A framed photograph you’ve taken yourself is a lovely way to spice up an empty wall at home. When you want to print your photos, the usual approach is to send them off to a printer — but that can be expensive. Why not do it yourself with a wide-format photo printer?
For amateur and professional photographers, having your own photo printer allows you to customize your work. The best printers are investment pieces that take your business or hobby to the next level. Our list includes the top options and where to find them.
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
Epson’s Expression Photo HD XP-15000 prints beautiful 13 x 19-inch photos with ease. The device measures 30.9 x 18.7 x 16.2 inches and weighs approximately 19 pounds — like the rest of the printers here, it’s neither lightweight or compact, but Epson says it’s 30-percent smaller than the previous model. It holds up to 200 sheets of regular paper or 50 sheets of fine art paper, such as canvas. It can connect to Wi-Fi, so you can send photos from your computer or smartphone (AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compatible), or use a hard-wire connection via USB or Ethernet. The printer uses six ink tanks to deliver a wider range of colors, and prints documents at 9.2 pages per minute (ppm) and 9.0 ppm when using color. A 4 x 6 inch borderless print takes just 27 seconds from beginning to end (real-use speeds will vary, of course). Other useful features: a small LCD for setup, two-sided printing, and support for printing on compatible blank optical discs.
Canon Pixma iP8720
Canon knows a thing or two about cameras, but it also knows how to make excellent photo printers. Smaller than the Pixma Pro models yet bigger than most inkjets, the iP8720 is perfect for the home photographer. It holds up to 120 sheets of regular paper and 20 sheets of heavier photo paper, and the front-panel even houses a space for a CD or DVD tray. Surprisingly, the iP8720 doesn’t have a PictBridge-compatible USB port, but it can connect to newer cameras or smartphones via Wi-Fi, or shared via a home network — the latter two being more popular, anyway. It has excellent output quality, manual duplex printing, and NFC support for quick pairing with compatible Android devices.
Canon Pixma Pro-100
The Pro-100 is another great Canon option, even if it is one of the more advanced printers in our roundup. The reasonably-price device is known to produce photos that are nearly on par with printers that cost upward of $1,000 at a cost that is far better for your budget. The printer offers a CD-DVD print tray (hey, why not?), Wi-Fi, and also has a PictBridge USB port. It uses eight ink cartridges for vibrant, accurate colors. The device is rather slow and a bit cumbersome when it comes to size, but there’s a good deal to be said about its color output and its ability to generate first-rate monochrome prints with a little patience.
Canon Pixma Pro-10
Another option in the Pixma Pro range, the Pro-10 conveniently comes bundled with My Image Garden software for quickly creating banners, collages, and even calendars. While it’s extremely easy for a hobby photographer to use at home, it’s suited for professional-quality prints. The printer’s output quality is superb — particularly when handling high-resolution image files — and uses 10 ink cartridges, one of which is a clear coat (Chroma Optimizer) designed to level the printed ink surface for a smoother-looking print. The three black inks can also generate quality monochrome prints. It supports both Ethernet and Wi-Fi networks.
As one of the newer models on this list, the P600 is especially attractive if you like making panorama prints—it supports roll paper, and can make panoramas up to 10-feet long. It’s adorned with a 3.5-inch color touchscreen, allowing you to set preferences and view instructional illustrations detailing the proper way to insert paper and cartridges. You can also use the panel to pair the printer with compatible mobile devices via Wi-Fi, and given the device’s three-level ink technology, you can rest assured each colored print will showcase the utmost vibrancy and smooth transitions whether printing in color or strictly in black and white.
What is a wide-format photo printer?
While dedicated devices differ from model to model, most wide-format printers can print on 13 x 19-inch paper or larger, which separates them from smaller photo printers (often limited to 8 x 10 inches or smaller). And although it’s not exclusive to wide-format printers, they generally come with better photo quality and more ink color options if that matters to you. So, if you’re into making prints, wide-format photo printers excel on two levels: you’ll get to display your images even larger, but the color and photo quality will also likely be better too.
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