400 DPI

Price: $143.17

Pros

  • Quick printing
  • Great design

Cons

  • Questionable battery life

 

Kodak Step

Kodak Step Photo Printer

Image credit:amazon.com

Specs

Type: Photo

Dimensions: 0.9 x 3.25 x 4.9 inches

Ink: Zero ink

Connectivity: Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: No

Supported Photo Size: 2×3

Print Resolution: 313×400 DPI.

Price: $79.00

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Good print quality
  • Multiple bundle choice

Cons

  • Only supports wireless
  • It can only be used with tablets or smartphones

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Photo Printer

 

Image credit:amazon.com

Specs

Type: Photo

Dimensions: 3 x 5 x 7.1 inches

Ink: Zero ink

Connectivity: Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: Yes

Supported Photo Size: 2.4 x 1.8″

Print Resolution: 800 x 600 dpi

Price: $104.99

Pros

  • Reliable photo-developing process
  • It gives you multiple editing options

Cons

  • Slow photo development

 

Lifeprint 2×3 Hyperphoto Printer

Lifeprint 2x3 Hyper photo Printer

Image credit:amazon.com

 

Specs

Type: Compact photo printer

Dimensions: 0.89 x 2.95 x 4.61 inches

Ink: Zero ink

Connectivity: Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: No

Supported Photo Size: ‎2×3

Print Resolution:  313 DPI

Price: $134.95

Pros

  • Hyperphoto technology inclusive
  • Great image quality
  • Super design

Cons

  • Can’t print from a PC
  • Expensive maintenance cost

5 Best Stationary Photo Printers

After reviewing the best portable printers, this section will cover the most decent stationary printers. Let’s dive into it.

Canon Pixma TR8620

Canon Pixma TR8620 Photo Printer

 

Image credit:amazon.com

Specs

Type: Inkjet

Dimensions: 17.3 x 13.8 x 7.5 inches

Ink: Five cartridges

Connectivity: 02.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB 2.0, Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: Yes

Supported Photo Size: 8 x 10

 

Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi

Price: $199.00

Pros

 

  • Great printing quality
  • ADF and duplexer present

Cons

  • High ink costs

 

 

Canon Pixma TR150

 

Canon Pixma TR150 Photo Printer

Image credit:amazon.com

Specs

Type: Mobile inkjet

Dimensions: 12.7 x 7.3 x 2.6 inches

Ink: Two cartridges

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n/a, USB 2.0

SD Card Slot: No

Supported Photo Size: 8 x 10

Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi

Price: $318.00

Pros

  • Inexpensive ink
  • Super image quality

Cons

  • Tiny monochrome display

HP Envy 7855

HP Envy 7855 Photo Printer

Image credit:amazon.com

Specs

Type: Inkjet

Dimensions: 19.3 x 17.9 x 7.6 inches

Ink: Two cartridges

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, USB 2.0, Ethernet, Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: Yes

Supported Photo Size: 8 x 10

Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi

Price: $299.00

Pros

  • Great for printing in volume
  • Fully operational paper tray

Cons

  • Lacks physical function buttons

 

Kodak Smile Instant Printer

Kodak Smile Instant Printer

 

Image credit:amazon.com

Specs

Type: Mobile photo printer

Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.2 x 0.9 inches

Ink: ZINK Zero-Ink photo paper

Connectivity: Bluetooth

SD Card Slot: No

Supported Photo Size: 2 x 3 inches

Print Resolution: 1200 x 600 dpi

Price: $84.99

Pros

  • Has augmented reality
  • Compact design
  • It has a rechargeable battery

Cons

  • The photo paper is expensive
  • Has paper for five photos

 

HP Sprocket Select

HP Sprocket Select Photo Printer

Image credit:amazon.com

 

Specs

Type: Photo printer

Dimensions: 5.45 x 8.5 x 3.9 inches

Ink: ZINK, Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity

Connectivity: Wi-Fi

SD Card Slot: Yes

Supported Photo Size: 4 x 6

Print Resolution: 321 x 600 dpi

Price: $149.99

Pros

  • Great print quality
  • Easy set up
  • It can release larger print sizes than some models.

Cons

  • You can’t operate with a PC
  • Relatively high usage cost

Conclusion

Here is all the information on the best photo printers you can select. Remember to watch out for various factors to get a device that suits your needs. You can access these printers at multiple online stores and retail centers.

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