Print­ing pho­tographs is a process that requires more than just retouch­ing the cap­tured images. Much depends on the qual­i­ty of the equip­ment and pho­to paper, as well as the cor­rect print­er set­tings. Today we will talk about pro­fes­sion­al pho­to print­ing at home. You will find out which pho­to print­er is best suit­ed for this, what cri­te­ria to con­sid­er when buy­ing it, and which spe­cif­ic mod­els you should pay atten­tion to.

Using a pho­to print­er, you can print high-qual­i­ty pic­tures at home even with­out a com­put­er. Source: businessinsider.com

Is home photo printing justified?

First, let’s find out whether it is worth print­ing pho­tos at home at all? Print­ed shots are now tak­ing on a new life and are on the wave of pop­u­lar­i­ty among inte­ri­or design­ers and many oth­ers. There are a lot of fash­ion trends asso­ci­at­ed with pho­tographs. You can stretch jute strings some­where along the wall and hang small square Polaroid pic­tures on them. Or place beau­ti­ful frames with your favorite fam­i­ly frames under glass in the inte­ri­or.

If you pre­fer to reg­u­lar­ly update pho­tos in the inte­ri­or, then often using the ser­vices of pho­to stu­dios or Inter­net print­ing com­pa­nies can be incon­ve­nient and unprof­itable. It would be more ratio­nal to buy a good print­er for your home. In this case, you can not only save mon­ey, but also pro­tect per­son­al pic­tures from pry­ing eyes. You can also print pho­tos when­ev­er you want. You only need to spend mon­ey on equip­ment once, and then sav­ings will fol­low.

A home pho­to print­er takes up very lit­tle space on your desk­top. Source: epson.com

If you do not go into com­plex cal­cu­la­tions, it is safe to say that print­ing a pho­to at home is jus­ti­fied, pro­vid­ed that you cre­ate a large num­ber of frames. Buy­ing a print­er for 10–15 pic­tures per month is def­i­nite­ly not advis­able. This is con­ve­nient, but it will not work quick­ly to recoup the equip­ment.

Types of photo printers

All print­ers suit­able for print­ing pho­tos are divid­ed into sev­er­al cat­e­gories. They dif­fer in tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures, price, qual­i­ty of the cre­at­ed images and their cost.


These are the most com­mon pho­to print­ers. They are cheap­er, but require con­stant replace­ment of con­sum­ables. Ink car­tridges run out quick­ly, but you can find a solu­tion in buy­ing CISS — a con­tin­u­ous ink sup­ply sys­tem. CISS con­sists of sev­er­al jars with mul­ti-col­ored ink, from which flex­i­ble tubes are con­nect­ed to the print head of the print­er. The user only needs to peri­od­i­cal­ly add new paint. The dura­bil­i­ty of print­ed pho­tos depends on the qual­i­ty of the ink and paper used. Col­ors and sat­u­ra­tion are bet­ter pre­served on orig­i­nal con­sum­ables, and cheap paints quick­ly fade in the sun.

Canon PIXMA TS5040 is one of the inex­pen­sive and com­pact pho­to print­ers. Source: canon.com

For home use, an inkjet print­er is the best option. It com­bines good qual­i­ty and ade­quate print­ing cost. Exact fig­ures depend on the pho­to paper and inks used.


These devices are more expen­sive than inkjet ones, but the cost of images cre­at­ed with their help is many times low­er. Instead of liq­uid ink, these print­ers use a spe­cial pow­der. Such devices print about twice as fast as inkjet ones, and the qual­i­ty of pho­tographs is almost the same. The image on paper keeps well, but in the sun you can grad­u­al­ly burn out — over sev­er­al months. The most com­mon laser print­ers are brands such as Canon and Broth­er.


These print­ers are the most expen­sive of all, but the print qual­i­ty is at a high lev­el. The pic­tures are sat­u­rat­ed, the col­or repro­duc­tion is very accu­rate. Anoth­er advan­tage of pho­tos print­ed on such print­ers is their dura­bil­i­ty. Pic­tures are not afraid of expo­sure to mois­ture or light. A spe­cial pro­tec­tive lay­er is applied to the sur­face of the pho­to, which pre­serves the orig­i­nal col­ors.

Canon Sel­phy CP1000 is a small home pho­to print­er with sub­li­ma­tion print­ing. Source: bestadept.com

Sub­li­ma­tion print­ers do not use ink or ton­er. The tech­nol­o­gy is based on a spe­cial paper with a foil lay­er, which con­tains a dye. It is fixed under the influ­ence of heat. Accord­ing­ly, spe­cial paper is need­ed for the oper­a­tion of the device. Each print is more expen­sive than an inkjet or laser print­er, but you get the best qual­i­ty.


MFP, or mul­ti­func­tion­al device, can be both inkjet and laser. Its main advan­tage is the abil­i­ty to solve var­i­ous prob­lems:

  • scan­ning;
  • cre­ation of pho­to­copies;
  • print­out;
  • send­ing fax­es.

Such devices are also suit­able for home pro­fes­sion­al pho­to print­ing, but they are more expen­sive than indi­vid­ual print­ers.

Criteria for choosing a printer for the home

There are a num­ber of cri­te­ria to con­sid­er when pur­chas­ing a device for print­ing qual­i­ty pho­tos at home. The main para­me­ters to pay atten­tion to:

- Print for­mat. For the home, a device that works with A4 sheets is enough. Most of the pho­tos are print­ed in the for­mat 10x15, 13x18 or 21x30 cm. It is not prac­ti­cal to buy a large-sized mod­el for print­ing on A3 sheets at home — few peo­ple use these at home for their intend­ed pur­pose.

- Per­mis­sion. In print, it depends on how notice­able col­or tran­si­tions are and how well the image is worked out. To cre­ate high-qual­i­ty prints, a print­er with a res­o­lu­tion of at least 4800x1200 pix­els per inch is required. The high­er it is, the bet­ter the pho­tos.

- Col­ors. Mod­ern pho­to print­ers run on at least 6 car­tridges, while advanced mod­els can have 8 car­tridges. The lat­ter allow you to achieve stu­dio qual­i­ty. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers even equip their devices with sev­er­al shades of black — this is use­ful when print­ing b / w pho­tos.

- Paper. It is impor­tant to pay atten­tion to the max­i­mum paper weight. It will depend on whether you can print pho­tos on self-adhe­sive, card­board or can­vas. For most inkjet print­ers, the stan­dard paper weight is between 60 and 300 g/m².

- Resource. If you plan to print a lot, pay atten­tion to the sup­ply of ink. To reduce the cost of a pho­to, it is bet­ter to imme­di­ate­ly buy and install CISS. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers of pho­to print­ers have begun to pro­duce devices with fac­to­ry ink sup­ply sys­tems in recent years.

Canon PIXMA G1411 is a home pho­to print­er with built-in CISS. Source: canon-me.com

Which printer to choose?

Spe­cial­ized pho­to print­ers are sold in stores, but over­pay­ing for them is not always jus­ti­fied. Most often, you can lim­it your­self to a uni­ver­sal and more afford­able option. For exam­ple, you should look at mod­els such as:

  • Canon PIXMA TS5040 is a bud­get pho­to print­er that prints at 800 x 1200 dpi.
  • HP DeskJet Ink Advan­tage 5075 M2U86C is a com­pact MFP with inex­pen­sive con­sum­ables and good per­for­mance (up to 17 A4 col­or pages per minute).
  • Canon PIXMA G1411 is a good home pho­to print­er with fac­to­ry CISS.
  • Epson L312 is one of the top pho­to print­ers with a print res­o­lu­tion of 5760 x 1440 dpi, fac­to­ry CISS and a speed of 15 A4 pages per minute.

Before buy­ing a print­er, it is bet­ter to imme­di­ate­ly ask about the cost of con­sum­ables. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers sell them at high enough prices that make home pho­to print­ing irra­tional and unprof­itable.


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