Best A3+ Photo Printer
Reasons to avoid
The Canon PRO-300 is the successor to the highly-regarded PRO-10 and again its distinguishing feature is that it uses ten pigment inks rather than dye-based ink. One of the cartridges is a Chroma Optimizer, which provides a smooth finish on glossy paper. Of the other nine newly-formulated Lucia Pro inks, you get the standard six colours for photo printing, plus red and grey inks, and both photo black and matte black, for printing on glossy and matte media respectively. There are individual channels in the print head for both photo and matte black inks saving time and ink when swapping between media types. Excellent output quality combines superb accuracy for colour prints and fabulous definition for black & white photo prints, without any unwanted colour casts.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Theres a lot to love about this new Epson printer, although its incredibly similar to the previous XP-960 model. It works very well as a standalone printer and photocopier, with intuitive touchscreen controls. Going large to A3/wide format printing makes your photos look much more imposing, and print quality itself is very good. Even so, for glossy colour and black & white photo output, the XP-970 loses out to the more specialist Canon PIXMA Pro-100S A3+ printer. The Epson is smaller, lighter and less expensive to buy, but has dearer ink costs.
Reasons to avoid
Compatibility With Your Printer
Compatibility. Mind that when choosing photo paper, its very important to consider the you are going to work with. You should take into account the compatibility of paper with the equipment available. Its better to use original photo paper, the one the manufacturer recommends.
Price difference. The other side of the issue high quality photo paper recommended by the manufacturer is more expensive. You may save your money by buying the paper in bulk, including in rolls . Its more attractive, but small photo shops and home mini-studios cant always afford such big purchases. Moreover, equipment for roll printing is quite rare.
Budget option. Another option to save your budget is to buy paper by third-party manufacturers. It is cheaper but it may not provide the desired color rendering. Problems with picture durability might occur. The best photo paper is produced by such companies as Lomond, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Avery Zweckform and Fullmark.
Best Photo Printers: How Did We Test Them
Each printer we source for testing is measured on our test bench and the results are critically compared with every other model we have reviewed. Rather than relying on the manufacturers quoted figures, we time the first page out and print speeds in single sheet and duplex mode using a standard ten-page document and a stopwatch app.
To compare print quality, we print out the same set of test documents on every machine. These twelve test pages include text of varying font sizes and colors, mixed image and text pages, a set of photos and a series of test patterns designed to assess sharpness, color fidelity, contrast and grey scale.
We also calculate running costs, compare functionality and consider each products versatility, design and build quality. The overall score reflects all of these parameters and overall value for money.
Specifically for photo printers, we looked at their versatility , paying closer attention to the print output and the cost of the consumables .
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Types Of Printer Ink: Explained
Not all printers use the same ink. Inkjet printers and laser printers differ because one uses liquid ink and one uses toner powder. Similarly, not all inkjet printers are the same in that some inkjet printers use dye-based ink and some use pigment-based ink. Knowing the benefits and disadvantages of what your printer uses to print can help you decide which printer is best for you.
Where to start? Lets take a look at the different types of printers and inks available:
Inkjet Lustre Photo Paper
Wondering which kind of photo paper photo labs usually use? That, my friend, is the lustre photo paper that has been used by pro photo labs for decades as a standard or default option for prints. It has that semi-gloss or is in-between matte and glossy finish look to it. Its surface is satin-like with a visual appearance that is the same as that of a pearl. This type of photo paper gives you that subtle texture of a matte finish which is useful in withstanding scratches, fingerprints, and scuffs from handling while at the same time, having that rich color saturation and tones of the glossy photo printing paper but with a lesser glare which makes it easy to be viewed from different angles.
If you want that pebble or pearly-like surface with a subtle gloss finish that photo labs usually use, then the lustre photo paper is the best fit for you. This photo paper is the most popular choice for wedding pictures, photo albums, newborn or baby photos, portraits, and school photos. Just like the matte photo printing paper, lustre photo finish is also ideal to use for framing and display in your living room or gallery.
Lustre photo finish type of photographic paper won’t give that rich contrast a glossy photo paper offers. Also, some images might appear slightly darker than they should be.
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Print Speeds And Quantities: Do They Matter
Don’t worry too much about print speed in these classes of hardware. For photos, quality matters more, and even the slowest printers today offer tolerable print speeds, at about 2 minutes for a 4-by-6 on our tests. Keep in mind, too, that measured speeds are typically slower than claimed speeds, and the speed for any given printer may vary depending on the source from which you’re printing.
The usual rule for printers is to find out the printer’s monthly duty cycle , as well as its recommended duty cycle, and make sure the latter number covers more pages than you plan to print. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible with most dedicated and near-dedicated photo printers.
That’s because most manufacturers don’t rate the duty cycle for these classes of printer. That’s as inexcusable as a car manufacturer not telling you how often to change your oil, but, for now at least, it’s the state of the business. Our rule of thumb for these printers? If you’ll be printing enough photos that you’re concerned about the duty cycle, and the manufacturer doesn’t rate the duty cycle, don’t buy the printer. You may need to look instead for printers aimed strictly at professional photographers and retail stores.
Printer Photo Paper Is Just As Important
While high-quality photo ink can make all the difference when it comes to printing photographs at home, it is also important that you are choosing that is just as high quality. This will help make the photos that you print look much more realistic, and it will also give photos better contrast and realistic details that you simply cant get with multipurpose paper.
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How Do You Intend To Use Your Printer
Printers vary widely based on whether theyre for home or business use , what you intend to print with them , and whether you need color printing or just monochrome.
Most printers are designed with either business or home use in mind. Generally, business models and are geared toward text and usually graphics, while home printers favor photos. Special-purpose options include dedicated and near-dedicated and label printers. Even if you primarily want to print photos, you may also want a printer that can do other things, so be clear on the whole scope of your printing needs before you buy.
Inkjet Woven Photo Paper
Woven photo paper is ideal to use if you want that white as snow and smooth look on your photos. This photography paper type gives images more heavy sense and that ‘flat’ feel to it. If you are wondering what photography paper to use for the Great Wall of China photo, then woven photo paper is perfect for it.
Light transfer paper is best for white, light or pale colored cotton fabrics.
Light iron-on transfer papers are not advisable to be used on synthetic fabric as it tend to be more sensitive to heat and might cause issues on your prints.
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Take Note Of The Color Brilliance
The brighter or whiter the paper, the better the photo, a commonly held belief, but not always true. There are two scales to measure the brightness or light reflectivity of paper: the ISO Brightness scale and the TAPPI scale. The higher the brightness rating, the whiter the paper will appear, which yields photos with proportionately higher contrast and more accurate color. However, an ISO Brightness rating over 104 or a TAPPI rating over 92 indicates fluorescent whitening agents have been added to the paper, which may degrade the ink over a fairly short period of time. Purchase photo paper with lower values if you want your photos to last.
What Is A Laser Printer
Laser printers shine when it comes to printing a lot of black text, and while colour models are more expensive than colour inkjets, they also produce professional-looking business graphics. Theyre normally faster than inkjets when it comes to this kind of job, and can handle a heavier workload if youre planning to print a lot of pages every month.
Whats more, while the toner cartridges are expensive, each one prints a lot more pages than an inkjet cartridge, so the actual cost per black-and-white or colour page is usually much less. However, laser printers are usually bulkier and noisier than the equivalent inkjet printer and will take up more space on your desk.
While they can produce good graphs and charts, colour laser printers aren’t much good at printing photos. Stick to an inkjet if you’re likely to print off your holiday snaps.
- Pros Fast prints and good-value printing for black-and-white pages
- Cons More expensive to buy, bulkier and often noisier than inkjets
Choose a model from our round-up of thebest laser printers.
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Which Printer Company Is Best
The 9 Best Office Printers of 2021Best All-in-One: HP LaserJet Pro M428fdw. … Best Single Function: Brother HL-L3270CDW. … Best Laser Printer: Brother MFCL2750DW. … Best for Portability: Canon Pixma iP110. … Best Budget: Brother HL-L2300D. … Best Splurge: Brother MFC-L6800DW. … Best Compact: Canon Pixma TS8320. … Best for Photos: Epson SureColor P600.More items…
Are Inkjet Printers Better For Printing Photos
If you use inkjet machines will win hands down. When you put these two things together youll see deeper blacks and smoother colour transitions.
If you get one of the semi-professional inkjet printers such as the Epson SureColour SC-P700 and add orange and red inks into the mix then the effect can be dramatic, especially if youre using a high-quality archival paper.
Inkjet printers are particularly great for art reproduction thanks to the great range of colours you can use with an inkjet printer, but you will be looking at a costlier process because of the colour.
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What Do You Need To Invest When You Print Your Photos
- Printer. You may think that a printer will be the highest cost you will incur. Well, as an initial payment, you are not wrong. Inkjet printers will need you to buy and top-up ink levels. Some printers will not work unless all the colours are present. They even stop working before the ink has run out, so read reviews and do your research. The Epson PictureMate PM-400 Wireless Compact Color Photo Printer wont disappoint you.
- Ink. Ink will be the most expensive area when it comes to printing, as each photograph will use a lot of colours. There are ways to refill the ink at home, which is messy but offers you the printing at a fraction of the cost. The Canon CLI-42 8 PK Value Pack Ink and the Epson T069120-BCS DURABrite Ultra Black & Color Combo Standard Capacity Cartridge Ink are recommended choices.
- Paper. You will find there is a higher cost for a higher quality paper. A cheaper paper will deliver an inferior image. The affordable, ordinary paper will give you great results. Keep the expensive paper for exhibitions or the selling of your prints. The Canon Matte Photo Paper is a good option for printing your photos at home.
Finish Photos With The Best Quality Ink And Paper To Get An Everlasting Image
There are an endless number of different point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras available in this day and age that allow the average person to take personal photographs that look just as good as the pros. Through different camera settings, lenses and editing software, we are able to capture a flawless image that faithfully reproduces some of the most important moments in our lives.
However, for as much time as people spend editing and altering their photographs in order to capture the best possible image, they rarely spend as much time or effort thinking about how they are going to finish off their photo and archive it. While your only option used to be dropping off your film at a lab and waiting for it to be developed, people are now able to get professional prints right at home from a number of high-quality photo printers.
While a great photo printer can print an unlimited amount of photos right from the comfort of your own home, truly great home printed photos are created when these printers are combined with high-value printer ink and paper in order to produce an everlasting photograph with the best possible quality.
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Should You Buy Cheap Paper What About Recycled Paper
For everyday printing, store-brand 20-pound weight paper will usually server nicely. However, you’ll get better results if you step up to a higher-quality paper. For lasers, as well as for inkjet text and graphic printing, that means a heavier weight, and possibly a brighter white level. For photos on inkjets, it means getting photo paper. Getting the brand of photo paper that matches your printer’s brand will usually be the best choice printer manufacturers design ink and paper to work together and often offer a variety of photo papers.
Recycled paper has likewise improved in quality, and you can find 100% post-consumer-content recycled paper for many uses, including cover stock and bright white paper suitable for business use. There are other kinds of eco-friendly paper on the market as well, such as all-purpose paper made from sugar cane and photo paper made from cotton. Do your small part to save a tree and research eco-friendly media options. Any modern printer will handle them well.
How The P900 Works Its Magic
The anatomy of the P900the technology that lets it print such exquisite images and artworkis much like that of the P700. You can find a description of how the 10-channel MicroPiexo AMC printhead, the UltraChrome HD PRO10 ink palette, and the new Carbon Black Driver mode work together in the P700 review.
A significant difference between this and the P700 model is that the latter supports printing labels on pre-surfaced CD-ROMs and DVDs, whereas the P900 does not.
To get the highest-quality prints from this or any other near-dedicated photo printer, you’ll need high-end printing media. The P900 can print on 17-by-22-inch cut sheets and larger 2- and 3-inch core 17-inch-wide paper rolls. Aside from this ability to print on wider stock and the additional expense that entails, everything pertaining to using premium paper on the P700 is the same on the P900. Paper costs and handling are also covered in the P700 review.
The P900 supports roll media up to 17 inches wide and prints banners up to 10 feet 9 inches long.
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How We Test Photo Printers
Every printer we review goes through a number of specialized benchmark tests as part of our evaluation, and photo printing is part of that package. Whether it’s a large inkjet or a pocket-sized mobile photo printer, we print a handful of photos, timing how long each print takes and examining the quality of every picture. We pay close attention to color accuracy, transitions between different shades, and whether flesh tones are true to life. We also watch for clarity of fine details and realistic textures.
We also measure the time taken for every print, beginning the timer from the moment we hit “print” until the final photo is ejected from the printer. We do this for both individual prints and batches of multiple photos to get clear measurements of how long printing actually takes in various circumstances.
In addition to print quality and speed, we also calculate the cost of printing. By dividing the estimated yield of each cartridge or refill, we can determine the average cost for each individual page or photo print. Where high-capacity ink cartridges and value-priced packages are available, we make sure to include those in our calculations.
Check out all of our printer coverage:
What Is An A3 Printer
If you want to print large office documents, posters or photos to hang on your wall, then an A3 printer is the one for you. They cost more money and take up more desk space, but they can print on larger sheets of paper than a standard A4 printer. Some have a strong photographic or design focus.
- Pros Ideal if you need to print at poster-size
- Cons Take up significant space compared with regular printers
We’ve rounded up thebest A3 printersto help you quickly find the model for you.
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