Canon PIXMA PRO-200
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
Epson Expression Photo XP-970

The Best Photo Printers Of 2021

These five printers will help your photos and artwork truly stand out
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Alison Barretta

Every home printer has the ability to print photographs, but they’re not without their limitations.

Most home printers simply can’t replicate the high quality of prints from professional photo services. Plus, typical home printers are limited in the range and volume of media they can support—you understand this all too well if you’ve ever had to rely on a basic office printer to piece together a banner for a party.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer, an Etsy artist, or someone who likes to send custom holiday cards to friends and family, consider purchasing a photo printer that will do your snapshots and designs justice. After evaluating more than a dozen models, we’ve selected the best photo printers you can buy right now based on print quality, overall cost, features, and customer reviews. 

5 Things to Know About Photo Printers Before Making a Purchase:

  1. Cost: Besides the price of the printer itself, also consider the cost of replacement cartridges and photo paper—and how often you’ll need to replenish those resources. 
  2. Ink quality: Dye-based inks are inexpensive and yield more vibrant colors; pigment-based inks last longer and are better at producing black and white images. 
  3. Connectivity: Most photo printers include a variety of connectivity options, from hard-wired USB and Ethernet to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile app-based printing. 
  4. Functionality: A dedicated photo printer may yield sharper pictures, but all-in-one home printers are convenient—and several of them are capable of delivering exceptional photos, too.
  5. Size: Desktop printers can provide a range of print sizes for portraits, banners, and more. However, if you simply want to print pictures from your smartphone for posterity, a mobile printer might be a better option. 

Our pick for the best photo printer overall is the Canon PIXMA PRO-200, which produces stellar photographs that are on par with professional-grade printers but at a fraction of the cost. See below for the rest of our choices, which include a portable smartphone printer and an all-in-one home printer that excels at replicating images with incredible color accuracy.

If you find this helpful, you might also want to check out the Best Scanners, Best Printers for Your Home, Best Laser Printers, Best All-in-One Printers and the Best Digital Cameras.

Our Top Picks

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Top Pick
Top Pick
Canon PIXMA PRO-200
Best Photo Printer Overall

Canon PIXMA PRO-200

Manufacturer :

  Canon

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Supports Wireless PictBridge
  • Produces smooth, vivid glossy prints
  • Quality comparable to pricier pro-level printers

Cons

  • Setup is easy but time-consuming
  • Print times are slower than average
  • Required cartridges don’t hold much ink

Product Snapshot

The Canon PIXMA PRO-200 is the best photo printer for photographers and graphic designers of all experience levels seeking a pro-level photo printer that will do their work justice. It’s not cheap, but the PIXMA Pro-200 is a more affordable option than other highly-rated professional photo printers of comparable quality that cost nearly twice as much. 

This Canon photo printer uses eight dye-based ink cartridges to produce anything from 3.5-inch square photos to borderless banners up to 39 inches long. It can accommodate a variety of media including matte art paper, CDs and DVDs, and even stickers for nail art designs. The PIXMA PRO-200 truly stands out for its ability to deliver smooth, vivid glossy prints that dry quickly after they’re printed.

A 3-inch color LCD will guide you through setup and routine maintenance thereafter. It’ll also display ink levels, a useful feature given the meagre 0.4-ounce capacity of the ChromaLife100+ cartridges. If you plan to use the PIXMA PRO-200 regularly, you’ll feel the pinch from high operating costs and slower-than-average print times—but you may overlook those caveats when you see how stunning your photos and artwork look.

Specs

Number of Ink Cartridges
8
Wired Connectivity
USB
Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Apple AirPrint
Canon PRINT
Wireless PictBridge
Memory Card Slot
Not Applicable
Max Print Size
13 inches x
39 inches
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
25.2 inches x
33 inches x
16.4 inches

Where to Buy

Best Value
Best Value
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
Best Budget Photo Printer

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000

Manufacturer :

  Epson

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Has a small footprint
  • Support for Amazon Alexa voice control
  • High quality prints at an affordable price

Cons

  • Slow print speed
  • Thicker media are prone to jamming
  • Expensive to maintain with regular use

Product Snapshot

The Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is an excellent alternative to the pricier Canon PIXMA PRO-200. It’s a wide-format photo printer that’ll satisfy both budding and veteran photographers who want an affordable way to print professional-level pictures from their home or office.

It uses six Epson Claria HD photo ink cartridges, which include red and grey in addition to the standard CMYK for a broader color gamut and more detail in grayscale images. The XP-15000 is capable of producing borderless prints from 4×6 inches to 13×19 inches. Its rear 50-sheet tray accommodates both glossy and matte paper as well as cardstock, envelopes, and sticker sheets. You can operate the Epson XP-15000 through its 2.4-inch color LCD, a compatible iOS or Android device, or with your voice via Amazon Alexa.

Although it’s a wide-format printer, the Epson XP-15000 has a small footprint, so finding space for it on your desk or workstation shouldn’t be an issue. While you’ll be saving plenty of money up front compared to a pro-grade printer, overall maintenance costs will add up quickly if you intend to use it often, due to the high price of Epson’s Claria HD ink cartridges.

Specs

Number of Ink Cartridges
6
Wired Connectivity
USB
Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Epson Connect
Apple AirPrint
Google Cloud Print
Memory Card Slot
Not Applicable
Max Print Size
13 inches x
19 inches
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
18.7 inches x
30.9 inches x
16.2 inches

Where to Buy

Best All-in-One Photo Printer

Epson Expression Photo XP-970

Manufacturer :

  Epson
Epson

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Includes a memory card slot
  • Excellent photo quality for a home printer
  • Has an intuitive 4.3-inch color touchscreen

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Claria HD ink cartridges are pricey
  • Print quality for documents could be better

Product Snapshot

The Epson Expression Photo XP-970 is geared toward casual photographers who want to share their snapshots beyond social media but also need a reliable printer/scanner/copier combo for work or school. 

Like the single-function Epson XP-15000, the all-in-one Epson XP-970 uses six Claria HD ink cartridges for crisp photos with vibrant colors. It lets you produce anything from 4×6-inch glossy photos to 11×7-inch borderless images you can frame and hang in your office or living room. You can print from a smartphone, tablet, or camera using the Epson XP-970’s various wired or wireless connections. There’s also a memory card slot that supports a number of formats.

The Epson XP-970 may not be a dedicated photo printer, but this all-in-one home printer excels at producing gorgeous pictures with incredible color accuracy. Although there are other models that print and copy documents better, they don’t have the superb photo capabilities of the Epson XP-970.

Specs

Number of Ink Cartridges
6
Wired Connectivity
USB
Ethernet
PictBridge
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Epson iPrint
Apple AirPrint
Google Cloud Print
Memory Card Slot
SD / SDHC / SDXC, MS Duo, CF
Max Print Size
11 inches x
7 inches
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
18.9 inches x
26.3 inches x
11.6 inches

Where to Buy

Best Smartphone Photo Printer

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link

Manufacturer :

  Fujifilm

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Supports up to five devices at once
  • Compact enough to bring anywhere

Cons

  • Only prints in one (small) size
  • Instant film packs can be costly
  • Prints have a nostalgic “glow” that some may not like

Product Snapshot

The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link will appeal to teenagers who want another way to share their favorite photos and older folks who are nostalgic for instant cameras. This lightweight photo printer turns smartphone photos into wallet-sized physical prints in only 12 seconds. (Waiting for the photo to develop takes about 10 minutes.)

Setup is easy—just connect the Instax Mini Link to a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth and download the companion app from the App Store or Google Play. In addition to standard photo printing, there’s also a Fun Mode that allows you to connect up to five phones so you and your friends can create collages, add text or doodles, and play various mini games. 

At under five inches, the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link is small enough to slip into a pocket or purse so you can easily bring it anywhere. Instead of zero-ink (zink), which is common among smartphone printers, the Instax Mini Link uses instant film. This yields higher-quality photos, but unless you find a deal or buy in bulk, purchasing Instax instant film can be costly.

Specs

Number of Ink Cartridges
Not Applicable (uses instant film)
Wired Connectivity
USB
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth
Memory Card Slot
Not Applicable
Max Print Size
2.4 inches x
1.8 inches
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
3.5 inches ×
1.3 inches ×
4.9 inches

Where to Buy

Splurge
Splurge
Epson SureColor P900
Best Wide-Format Photo Printer

Epson SureColor P900

Manufacturer :

  Epson

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Print range is almost 11 feet long
  • Has a 4.3-inch customizable touchscreen
  • Separate slots for matte and photo black inks

Cons

  • Bulk loading paper can be a hassle
  • Roll feeder attachment not included
  • Printing from Epson app only for iOS

Product Snapshot

The Epson SureColor P900 is made for professional photographers and graphic designers who need a sophisticated machine that can handle banners and extra-large prints. Its maximum print range is 17 inches wide by 129 inches long, or nearly 11 feet in length. 

It uses ten Epson UltraChrome PRO10 pigment ink cartridges, which include separate slots for matte black and photo black so you won’t have to keep swapping between cartridges. You can monitor print status and make adjustments via the P900’s 4.3-inch customizable touch screen—tasks for which you’d otherwise need a desktop or laptop. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to print images right from your iOS device using the Epson Print Layout app. 

The premium Epson SureColor 900 comes at a handsome cost up front—and should you want to use a roll of paper, the optional roll attachment doesn’t come cheap. The UltraChrome PRO10 ink cartridges are also quite expensive, but each cartridge contains nearly a full ounce of ink, which is quite generous compared to the other options on this list.

Specs

Number of Ink Cartridges
10
Wired Connectivity
USB
Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Apple AirPrint
Google Cloud Print
Epson Print Layout (iOS)
Memory Card Slot
Not Applicable
Max Print Size
17 inches x
129 inches
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
4.2 inches x
35.6 inches x
20.5 inches

Where to Buy

Compare

Best Photo Printer Overall
Best Budget Photo Printer
Best All-in-One Photo Printer
Best Smartphone Photo Printer
Best Wide-Format Photo Printer
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
  • Supports Wireless PictBridge
  • Produces smooth, vivid glossy prints
  • Quality comparable to pricier pro-level printers
  • Has a small footprint
  • Support for Amazon Alexa voice control
  • High quality prints at an affordable price
  • Includes a memory card slot
  • Excellent photo quality for a home printer
  • Has an intuitive 4.3-inch color touchscreen
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Supports up to five devices at once
  • Compact enough to bring anywhere
  • Print range is almost 11 feet long
  • Has a 4.3-inch customizable touchscreen
  • Separate slots for matte and photo black inks
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
  • Setup is easy but time-consuming
  • Print times are slower than average
  • Required cartridges don’t hold much ink
  • Slow print speed
  • Thicker media are prone to jamming
  • Expensive to maintain with regular use
  • Noisy
  • Claria HD ink cartridges are pricey
  • Print quality for documents could be better
  • Only prints in one (small) size
  • Instant film packs can be costly
  • Prints have a nostalgic “glow” that some may not like
  • Bulk loading paper can be a hassle
  • Roll feeder attachment not included
  • Printing from Epson app only for iOS
Number of Ink Cartridges
Number of Ink Cartridges
Number of Ink Cartridges
Number of Ink Cartridges
Number of Ink Cartridges
Number of Ink Cartridges
8
6
6
Not Applicable (uses instant film)
10
Wired Connectivity
Wired Connectivity
Wired Connectivity
Wired Connectivity
Wired Connectivity
Wired Connectivity
USB
Ethernet
USB
Ethernet
USB
Ethernet
PictBridge
USB
USB
Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Apple AirPrint
Canon PRINT
Wireless PictBridge
Wi-Fi
Epson Connect
Apple AirPrint
Google Cloud Print
Wi-Fi
Epson iPrint
Apple AirPrint
Google Cloud Print
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
Apple AirPrint
Google Cloud Print
Epson Print Layout (iOS)
Memory Card Slot
Memory Card Slot
Memory Card Slot
Memory Card Slot
Memory Card Slot
Memory Card Slot
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
SD / SDHC / SDXC, MS Duo, CF
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Max Print Size
Max Print Size
Max Print Size
Max Print Size
Max Print Size
Max Print Size
13 inches x
39 inches
13 inches x
19 inches
11 inches x
7 inches
2.4 inches x
1.8 inches
17 inches x
129 inches
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
Printer Dimensions (In-Use)
25.2 inches x
33 inches x
16.4 inches
18.7 inches x
30.9 inches x
16.2 inches
18.9 inches x
26.3 inches x
11.6 inches
3.5 inches ×
1.3 inches ×
4.9 inches
4.2 inches x
35.6 inches x
20.5 inches

FAQ

Can photo printers print regular documents?

Yes. A dedicated photo printer can print documents, but keep in mind that inkjet printers do tend to be better at rendering text. 

Is it cheaper to print photos at home?

It depends. Printing photos at home may not always be a more economical solution than printing photos at a store or through an online service. However, when you print photos from home you have much more control over output and quality—and you’ll get your prints much faster, too.

Which paper is best for photo printing?

That depends on the subject and occasion. There are several types of photo paper and each has its advantages. For instance, glossy paper works well for landscapes with bold colors, while matte paper suits large portraits.