A high quality photo printer is a boon for any photographer. But just like with a conventional printer, some models are better than others in terms of speed, photo quality and compatibility. Some models are large, heavy and can print gallery-sized professional photos in stunning color. Other printers are compact enough to print on the go and right from your smartphone.
To help you find the best photo printer for your needs, we're going to review the top five models on the market.
1. Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000
When it comes to professional quality photos, it doesn't get much better than the Canon imagePrograf Pro-1000. Designed with professional photographers in mind, this model is one of the first near-dedicated photo printers from Canon to be released in a while.
The PRO-1000 can print pages up to 17" x 22" at exceptionally high quality. With dimensions of 11.2" x 17" x 28.5" and a weight of 70.5 pounds, this printer is a beast.
And with a price tag of $1,000+, this is a printer meant for professionals and serious amateur photographers.
Don't let the Pro-1000's high price scare you off, this printer comes packed with great features, including:
- Lucia Pro Ink System
- Anti-clog Technology
- 11-color Chroma Optimizer ink system
- Deep blacks
- Air feeding system grips the paper as it feeds through
- 1.28" wide print head
- Print Studio Pro v 2.0
- Wi-Fi and USB connectivity
- Support for Wireless PictBridge
- High resolution printing of 4,800 by 2,400 dpi
- 3" color display
The Pro-1000 does not have Wi-Fi Direct or NFC (Near Field Communication) capability, but it's highly unlikely that users would want to print smartphone photos with this printer. It does, however, support PictBridge, which allows you to print from compatible digital cameras.
With an 11-color ink system, the Pro-1000 is a serious photo printer for true professionals and captures all the fine details and colors in your photos.
2. Epson SureColor P800
Another heavyweight in the professional photo printer category is the SureColor P800 from Epson. Offering top-of-the-line printing quality, this model is nearly on par with the Pixma Pro-1000 from Canon.
Epson's UltraChrome HD inks offer superb black density and vivid color for gallery-sized prints that pop. An optional roll feeder allows printing from roll-based media, and this printer can print on paper up to 17 inches wide.
Offering superb printing quality and a price tag of around $1,000, the P800 boasts the following features:
- UltraChrome HD Inks
- Can print on paper up to 17" wide
- 80ml replacement cartridges
- 2.7" LCD touchscreen
- Paper roll printing; 13" or 17" wide by up to 10' long
- Support for Toyo, Pantone and other spot color libraries
- PostScript 3 and Adobe PDF PDLs (page description languages)
- Max resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 dpi
- Borderless printing
- 9 ink wells
From stunning grayscale to vivid color photos, the Epson SureColor P800 is one of the best photo printers on the market. But it's high price tag makes it the better option for professionals or serious amateur photographers.
3. Canon Selphy CP910
The Canon Selphy CP910 may not be on the same level as the SureColor P800 or the Pro-1000, but it does offer high quality photo printing in a portable solution. With dimensions of 4" x 5" x 2.4" and a weight of 1.8 pounds, this printer is truly pocket-sized.
For printing on the go and amateur photographers, the Selphy CP910 is a great choice.
Don't let this printer's small size turn you off. It's loaded with great features, including:
- Air Print ready for wireless printing from your iPad, iPhone and iPod
- 4" x 6" borderless photo printing
- Mobile device printing for direct printing from Windows RT, iOS and Android devices
- Dye sublimation printing
- 10,000 resolution
- Access Point mode, which is equivalent to Wi-Fi Direct
- Direct printing from memory cards, cameras, USB memory keys, USB cable or Wi-Fi
- PictBridge compatible
For photographers who are always on the go or amateurs looking for a affordable (around $100) portable printing solution, the Canon Selphy CP910 is the ideal choice.
4. Canon Pixma Pro-10
If the Canon imagePrograf Pro-1000 is out of your price range, the Pixma Pro-10 may be a better option. Striking a great balance between running costs, purchase price (around $500) and photo quality, this printer makes a great addition to any photographer's studio.
An LCD display and the ability to print from paper rolls give this printer an edge of the competition.
Along with these two great features, the Pixma Pro-10 also offers:
- Optimum Image Generating System, which selects the optimum ink combination for accurate color reproduction
- Pigment based and Chroma Optimizer combination
- Compatible with PGI-72 tanks
- Ethernet, wireless, and USB connectivity
- 27.2" x 15.2" x 8.5" dimensions
- 43.9 pounds
- 13" x 19" maximum media size
- 4800 x 2400 dpi
- Two-way paper feeding
- PictBridge connectivity
- Air Print ready
With the ability to print stunning black and white or color photos, the Pixma Pro-10 is the right choice for professional photographers who are on a tight budget or amateurs who want to print professional-level photos right from their studio.
5. Epson SureColor P400
The SureColor P400 is the most affordable option in the Epson line-up of near-dedicated photo printers. Priced around $600, this printer offers a great balance of affordability and quality.
The P400 can achieve gallery-worthy prints up to 13" x 19," and is also roll paper compatible for printing banners, large prints and panoramas.
Achieving near-professional quality photo prints, this printer offers the following features:
- 13" wide-format photo printing
- Eight UltraChrome HG2 cartridges
- Supports: photographic paper, fine art paper, 1.3 mm thick board, canvas, CD/DVD printing
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi and USB connectivity
- Dimensions: 25.8" x 20.9" x 13.5"
- Weight: 27.1 pounds
- On-board controls, including: on/off, Wi-Fi, Resume and roll-paper controls
- Paper tray can hold up to 30 sheets of photo paper or 120 sheets of regular paper
The P400 offers near-professional quality photo printing at a price most photographers can afford. While printing can be a little slow and must be controlled via a computer, this printer is still one of the best on the market.