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The 6 Best Photo Printers - Fall 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Photo Printers

Whether you're printing off photos to save in your scrapbook or want to have some glossy prints of your best pictures handy, a good photo printer can make a huge difference when you're saving those important images. While most printers can print images, the best printers for pictures can accurately and vividly reproduce colors while still retaining detail from your original photo. Inkjet printers also tend to be better suited for printing photos, and some inkjets even include special photo cartridges to give you an even better color reproduction.

We've tested over 135 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best photo printers you can buy. For other options, check out our picks for the best home printers, the best inkjet printers, and the best all-in-one printers.


  1. Best Photo Printer

    The best photo printer we've tested is the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300. It's a professional-grade photo printer that produces excellent-quality photos. It has a wide color gamut and excellent color accuracy and produces pictures that look detailed and vibrant with no banding or other artifacts. It takes nearly two minutes for a photo to come out, but this is part of the cost of such high-quality photos. You can connect to the printer via Wi-Fi, USB, or Ethernet, but it doesn't support printing from USB flash drives and SD cards, which might be inconvenient for photographers.

    It has nine cartridges and uses specific photo cartridges that work only on glossy photo paper, so you won't have to worry about depleting the photo ink if you shift to printing documents or reports. That said, the cartridges are only good for about 400 color prints, and the color cartridges are expensive, meaning you'll have to spend a fair amount of money for replacement ink. So, if you're looking for the best printer for printing photos and don't mind the high price tag, this is the one to get.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Photo Printer

    If you only print casually at home and don't need a professional-grade model, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 might be a better choice. It's an all-in-one that uses six ink cartridges and produces amazingly detailed and colorful photos. The difference in print quality between this model and the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 is color accuracy, as the ET-8550 tends to oversaturate the colors to make them appear more vibrant. Printed photos still look visually pleasing, just not as color-accurate.

    As you may have guessed from its name, this is also a supertank model, meaning it has a refillable ink tank instead of cartridges. A full tank yields a large number of prints, and the ink bottles are cheap, so you don't need to worry about high maintenance costs. It's also a great option if you need to print posters as it supports paper sizes up to 13" x 19". It has the usual Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet connectivity, and it can print directly from an SD card.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Photo Printer

    For a more modest mid-range pick, we chose the Epson EcoTank ET-2800. It's another all-in-one supertank model with a high page yield, meaning your maintenance cost will remain low over time. Unlike the picks above, it only uses the usual cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink. It still prints very detailed photos, but as it has a narrower color range, some colors don't come out as well, like bright, saturated tones.

    The scanner produces high-quality scans, which is great for digitizing your old family photos. You still get Wi-Fi and USB connectivity and support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. Unfortunately, it's slow as it takes a minute and a half to print a single 4" x 6" photo.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Photo Printer

    Our best budget pick is the Canon PIXMA TR8620a. It produces high-quality photos that look detailed and vibrant, and it can print many different photo sizes, including 4" x 6", 5" x 7", and 8" x 10". In addition to the usual Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet connectivity, you can print directly from an SD card. It's also compatible with Canon's mobile app, which you can use to print, scan, and perform maintenance tasks. The main downside with this model is that its ink cartridges run out quickly, so you'll need to replace them.

    The cost per print is still low because the cartridges are relatively cheap; it's just inconvenient because it requires more maintenance. You can get XL cartridges that'll last longer, but they still won't match the yield you'd get on a supertank model.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap Photo Printer

    If you need a cheap printer to print the occasional photo, we recommend the Canon PIXMA MG3620. It prints good-quality photos with lots of fine details and decent color accuracy, and it does so fairly quickly, taking only 50 seconds to print a 4" x 6" picture on glossy paper. The main drawback is that it only uses two ink cartridges: one black and one tri-color. These ink cartridges don't last very long, meaning you'll have to replace them often, and since it uses a tri-color cartridge, you have to replace the entire cartridge if only a single color runs out. There are XL cartridges available, but again, it won't yield as many prints as a model with more cartridges or a supertank model. Thankfully, the cartridges are cheap, so your overall maintenance cost won't rise too quickly.

    See our review

  6. Best Portable Photo Printer

    Our pick for the best portable photo printer is the Liene Amber M100. It's a well-built, compact, and lightweight model that's fairly easy to carry around. It's a dye-sublimation printer, so instead of using ink, it heats dye transfer films to create an image. If you're wondering about its photo printing quality, we have great news: it prints amazing-looking photos with very little grain or banding. The downside is that you have to use proprietary paper, and you can only print 4" x 6" photos. Fortunately, you don't have to buy the paper separately as it always comes bundled with the cartridge. As for the cartridge itself, it has enough dye film for about 40 photos.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't have an internal battery, meaning you have to use it plugged in. If you'd prefer a more compact printer with a battery, look at the Canon SELPHY Square QX10. Its smaller size makes it easier to carry around; however, its photo printing quality isn't as good, and its cartridge is only good for 20 prints.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon PIXMA TR7520: The Canon PIXMA TR7520 has great photo printing quality and decent print speed. However, it costs slightly more than the Canon PIXMA TR8620a to print photos. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TR8620: The Canon PIXMA TR8620 is an older version of the Canon PIXMA TR8620a and performs almost identically. It's harder to find because it's discontinued, but you may be able to find it for cheaper. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 23, 2022: Replaced the Canon PIXMA G7020 with the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 because the Epson prints better photos. Replaced the Canon PIXMA TR8620 with the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 because the Epson has a better page yield and prints better photos. Replaced the Canon TS6420a with the Canon PIXMA TR8620a because the TR8620a has better color accuracy and yields more prints. Added the Canon PIXMA MG3620 as the 'Best Cheap' pick.

  2. Aug 25, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations. Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

  3. Jun 29, 2022: Minor structure change. Added Canon PIXMA G7020 as 'Best Supertank Photo Printer'.

  4. May 30, 2022: Shortened the article for readability, and removed the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 and the Brother MFC-J1205W from main picks. Removed all Notable Mentions that were discontinued or irrelevant.

  5. Apr 29, 2022: Replaced Canon SELPHY Square QX10 with Liene Amber M100 because it has better photo printing quality. Replaced Canon PIXMA TR4720 with Canon PIXMA TS6420a because it has better page yield and cost-per-print. Added Canon SELPY Square QX10 and Canon PIXMA TR4720 to Notable Mentions. Removed Canon PIXMA TR150 and Canon PIXMA TR4520 from Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best photo printers for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no printer is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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