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The 10 Best Photo Printers - June 2017

Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every photo printer on the market in the US to determine our top 10 list.
In total we compared over 51 photo printers, 663 reviews and 351 prices. Last updated 20 June 2017.

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#2 in Photo Printers
CP1200

Canon CP1200

computershopper.com - Editor's ChoicePC Mag - Editor's Choicealtomdata.dk - Recommended
13 Reviews + 3 Awards
Jan 2016
Release Date
  • $79.99
    Save $10.00 (11%)
    View Details
  • More shops: 10
  • $89.99 Adorama
  • $109.99 Target
#3 in Photo Printers
CP910

Canon CP910

Trusted Reviews - Recommended
6 Reviews + 1 Award
Jan 2014
Release Date
#4 in Photo Printers
iP110

Canon iP110

18 Reviews
Jun 2016
Release Date
#5 in Photo Printers
Sprocket

HP Sprocket

20 Reviews
May 2017
Release Date
#6 in Photo Printers
SP-1

Fujifilm SP‑1

Ephotozine - Recommended01net.com - 4 Star
23 Reviews + 2 Awards
Sep 2015
Release Date
  • $119.99
    Save $152.83 (56%)
    View Details
  • More shops: 9
  • $173.75 Overstock
#7 in Photo Printers
ZIP

Polaroid ZIP

mashable.com - Mashable Choice
97 Reviews + 1 Award
Feb 2017
Release Date
#8 in Photo Printers
Pixma Pro-1

Canon Pixma Pro‑1

digitalartsonline.co.uk - Editor's Choicedruckerchannel.de - Recommended for Glossy PaperDP Review - Goldphotoreview.com.au - Editor's Choice
40 Reviews + 7 Awards
Jul 2013
Release Date
  • $2,549.99
    View Details
#9 in Photo Printers
ZINK

Polaroid ZINK

May 2015
Release Date
#11 in Photo Printers
Selphy CP820

Canon Selphy CP820

Jan 2014
Release Date
  • $135.00
    View Details
#13 in Photo Printers
Instax Share SP-2

Fujifilm Instax Share SP‑2

pcper.com - Gold
3 Reviews + 1 Award
Aug 2016
Release Date

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Photo Printer Buying Guide

Photo printers are a subsection of standard printers, specifically designed for printing photos taken from digital cameras. While most devices can still be used to print standard black & white documents, their real strength lies in their ability to print high-quality photos, posters and prints, with a colour depth and resolution far higher than most inkjet or laser printer. In this guide we will outline the main considerations when choosing a photo printer, allowing you to decide on the best model for your needs.

Cost

First up, cost. Photo printers are specialist peripherals, and the inks and components used are far higher quality than most other printers. Because of this, photo printers are generally far more expensive than a comparable inkjet or laser printer. Therefore in order to get the best value for money from a photo printer, you should be using it frequently specifically to print photos. Otherwise, you may gain more value from buying a high-quality inkjet or colour laser jet printer (which can still print photos, just not at such a high resolution), and using the services of a copy shop or print kiosk if you want to print especially high-quality photos.

Resolution & Colour Depth

Photo printers are largely defined by the resolution and colour depth they are able to print at. Resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi) and governs how detailed the resulting print is, especially when photos are blown up to larger sizes than they were originally taken at. If the printer has a low supported resolution, then the prints may look blurry or out of focus, whereas extremely high resolution photos (for instance, those with a DPI of 3,000 and above) will continue to look sharp and full of detail even when blown up to poster-sized prints.

Colour depth is a measure of the colours the printer can produce - a higher colour depth means a greater visual fidelity between the print and the original photo.

With both of these attributes, higher values lead to a better overall print output. However they also usually come with increased price, so you should balance the quality you design from your prints against your budget. Most of our photo printers have a detailed breakdown of these attributes, allowing you to choose more intelligently.

Paper Sizes

The other defining factor of a photo printer is the supported print size. Some photo printers are the size of standard inkjet or laser printers, and can print up to A4 size. Others are much smaller, and can only print dedicated photo sizes (e.g - 4 x 6, 5 x 7 or 10 x 4 inches). These ‘small format’ photo printers are generally cheaper and more portable, but are incapable of printing large photos.

On the other end of the scale, some photo printers are much larger, and come with the ability to print at A3 scale or even larger. These printers usually come equipped with a very high resolution & graphical fidelity… and a price tag to match. These models will most likely only be of interest to professional photographers or serious hobbyists.

Connectivity

While most photo printers work via a USB connection with your computer, several more advanced models have increased connectivity options. These can include:

Direct printing capability: Printers with this option can connect directly to digital cameras, allowing you to print photos straight from camera to printer, bypassing the need for a computer. This is extremely useful with small-format portable photo printers, since it means you can take photos then immediately print them out without having to upload the photos first.

Integrated card reader: Rather than a direct connection, some models of photo printer allow you to insert an SD card and print directly from there. This can save a substantial amount of time downloading and transferring print data, since the printer will have immediate access to all the photos on the SD card

Network capabilities: Though not common, some newer models of printer have wireless or bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to print photos without the need for a physical connection, making printing easier and more efficient.

Photo Printer Retailers, Prices and Features

Photo Printer Prices

The price range of photo printers is from $26 to $600 and in total we found prices for 18 photo printers. On average, a new photo printer costs $149 and 80% of photo printers are priced between $38 and $200. The Fujifilm SP-1 is the cheapest photo printer at only $27, and Canon iP8750 is the most expensive at $600.

Photo Printer Brands - Price Range

The highest average photo printer price out of all brands is Canon photo printers with an average price of $215. Canon photo printers range in price from $38 to $600.

Epson photo printers start at $200 and the most expensive Epson photo printer costs $200. The average price of Epson photo printers is $200 which is the second highest average price of all photo printer brands.

The average price of Kodak photo printers is $135 which is the third highest average price of all photo printer brands. Kodak photo printers range in price from $135 to $135.

Photo Printer Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 142 expert reviews and 88 user reviews for photo printers and used this information to determine the average rating for each brand of photo printer. The top rated photo printer brand is Polaroid with an average rating of 86%. The second best brand is Epson with 84% and the third best brand is Canon with 80%.

Biggest Photo Printer Retailers

The biggest photo printer retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 19 current photo printer offers from eBay. The second biggest photo printer retailer is Adorama with 5 offers. That means eBay is over 3 times bigger than Adorama when it comes to photo printers. Curacao is the third biggest retailer with 4 current offers.

When Are Most New Photo Printers Released?

We couldn't see any obvious trend in the release dates for new photo printers over the last 3 years. The biggest month last year for new photo printer releases was December, with five new photo printers released that month. May was the biggest month in 2015 for new photo printers, with four new photo printers released that month. In 2014 most new photo printers were released in January, with seven new photo printers released that month.

How Fast Do Photo Printer Prices Drop After Release?

New photo printers drop in price by an average of 52% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. That means a saving of $78 on a typical $149 new photo printer if you wait 6 months before buying.

Maximum Resolutions

300 x 300 DPI is the most popular maximum resolution amongst new photo printers. We found 7 photo printers that are photo printers that have a Maximum resolution of 300 x 300 DPI. The second most frequently found maximum resolution amongst new photo printers is 9600 x 2400 DPI. We found 5 photo printers that are photo printers that have a Maximum resolution of 9600 x 2400 DPI.

Biggest Photo Printer Retailers

The biggest photo printer retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 19 current photo printer offers from eBay. The second biggest photo printer retailer is Adorama with 5 offers. That means eBay is over 3 times bigger than Adorama when it comes to photo printers. Curacao is the third biggest retailer with 4 current offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Photo Printers?

With the cheapest price on 17 photo printers, eBay is most frequently the cheapest photo printer retailer.

Proportion of Photo Printers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

The retailer that most frequently offered the cheapest price on photo printers is eBay and offers the cheapest price on 89.5% of its photo printers.

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