Best Photo Printers for Lab-quality Pics in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 4, 2018
Photo printers are colour printers designed primarily for printing photos. The vast majority of these colour printers use inkjet and dye-sublimation printing technologies and may offer additional features. We've selected the best models on the market to help you make the best choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Ink Colors
Cartridge Yield
Print Resolution
Print Speed
Printable Media Types
Paper Tray Capacity
Connection Interfaces
Features
Warranty
 
PROS

This photograph printer has a special slot for a memory card and a USB port, which allows you to print photos directly from external drives or memory cards.

CONS

The consumables (in particular, Photo Black cartridge) are rather pricey. 

OUR VERDICT

The Expression Premium XP-900 wireless photo printer is the best choice for professional photographers. It can print even A3 photos, and they will be ultimately clear, crisp, and detailed.

detailed parameters
Type

MFP

Ink Colors

5 (Black, Photo Black, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta)

Cartridge Yield

Standard Black: up to 250 pages

Photo Black: up to 200 pages

Standart Colour: up to 300 pages
Print Resolution

5760 x 1440 DPI

Print Speed

14 pages/min Monochrome

11 pages/min Colour

Printable Media Types

A3 Photo paper, CD/DVD, Envelopes, Cards, Labels

Paper Tray Capacity

100 standard sheets, 20 photo sheets

Connection Interfaces

USB, Wi-Fi, Card reader

Features

6.8 cm LCD-screen, Automatic duplex, Red eye removal, Photo enhance, Direct print from USB, Wireless PictBridge

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to the built-in NFC-module, you can print photos from your smartphone or any other NFC-capable device by simply tapping it on this Kodak photo printer.

CONS

The Wi-fi adapter is somehow lacking in quality.

OUR VERDICT

Kodak produces high-quality photography equipment, and this printer is no exception. It's compact, functional, and affordable. Excellent choice for those who are tight on space and budget.

detailed parameters
Type

MFP

Ink Colors

2 (Black, Tri-colour)

Cartridge Yield

Standart Black: up to 200 pages

Standart Colour: up to 180 pages

Print Resolution

4800 x 1200 DPI

Print Speed

10 pages/min Monochrome

5 pages/min Colour

Printable Media Types

A4 Photo paper, Envelopes, Cards, Labels

Paper Tray Capacity

100 standard sheets, 20 photo sheets

Connection Interfaces

USB, Wi-Fi, NFC module

Features

5-cm LCD-screen, Automatic duplex, NFC-touch, Flick printing

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The Epson Claria™ inks will deliver both crisp, clear text documents and glossy, lab-quality photos. Plus, they are extremely affordable.

CONS

The ink cartridges that come in the package are not that long-lasting.

OUR VERDICT

This Epson photo printer boasts compact size, cheap consumables, and simple intuitive control panel. Excellent combination of price and quality! It's a great choice for basic printing tasks.

detailed parameters
Type

MFP

Ink Colors

4 (Black, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta)

Cartridge Yield

Standart Black: up to 175 pages

Standart Colour: up to 180 pages

Print Resolution

5760 x 1440 DPI

Print Speed

10 pages/min Monochrome

5 pages/min Colour

Printable Media Types

A4 Photo paper, Envelopes, Cards

Paper Tray Capacity

100 standard sheets, 20 photo sheets

Connection Interfaces

USB, Wi-Fi, Card reader

Features

3.7 cm LCD-screen, Manual duplex, Red-eye removal, Photo enhance

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The 125-page paper tray holds more than a standard tray of other all-in-one printers. It's great for those who need to print many documents.

CONS

It needs some time to get ready for printing. 

OUR VERDICT

Do you want to organize a mini photo lab at your home? Then the HP Envy photo printer is the best option for the best price. It's pretty affordable yet a little slow. Still, it prints amazing photos.

detailed parameters
Type

MFP

Ink Colors

2 (Black, Tri-colour)

Cartridge Yield

Standart Black: up to 200 pages

Standart Colour: up to 165 pages

Print Resolution

4800 x 1200 DPI

Print Speed

12 pages/min Monochrome

8 pages/min Colour

Printable Media Types

A4 Photo paper, Envelopes, Cards, Labels

Paper Tray Capacity

125 standard sheets, 15 photo sheets

Connection Interfaces

USB, Wi-Fi

Features

5.5-cm LCD-screen, Automatic duplex, Quiet mode

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The MFP comes with modern software (My Image Garden, Creative Park Premium and Image Display), which allows you to print Web pages, screenshots, and even enhance photos before printing.

CONS

The paper tray is not that capacious. 

OUR VERDICT

The Canon PIXMA MG2550S is perfect for novice photographers. Although the printer is not so functional as its more expensive counterparts, it delivers premium print quality.

detailed parameters
Type

MFP

Ink Colors

2 (Black, Tri-colour)

Cartridge Yield

Standart Black: up to 180 pages

Standart Colour: up to 180 pages

Print Resolution

4800 x 600 DPI

Print Speed

8 pages/min Monochrome

4 pages/min Colour

Printable Media Types

A4 Photo paper, Envelopes, Cards

Paper Tray Capacity

60 standart sheets

Connection Interfaces

USB

Features

Manual duplex, Quiet mode

Warranty

1 year

Epson XP-900

Super Multifunctional Printer

The Expression Premium XP-900 is an all-in-one professional device for printing great-quality photos on glossy paper. And the ability to produce A3 crisp, clear prints is what sets the XP-900 apart from standard photo printers. This model has a rear paper feed that is great for thicker media up to A3 in size. The printer can produce an A3 print in 3 minutes 5 seconds. So, for those photographers who own a pro camera, this A3-size printer is just an ideal choice. Moreover, the XP-900 can print images and texts onto CDs and DVDs if needed.

This printer produces usual A4 paper sheets at an incredible speed from 8 to 28 pages per minute. Of course, duplex printing is possible with A4 plain paper either. The XP-900 doesn’t restrict you to usual functions. It can double as a scanner - the flatbed scanner auto-document feeder works pretty well. For example, 10 x 15-cm photographs scanned at 1200 dpi take somewhere between 7 - 10 minutes (the photos come up with a resolution of 4104 x 6288 pixels). The Easy Photo Scan software allows you to send your scans to Google photos, Facebook, Evernote, SugarSync, folder, or email.

The Epson A3 photo printer uses five-colour Claria Premium dye and pigment ink-set that will make all your photos crystal clear, crisp and vibrant. And thanks to the Photo Black ink cartridge, your text documents will come out with sharp detail and deep blacks. Epson uses individual ink cartridges, and you'll only need to replace the colour used.

Review of Epson XP-900 Expression Premium A3 Wi-Fi Printer, Scan and Copy with CD/DVD Printing

Extra Printing Options

This Epson photo printer has a large 6.8-cm LCD screen that makes it easy for you to navigate through different settings. Note that the printer doesn’t need to be connected to a computer to print photos. You can just insert a memory card into a special slot and print directly from the card, following on-screen instructions. The Epson XP-900 also works wirelessly and enables you to print and scan photos and documents right on-the-go. All you need to do is download the iPrint app to your iOS or Android smartphone. Also, you can get the Creative Print app to print directly from any Facebook account. And with the Epson Email Print, you can print media from anywhere in the world by emailing files to your printer’s unique email address. So, if you need an extra smart all-in-one device for printing high-quality photos, the Expression Premium XP-900 is the best pick.

Epson XP-900 Expression Premium A3 Wi-Fi Printer, Scan and Copy with CD/DVD Printing in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Kodak Verite 65 PLUS

The Expert in Photography

The Kodak company is really an expert in photography. You probably know the Kodak brand from high-quality cameras, but now you can see Kodak in the printer market! We would like to introduce you an amazing Kodak Verite 65 PLUS inkjet printer. Actually, it's not just a printer, it's an all-in-one unit that can scan, copy, and print.

The device has a single USB port at the back for a wired connection with a PC. Also, it features the wireless connection that is much more versatile, giving access to several PCs, tablets or smartphones at a time. Plus, the printer can set a quick connection via NFC. Just tap on or bring your NFC-enabled smartphone or other mobile devices within 4-cm range of the device and print photos quickly and effortlessly. The printer has a small 4.5 x 3.5-cm display for easy navigation and runs very swiftly.

The stated ISO printing speeds are 10PPM mono/4PPM colour and 20PPM mono/15PPM colour in draft mode. These are pretty reasonable speeds for this type of printer, although they are not the highest. The printer features an Auto-duplex function for conserving paper.

The Verité 65 Plus printer is compact and lightweight. It’s small enough to fit in a drawer or slide onto a shelf. You can even stack some documents on top of its flat surface. That's why this printer with a foldaway design is great for office use.

Review of Kodak Verite 65 PLUS Wireless Inkjet Printer

Save On the Cost of Replacement Ink

This printing tool is ideal not only for those who are tight on space but also for those tight on budget. The printer costs less than £50, which usually means that the ink is rather expensive, but that’s not so. Kodac offers you 3 efficient ways to save on the inks:

  • You can get 3XL mega-sized ink cartridges for a discounted price and print for up to 2 years with just one set of cartridges. At only 3 times the cost, you'll get 6 times more ink than a standard cartridge.
  • Switch to the Eco mode to consume up to 30% less ink. The cartridge will last for up to 1,500 pages in this mode. It won't compromise the image quality too much. You'll get a very similar level of sharpness, yet the prints will be a little lighter (but not less easy to read).
  • By default, you'll save up to 50% on the cost of replacement ink against other ink costs.

Get this inexpensive Kodak photo printer that is also very affordable to run, and enjoy consistently crisp and sharp images without any bleeding, smudging or smearing. This Kodak printer is really brilliant for the majority of printing tasks.

Kodak Verite 65 PLUS Wireless Inkjet Printer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Epson XP-342

For Basic Tasks

The Epson Expression Home XP-342 is a brilliant printer for a nice price. It's a pretty basic model that still has the same features its more expensive counterparts have. It's a perfect small, smart inkjet MFP for home use that can be connected to a PC via a wire or wirelessly using a Wi-Fi technology. Just like more pricey models, it pairs with different mobile devices for printing on-the-go. So, you can get the freedom of printing and scanning from almost anywhere in the world. Moreover, if you download the Creative Print app, you'll be able to print images directly from Facebook and create customized greeting cards. Also, the model features a memory card slot for PC-free printing, scanning, or copying.

The printer has a sleek black body that will look nice in any modern office environment. The front panel features a 3.7-cm colour LCD screen which is not touch-capable yet very simple to use. It has a user-friendly interface with handy push buttons. Above the buttons and under the top cover, there is a scanning screen. The scan quality is quite high with accurate colours and crisp details. Thus, the photocopies will be always good-quality.

Beneath the LCD screen, you'll find a wide collapsible output tray that can be neatly tucked back into the body of the printer when not in use. The tray puts out 33 black-and-white PPM and 5 colour PPM, so if time is of great importance for you, you might need to pay a bit more for advanced and speedy devices. However, if you need a simple non-expensive model for printing and scanning basic documents and medium-definition photos, the Epson Expression Home XP-342 will fit the bill.

Review of Epson XP-342 Expression Home Wi-Fi Printer, Scan and Copy with Memory card slot

So compact

This Epson home printer can be a sound choice if free space is an issue for you. A printer, scanner and copier are neatly incorporated in one compact unit. When folded up, the printer has a slim rectangular design and measures just 39 x 30 x 15 cm and weighs only 3.9 kgs. It's much slimmer and lighter than other devices of its class. Its compact design also means that it won't take up much room and blend beautifully into any interior. So, keep that in mind if you need something extra portable, unobtrusive, and easy to use.

Epson XP-342 Expression Home Wi-Fi Printer, Scan and Copy with Memory card slot in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

HP Envy 5540

Lab-quality Photos

Everyone will envy your lab-quality photos produced by the HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Inkjet Printer! It's meant for printing mainly and that's why it boasts an amazing print quality, one of the best on the market. Both black-and-white documents and colour photos get sharp and vivid. The printer uses tri-colour HP Instant Ink that ensures even ink distribution without bands and smudges. A nice touch is that the output tray extends automatically when you start printing. Compared to other printers of its type, the HP Envy 5540 is a bit slow. It prints black-and-white docs at 12 PPM and colour ones at 8 PPM. As for photos, it outputs 1.3 photos per minute. Agree, that the speed is a minor sacrifice considering how good the photos are.

This HP photo printer features a mono touchscreen with a menu that lets you choose between a variety of templates, including music paper and graph paper. If you connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, you'll be able to use touch-screen menu for HP's print app allowing you to print from various websites. The printer has Wi-Fi network support but it has no wired networking. It enables printing directly from your camera without using a PC. The HP 5540 supports Apple AirPlay for printing from iPhones and iPads. Note that the printer has no ports allowing you to connect a USB drive or media card. So, you'll be stuck to printing from your computer, mobile phone or tablet only. Overall, this wireless photo printer is great for home use. It doesn't offer too many office-oriented features, but print high-quality photos in black-and-white and colour.

Review of HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Inkjet Printer

Instant Ink Program

Running costs of inkjet printers are often very high, and no wonder that the cartridges needed for the HP Envy 5540 aren't fantastic value for money. That's why HP offers Instant Ink subscription programme with 3 tiers (£1.99 for 50 pages per month, £3.49 for 100, and £7.99 for 300 pages). When the ink runs low, the printer automatically re-order ink cartridges. This is a very smart program, and if you choose the correct plan, you can save up to 70% per page. You'll have the option to switch between plans at any time you wish. Also, you'll be able to opt out the Instant Ink plan if you, for example, are planning a vacation. On purchasing the HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Printer, you'll get a 3-month free trial. Actually, you have nothing to lose.

HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Inkjet Printer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Canon MG2550S

Incredible Value for the Money

The Canon PIXMA MG2550S is one of the cheapest all-in-one printing tools on the market! For £20.00 only, you'll get the printer with starter inks (black and colour), which means you can test it out right out-of-the-box. However, the supplied ink cartridges won't last long if you print regularly, so we suggest that you order spare cartridges in advance. If you want to save on inks (sure, you want!), you can get high-capacity Canon XL ink cartridges and save up to 30% per page compared to standard ones. Plus, you will go longer between replacements.

The Canon photo printer PIXMA MG2550S is a basic MFP that is good for printing, scanning and copying. With seven-segment LED display, it's also very easy to navigate. Instead of high-gloss black plastic, the printer has a textured case that is more resistant to fingertips. It has simple lines and smoothly curved edges. The scanner lid features extending hinges so that you can easily scan not only slim documents and magazines but thick books as well.

This home printer produces outstanding text-heavy documents and photos. And thanks to the FINE Cartridge technology, the prints boast vivid colours and deep blacks. We would like to note that the printer works through USB connection and doesn't have a wireless connection. The package includes a power cord but not a USB cable, so you'll need to buy it additionally.

For paper saving, the model offers 2-sided printing. And with Auto Power On/Off mode, you can save on your electricity bills. Well, if you want an MFP that won't slim your wallet, this Canon photo printer is a decent choice.
Review of Canon MG2550S PIXMA All-In-One Printer

Be Creative

The manufacturer provides the set of the applications (My Image Garden, Creative Park Premium and Image Display) that will let your creativity go wild. For example, Creative Park Premium is a service where you can download exclusive printing materials. You can access the service from My Image Garden app. This application will help you create and print collages from photos saved on your computer. Also, you'll find here fantastic postcards, calendars, cards and much more other templates created by professional artists. You can start the application with just one click.

Canon MG2550S PIXMA All-In-One Printer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Photo Printer?

A photo printer is a necessary thing to have not only for professional photographers but practically everyone who wants to keep photos at hand and make them last. Photo printers are colour printers that are designed specifically for printing photos. Using such a specialized device as a photo printer for printing your photos allows achieving printing results that exceed those of ordinary colour printers in image colours rendering and clarity, thus bringing a studio-grade photo printing to your home. Another benefit that photo printers hold for their owners is that there is no need to pay for any additional processing operations and services, which usually photo laboratories charge you for when you decide to have some photos printed.

Also, please look through our review on mobile printers. Compact and lightweight, they will be your perfect companions during a business trip. However, if you consider buying another type of printer device you may find our inkjet printers, wireless laser printers, and home printers reviews useful.

What Features to Compare

Device Type

Modern printers, regardless of the printing technology they use, in general, can be categorized into two types: conventional printers and MFP or MFD (multi-function printer or multi-function device also called All in One Printer). So if you need a printing device only it will be prudent to buy a conventional printer. With that, the MFPs provide an integration of several devices under the hood, such as a scanner, printer, copying machine and sometimes a fax. Therefore MFPs or MFDs offer several functions but usually have a bigger size.

Printing Quality and Features

For the printers sharing the same printing technology, the first things affecting the quality of printing are the type and quality of consumables, which are ink tanks in case of photo printers. Different manufacturers use a different number of basic colour inks and approaches to rendering the final colour palette on the paper, thus their printers may produce different results in terms of image quality aspects. Another aspect that influences printed photos quality greatly is the maximum supported resolution. For the current state of affairs in the printer industry, the 4,800 х 1,200 dpi printing resolution is considered sufficient for achieving a high quality of photos printing.

Usability

For this area of user-oriented printer parameters, the technical equipment of a photo printer is very important as it conditions the simplicity of the printer operation and ease of its connection. Most of the photo printers are equipped with a display for photos preview. The display allows you to select a photo or a group of photos you want to work with and view the final result after you applied a colour correction to the photo and/or decorated it using built-in printer tools. Another considerable usability factor is the capacity of ink tanks or cartridges installed and the cartridge yield. Thus, besides the printer equipment, you should mention an ink consumption rate of the printer and the cartridge yield to choose a model that provides an optimal usability and suits you best.

Did you know?

The first laser printer

Xerox company has invented the first laser printer in 1969.

The tiniest one

The smallest printer in the world is produced by American manufacturer Planon. It is a PrintStick that measures incredible 2.5cm x 5cm x 28cm and weighs just 450 grams. No wonder, it can be easily carried in your pocket. The printer is Bluetooth-enabled and comes with 20 sheets of paper.

The world’s largest printer

The largest printer is 12m x 50m in size. It's called Infinitus and can print on spans 600 sq m. Infinitus is used for printing backdrops for cinemas, TV, and theatre.

The first colour photography

The first colour photo was made in 1861 by James Clark Maxwell, a Scott physicist. He used different filters (yellow, blue and red) separately to take photos of a tartan ribbon. Then he combined these photos and created the final colour image.

The fastest printer

The fastest desktop printer, HP Officejet Pro X576dw, can print up to 70 pages per minute. As for colour prints, RISO makes the printers that can pop out colour sheets at a rate of 15 - 30 PPM.

The first flatbed scanner

It was created in the 1970’s and could take paper text and digitize it.

World’s most waste

Unfortunately, printers also create too much environmental waste. For example, if all empty ink cartridges (in one year’s time) were stacked end-to-end, they could circle the earth three times!

The most viewed photograph in history

The most popular photo in the world is the photo taken in 1996 in Sonoma by Charles O’Rear, an American photographer. Now, we know it as the Windows XP’s default wallpaper “Bliss”. Unbelievable, the photo was never digitally manipulated.

Every 2 minutes we shot more photos than the humans did in the 1800s

Nowadays, the number of photos snapped every two minutes equals the number of photographs taken by the whole humanity in the 1800s.

What is your best side?

The research by James Schirillo and Kelsey Blackburn showed that the left side of our face looks a bit better on photos than the right side. It exhibits a greater intensity of emotion, so it looks more attractive. Still trying to pick a perfect angle for a selfie? Choose you left!

Photographing was not so easy!

Back in 19th century, photographing people was an extremely difficult task. Early cameras could take several hours to capture one photo only. That's why people were not smiling on those photos. Holding a convincing smile for annoyingly long exposure hours is almost impossible.

3D printers can print food?

Today, three-dimensional printers can print a huge variety of different things, including clothing, jewellery, medicine, houses, and even edible food.

The first digital camera

The famous Kodak company invented the digital camera in December 1975. It needed 23 seconds to create a photograph, and it only recorded black-and-white photos of 0.1 megapixels. You might be surprised, but even now all cameras capture images in black-and-white and only then add red, green, and blue tints to the pictures.

The retail cost of black ink

Black ink is one of the most expensive liquids on our planet. The costs used for making ink exceed oil and even space shuttle fuel. It costs more than £ 600 per litre.

FAQ:

Q: Is a photo printer good for everyday printing (documents etc.)?
A: Actually, photo printers work fine for everyday printing. Of course, they are slower than laser printers, but that's a minor sacrifice provided that you get a chance to print lab-quality photos in the comfort of your own home.

Q: Do I need to add a new printer manually?
A: New printers will be added automatically on all modern operating systems.

Q: Can I use non-genuine toners and inks for my printer?
A: Of course you can find cheaper alternatives to genuine consumables, however, the manufacturer of your printer will not be responsible for product failures or other problems. The repair will not be covered by warranty either.

Q: What is DPI?
A: DPI stands for dots per inch (dpi). This is the usual measure of image quality on the paper. The average printer provides somewhere between 300 DPI or 600 DPI. Typically, the higher the print quality is, the lower the speed of printing is.

Q: Does a photograph printer self-clean the print heads every time I switch it on?
A: The majority of models clean the print heads every time they are switched on. Sometimes, this might take 2 or 3 minutes.

Q: Do printers scan to PDF?
A: Yes, almost all printers can scan right to PDF these days.

Q: What is a draft mode?
A: Draft mode allows you to print in a lower quality. This mode can help you save both time and ink. It's good for printing documents, however, if you want to get a high-quality print, we don't recommend you to use it.

Q: Do printers come with inks?
A: Yes, the manufacturers supply their products with inserted cartridges. However, these are usually low-capacity cartridges that don't last very long.

Q: What should I do if I have problems with scanning from my wireless printer?
A: If you have trouble with scanning from your printer, perform the following steps:

  • Print a Wireless Network Test Report from the control panel of your printer, and then type its IP address.
  • Write down your printer's IP address into your Internet browser, and then press Return. Follow the directions on the information tab there.

Q: Do photograph printers come with photo paper?
A: Typically, no.

Q: Why can I have trouble printing after my wireless photo printer has been successfully connected to my Wi-fi network?
A: Probably, your computer is connected to a VPN. If your computer really uses the VPN, you should first disconnect it from the VPN. Or your computer might no longer be connected to the same network as your printer. In order to check this, open your web browser and write down your printer's IP address to access the printer's home page.

Q: How many sheets does usually an average A4 paper tray hold?
A: About 100 sheets. It depends on the grade of paper used.

Q: What sort of USB cable do I need to connect a printer to my computer?
A: A standard USB cable will do the trick if you don't have a home network. However, note that not every manufacturer provides it in the set.

Sources:

1. M. David Stone, Tony Hoffman How to Buy a Photo Printer, PCMag. March 26, 2014.

2. James Gapinski Photo Printers: Choosing the Best One for Your Needs, Digital Photography School.

3. John R Harris Professional Printers for Photographers: A B&H Buying Guide, B & H Foto & Electronics Corp. 2015.

4. Dave Bar Digital Photo Printers: How to Choose, Crutchfield.

5. Ted Needleman HOME PRINTER BUYING GUIDE: HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PRINTER, DIGITAL TRENDS. May 19, 2014.

6.  PrinterBuying Guide, Consumer Reports. November 2015.

7. Printing Buying Guide, PCWorld.

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Publish Date: 2018-01-22 13:15:49