Best Photo Printers

With the widespread use of smartphones, taking a photo has never been easier! Thanks to modern printer technology, it’s also now super easy to get photo-lab quality prints of your photos from the comfort of your own home.

There are many questions to ask yourself when considering the best photo printer to buy. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and the requirements you need from a printer. For example, the best photo printer for photographers may be different from the best portable photo printer.

Some good questions to ask yourself include: do you want a printer that can handle large photos, or are you just looking for one that prints small images? Is portability a factor when deciding which photo printer is best for you? What kind of price range are you looking at?

Below we take a look at a selection of photo printers on the market, weigh up their pros and cons, and list their specifications.

 

Epson Expression Photo XP-960

This 3-in-1 printer uses on-demand Inkjet technology, and can print photos up to A3 size. Epson Connect allows you to print directly from your smartphone or tablet, plus the XP-960 supports Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. The XP-960 can print a 4” x 6” photo in as little as 11 seconds, supports printing onto cardstock and envelopes, and even allows for direct printing onto CD and DVD faces. This device has a built-in scanner which can scan documents up to A4 size, and touchscreen controls for ease-of-use. It uses six individual small-capacity cartridges to print, making the ink a little less cost-effective than larger-capacity varieties, however, as the cartridges are individual, you only need to replace the colours you need as they run out. The printer itself is relatively affordable for a photo printer, and costs around the $399 AUD mark.

 

Pros
– Can print up to A3 size
– Fast printing

Cons
– Small-capacity cartridges
– Tray has low paper capacity

Specifications
Warranty: 12 months with optional additional 2-year warranty
Printing Technology: On-demand Inkjet (piezoelectric)
Max Monochrome Printing Speed: 8.5 ppm
Max Colour Printing Speed: 8 ppm
4” x 6” Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 11 seconds
Print Resolution (DPI x DPI): 5760 x 1440 optimised dpi
Max paper size: A3

 

Polaroid ZIP Instant Photoprinter

For those looking to print their favourite photos on the go, there are now a range of portable photo printers that fit right in your pocket. One such printer is the Polaroid ZIP. The device pairs wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet, and can print 2” x 3” colour photos in less than a minute using the Polaroid Print App. The portable printer uses ZINK Zero Ink Paper, and the photos are printed with a sticky back, making them perfect for sticking in journals or on books and notebooks. One thing to keep in mind when looking at this printer is that it doesn’t print documents. It is also not suitable for those looking to print photographs larger than 2” x 3” in size. The Polaroid ZIP is super-lightweight, weighing in at around 187 grams, and will cost you around $199 AUD to buy new.

Pros
– Super lightweight and portable
– Affordable

Cons
– Can only print photos sized 2” x 3”
– Print quality not that of more expensive photo printers

Specifications
Warranty: 2 years
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Max Monochrome Printing Speed: N/A
Max Colour Printing Speed: N/A
2” x 3” Photo Printing Speed: Less than 60 seconds per photo
Print Resolution (DPI x DPI): 4800 x 2400
Max paper size: 2” x 3”

 

Canon PIXMA Pro-10S

For those looking to spend a little more, the Canon PIXMA Pro-10S offers a 10-ink LUCIA pigment system for printing beautiful photos. This wireless printer integrates seamlessly with plug-in software such as Adobe Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom, and Canon Digital Photo Professional. The Pro-10S can print borderless images up to A3 size, and comes with a CD and DVD disc tray to for printing onto various media. This printer is compatible with Apple AirPrint and prints at 4800 x 2400 dpi. One trade-off with this machine is slower printing speeds. It takes approximately 5 minutes and 20 seconds to print an A3 photo. The PIXMA Pro-10S isn’t made for printing documents, and while it can handle them fine, if you’re looking for a printer to print documents and the very occasional photo, this probably isn’t the printer for you. This Pro-10S is primarily designed to print photographs. You can pick up a Canon PIXMA Pro-10S for around $850 AUD.

Pros
– Can print up to A3 size
– Capable of printing onto CDs and DVDs

Cons
– Not as fast as some other machines
– A little expensive

Specifications
Warranty: 12 months
Printing Technology: InkJet
Max Monochrome Printing Speed: N/A
Max Colour Printing Speed: N/A
4” x 6” Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 26 seconds
A3 Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 5 minutes, 20 seconds
Print Resolution (DPI x DPI): 4800 x 2400
Max paper size: A3

 

Epson SureColor P800

If you’re looking to really splash out and spend some dosh on a photo printer, then the Epson SureColor P800 could be an option to consider. Clocking in at around $1695 AUD, the P800 enables gallery-quality black-and-white photo prints, and exhibition quality colour prints. It can handle prints up to (and above) A2 size, is enabled for wireless printing from a smartphone or tablet and compatible with Apple AirPrint. There are nine inks in the Epson UltraChrome HD inkset, allowing the P800 to produce true-to-life prints, as well as prints with ultra-high black density. The ink cartridges are high-capacity, holding 80mL, and the machine comes with a set of 64mL starter ink. The P800 can print an A4 image in around two minutes, an A3+ photo in around 4.5 minutes, and an A2 image in just under six minutes. The 2.7 inch touchscreen (complete with gesture navigation) allows users to check ink levels, print status and perform routine maintenance on the machine.

Pros
– Gallery and exhibition-quality prints
– Can create up to (and above) A2 size prints

Cons
– Expensive
– Heavy (around 20 kgs)

Specifications
Warranty: 12 months (up to five years at additional cost)
Printing Technology: Variable Sized Droplet Technology (VSDT), Epson Ultrachrome HD
Max Monochrome Printing Speed: N/A
Max Colour Printing Speed: N/A
A4 Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 2 minutes
A3+ Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 4 minutes, 30 seconds
A2 Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 5 minutes, 49 seconds
Print Resolution (DPI x DPI): 2800 x 1440
Max paper size: 17” wide and 10’ long

 

HP OfficeJet Pro 6960 All-In-One Printer

The OfficeJet Pro 6960 is an affordable option if you’re looking for an all-rounder printer. Capable of printing photos, documents, faxing, scanning and copying, this machine comes with a colour touchscreen and automatic document feeder. Your laptop, smartphone or tablet can be connected to the 6960 through HP ePrint, allowing you to create prints no matter where you are in the world. Automatic double-sided printing can help you save on paper, and the 6960 is able to print black and white at 20 ppm and colour at 11 ppm. Items can be scanned directly to a USB, PC, or the cloud, and the machine is compatible with Apple AirPrint. While it isn’t a dedicated photo printer, it is compatible with photo paper as well as index cards and envelopes. The OfficeJet Pro 6960 will cost you around $149 AUD, making it an affordable all-in-one for those looking for a device that can handle many needs. If you are looking for a dedicated photograph printer, however, there are other printers on the market that may be more suited to your needs.

 

Pros
– Affordable
– Capable of handling many varied tasks

Cons
– Slow scanner
– Can’t remove paper tray

Specifications
Warranty: 12 months (up to three years at additional cost)
Printing Technology: HP Thermal InkJet
Max Monochrome Printing Speed: 20 ppm (non-draft)
Max Colour Printing Speed: 11 ppm (non-draft)
A4 Photo Printing Speed: Approx. 2 minutes
Print Resolution (DPI x DPI): 600 x 1200
Max paper size: A4