Best Printers for Photographers

Updated: Nov 13, 2023 8:21 AM
best printer for photographers featured image that shows the top three best printer models

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What are the features that make a high performing printer for photographers? Finding the best printer for photographers starts with an outstanding balance of print quality, speed, and versatility. A dedicated photo printer guarantees superb output quality and is also fast when you need it, without raising the cost per print. Look for an all-in-one inkjet printer that provides the ultimate flexibility in printing choices. A photo printer with refillable ink tanks also offers an automatic paper feeder to get the most vibrant prints possible. Although price is essential, look for an affordable printer for photos with the necessary features needed to produce excellent print quality without making a dent in your budget.

A close second is the printing technology used, especially how it affects the quality of your prints. Look for a printer that uses pigment inks instead of dye-based inks for exceptional broad color saturation and photo-realistic color documents. You want a printer that uses pigment inks for images that last. Also, identify a photo printer with Hi-speed USB ports or Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can easily print your digital image and documents from your phone or tablet. You want a dynamic range printer that’s convenient to use anytime, anywhere. Keep reading our best printer for photographers buying guide to learn more.

Top Printers for Photographers

 #1  HP Sprocket Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’d like a full suite of editing tools included, this model is the perfect fit because of the complementary app. It also doesn’t require the usage of expensive toner and is smartphone-enabled for printing.

  • Smartphone-enabled printing
  • No expensive toner required
  • Free editing tools on app
  • Might overheat sometimes

If your job as a photographer requires you to print photos on demand, this is an excellent option to quickly get pictures to your clients. You’ll be able to deliver 2” x 3” instant samples of the work that you’ve done, which is always a nice touch that clients appreciate. However, keeping this printer out of the sun and away from heat sources is essential. It has trouble sometimes with overheating, which could be a dealbreaker for some people.

This option also uses Zink Zero Ink technology. That means you won’t have to worry about buying expensive toner for it to work or replacing the ribbons. It uses glossy photo paper with a sticky back, allowing you to stick it anywhere you’d like without issue. This photo paper has all the colors necessary embedded, providing excellent resistance to smudges.

 #2  Canon SELPHY CP1300 Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll be able to create high-quality pictures with professional resolution since this printer provides 300 dpi. It is also a Wi-Fi-enabled model, allowing you to easily create bright imagery from your phone.

  • Wi-Fi enabled design
  • Creates bright pictures
  • Has 300 dpi resolution
  • Might be too small

You’ll be able to get precious memories printed quickly with this model. It only takes around 47 seconds to get full-sized imagery in your hands. For smaller imagery, it takes only 39 seconds. It does this in 300 dpi resolution, making it a professional option that produces high-quality, clear imagery. However, this highly compact option isn’t meant to create large photos. Because of this, you might want to go with a less compact option for bigger prints.

The images come out as 4” x 6”, making them a great size to act as decoration around the house or anywhere else where a compact photo will make a significant impact. You can choose whether to use a border or not, which gives you more precise control over your printing experience. It’s a wireless option with Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can easily use your smartphone or other devices to send images to print quickly.

 #3  Polaroid Originals Lab Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll have access to a complimentary app where you can professionally edit your photography before printing. This system also uses augmented reality to bring your pictures to life, along with a 3-element lens system.

  • Complimentary app included
  • Uses augmented reality
  • 3-element lens system
  • The film is not included

This printer uses a 3-element lens system. This means it’s able to convert digital photos into analog, providing better control over the images you print. This is an excellent option for photographers who want to experiment with different photography styles. However, you will need to know that no film is included in your purchase. The brand requires you to purchase this necessary ingredient to the process separate from the printer.

There is also an app included where you can make collages. This makes using your photos as decoration so much easier. Beyond this, the app also allows you to add augmented reality to your photos. This brings them to life and creates an irreplaceable experience for viewers. It is also a wireless option that will allow you to print directly through the app using your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.

 #4  Epson PictureMate PM-400 Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll love this option’s lightweight, making moving it from room to room super easy. Since it’s a larger printer, it can produce larger imagery than competing models. It’s also a wire-free solution.

  • Produces large imagery
  • Incredibly lightweight design
  • Total wireless solution
  • Can only use branded ink catridges

You’ll be able to print gorgeous photos with no border when you choose this model. It can print either 4” x 6” or 5” x 7”, depending on your personal preference. This model also has a highly compact, lightweight design that makes moving it from place to place super easy. That’s great for those who travel for photography. Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to use branded ink cartridges with this model. This means you can’t go off-brand to save on your budget.

It’s a wireless solution. This means that you’re able to print from multiple devices. Whether you have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you’ll have complete control over how your photos print and from where. This is a fantastic option for those that like to edit their photos before printing. Depending on factors like system configuration and page complexity, it’ll print photos in as little as 36 seconds.

 #5  Fujifilm Instax Mini Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: Connecting multiple devices with this model is a breeze. It also features a highly portable design so you can take it anywhere you need. Beyond this, it’s a quick option that will get your imagery printed in a snap.

  • Extremely quick option
  • Highly portable design
  • Connects to multiple devices
  • Might be too small

If you travel frequently, this portable option will fit your lifestyle perfectly. It’s a super-compact model that can go anywhere with you, easily fitting into a backpack or even luggage. It’s only 1.17 pounds and is 6.26 x 4.65 x 4.45 inches in size. However, being such a compact option does have a significant drawback. It won’t print large photos, which might be something that you require of your printer.

It has Bluetooth connectivity so you can print from any device of your preference. The included app will amaze you with many ways to customize your photography before printing. There are 30 frames to choose from, along with the ability to create collages and even split print photos. You can connect up to five different phones to this printer so you can share the love with family and friends.

 #6  Kodak Mini 2 Retro Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: This option offers an excellent budget choice when you begin to look at the overall cost of printing at home. It also supports borderless imagery and has a border, giving you precise control over the outcome of your image.

  • Supports borderless imagery
  • Has Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Highly affordable printing
  • Images get stuck in the roller

If you want budget photography printed out quickly, this is a great option to go with. It’s an affordable option that is small enough to take anywhere with you. This option uses 4Pass technology to ensure that your photos are bright, beautiful, and high-quality. However, you’ll want to watch out for imagery getting stuck in the roller. This can cause a ton of problems and will ruin the picture that you’re trying to print.

All photos printed with this model are fingerprint-proof and water-resistant. This allows you to rest easy, knowing your beautiful images won’t be easily ruined by handling or traveling. Every photo has layers of ribbon used in the laminating process. There are two different types of photos supported by this printer. You can choose a border or go entirely borderless. This allows for precise control over the pictures you print.

Beginner Guide to Best Printer for Photographers

What are the Best Printers for Photographers?

In essence, the best printers for photographers are technologically advanced, feature-rich, professional photo printers that produce high-quality prints every time. These printers are designed to control your prints’ quality, printing speeds, and versatility. If you need a top rated Cricut printer if you own a Cricut cutting machine.

The best printers for photographers are designed with high-end features such as professional photo inks, Hi-speed USB ports, and Wi-Fi connectivity that ensures you can easily access all your documents and images from any device. They also use cutting-edge printing technology, such as pigment inks, to give you high-quality photos that last a lifetime. However, you can also try using a high performing printer with cheap ink, which will give you full printing functionality depending on your printer model or type.

Whether you are printing on glossy paper or fine art paper, an all-in-one printer that gives you excellent image quality is the best choice. The best printer for photographers is also fast, with speeds of up to 14 inches per second. And they come equipped with an automatic feeder, paper trays, and a scanner so you can print or scan your documents as needed.

They come in various sizes depending on your needs. Some are compact size enough to fit your desk, while others can produce graphics-grade printouts on large-format printing materials. No matter what type of printer you choose, look for one that gives you the ultimate photographic print results and delivers them on time.

Printers for Photographers vs. Standard Printers for Photographs

Printers for photographers offer some diverse distinctions from standard printers for photographs.

They’re generally more expensive than standard inkjet printers and provide maximum-size prints at a higher resolution than the average printer. The best printers for photographers have a higher maximum dpi rating, which measures how many dots per inch can be printed onto paper.

To make photos look their best, the best printers for photographers use a combination of color inks and photo paper. They also produce sharper borderless photos, which makes them stand out from standard printers for photographs. The best pro photo printer, such as the Canon Pixma, guarantees high-scale print resolution and excellent color accuracy on par with professional inkjet printers.

They feature a memory card slot and print directly from an attached camera or digital device or through a direct Wi-Fi connection. Also, a top photo printer for photographers is generally more compact and weighs less. This makes it a portable photo printer ideal for taking along on assignments or traveling.

While advanced photo printers can be pretty expensive, they give you the best results and last for years to come. The best pro photo printer has a higher purchase price than the average inkjet printer. Still, it is generally more affordable than a commercial laser printer as it saves on overall running costs.

In most cases, standard photo printers are perfect for printing high-quality images at home. However, they do not offer the same consistency and low running costs as commercial photo printers for photographers, providing high-quality professional prints.

How Printers for Photographers Work

Professional photo printing is a broad subject, as different technologies allow you to print photos from various sources. The most common type is the inkjet printer, which uses tiny drops of ink and a heating element to coat a sheet of paper. Inkjet printers allow you to print photos by either loading special-purpose coated papers or using plain adhesive-backed paper as a substitute.

The other type of technology is a laser printer. This one uses a high-frequency beam of light to harden chemicals onto a sheet of paper to reproduce an image. However, for excellent quality prints, a professional photographer would prefer to use inkjet technology.

Printers that use pigment-based inks and photo paper produce rich, vibrant images with great detail and color accuracy. They also allow you to print larger-sized photos on a bigger variety of different media. As a professional photographer, you should use the best printer for photographers that yields top-quality prints while utilizing different media types and offers versatility. Although dye sublimation printing is faster than laser and inkjet printing, its output quality isn’t as good.

Typically, inkjet printers that use long-lasting pigment inks have a wide range of printable media. They can bring out the actual colors and details in digital images on glossy, matte-coated, gloss-coated, or metalized photo media and on various paper types. Also, inkjet printers can use different ink types to print on multiple specialty media, including Kodak Endura professional photo paper and Canon’s exclusive Luster paper.

You can print a photo directly from your digital camera or smartphone using a direct Wi-Fi connection, USB connection, or Ethernet connectivity. You must connect the device to your Wi-Fi network, attach the USB or Ethernet cable, and select the photo you want to print. Some printers support AirPrint, which allows you to wirelessly print photos or documents from an iPhone.

Why Should You Buy a New Printer for Photographer

Do you need a new printer for your professional photography? If you are looking to advance your photography skills or start your own photography business, you will need additional hardware to print your images. Printers for photographers can be pretty expensive, but they are great investments that will last a lifetime. They offer greater consistency and lower running costs than standard printers (like HP printers), which is ideal for professional photographers.

With advanced technology such as that in wireless printers, it’s easy to print your digital images without the need for a computer. You can also save time by printing multiple photos of different print sizes at once and sharing them with others.

Is the Best Printer for Photographers Worth Buying?

  • Features advanced photo printing technology: Photographers require a printer to consistently handle the challenges of producing quality images. The best printer for photographers should use inkjet technology with advanced features like a high-resolution print head, precision printing technology, and advanced color management.
  • Performs well with different media types: Photographers often have to handle different kinds of media, including inkjet photo paper in different weights. The best printer for photographers should have the ability to handle a wide variety of media types.
  • Offers a variety of print sizes: Photographers use different print sizes regularly. The best printer for photographers should allow you to print high-quality images in different sizes with a maximum print size of up to 12,000×18,000. A3 size is standard for artists and photographers alike.
  • Improved image quality: The best printer for professional photographers produces prints with high-density, high-quality color, and accurate details. You should control the level of detail in your images to produce a more professional and archival-quality print.
  • Higher Print Speed: Photographers regularly handle different projects in the studio. You should print your images quickly, using the fastest available printer for photographers. Usually, these printers will take high-demand printing jobs quicker than non-professional printers.
  • Accurate color reproduction: While color reproduction is essential in any print job, it’s even more important for professional photographers. The best printer for photographers should allow you to choose how much color information you want to capture in your images.
  • Easy-to-use interface: Photographers who regularly handle large print jobs should operate their printers with ease. A good interface should allow you to add media type, set up print jobs, and handle other settings easily. The best printer for photographers also provides intuitive tools that help you manage your printing needs quickly and efficiently.

Why A Printer for Photographers May Not Be for You

  • High initial costs: The initial cost of acquiring a new printer for photographers will be significantly higher than the costs of a standard copy machine. This is especially true because of the advanced features that most of these printers are equipped with.
  • Heavyweight: The best printer for photographers may weigh a lot, making them difficult to transport. This means you can’t move the unit from your studio to your home or another location.
  • High power consumption: The best printer for photographers tends to consume more power than other printers, which can cause issues if you don’t have a reliable power source near the printer.
  • Noise Production: Some printers for photographers are louder than standard office copy machines. This can make them less convenient to use if you’re trying to print a series of images in a quiet environment.

How Long Will a Printer for Photographers Last?

The standard lifespan of printers is about 3-5 years. However, this metric is dependent on numerous factors, including the type of printer you use and how often you use your unit.

For photographers, large printers tend to last longer than smaller units because they have more durable components. These printers also use more expensive materials, resulting in a more reliable machine. However, this type of unit tends to be heavier and often more costly than smaller machines.

Professional photographers who regularly use their printers will have the best success in getting high-quality prints that can last up to 100 years. The more you use your machine, the more likely it is to function correctly for years to come. If an amateur uses a printer, it’s more likely that problems will occur.

That said, the part that is most susceptible to damage is the print head which is normally replaceable. The built-in scanners are also vulnerable to wear and other components like the drum, belt, and others.

For your printer to last longer, you should regularly perform maintenance tasks, including cleaning the unit and replacing worn or damaged parts.

How to Choose the Best Printer for Photographers

There are crucial factors to keep in mind when buying a printer for photographers. The ability of the machine to handle high-quality images, provide accurate colors, and have low running costs are just a few of the things you should consider. You should also consider factors such as the size of the printer, power consumption, and noise when choosing the unit. Keep reading to learn more about these and how to decide on your next printer for photographers.

1. What are My Photography Needs?

The most important thing is to understand why you need a printer. If you are only going to print family photos and small events, then an office-type printer is sufficient. However, if you plan to print large images with tight deadlines, you need a more professional tool.

2. How Much Space do I have?

A smaller printer for photographers will likely be more convenient if you have limited space. Some printers are designed to work in small spaces, including offices and homes. These are known as small printers or compact printers. However, larger printers can deliver higher volumes of high-quality images if you have lots of room in your home or studio.

3. What Type of Printing Technology Do I Need?

There are two different types of printers for photographers, including dye sublimation and pigment systems. The main difference between these is the material that is used in the printing process. Dye-sublimation printers use dyes to transfer color onto photos, while pigment systems use pigmented ink for darker colors. Pigment systems provide more accurate images with deeper, richer colors. Moreover, if you want to know how to print quality photos at home, then you’ll want to start checkout inkjet printers.

4. What are My Budget Constraints?

Although printers for photographers vary in price, many models can fit within your budget. Consider shopping online if you’re looking for a high-quality printer at a reasonable price. In addition to finding a good deal on your printer, you may also have access to free shipping and applicable discounts.

5. Does the Printer Have Additional Features?

Many printers for photographers provide additional features that make printing easier. These may include memory cards and built-in scanners, which are useful if you plan to print images from a memory card or camera. Additional features may include wireless capabilities, making it easy to print photos without cables.

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