It’s acknowledged that people have never taken more photographs than they do now. Most of us have hundreds – or thousands – of images stuck on our mobiles and computers. Many people just flick through the photos on their mobiles, but what do you do when you want to print them off? Now that we seem to be obsessed with taking photos on our hi-tech mobiles and tablets as well as our cameras, it’s important that we do these new hi-res images justice by having a printer which produces great photos.
There are many great, inexpensive home printers out there which will do the trick – from larger models to the miniscule. The cheapest printers can handle text easily enough, but often have just two cartridges, one for black ink and one for three different colours which is OK, but will not provide the realism and contrasts you need to print the very best photos.
One thing to look out for when searching for a photo printer is to be aware, if a manufacturer put ‘speed’ as a major selling point. Lifewire.com conducted intensive research which said that as a general rule-of-thumb ‘fast printing decreases print quality’. Fast printing is great, but not at the expense of producing the best prints.
Don’t forget this…
Yes, we know that the world has gone digital mad, but a printed, framed photograph still hold a special place in our world, and in our lounge!
The best photo printers make it easy for you to print the best photos at home – but the printer is ‘just’ the printer… There’s another important thing to consider. Don’t print on to standard paper – buy some proper photo paper, as the combination of the printer and paper will give you the best result. It’s no good printing an important image which you’re going to frame, directly onto standard paper, as the colours won’t be anywhere near as good, and your images will not be preserved like they will be on photo paper. A good tip is not to have images printed on photo paper displayed in direct sunlight or they will eventually fade, and photo paper will eventually crack due to heat, ruining your image.
Make sure your photo paper is the right way up. How do you know?
The easy way is to draw a ‘X’ on one side of a standard piece of paper with the X facing upwards and then send a document (not a photo) to print. When it comes out, look for the ‘X’ – if it’s on the same side as the text, you know to place your photo paper into the printer with the glossy side facing upwards. By doing this simple exercise, you’ll save yourself some ink and some frustration!
Two cartridges or more?
Many photo printers can have up to six ink cartridges to add extra subtlety when you’re printing photos. They also have the cost advantage that you only need to replace the actual cartridge which has run out of ink, as opposed to the 3-in-1 cartridges in the budget printers.
Some printers will produce much bigger photo prints, such as A3, but you’ll find that for most printers, A4 is the maximum size they will print. These days you can actually buy pocket-sized printers which will print out small photos for you on the move!
We’ve had a look at the best photo printers on the market and we’ve selected three which produce excellent quality prints, focussing on sharpness, colour, accuracy and lifelike images, as well as speed. While these all-in-one models can be used for printing documents and even scanning and copying, these printers stand out thanks to the great photos they produce. All three selections happen to be Canon models, and this isn’t even a sponsored post. Canon just happen to have produced a fantastic range of photo printers!
Pocket-size mobile printers
Let’s start small and work our way up. Mini-printers are quite new, but are gaining popularity fast with the younger crowd. Perfect for those party get-togethers, holidays and days out, you can print photos direct from your mobile straight away. The photos themselves tend to be around 2 x 3”.
Are they actually pocked-sized?
The answer is ‘yes’ as long as you have extra large pockets! They may not fit into your jeans pocket, but they will generally fit into a coat pocket.
While they aren’t made for landscapes and large portraits, these snapshot printers are built for mobility, with battery power and easy printing from your smartphone. If it’s photo printing on the go you’re after, these mobile photo printers are the answer.
Whether you need to print snapshots for fun times with friends or for printing professional-looking headshots, here is a selection of some of the best and most popular photo printers around.
Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer – Black
The Canon Selphy is a small, stylish and portable photo printer for quick, beautiful Wi-Fi prints from compatible smart devices, cameras and more.
Enjoy superfast lab-quality photo prints from compatible smart devices – anytime, anywhere. Small, elegant and effortlessly portable, this Wi-Fi photo printer makes it easy for anyone to quickly create and share unique printed images. A wide range of layout and ‘shuffle’ options includes photo booth strips and ID printing. Use Party Shuffle and the Canon PRINT app to create collages that mix images from multiple smartphones. This is one of the best on the market and is backed up by tons of excellent reviews, which is always a good indicator of a product’s quality. Price range: £120-130.
Here are the specs!
– Colour: Black
– Auto Image Optimize
– Simple, quick wireless printing
– Tilting 8.1 cm (3.2″) LCD for easy viewing
– Dimensions: 180.6 x 135.9 x 63.3 mm (with the paper installed)
Canon Selphy CP1000 Compact Photo Printer
Ultra-compact and easy to carry, the Canon Selphy CP1000 produces instant lab quality prints anytime, anyplace. A small, elegant and portable photo printer with a choice of four print finishes and Dual ID printing, Canon have produced a printer that’s easy for anyone to use.
Memories that last
A special coating protects each print against splashes, spills and fading for up to 100 years when stored in an album – not sure how they can say that, but let’s just say, they’ll last a lifetime! You can even apply a choice of 3 semi-gloss finishes to further prevent fingerprints and create a similar feel to traditional lab prints without the need to change any consumables.
The Selphy CP1000 offers low printing costs, with great quality and convenience. Plus you can stay in full control with a defined number of prints from every pack of consumables. Enjoy even lower print costs with the larger media packs.
For quick prints just connect your PictBridge-compatible camera directly to the printer. For greater flexibility you can also print from a range of memory cards or USB flash drives.
ID Photo Print
Whether for business or home use, ID Photo Print with Face Frame Guide lets you quickly and easily create and print ID photos in a wide range of accepted sizes. Dual ID print lets you print 2 different ID sizes on one sheet of paper, while printed cutting guides allow for accurate trimming. Price range: £90-100 – so a really good price for a quality photo printer.
- Lab Quality Photos
- Each 4″x 6″ Photo takes just 47 seconds
- 2.7″ LCD Screen
- 4 Photo finishes to choose from
- Print from a variety of sources
Canon PIXMA G2520 1143280
Multifunctional printing that’s efficient and economical. You can enjoy productive, quality printing that’s economical too, with this dependable high- yield multifunctional MegaTank printer featuring diverse media handling – for pin-sharp documents and vivid photos at home, or in the office.
Most people mention expensive inks when talking about printers, but with the Canon Pixma you can keep on printing while keeping costs down thanks to huge yields of up to 12,000 pages (26% more in Economy mode3) from 2 black ink bottles, or 7,700 pages with a single set of colour bottles.
High quality at speed
Count on quality at speed (9.1 ipm in black / 5 ipm in colour2), with pigment black ink ensuring pin-sharp text and dye colour inks delivering vivid colour photos.
Minimise downtime and meet every deadline with ease, with a user-replaceable maintenance cartridge that ensures dependable, day after day performance. The design has also been considered carefully, and you can refill ink tanks without fuss or effort using handy non-squeeze bottles with unique key type nozzles which ensure each ink bottle can only refill its equivalent tank.
The newly designed ink bottles and filling process make refilling ink tanks easier than ever. Each bottle features its own unique key-type inlet, so it can only ever be inserted in the correct tank. Plus, each tank is clearly colour coded for added simplicity. Once the ink bottle is inserted, the ink tank automatically refills – with no bottle squeezing required.
Experiment with diverse media types and sizes including magnetic photo paper, re-stickable photo paper, or even print your own banners up to 1.2 metres in length.
Price range: £150-160.
- Print, Copy & Scan
- USB Connection
- Starter Inks Included
- 9PPM Mono & 5PPM Colour
Finally…e’ve provided a selection of three excellent photo printers, but obviously there are lots more out there to choose from. It’s a good idea to check out the price of inks and photo paper you’ll need before making your purchase, as it may save you money. Happy searching!