The 10 Best Photo Printers to Buy in 2018

Cherish your pictures forever with these top photo printers

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The List

Best Overall: Canon Pixma Pro-100 at Amazon, "printing photos that will last up to 100 years."

Best All-in-One: HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Printer at Amazon, "providing professional quality at a modest price."

Best Entry Level: Epson PictureMate PM-400 at Amazon, "featuring Wi-Fi connectivity for printing directly from phones or tablets."

Best Budget: HP Envy 4520 at Amazon, "a worthy investment if you want just the bare bones of photo printing."

Best for Portability: Kodak Mini 2HD, "prints directly from an iPhone or Android smartphone."

Best Wide Format: Canon iP8720 Wireless Printer at Amazon, "printing photos up to 13 x 19 inches in vivid detail."

Best Design: Lifeprint Portable Photo and Video Printer, "as an inkless printer, the Lifeprint utilizes “ZINK” (zero ink) technology."

Best Mini: Canon Selphy CP1200 at Amazon, "print images simply by tapping a button on your smartphone."

Best for Photo Professionals: Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 at Amazon, "delivering the exceptional print quality desired by photo professionals."

Best for Square Format: Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Printer (Black) w/ SQ10 Film at Walmart, "printing square images up to 2.4 inches that are reminiscent of old Polaroids but with better quality."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Canon Pixma Pro-100

Canon Pixma Pro-100
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.9

When it comes to photo printers, the last thing you want to sacrifice is quality for budget. Canon’s Pixma Pro-100 might have some first-time buyers questioning the expenditure, but you get what you pay for with this printer. All photo printer brands like to claim fast printer speeds and great color prints, but Canon backs it up with room to spare. One notable difference between photo printers at lower price points is the use of dye inks over pigment inkjet, which won’t stand up as well to the test of time. Before you raise another eyebrow, rest assured that under proper storage conditions, Canon claims photos from the Pro-100 will last up to 100 years. Of course, to make sure you get the best image possible, be sure to use the best resolution for printing photos in addition to a quality printer.

Just three buttons decorate the front of the well-designed silver and gray casing: power, cancel/resume, and WiFi. The Pro-100 offers an 8-color ink system that can handle prints up to 13”x19” inches and the main paper tray can handle up to 120 sheets of plain paper or 20 sheets of thicker stock photo paper. A single-sheet heavy stock input sits at the bottom of the rear of the printer. Weighing just over 43 pounds, the Pro-100 will need a dedicated space but if you’re looking to get serious about photo printing, that seems like a fair trade-off. Setup takes around 15 minutes or so if you’re installing all the utilities and drivers.

Best All-in-One: HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Printer

3.4

For a printer that can do it all, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 is one of the best on the market. It provides professional quality at a modest price, making it perfect for a small office team. The OfficeJet 8720 boasts exceptional printing speeds: up to 24 pages per minute for black and white, and up to 20 pages per minute for color. Also, the 4.3-inch touchscreen interface allows you to easily manage print jobs directly on the machine. The printer supports various page sizes, from 3 x 5 inches, up to 8.5 x 11-inch borderless pages.

In addition to the standard functions of an all-in-one printer, the OfficeJet 8720 features hassle-free Airprint, so you can print from any device. Connect through WiFi or utilize their free HP ePrint app to easily connect with your phone or tablet, even without an Internet connection. You can also send faxes. At 33 pounds and 20.9 x 19.7 x 13.4 inches, your printer will need its own station, but won’t take up an unreasonable amount of space in your home or office.

Best Entry Level: Epson PictureMate PM-400

Epson PictureMate PM-400
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4

For many first-time photo printer buyers, there’s a justifiable case to be made that most casual photographers don’t require a dedicated photo printer. In numerous cases, that’s a fair statement and that’s why an option like the affordable Epson PictureMate PM-400 is a superb choice. Capable of 3.5”x5”, 4”x6” and 5”x7” prints, the PM-400 produces excellent photo quality for the price. Add in WiFi connectivity for printing directly from phones or tablets and you have an inexpensive and convenient option.

Weighing just under four pounds, the PM-400 doesn’t take up a lot of room. Setting up is a snap and the speed for printing standard size 4”x6” prints ranges anywhere from 40 to 42 seconds, which seems more than worth skipping the trip to Walgreens' photo shop.

We’re confident saying this model offers impressively high quality for most types of images. We’d skip looking at anything you might want to display in a gallery, but if that’s the type of result you’re looking for, you’re in the wrong place.

Best Budget: HP Envy 4520

HP Envy 4520
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.6

Discovering the best budget photo printer is inevitably going to mean tradeoffs. Fortunately, the HP Envy 4520 is a worthy investment if you want just the bare bones of photo printing. In fact, the Envy 4520 is more all-in-one than dedicated photo printer, with both a copier and scanner function. Its well-designed body offers a low-profile printer that won’t get in the way of your desk. The 2.2” touchscreen offers less clutter and confusion, along with easy setup. With included options like Airprint, Google Cloud Print and HP’s ePrint app, you’ve got a truly hands-free photo printing experience. At just 11 pounds, it’s one of the lightest printers on this list, and includes a 100-sheet input tray that pulls out from the bottom of the machine. For photo printers, the paper tray offers adjustable sliders for 4”x6”, 5”x8” and 8”x11” photo prints.

Best for Portability: Kodak Mini 2 HD

At an incredible 3" x 5.2" x 1" in size, the Kodak Mini 2 HD more than lives up to its name. This ultra-portable option prints 2.1" x 3.4" images directly from an iPhone or Android smartphone. The Mini 2 also offers a slew of connectivity options for printing, giving you your choice of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth or NFC with each print. For enabled smartphones, NFC prints are as simple as touching your phone to the printer.

With each smudge-proof print, 4Pass printing takes over. This technology allows Kodak to incorporate 16.7 million colors to most closely match the original photo source. At the end of each print, 4Pass adds a specialized layer to each photo. Once complete, each photo dries instantly and stays bright for up to 10 years.

Charging the Mini 2 is done via a power adapter (not included) or through USB. Taking around 1.5 hours to charge, once fully juiced up, the printer is good for around 20 prints. Prints take around 60 seconds to complete.

 Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best portable photo printers

Best Wide Format: Canon iP8720 Wireless Printer

Print photos up to 13 x 19 inches in vivid detail with the Canon iP8720. It boasts a 9600 x 2400 maximum color dpi and a six-color ink system including gray ink, which produces remarkable detail for black and white photos in particular. Its patented print-head mechanism fires ink droplets as small as one pixel for extreme detail. The printing itself is fast, with an average speed of 14.5 images per minute (ipm) for black and white photos and 10.4 ipm for color. Canon also boasts the longevity of its ChromaLife100+ system, claiming that photos printed using Canon-brand photo paper and ink will last up to 300 years when stored in an archival-quality photo album.

Objectively, the Canon iP8720 is not the absolute best on the market, but the highest quality photo printers can cost you at least a grand. For a high-end consumer-friendly product, this printer is the perfect compromise to deliver quality photos at a reasonable price. At a modest 18 pounds, it fits just about anywhere in your home office. Printing is quick and efficient; simply transfer documents over WiFi, or connect using Google Cloud for mobile devices.

Best Design: Lifeprint Portable Photo and Video Printer

With a minimalist design and five different color choices, the Lifeprint Portable Photo and Video Printer is a must own. This simple plastic box has nothing standoffish about its design. There’s no fancy buttons or big learning curves. Each unit, which charges via micro-USB cable, prints 3" x 4.5" images. Connecting via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to its Android or iOS smartphone app, setup is finalized within moments.

As an inkless printer, Lifeprint utilizes “ZINK” (zero ink) technology. Each piece of photo paper is designed to expose certain colors when subjected to heat. The color reproduction isn’t as precise as a dedicated ink printer, but it’s a lot more fun. 

Another fun feature the Lifeprint introduces is augmented reality photos, or “hyperphotos,” which you can animate with the smartphone app. What looks like a typical print incorporates video clips (or Apple Live Photos) up to 15 seconds. When viewed through the app, each image “comes to life” as a living photo. Hyperphotos can also be shared on social networks or with friends around the world that also use the Lifeprint app.

Best Mini: Canon Selphy CP1200

Canon Selphy CP1200
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Given that most dedicated photo printers are often too large to be carried around, the Canon Selphy CP1200 is a welcome choice. However, it comes with one caveat. The CP1200 only prints 4”x6” images. If you’re looking for mostly Facebook and Instagram-ready prints, the trade-off is worth the price point. Size disappointment aside, we love Canon’s functionality, especially the ability to print images simply by tapping a button on your smartphone through Canon’s Selphy app.

In fact, Canon’s entire buying proposition may be based on the idea that you have a smartphone that you regularly use for photographic purposes. They’re banking on you finding happiness with prints that closely resemble exactly what you see on your smartphone display. For a printer that’s compact enough at 1.9 pounds to carry around, that’s exactly what we could hope for. As a bonus feature for compact prints, Canon features a clear overcoat on each print that helps protect against dirt or liquids.

Capable of printing up to 54 prints on a single charge, options for postcard, passport and square label are also available to complement the 4”x6” selling point. Printing wirelessly is a snap via WiFi, and for you Apple uses, Airprint. The printer also offers an optional battery for traveling. (Don't have money to travel? See the world without ever leaving your couch!)

Best for Photo Professionals: Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Marked with the recognizable red line that normally adorns Canon lenses, this PRO-1000 printer delivers the exceptional print quality desired by photo professionals. The LUCIA PRO 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system achieves crisp images with remarkable glossiness across all media types. It features four monochrome inks that minimize bronzing and create deep blacks for dramatic grayscale prints. On top of it all, Canon’s FINE (Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering) technology enables printing with microscopic droplets and high resolutions up to 4,800-by-2,400 dots per inch.

Printing photos up to 17 x 22 inches, the PRO-1000 delivers the largest size photos of the imagePROGRAF line. It prints quicker and quieter than many Amazon reviewers expected, producing a color bordered 13 x 19-inch photo in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It’s also easy to connect to with USB 2.0, Ethernet and WiFi options available. The latter means you can use with the Canon PRINT app to wirelessly send files from your smartphone or tablet, as well as monitor ink levels and printer status remotely.

At 28.5 x 17 x 11.2 inches and weighing a hefty 70.5 pounds, this machine is a beast by all measures. But if it’s quality you crave, it’ll deliver frame-worthy art…assuming you took a frame-worthy photo to begin with.

Best for Square Format: Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Printer (Black) w/ SQ10 Film

Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Printer
Courtesy of Walmart.com

Compared to its predecessor, the SP-2, the SP-3 wireless printer handles the larger, Instax Square film format without adding much size to the printer itself. You’ll have to pony up a little more money, as the film itself is more expensive but other than that it’s a wonderful choice.

Measuring 5.1 x 4.6 x 1.8 inches and weighing a light 11.1 ounces, you can slip the printer into your bag without a problem. It’s battery powered (chargeable via a microUSB port), which makes it even more portable, and will supply about 160 prints per charge. It prints square images up to 2.4 inches that are reminiscent of old Polaroids but with better quality. You can use the Instax Share app to send pictures to the printer, as well as add filters and make small edits. However, if you’re looking to make larger edits, we recommend downloading a dedicated editing app.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 13 hours testing the four most popular photo printers on the market. They printed a variety of jobs, including documents and their favorite photos, to find out what the strengths and flaws really were. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these photo printers and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Photo Printer

Photo quality - If you’re buying a dedicated photo printer, your main consideration should be photo quality. While all claim to produce excellent color accuracy and detail, some are still better than others. Look for a printer that uses dye ink over pigment ink to ensure crisp and vibrant colors.

Photo format - Planning to print out your favorite Instagram photos? You’ll be fine with a square format photo printer. But if you want to print photos larger than the 4-by-6-inch standard, you should look for a wide format printer, most of which can print out pictures up to 13 by 19 inches.

Size - Printers can take up plenty of space, so it’s important to consider how much room you have. Portable and mini printer options can be as small as an iPhone, but larger professional and wide-format models can demand up to 17 x 27 x 12 inches of space. And the fact that they can weigh around 40 pounds means you won’t be moving it around very often.

Test Results: Canon Pixma Pro-100 (Best Overall)

3.9

What We Like

  • Rich-color and high-resolution prints

  • App is easy to use

  • Easy to replace ink

What We Don't Like

  • Very large footprint

  • Require a CD to set up easily

Canon Pixma Pro-100
Canon Pixma Pro-100
Canon Pixma Pro-100
Canon Pixma Pro-100
Canon Pixma Pro-100

At 43 pounds and just over two feet wide, Canon Pixma Pro-100 will definitely take up a hefty amount of desk space — and size was one of our space-conscious testers’ biggest grievances. One reviewer, who lives in a cozy New York City apartment said, “Even if it were the best printer on Earth, I wouldn't have room for it.” She suggested people “with office space” opt for this model. Thankfully, this printer makes up for its big footprint by producing great prints. One tester said, “I thought the pictures it printed were lovely, with rich color and high resolution, and I ended up printing a bunch of things out for personal use.” One person did find that the printer would occasionally disconnect from her computer midway through printing, which, she warned, could cost you some wasted ink. She was never able to discover what was causing the issue.

Our reviewers noted that you need a CD drive to set up this printer quickly. If you don’t have one, you will need to select the appropriate drivers online, which can take additional time. One of our testers mentioned that it took her 30 to 40 minutes to finish the setup process. She did say, however that “the app that comes with the program, My Image Garden, makes setting up collages and images quite straightforward, which was nice.”

Test Results: HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Printer (Best All-in-One)

3.4

What We Like

  • Very good printing quality

  • Easy setup

  • Good wireless features

What We Don't Like

  • Big

HP OfficeJet Pro 8720
HP OfficeJet Pro 8720
HP OfficeJet Pro 8720
HP OfficeJet Pro 8720

This all-in-one printer offers multiple ways you can wirelessly send it jobs, which one of our testers said he was “skeptical of at first” but, ultimately, found them to “be really handy.” He added, “In regards to functionality, this printer met all my needs. You can start a print job via text, email, the HP mobile app, or the native print functions on your computer/mobile device.” Plus, he describes the print quality as “very good.”

The printer also received very high marks for how easy it was to set up. One person even said, “This is one of the first home-use printers I have tried where I haven't been annoyed to death with the setup process.” Based on our testers’ feedback, it seems like even the least tech-savvy users can follow the instructions. “As my family's dedicated tech support, printers were the bane of my existence,” one tester said, “but, with this machine, I didn't need to goof around with downloading drivers and whatnot. It simply worked after a modest setup time.” He told us it took him about 15 to 20 minutes for the entire process.

Like a few of the other printers on this list, this model received some complaints from our testers about it’s size. One person called it “an absolute beast,” so make sure you have enough room before you purchase.

Overall, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Printer is a solid choice. One of our reviewers summed up his experience by saying, “There have been zero headaches, which is a fairly big sign of quality for any printer. I'd feel confident recommending this to a family member, knowing full well they would endlessly harass me if they had any questions.”

Test Results: Epson PictureMate PM-400 (Best Entry Level)

4

What We Like

  • Sharp colors

  • Clear quality

  • Compact design

What We Don't Like

  • Unattractive

  • Not a ton of features

Epson PictureMate PM-400
Epson PictureMate PM-400
Epson PictureMate PM-400
Epson PictureMate PM-400

Our testers were impressed with the quality of the photos from this printer. One person even said she was “pleasantly surprised” after her first printing job. She added, “Compared to using photo paper within a standard inkjet printer, the quality is noticeably clearer, less grainy, and has sharper colors. A real win with this printer.” And unlike other printer models out there, this one doesn’t take up a lot of space. “Because of its size, it's great for an apartment or small office where you have the option to store or hide it when it's not in use,” one reviewer noted. “I'd equate this to the size of a standard shoebox.”

The Epson PictureMate PM-400 also gives you the convenience to print from an app on your device, which our testers loved. One person said, “The app connectivity is pretty great. All of my photos are stored on my current phone — like those of us who use their phones as their only camera — so it's simple, easy access to my entire selection of photos.”

Test Results: HP Envy 4520 (Best Budget)

3.6

What We Like

  • Quiet

  • Wireless printing

  • Print quality is good

What We Don't Like

  • Touchscreen is small

  • Big jobs take a long time

HP Envy 4520
HP Envy 4520
HP Envy 4520
HP Envy 4520
HP Envy 4520

For such a low price, the HP Envy 4520 surprisingly delivers on everything it promises. Our testers noted the good print quality and small footprint as reasons to buy. One reviewer said, “It’s compact and easy to store. You can have it sitting in a corner plugged into an outlet with no issues.” And the wireless printing feature impressed testers that didn’t want to deal with tangled cables and extra accessories.

Our reviewers cited only the small touchscreen as one thing they wished they could change. One person said he accidentally pressed the wrong command a few times because of the size.