Photo printer to print color photos: which one to buy

In the past, to get the best results with photographs you had to turn to a photographic studio equipped with all the tools to get the most out of each shot.
Although this advice still remains valid (especially if you do not want to spend money on an additional printer dedicated only to photographs), there are many color photo printers that can offer a final result very similar to professional photographic prints, just know which printer to choose and not go headlong into a purchase without understanding at least the basics of choosing a good photo printer.
In this guide I will give you an overview of the parameters to consider when purchasing a quality color photo printer, so as to buy wisely and without "surprises". At the end of the article, the advice of which photo printer to print color photos is worth buying online to save money.
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The features you need to consider before purchasing any color photo printer are as follows.
1) Print technology : printers dedicated exclusively to photographs can adopt two types of printing technology: inkjet or thermal sublimation . From the quality point of view, the best technology is certainly thermal sublimation, but this benefit is almost completely eliminated due to the high costs for compatible photo paper (the absence of a cartridge for this technology is paid for with a special paper capable of to sublimate the ink), certainly more expensive than the classic cartridges and normal photo paper for inkjet printers. It therefore guides the choice also on the basis of management costs, certainly higher on thermal sublimation printers.
2) Number of cartridges: on color inkjet printers you can find the number of cartridges needed to generate color photos. The basic printers offer 4 colors for printing photos (black, cyan, magenta and yellow) while some printers also offer multiple colors for printing (pentacromy or hexachromy). Assuming that all the colors supported for the photos are generated thanks to the combination of the 4 fundamental colors, the addition of a separate cartridge for a particular color will increase the level of detail of the colors on the final print, while also generating a higher cost in terms of cartridges. If possible, always choose printers that offer 4 colors, they are a good compromise between quality and cost.
3) Print speed: choose a printer capable of generating photos with a discrete speed, so you can immediately admire the result and print more photos in succession. The speed is expressed in PPM (pages per minute). A good reference point for this type of photography is 8 PPM, but a lot also depends on the technology chosen.
4) Print resolution : the level of resolution on printed paper can be evaluated with the DPI (dots per inch) parameter, often available in the data sheet of the chosen color photo printer. Inkjet printers have a solution. Try to focus on models with at least 300 x 300 DPI.
5) Photo format : the most used photo format for this type of printing is 10x15cm, but you can add other sizes with this size (9x13cm, 13x18cm and 15x21cm the most common). Make sure that the printer supports at least two of these formats, so that you can print photos with different sizes also based on the type of shot taken and the possible frame where you want to place the souvenir photo.
6) Weight : a light printer will be much easier to carry. By choosing a printer weighing less than 1000 g, you can also print outside the home and outdoors while still being able to count on a quality result. Thermal sublimation printers tend to weigh less than inkjet printers due to the absence of cartridges.
7) Power supply : in addition to the classic power supply via the electrical network, many light print allow you to print color photos on the move using an internal rechargeable battery. Great autonomy is not required but the minimum necessary to print at least 20-30 photos.
8) Connectivity: in addition to the classic USB cable, many color photo printers allow you to take advantage of wireless or Bluetooth connectivity to connect smartphones, tablets and reflex cameras without using any type of cable. The possibility of using WiFi Direct is also excellent (a modem or a WiFi router is not required) and other similar technologies for direct printing (often available through a specific app for portable devices).
6) Operating costs : certainly one of the most discussed items when it comes to color printing. In order to print color photos, ink and photo paper are required; the choice of quality ink and photo paper will also affect the final result of the photo, as well as the pockets! In the case of thermal sublimation printed matter, the ink and paper are supplied together in the same "cartridge" (actually a special paper loader ready for sublimation) with decidedly higher costs. If you want to save money without sacrificing quality, you can rely on inkjet printers with original cartridges and quality photo paper; if you are looking for uncompromising quality, you can rely on any model of thermal sublimation printer.

Best Color Photo Printers (inkjet)

After seeing what features the color photo printer must have, here are some inkjet printed models that you can buy online and save money.
1) Canon Pixma TS8250

A sufficiently cheap printout for this category of printers is the Canon Pixma TS8251 . This printout offers 5 ink cartridges (pentacromy) to generate superior quality photos, WiFi connectivity and WiFi Direct to print from any wireless medium and an optical disc slot (DVD, CD, Blu-Ray). The color print speed is 10 PPM in color and the final print resolution reaches 9600 DPI.
You can buy this printer from the following link -> Canon Pixma TS8250 (120 €)
2) Epson Expression Photo XP 960

Another color printer useful for printing photographs with a quality comparable to that of a laboratory is the Epson Expression Photo XP 960 . This photographic printout boasts a very high resolution (up to 5760 x 1440 DPI), a slot for reading a large amount of memory cards (MicroSD, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC, MiniSD, MiniSDHC, SD, SDHC, SDXC), has a display with which to check the print preview, a scanner to scan photos to be imported to the PC and supports WiFi networks and WiFi Direct connectivity to print photos directly without the need for a support network. It offers a print speed of up to 32 pages per minute (color printing) and has 5 ink cartridges (pentacromy).
You can buy this printer from the following link -> Epson Expression Photo XP 960 (220 €)
3) Canon PIXMA TS8350

Among the color printers with 6 ink cartridges I recommend you buy the Canon PIXMA TS8350. This multifunctional offers high-quality photographic quality thanks to the addition of the gray cartridge, which allows you to replicate the various shades of color in a much more precise way compared to 4 or 5 cartridge systems. The print resolution is 9600 x 2400 DPI and the color print speed is 10 PPM. You can connect it to your PC via USB cable or use a WiFi network to print wirelessly in color.
You can buy this printer from the following link -> Canon PIXMA TS8350 (180 €)

Color photo printers: buying guide (thermal sublimation)

After seeing the color printers here are the thermal sublimation printers, much faster and more compact to the point that they can also be used on the move.
1) Canon Selphy CP1300

Among the best thermal sublimation color photo printers, the Canon Selphy CP1200 occupies a prominent position, thanks to the good relationship between quality and running costs.
This printer offers numerous advanced options: passport size, simple connection with smart devices, 256 color levels, with a 24-bit color depth.
The print resolution is 300x300 DPI and the battery allows you to print up to 52 photos away from the power.
You can buy this printer from the following link -> Canon Selphy CP1300 (101 €)
2) Polaroid ZIP

Polaroid goes big with a very small thermal sublimation printer, able to quickly print all your most precious memories on photographic paper.
The Zink zero PREMIUM card offers a pleasant visual rendering on compact-sized photographers, to which can be added the possibility of being able to upload your shots from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or via NFC.
The print resolution is 300x300 DPI and the internal battery allows you to take up to 30 photos.
You can buy this printer from the following link -> Polaroid ZIP (129 €)
3) HP Sprocket

HP offers a compact thermal sublimation printer capable of borderless printing, just like the photos you get in a photo lab. The weight is very low (only 172 g) and can be connected to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth technology. The print resolution is 300x300 DPI and allows you to print up to 40 photos with the internal battery.
You can buy this printer from the following link -> HP Sprocket (129 €)
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