The 5 Best Photo Printers On Earth Today: Ranked and Reviewed

best photo printers

The 5 Best Photo Printers On Earth Today: Ranked and Reviewed

Key Points

  • Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Photo Printer is Epson Expression Photo XP-8600.
  • Home photo printers are surprisingly affordable, with prices as low as $80!
  • With a photo printer, you can print snapshots from social media, create art, and scrapbook like a pro!
  • When you’re shopping for the best printers for home use, keep the following criteria in mind: the types of images you want to print, whether you need lab-quality photos, the types of photo papers you’ll use, and your end project.

The best photo printer on Earth today lets you transform your digital creations into art prints and photo albums. Rather than keeping photos trapped on your phone, microSD card, or laptop, these top picks turn your snapshots and landscapes into masterpieces. And you can do it all from your home office.

Remember, if your images are worth putting to paper, you need the best photo printer to do them justice. So, after reviewing dozens of options, our ranking for the best photo printers on Earth today are:

#1 Best Overall: Epson Expression Photo XP-8600

Best Overall
Epson Expression Photo XP-8600
  • Wireless and router-free
  • 4. 3" touchscreen
  •  6-color Claria Photo HD Inks
  • Versatile printing (you can print directly onto CDs/ DVDs)
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11/25/2023 04:15 pm GMT

The Epson Expression XP-8600 takes top honors for raw performance and is our choice for the #1 Best Overall Photo Printer. If you want a regular all-in-one (AIO) that emphasizes photo quality, the Epson Expression XP-8600 is fantastic. In our experience, it prints borderless lab-quality images with six inks that give a broad color range.

So, you’ll get flawless and vibrant color tones, especially when printing on Epson’s Ultra Premium Photo paper. Plus, you can use other specialty papers, like canvas, with stunning results. We think a  photo printer that even prints on canvas is impressive.

And if you need to scan or print out your taxes, the Epson Expression XP-8600 does that, as well. The smaller paper tray takes 4×6” photo paper for snapshot printing from your laptop, USB drive, or smartphone. There’s no print job too large or small for this all-in-one.

The XP-8600 isn’t perfect, though. The ink cartridges are expensive, so costs could add up if you print many images. And even though it is photo-centric, this is still an AIO printer first. So, some dedicated photo printers produce more detailed images.

The XP-8600 is useful for document printing, scanning, and photo printing.The ink cartridges are expensive.
This printer delivers great-quality images.Dedicated photo printers produce higher-quality images.
Print on specialty papers, like canvas, to customize your photographs.
You get a tailor-made color range from the six inks.

Check out Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 on Amazon.

Best for High-Volume Photo Prints: Canon PIXMA G620 MegaTank

Best for High-Volume Photo Prints
Canon PIXMA G620 MegaTank
  • 6-color dye-based ink system
  • ChromaLife 100.3
  • 3.9 ppm (print speed)
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11/25/2023 04:15 pm GMT

The Canon PIXMA G620 MegaTank prints color photos well and cheaply, making it our choice of the Best for High-Volume Photo Prints. So, if you print many pictures, this is the perfect photo printer for you. Scrapbookers will love this Canon PIXMA G620 Mega Tank.

As the name implies, it has a massive ink capacity to print up to 3,800 4” x 6” color photos. That brings your per-print cost down to about 2.5 cents per photo. Plus, you’re saving gas money by printing from home.

The six-color dye-based ink bottle system has a keyed nozzle design. As a result, you can’t accidentally refill the wrong color. And once you insert the bottle, the ink automatically fills the tank without you needing to squeeze. That means fewer messes, which is always a good thing.

Print banners up to 47” long in addition to borderless photo prints. There are so many things to like about this photo printer, but it does have some deterrents.

For example, some reviewers found that the Canon PIXMA G620 MegaTank doesn’t always connect to Wi-Fi, so wireless printing is occasionally troublesome. And the print speed is slower than some models, but one could argue that the printer is taking its time to give you quality images.

You’ll have a low printing cost of 2.5 cents per photo.Poor Wi-Fi connectivity leads to some users’ dissatisfaction.
The color range is vibrant for long-lasting scrapbook images.You get high-quality images but with a slower print speed.
The ink is quick-drying, so you’ll have smudge-less prints.

Check out Canon PIXMA G620 MegaTank on Amazon.

Best for Lab-Quality Photo Printer: Epson SureColor P900

Best Lab Quality
Epson SureColor P900
  • All-new UltraChrome PRO10 Ink with Violet
  • New 10-channel MicroPiezo AMC printhead
  • Carbon Black Driver mode
  • Features a 4.3" customizable touchscreen
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11/25/2023 04:15 pm GMT

The Epson SureColor P900 is a dedicated photo printer and is our choice for the Best Lab-Quality Photo Printer. Of course, the P900 isn’t for everyone since it costs quite a lot for a home printer. But professional photographers won’t mind the price tag for a 10-ink photo printer that produces gallery-quality images.

Do you want a 17×22-inch gallery photograph printed? It’s no problem with this photo printer. And if you need a 17-inch-wide corresponding banner to announce your gallery showing, the Epson SureColor will do that, too.

This high-end photo printer also switches automatically between black matte and photo inks. Did you even know there are two different inks for that? The dedicated, automated nozzles for both black inks mean you don’t have to switch between them manually.

In addition, the roll adapter takes the SureColor P900 printer to professional media handling with two rolls. It also accommodates sheet media up to 1.5 mm thick for using professional-grade papers. But if you’re unsure what that means for hands-on testing, this probably is more photo printer than you need.

However, for anyone printing wide-format images, panorama views, or banners, you’ll appreciate the P900’s beauty and lab-quality images. It offers Epson’s UltraChrome technology with PRO10 ink that even comes with Violet. So you’ll see a vibrant and broad color range.

Print varying sizes, including professional-grade sheet media and 11×17 panoramas.This photo printer is an expensive option for hobbyists and scrapbookers, but an excellent alternative for professional photographers.
You can print excellent gallery-quality prints.
UltraChrome PRO10 pigment inks provide a wide depth of color.

Check out Epson SureColor P900 on Amazon.

Best Art Photo Printer: Canon Pixma Pro-200

Best Art Photo Printer
Canon PIXMA PRO-200
  • Enhanced 8-color dye-based ink system
  • Built-in 3-inch LCD display (PPL’s intuitive interface)
  • Panorama printing up to a custom size of 13” x 39”
  • Prints A3 photos in 90 seconds
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11/26/2023 09:06 pm GMT

The Canon Pixma Pro-200 is an affordable, high-quality option and is our choice for the Best Art Photo Printer. For anyone wanting to print excellent-quality photos without spending $1200, Canon’s Pixma Pro-200 will treat you well.

Sure, you won’t get the large sizes of the Epson SureColor, but you can still print panoramas up to 13 by 39 inches. This option fits nicely in the space between super-high-end photo printers and desktop AIO inkjets. So, you can quickly print top-notch artwork, snapshots, landscapes, and portraits. You’ll print bordered snapshots in under two minutes.

In addition, it has lower operating costs than some other options in its class. And functionality like the automatic nozzle clog detection makes it a winner. The eight-color dye-based ink system sets the Pro-200 apart from all-in-one inkjet printers with its rich hues.

And in our photo printer experience, using Canon’s Professional Print & Layout (PPL) software is intuitive and user-friendly. Treat it as an app or a plugin for your normal photo editing software to easily see printing views and settings. There’s even a large print setting, so you’ll know exactly how your printed image will look before using any ink.

On the downside, the three-inch LCD display is a little small for easy use. But if that’s the biggest complaint, the Pixma Pro-200 photo printer is still a winner.

This printer includes Canon’s Professional Print & Layout (PPL)2 software for easy-to-see images before committing to the print job.The small display screen makes printing directly from a USB drive difficult.
Get fast, high-quality, bordered A3+ prints in just 90 seconds.

Check out Canon Pixma Pro-200 on Amazon.

Best for Portable Smartphone Photo Printer: HP Sprocket Select

Best Portable Option
HP Sprocket Portable
  • For iOS 10-Plus and Android 5-Plus
  • ZINK Zero Ink Technology
  • Unique filters and frames
  • Delivers about 35 prints per charge
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11/25/2023 04:15 pm GMT

The HP Sprocket Select is a super fun photo printer you can take anywhere and is our choice for the Best Portable Smartphone Photo Printer. HP’s Sprocket lets you take a picture, edit it, and print a 2” x 3” photo sticker within moments.

This tiny printer is the one we carry in the RV. Whenever we invite friends (old or new) inside, we snap their picture with our smartphones, print a copy for us and one for them, peel the backing paper, and stick it in our photo album/guest book.

It’s a fun way to document our travels. Plus, every visitor loves receiving their own selfie sticker. The Sprocket creates a great reminder to us and our friends of our time spent together. The fact that the photos are also stickers makes them even more fun.

Print social media images instantly, too. Grab the screenshot on your smartphone and send it to your Sprocket for instant printing. So, if your friend just posted an awesome shot of your day at the beach, you can treasure the memory, too.

Split Image Printing

In addition to printing one photo, you can also split one image into multiple pieces. Say, for example, you want an artsy picture of your family dog. Select to print it in nine “frames.”

Maybe his ears are in two small images, his nose, and eyes, each in their own photos. And his mouth and chin get a few more frames. Then you can reconstruct the individual images into one larger collage-style view of your pup for an artistic representation of his awesomeness.

Print inexpensive photos for sharing smiles right away.This portable printer only prints 2” x 3” photos.
Create collage-style, split image prints for an artsy take on a regular snapshot.
Print social media and GoPro pictures instantly.

Check out HP Sprocket Select on Amazon.

How to Pick the Best Photo Printers: Step by Step

When choosing a photo printer, most buyers consider four primary items beyond price.

  • Print Quality
  • Connectivity and Compatibility
  • Ink and Paper
  • Size and Portability

Let’s review each one in more detail.

Print Quality

The primary consideration for a photo printer is the quality of your exported images. Look for high-resolution printing with accurate colors and attention to fine detail. Next, check out reviews to narrow down your selection.

Then, print samples when possible to see how well you like the print job. Finally, verify the return policy details if purchasing online in case the printer doesn’t meet your standards.

Connectivity and Compatibility

Verify your chosen photo printer is compatible with your laptop, smartphone, or other devices. Bluetooth models for wireless printing let you work from anywhere in your house, which is super convenient. Also, check out the mobile app for smaller portable printers to ensure a simple user interface that anyone in your household can operate.

Ink and Paper

It’s easy to focus on a photo printer’s print quality and smart functionality without considering paper and ink costs. So, consider the availability of specific paper and ink cartridges the printer requires. It’s a balance between selecting a printer with higher paper or ink costs and quality versus standard paper, which may result in lower quality.

Size and Portability

There are two types of photo printers on our list today. The first type is home printer-sized models that allow you to print documents in addition to images. But the second type of photo printer we’re highlighting is all about portability.

For your house, consider how much space you have in your office, at your kitchen table, or wherever you set up shop. Of course, larger printers give you more options for wide-format photographs. But they also take up more space.

Portable printers, on the other hand, fit just about anywhere. However, you sometimes sacrifice print quality or extra features. You can take a handheld printer anywhere for selfie snapshots and quick prints.

Throw one in a backpack and head to the beach with friends. And, at the end of the day, quickly print wallet-sized souvenirs of your summer day.

What to Know Before Buying Photo Printers

Before buying a photo printer, consider the printing technology it uses. Of course, there are strong reasons to purchase either inkjet or laser options. But, in general, inkjets have an exceptional reputation for printing images.

And here’s why. Inkjet printers use a wider range of ink colors so that they can produce finer and more accurate details. That gives you a more vibrant and realistic color in your printed image. Inkjets also print on a broader range of media, including specialized printing paper, enhancing your overall image quality.

On the other hand, laser printers perform extremely well with text and graphic printing. So, they’re often used in office environments. Some laser printers produce acceptable photo prints, even if the quality and color accuracy are slightly lower than from an inkjet.

So, ultimately, whether an inkjet or laser photo printer is best for you depends on your primary interests. High-quality images come from inkjets. But a laser printer may be a more practical option if you need a general-purpose all-in-one device that produces the occasional acceptable photo print.

Using Photo Printers: What it’s Like

Using a printer is a convenient way to print high-quality photos from the comfort of your own home. With the right paper and printer, you can produce stunning prints that rival those from professional labs.

Small portable printers like our HP Sproket are fun ways to share snapshots on the run. You can easily take them to family gatherings for an inexpensive “photo booth” experience, which we do regularly!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are JPGs or PNGs better for photo printing?

PNG files are best for photo printers since they compress your image but keep your information. That means you can edit the file without affecting image quality. On the other hand, JPGs’ quality gets worse with each save over. So, PNG gives the best print quality.

What photo printers do photographers use?

The Epson XP-8600 (listed above) is excellent for photo-centric printing over document output. Even high-end camera users appreciate the Epson’s color range.

What is the best quality image resolution for photo printing?

An Inkjet style printer will deliver anywhere from 150 dots per inch  (DPI) to 1000 (DPI).  A laser printer generates prints between 600 DPI and 2000 (DPI).

300 PPI is the best resolution for printing most images. With this number of pixels per inch, your image is of high-resolution quality. So your lines and details look crisp and on point.

As you increase the size of the image you want to print, the DPI becomes more important.  A 14MP image can be printed at 300 DPI at a maximum size of approximately 11″ X 14″.  A 2MP image can be printed at a maximum of 4″ X 5″.

Is glossy or matte better for photos?

Some general guidelines say matte is best for traditional black-and-white images with a lot of detail. For color or black-and-white, matte processing looks best if you plan to frame your picture behind glass. Glossy is best when your photos have bright colors and contrast.

Is inkjet or laser better for printing photos?

Inkjet photo printers thrive at color printing. They produce high-quality images with excellent color and minimal pixilation. On the other hand, laser printers create an overall higher quality when talking about both text and photos. So they can also print crisp black-and-whites.

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