The best printers for photo printing

From little to large, and to suit every budget, here are the best printers for producing high-quality photo prints at home and on the go.
A top-down image of a Canon PIXMA printer outputting a large photo print. A phone displaying a camera roll is on the desk beside it.

A photograph has the power to capture a moment in time and turn it into a treasured memory. But that power is lost when it's buried on a hard drive or amongst pages of digital media.

Printing your favourite photos transforms them into physical entities that can be framed and displayed around the home, given as keepsake gifts, placed in a scrapbook or photo album, or even printed as stickers to personalise your possessions.

There are a wide range of printers available that enable you to create your own prints, when and where you want – from compact printers that you can take on days out, holidays and to special events, to large-format models for producing big prints to frame and hang on the wall.

So how do you choose the best home printer for photos? Here we take a closer look at what the Canon printer lineup has to offer.

Best all-round photo printers

A woman holding a printed photo montage stands next to a Canon PIXMA printer on a wood-effect surface

The Canon PIXMA TS7450a Series printer can output bordered or borderless photos in sizes ranging from 91x55mm and square options, up to A4. It would be ideal for printing a photo montage, or a selection of photos in different sizes to display on a gallery wall or mounted together in one large frame.

A couple sit on a couch looking at phones and tablets. A PIXMA printer is on a sideboard behind them.

As well as printing quality photo prints, the Canon PIXMA TS7650i is a great option for document printing and craft projects, making it ideal for meeting the varied demands of busy families.

A multi-function printer makes it quick and easy to transform digital memories into beautiful prints to decorate your home or to share with loved ones. The physical nature of print means the images seem to hold more value, especially when given as a gift.

The multi-purpose Canon PIXMA TS7450a Series is simple to use, with a built-in scanner and Wi-Fi connection to your computer or smartphone. It's compatible with the free Canon PRINT app, and can output full-colour 10x15cm borderless photo prints in as little as 43 seconds.

A high-quality yet affordable photo printer, the PIXMA TS7450a Series uses a pigment-based black ink for crisp, smudge-resistant mono text output, and dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow inks for photos.

If you're looking for an even faster option for printing your photos, perhaps for larger projects such as creating your own wedding album, the Canon PIXMA TS7650i can output full-colour borderless prints in as little as 19 seconds1.

Like the PIXMA TS7450a Series, the Canon PIXMA TS7650i is a compact yet highly versatile printer that runs on a pigment black and tri-colour cartridge. It's simple and intuitive to use, with a control panel with colour screen that hinges upwards so it's always clearly visible.

The last thing you want if you're working on a print project, is to run out of ink, and the Canon PIXMA TS7650i also benefits from being compatible with the PIXMA Print Plan2. This subscription-based service monitors your ink levels and delivers new cartridges to your door as soon as it detects that you're running low, saving you time and effort, and costing up to 50%3 less than standard inks. It's a cost-effective option if you do a lot of photo printing, as both a document and a photo count as one page.

Best photo printer for mobile printing and scrapbooking

A pair of hands holds a printed baby photo above a Canon SELPHY CP1500, with further printed photos surrounding it.

A compact printer such as the Canon SELPHY CP1500 would be ideal for creating an album celebrating the first year of a child's life. Start with pregnancy shots, and include scans or photos of birth certificates and cards to capture the whole experience. Print out your imagery in a range of sizes and experiment with layout and ordering.

A woman sits on a sofa sticking photo prints from a Canon SELPHY Square QX10 into a scrapbook.

The battery-powered Canon SELPHY Square QX10 enables you to print photos anywhere and everywhere. Wi-Fi Direct makes it easy to connect to a smartphone, tablet or compatible camera, while the peelable, self-adhesive backing means prints are ideal for scrapbooking or for sticking to just about anything.

The printers we've covered so far are desktop/tabletop models that include built-in Wi-Fi, so you can place them anywhere around the home. But if you want to print further afield, Canon's compact, mobile printers can be taken wherever you go to create prints direct from your smartphone or compatible camera. It's a great way of gifting mementos to family and friends, or even creating custom postcards from your travels to send back home.

The compact Canon SELPHY CP1500 supports multiple paper types, ranging from postcard-sized paper (RP-108 and KP-36IP) to mini stickers (KC-18IL), with credit card (KC-36IP and KC-18IF) and square-shaped paper (KC-18IS) sizes in between. Each paper pack includes an ink cartridge loaded with the exact amount of ink needed. Photo print speed is about 41 seconds for a 10x15cm postcard-sized print.

The Canon SELPHY Square QX10 is a self-contained mobile printer that has an internal rechargeable battery pack and produces 68mm square photos on slightly larger 72x85mm sticker paper, enabling you to write your own captions at the bottom of photo prints. As with the larger Canon SELPHY CP1500, you can use different layout options and add decorative stamps, borders and special effects via the Canon SELPHY Photo Layout app.

Going smaller still, the Canon Zoemini 2 portable printer is small enough to put in a spare pocket, making it ideal for travel scrapbooking or for taking to a festival for instant printed selfies.

Find out more in our guide to getting creative with a compact photo printer.

Best photo printer for big projects

A Canon PIXMA printer surrounded by colourful photo prints, one of which sits in the printer tray.

The Canon PIXMA G650 features six cyan, magenta, yellow, red, black and grey dye-based ink tanks, for a wide colour space and tonal range, as well as for enhanced black and white photo printing.

MegaTank ink bottles being installed in a Canon PIXMA printer.

The high-capacity ink tanks in the PIXMA G650 have clear windows at the front, making it easy to keep track of ink levels.

If you're working on a long-term project that requires a lot of photo prints, especially at large sizes, the need to replace ink cartridges on a regular basis can feel a bit of a chore. Canon's MegaTank printers feature relatively high-capacity ink tanks that take cartridges out of the equation.

The Canon PIXMA G650 is a particularly strong contender, delivering sumptuous photo quality based on six dye-based inks. Each set of low-cost ink bottles is sufficient for creating up to 3,800 10x15cm colour photo prints and borderless printing is supported right up to full A4/letter sizes. Refilling the tanks is straightforward and mess-free.

As with the other PIXMA printers we've mentioned, the G650 has built-in Wi-Fi and supports cloud-based scanning and printing, and a built-in, high-resolution scanner also makes it easy to scan and copy photos.

Best printer for professional quality photo prints

A person seated in front of a Canon PIXMA printer holding a large photo print of a city scene.

The Canon PIXMA TS8750 Series features a pigment-based black ink cartridge plus five dye-based cartridges in cyan, magenta, yellow, grey and black. These give better colour rendition and more detail in bright highlights and dark shadows.

A woman standing by a Canon PIXMA printer, which is sitting on a desk next to a computer monitor. Printed photos are displayed in frames on the wall behind.

As a specialist dye-based photo printer, the Canon PIXMA PRO-200 is unrivalled for professional-quality colour and black and white output. The printer is ideally suited to glossy and lustre photo papers, but also delivers beautiful looking prints on matte and fine art media.

Generally, the more inks a printer uses, the better the photo quality will be, and the Canon PIXMA TS8750 Series runs on six individual cartridges that include five dye-based inks to ensure superb photo quality, with an enhanced colour space and tonal range, plus a pigment-based black ink for crisp, smudge-resistant mono text. It excels in all photographic genres, from vivid, vibrant landscape photos to beautifully subtle skin tones in portraits.

This 3-in-1 multi-function printer also includes a high-resolution scanner, an intuitive interface on a colour touchscreen and can print full-colour 10x15cm borderless photo prints in as little as 13 seconds1.

A memory card slot enables you to print your photos straight from compatible SD cards and connectivity is also enhanced by the latest version of the Canon PRINT app which has a redesigned, more intuitive top-level menu and makes it quicker and easier to access Cloud services.

If you want to take your photo printing to the next level, the Canon PIXMA PRO-200 delivers A3+ (329x483mm) borderless prints in as little as 90 seconds. It can also produce panoramic photo prints of up to 990mm in length, to really show the bigger picture, which is ideal for landscape photography.

The PIXMA PRO-200 runs on eight individual dye-based ink cartridges, the inks being formulated to give professional-quality photo prints. It's therefore the perfect printer for the most demanding creative photographers who want the utmost photo quality and bigger prints.

Multiple input trays ensure compatibility with relatively thick fine art media as well as regular photo papers, so you can experiment with the look and feel of your printed pictures. To help with this, Canon's free Professional Print & Layout software simplifies multi-image page designs, as well as giving easy options for customising colour rendition, brightness and contrast.

How to make good photos look great

A person seated in front of a Canon PIXMA printer looking through a selection of photo prints

Both the Canon PIXMA TS7650i and PIXMA TS8750 Series have a dual paper input system, so you can load plain paper into an internal cassette at the front, and photo paper or other specialist media into the upright tray at the rear.

A before and after shot of a couple on their wedding day next to a lake, dark and unedited on the left, showing the lighter version on the right, edited in Digital Photo Professional.

It's useful to know how to edit your photos, so you can fix mistakes, improve your composition and adjust settings. Find out how to process your images using software such as Digital Photo Professional in our simple photo editing tips guide.

For top-quality, long-lasting photo prints, paper choice is as important as the ink. The variety of different profiles in Canon's printer drivers ensures that the process is fine-tuned to give the utmost accuracy in terms of colour, brightness and contrast, and that prints are highly resistant to smudging or fading over time.

Glossy paper is particularly good for creating vibrant, punchy colour photos. Non-reflective matte papers can work better for dramatic black and white photo prints, and for a more subtle colour treatment, for example in portraits and wedding photos.

There's a wide range of Canon photo papers to choose from, including the cost-effective Glossy Photo Paper 'Everyday Use', the thicker and more lavish Photo Paper Plus Glossy II, the Photo Paper Plus Semi-Gloss with its luxurious satin finish, and Matte Photo Paper which is excellent not only for matte photo prints, but also for greeting cards and crafting projects. All of these photo papers are available in a wide range of sizes. It's a good idea to test a few different photo papers to see which you prefer.

There are also plenty of size options to choose from. If you opt for 127mmx127mm square photos, the Canon Photo Cube is a fun way to store them, or to turn a collection of photo prints into a gift. It comes with two ink cartridges and 40 sheets of square Plus Glossy II photo paper. You can even personalise the Photo Cube by decorating it with your favourite images on the outside. The square photo paper is compatible with the Canon PIXMA TS7650i and PIXMA TS8750 Series printers, as well as the PIXMA TS7450a Series, the PIXMA G650 and the PIXMA PRO-200.

Canon's range of printers and papers means photographers can be sure their photo prints do justice to their images, no matter how or where they intend to display them. From mobile models that put fun into printing with family and friends at special occasions, through desktop printers that are equally adept at document and photo printing, to MegaTank printers that are convenient and cost-effective for larger projects. And to really make a statement, the Canon PIXMA PRO-200 offers professional-quality large-format printing at a relatively affordable price.

Matthew Richards

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    1. Photo print speed is based on the default setting using ISO/JIS-SCID N2 on Photo Paper Plus Glossy II and does not take into account data processing time on host computer.
    2. PIXMA Print Plan is only available to residents of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom.
    3. Based on average cost per page savings vs. original standard inks sold for the top 20 Inkjet all-in-ones in Western Europe, (Key Point Intelligence study – Jan 2022). Cost per page (CPP) of monthly subscription to Canon PIXMA Print Plan (200-page plan), without additional pages, compared to cost per page to print ISO/IEC 24711 pages on the top 20 Inkjet all-in-one colour cartridge printers, priced under 200 Euros in Western Europe, using standard-capacity cartridges. Average CPP used to determine percentage saving versus CPP for Canon PIXMA Print Plan (200 page plan). Ink yield and prices based on manufacturer website information in Germany. Sale prices of ink not considered for this study. Keypoint Intelligence January 2022 study commissioned by Canon, based on publicly available info as of Jan 2022. Printers selected by unit sales in IDC Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker – Final Historical 2021Q4, Western Europe.