The best photo printers for 2024, tested and reviewed

Get your most important photos off your phone and into the real world with the aim of a dedicated photo printer.

Best overall

Canon PIXMA G620 on a plain white background.

Canon PIXMA G620

Best splurge

Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 on a plain white background.

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

Best value

Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 on a plain white background.

Epson Expression Premium XP-6100

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A photo printer can literally change the way you see all those photos that are currently languishing away on your hard drive and smartphone. You can adorn your walls with cherished memories or cool art without running to the drugstore or ordering prints online. Besides, you can use a photo printer for regular print jobs like documents in cases when you need a hard copy. If you haven’t gotten a printer lately, you’ll be impressed with how quickly they print and appreciate the move away from ink cartridges toward ink tanks with their higher capacity. The best photo printers will turn your photos into real-world objects without driving you up the wall.

How we chose the best photo printers

Our photo printer recommendations are based on a mixture of hands-on testing and research. Our goal was to present printers that cover the widest budget and feature sets. One non-negotiable feature was Wi-Fi connectivity; who wants to plug in a cable or be restricted to printing from a computer? Many of our recommendations are all-in-one printers, which means you can use them to scan and copy documents. We heavily favored photo printers that run on ink tanks because they can print more pages before having to be replaced. Photo printing is extremely ink-heavy, which makes that paramount. Our tests consisted of printing multiple smartphone photos in different lighting conditions.

High-end photographers and other graphics professionals may opt for more expensive models, but they typically require more frequent ink replacement (some have 10 or more cartridges) as well as regular maintenance. They’re also typically very slow and lack handy features most people need in a printer.

The best photo printers: Reviews & Recommendations

A photo printer is an excellent addition to your computing setup, especially if replacing an older, less efficient all-around model. One of our recommendations is sure to meet both your budget and feature requirements.

Best overall: Canon PIXMA G620

Canon PIXMA G620


  • Size: 17.6 x 19.1 x 10.1 inches
  • All-in-one: Yes
  • Ink type: Ink bottles
  • Price: $249.99


  • Can print up to 3,800 4 x 6 photos per ink tank set
  • Supports printing from Amazon Alexa
  • Can be used with a deep set of page sizes


  • Very small built-in display

Canon’s PIXMA G620 hits the sweet spot between price and performance better than any other photo printer we’ve found. It runs on ink bottles, and the company claims it can print over 3,000 4-inch by 6-inch photographs before the tank needs refilling. Most photo printers with ink tanks use four colors of ink when printing, but the PIXMA G620 uses six. The addition of gray and red ink will make photos look more realistic by giving the printer more colors to work with. Only one other printer in this guide has six ink tanks—and it costs twice as much as the G620.

A big part of this photo printer’s appeal is its versatility. Canon says you can print on photo sheets up to 47 inches long, which means the G620 is as suitable for printing advertisements as it is for family snapshots. Additional future-facing features, including the ability to use an Amazon Alexa-compatible smart speaker to initiate prints, are icing on the cake. Our only quibble with the Canon G620’s design is its small, monochromatic screen, which will be difficult to read. Beyond that, you won’t find a better choice if you’d like a rock-solid photo printer for home or commercial work.

Best splurge: Epson EcoTank ET-8550

Epson EcoTank ET-8550


  • Size: 20.6 x 29.8 x 16.9 inches
  • All-in-one: Yes
  • Ink type: Ink tanks
  • Price: $599.99


  • Can print 13 x 19 photos
  • 1200 x 4800 dpi scanning resolution
  • Print resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi


  • Price

We selected this printer as the best ink tank printer for photos, and it’s certainly the most splurge-worthy choice we felt comfortable recommending. At $500, the ET-8550 is by far the most expensive printer in this guide. On a technical level this photo printer offers good enough image quality for semi-professional work. It has an ultra-high resolution when scanning and printing photos and relies on six ink tanks rather than four to ensure accurate color reproduction.

It’s also just wide enough to accommodate 13×19 sheets of paper, giving you more flexibility for your prints. A large, color touch screen made it easy to select different printer functions, check its current ink levels, and access options like Wi-Fi connectivity. All of these features help to justify the EcoTank ET-8550’s high price, though we can only recommend it if you need to print the highest-quality photos on a regular basis.

Best eco-friendly: HP Smart-Tank 5101

HP Smart-Tank 5101


  • Size: 17.11 x 6.19 x 14.23 inches
  • All-in-one: Yes
  • Ink type: Ink bottles
  • Price: $149.99


  • Easy to set up
  • Good looking prints
  • Relatively quiet


  • Small screen

This is a great all-around option for people who need office functionality in addition to printing photos. Setting it up required logging into HP’s mobile application, which was required to connect it to our Wi-Fi network. The printer can also create its own Wi-Fi printer for local wireless printing by pressing a combination of buttons located below its screen. The display is frustratingly small but can show limited information about your prints and the Smart-Tank 5101’s ink status.

We printed a handful of iPhone photos on the 5101, including a shot of the Mediterranean Sea on a clear, sunny day and a picture of red wine bottles in a more dimly-lit garage. In every case, we were pleased with the results. The pictures we printed had a fine amount of detail, and color reproduction was solid. The photos looked more vibrant on an iPhone screen but weren’t dull on a sheet of glossy paper. If we hadn’t compared the photos side by side, we wouldn’t have noticed the difference immediately.

The Smart Tank 5101 uses ink bottles rather than cartridges, making it more eco-friendly than traditional cartridge-based printers, as you can get more prints before adding more ink. However, this model only requires four ink bottles rather than six, which makes it a little more eco-friendly overall. You’ll sacrifice some color quality in the process, but that’s the tradeoff you’ll have to make.

Best portable: HP Sprocket Studio Plus

HP Sprocket Studio Plus


  • Size: 5.45 x 8.5 x 3.9 inches
  • All-in-one: No
  • Ink type: Dye cartridge
  • Price: $149.99


  • Ultra-portable
  • Clever design
  • Fast prints


  • Limited photo sizes

HP’s Sprocket Studio Plus is the smallest photo printer we recommend, but it’s also the most fun. Everything about the Studio Plus’ design feels well thought out, especially its print tray, which sits on top of the printer when it’s not in use and then attaches to the front with a satisfying click when you’re ready to print. LEDs on its front side indicate when it’s been powered on, whether it’s connected to Wi-Fi, and if it’s encountered a problem when printing, which is helpful to see at a glance.

Setting up and managing the printer requires HP’s Sprocket App, which is available on iOS and Android. Once installed, it’ll find and connect your device to the printer wirelessly. You can give the Sprocket app access to your entire photo library or a small selection. Printing on the Sprocket Studio Plus is refreshingly straightforward. You’ll begin by placing the included photo paper inside the printer’s print tray and clicking it in front of the printer’s body. Then, select a photo from the Sprocket app and hit print. The printer will pop out a 4×6 in under a minute.

The Sprocket Studio Plus’ small size is its biggest strength and only potential drawback. It’s easy to take the photo printer to a party and have people send prints to it as mementos, but you will be limited to 4×6 prints. If you’re okay with that limitation and want a photo printer you can quickly stash in a bag to take on vacation, we highly recommend picking one up.

It’s also worth noting that this is a dye sublimation printer, so the prints won’t smudge if you pick them up as soon as they’re done. It doesn’t use traditional ink.

Best value: Epson Expression Premium XP-6100

Epson Expression Premium XP-6100


  • Size: 13.7 x 13.4 x 5.6 inches
  • All-in-one: Yes
  • Ink type: Ink cartridges
  • Price: $129.52


  • Larger color touchscreen
  • Voice-activated printing
  • Price


  • Uses ink cartridges

The Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 offers incredible value for those who want to print high-quality photos on a more strict budget. It has every must-have photo printer feature, plus extras like voice-activated printing using an Amazon Alexa-compatible smart speaker and a larger, color touchscreen. The XP-6100 has a borderless photo mode for 8×10 shots, and Epson says it can pump out a 4×6 photo in roughly 15 seconds. This efficiency will come in handy if you’re mass-printing photos for a birthday or holiday card.

In addition to wired and Wi-Fi printing, the XP-6100 can print photos off a flash drive or SD card, so you don’t even need to transfer photos from a camera to your computer. Our only real complaint is that this printer runs on ink cartridges, which means you’ll have to replace them on a more frequent basis than a bottle-based solution. If that doesn’t bother you, you’ll only need to spend $130 to get an excellent photo printer.

What to consider when shopping for the best photo printers

There are many factors to consider when deciding which photo printer is right for you. Below are the factors we considered most important when writing this guide.


Photo printers come in a wide variety of sizes, from ultra-portable to models that require a fair amount of desk space. Smaller printers will be easier to move from place to place, but they will limit the size of the photos you can print. Larger printers can handle printing 8×10 photos without an issue but will need a permanent spot in your office. You typically won’t find anything in the consumer level wider than 13 inches.


If you’re buying a photo printer strictly for printing pictures, you won’t need an all-in-one printer, but we feel like this functionality still has some merit. This printer style is essential if you’re going through old photographs to digitize them before printing, as all-in-one printers have a built-in scanner.

Ink type

Traditionally, all printers have derived their ink from cartridges, which are read by the printer and dispense ink when necessary. Many newer printers use bottles full of ink, which are poured into a tank and drawn upon whenever you make a print. The main difference between the two is how many pages you’re able to print before needing to replace them. Ink tanks and cartridges come in different sizes to accommodate different printer models, but here’s an example for reference.

This set of HP ink cartridges is designed to print between 100 and 120 pages before needing to be replaced, while this set of HP ink tanks is designed to print several thousand. Printing photos requires several times more ink than documents, so you’ll need to replace them more frequently, but the difference is still clear.

Dye sublimation printers don’t use typical ink and rely on dye from a ribbon instead of liquid ink from a tank. While this lasts a long time and creates prints that don’t smudge, it also typically means you’ll have to replace the entire cartridge at once, which can be pricey.

Laser printers are great for office work but not for printing photos due to their lack of detail.


Q: How can I print large photos in high quality?

Modern photo printers are well-equipped to print photos that take up an entire 8.5×11 page with no problem. When you’re printing, click the “fit to page” setting to ensure you don’t have a white border around your picture. Leave that checkbox unchecked if you’d like a perfect 8×10 framed shot.

It’s also worth using a dedicated photo paper when you’re trying to make a higher-quality image. They typically receive and display ink better than cheap copy paper.

Q: Is glossy or matte better for photos?

Photos are traditionally printed on glossy paper because it makes their colors pop; however, it does make them more susceptible to glare. If you present photos in a room with a lot of direct light, printing it on matte paper may be your best option. However, the default is still to print photos on glossy paper.

Q: Can all printers print photos?

Yes, every printer can print photos, but some printers aren’t great at it. Laser printers, for instance, struggle with recreating fine detail. Stick to an inkjet or a dye sub printer for images.

Q: How much does a photo printer cost?

This depends on its feature set, but our recommendations range in price between $106 and $600. Professional photo printers can go well beyond that price range, especially once you get into the ultra-wide formats that pros use.

Final thoughts on the best photo printers

While most of us will continue to enjoy a majority of our digital photos on smartphones, tablets, and computers, a photo printer deserves a spot in any home office. The most special shots can be quickly printed and shared (or framed), meaning you can admire them without having to scroll through thousands of pictures to get to them. These printers will also provide rock-solid performance when printing text, and the fact that most of them can scan and copy photos or documents only increases their utility.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.


Brandt Ranj Avatar

Brandt Ranj

Staff Writer, Commerce

Brandt Ranj is a commerce reporter at Popular Science. He writes about the latest and greatest gadgets, from headphones and TVs to chargers and cables. He splits his time between New York City, Long Island, and Croatia, carting test gear around the U.S. and the globe.