If you are a professional photographer or a true photography enthusiast then a regular inkjet printer may not be enough for your needs. If you’re looking for the answer on how to print out photos that rival the quality of 35mm film prints, then you’re looking for a photo printer, not an inkjet. We’ve compared and analyzed the top competitors in the market and present to your our findings for the best photo printer.
- What is a photo printer?
Answer: A photo printer is a printer that is designed to print high quality images. The print output from a photo printer is usually comparable to 35mm film prints.
- What makes it different from a regular inkjet printer?
Answer: Photo printers differ from regular inkjet printers in many ways. For one, because they are designed to print photos, photo printers are lousy at printing texts. Most photo printers are also smaller than regular inkjets so they can’t hold regular paper. Unlike regular inkjet printers, many photo printers do not need a computer because they print directly from a camera, mobile phone or storage media.
- What is the technology behind photo printers?
Answer: Photo printers use either inkjet or dye-sublimation technology, also known as thermal wax printing.
Our Top Picks
HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink ready (F0V69A)
- All-in-one photo printer
- Mobile printing feature
- Can print borderless photos
- Capable of 2-sided printing
This is an all-in-one device that can also be used as a scanner and copier. The mobile printing feature allows users to print from anywhere with their mobile phone or tablet using the free HP ePrint app that can be downloaded from the Apple AppStore and Google PlayStore. If you have an iPhone, you can print even without a network using Wireless Direct printing with the AirPrint app. As far as output is concerned, this printer produces high quality photos. It can even print true borderless photos, no need to trim the edges. It can also print on both sides of the paper to help you cut cost and paper use. A downside of this printer is that it uses expensive HP ink. The cost can be justified though by the excellent print quality.
Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer – Compatible w/iOS & Android, NFC & Bluetooth Devices
- Produces vibrant prints
- Travel-ready design
- Works with free Polaroid app
- No computer needed
With its compact size, this Polaroid printer is perfect for travelers who loves taking photos and yearns for the days when photos are held and not admired on a screen. You can use it to create instant photo souvenirs of special occasions such as birthdays, out-of-town trips, and even weddings. How cool would it be to be able to print photos of your wedding instantly to be used at the reception or to be given to guests? This printer doesn’t need a computer to be able to print photos. Just download the Polaroid app to print the photos. You can even use the app to put special effects on your photos such as borders, stickers, and filters. The prints produced are waterproof and smudge-proof.
Canon PIXMA Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device Printing (6228B002)
- Professional inkjet printer
- Produces amazing gradients and colors
- Optimum Image Generating System
- 4800 x 2400 dpi with FINE technology
This is a professional level photo printer that produces excellent prints. It uses 8 dye based inks to render amazing gradients and colors with 3 dedicated inks for grayscale to print stunning black and white photographs. It uses an Optimum Image Generating System to reproduce colors the way you want them to appear automatically selecting the right ink combination and placement. It can print very detailed photos of up to 13” x 19” in size. It requires a bit of patience to set it up but once it is up and running, it is very easy to use. It is not really recommended for casual users because of its price.
Epson Expression Home XP-440 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled
- 3-in-1 device
- Affordable ink cartridges
- Simple to set up and navigate
- 100 paper capacity
The reason why Epson is such a popular brand of printer is because of its very affordable ink cartridges. That’s a great advantage of you are planning to use this printer for business. And with the Amazon Dash Replacement that keeps track of ink usage and automatically orders ink from Amazon when level is low, you don’t need to worry that you will run out of ink ever again. Print output is excellent and comparable to the outputs of more expensive printers and inks. This is a 3-in-1 device that can be used to print, scan, and copy pictures and documents.
Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4×6” Instant Photo Printer, Premium Quality Full Color Prints – Compatible w/iOS & Android Devices
- One touch printing
- Prints high quality photos
- Compatible with most devices
- Also serves as charger
This is a printer and dock that exclusively prints 4” x 6” photos. It can print high quality photos with brilliant colors and fine details. Thermal Transfer Technology ensures that prints will not fade or bleed. To use, just dock your Android phone or iPhone, select the picture you want to print, then press the print button. The dock will even charge your device as you print your pictures. This is a small device but it is not portable. It does not have its own power supply so it needs to be plugged into an outlet before you can use it. Using the dock is not a simple chore and it may require several attempts before you can successfully connect your phone. Ink tends to run out quickly making this an expensive device to use.
Pandigital PANPRINT01 Zero Ink Portable Color Photo Printer Bundle with 45 sheets 4X6 ZINK photos paper
- Prints 4” x 6” photos instantly
- Can print a photo in a minute
- Zero ink technology
- Good photo quality
This is similar to the Polaroid Zip mini printer. Some users have reported that it prints photos that are significantly better than photos printed by Polaroid. It prints photos with vivid colors and fine details. Because it is light and small. It can be used anywhere. It is a fast printer that can print a photo in a minute. If you own a Mac, sorry to say that this printer will not work on your device.
Your choice of photo printer should depend on your needs. Portable mini printers are fun but may not be suitable for professionals and heavy users, but if you’re looking for something to produce commercial quality photos right from home, you’ve got to go with a quality photo printer.