Photography / Buying Guide

Professional Printers for Photographers: A B&H Buying Guide


As a professional photographer, you have many options for printing the photos you shoot. The kind of printer you choose is based not only on the type of photos you make and who your clients are, but on how you want to present your work and what style of personal promotion interests you. As a wedding photographer, you might want to present acceptable work prints to your clients and have a lab handle the final prints, or you might want to invest in your own high-end printer and print your images.

Possibly, you’d like to bring a portable dye-sublimation printer with you to the reception and make sure all guests go home with a photo of themselves with the bride (with your website stamped on the back, of course). With the availability of affordable professional-quality printers, many with increasingly portable features, it is now easier than ever to print your own work, whether it be work prints, exhibition prints or high volume on-location printing. At B&H, there is a printer available to fit every need.

The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8400S 44" Large Format Printer is a high-quality printer with an array of professional features that is able to print on paper rolls and cut-sheet media as wide as 44". It is an eight-color inkjet printer with a maximum resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi. Printing is possible on media as thick as 0.8mm. A new multi-sensor with built-in densitometer calibrates the printer, and the Color Calibration Management System can link the calibration targets for every printer in a system. The iPF8400 utilizes the LUCIA EX ink set, which offers pigment-based ink of vibrant, stable colors with smooth gradations, superb blacks and fine details.

It is also scratch resistant. Ink droplets have a minimum size of 4.0 pl, there are 2,560 nozzles per color and in highest print mode, the order of ink application and layering is optimized for high quality with fewer passes—meaning that overall printing time is reduced significantly. A Sub Ink Tank System keeps ink in reserve, so printing need not stop to change ink cartridges. With Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, 384MB of internal memory and a hard-disk capacity of 250GB, the iPF8400s can accommodate high-volume printing, and for further versatility, plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and Digital Photo Professional are bundled with the printer.

Also designed to print up to 44” wide, the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer offers a high level of performance and nuance for fine art applications. With a MicroPiezo TFP print head and an ink droplet size of 3.5 picoliters, fine art photos are produced with rich, detailed and accurate colors by Epson’s High Dynamic range pigment ink. The maximum resolution is 2880 x 1440 dpi. Ideal for black-and-white printing, the 9900 simultaneously utilizes Black, Light Black and Light Light Black inks to produce prints with smooth tonal gradations and contrast. Eleven ink cartridges are available in capacities of 150, 350 and 700 ml, and sizes can be mixed as well, to save money and minimize waste. Color prints on Epson Professional Media are rated stable for up to 200 years (black-and-white prints last even longer). Two- or three-inch core rolls of paper can be switched easily because no spindle is used. This increases flexibility and, again, eliminates waste.

For the professional photographer who needs a tabletop printer that can provide the sharpest details and most accurate colors and often on large pieces of paper, we have numerous options. For example, the Epson SureColor P800 Inkjet Printer offers a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi, and with its advanced MicroPiezo AMC print head, produces gallery-quality color and black-and-white prints up to 17 x 22". The printer’s nine-ink set delivers a bold range of colors, and its print head will automatically switch between photo and matte black ink to improve black ink density for various media types. An Advanced Black & White Mode is also available for neutral and custom toning of your monochrome imagery. The minimum ink droplet size is 3.5 picoliters.

The Epson P800 accepts cut-sheet media up to 17" wide and features three ways to load paper as well as an optional roll media adapter for canvas and paper rolls from 13 to 17". In addition to USB 2.0 and Ethernet, the printer offers Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless printing from mobile devices. 

The Canon PIXMA PRO-1 Color Inkjet Photo Printer features a maximum resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi and accepts media from 4 x 6" to 13 x 19". It's specially designed for professional photographers who need high-quality output. A rear paper input tray accepts up to 20 sheets of photo paper, and thicker papers can be manually fed. The print head on the PIXMA PRO-1 has 12,288 nozzles which improves color gamut and overall print speed. And because the inks are housed on the side of the print head, their tanks are larger and hold more ink. The 12 pigment-based ink system from the LUCIA family includes five monochrome inks for expanding the dynamic range in dark areas: Matte Black, Photo Black, Dark Gray, Gray and Light Gray. In addition to these monochromes, the printer utilizes Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow, Red, and the special Chroma Optimizer, which provides a clear coat, enhancing the uniform glossiness of the paper and maintaining true color fidelity. It is also capable of printing directly to CDs or DVDs and via an Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 port, or PictBridge port, the PIXMA PRO-1 is compatible with a wide variety of devices.

The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Color Inkjet Wireless Photo Printer offers Wi-Fi, Ethernet and PictBridge connectivity and 4800 x 2400 dpi resolution for its max output of 13 x 19" media. Of its eight ink cartridges, three are monochrome (black, gray and light gray) for professional-quality prints. An 8 x 10" print can be completed in approximately 51 seconds and, utilizing the Optimum Image Generating (OIG) system from the PIXMA PRO-1 model, the printer analyzes various image attributes—including color reproduction, tonal gradations, black density, low graininess, glossiness, anti-bronzing and anti-metamerism—to produce the best results for each print mode and paper type.

The Epson PM225 PictureMate Charm Compact Photo Printer offers computer-free printing of 4 x 6” borderless photos. It can print a photo with a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi in 37 seconds. Slots for most types of memory cards are available and PictBridge interface allows you to print directly from compatible digital cameras. Onboard photo editing allows you to edit your images in the printer as well as crop, enhance and remove red-eye. A 2.5” LCD displays the photos as they will be printed. Various templates, including proof sheet and wallet prints, offer versatility, and a built-in handle and optional battery pack make the PictureMate Charm the ideal printer for event photographers.

Dye-Sublimation Printers

Dye-sublimation printers are the kind we are familiar with from most standard photo labs that print up our pack of 4 x 6" prints. They work by applying a ribbon of colored dye to a medium, usually a roll of photo paper. By heating a panel of color on the ribbon, the dye is vaporized and diffuses on the paper. Varying the temperature of the heating process will allow more or less dye to transfer to the paper, thus creating your image. This process is repeated for three colors and then a lamination is heated on the top to stabilize the colors and protect the final print. Even though we are used to seeing giant printers in photo labs do this, dye-sublimation printers can be portable as well.

The DNP DS-RX1 Dye-Sub Color Photo Printer is a portable event-photography printer that can produce 700 4 x 6" photos in a single run at just 14.9 seconds per print. It’s able to print either matte or glossy photos from 2 x 6" up to 6 x 8" at a maximum of 300 dpi. An efficient, fast machine, it is ideal for photo booths as well as events.

For those looking to print a bit larger, DNP's DS80 Digital Photo Printer can output prints up to 8 x 12" in just 35 seconds, as well as smaller print sizes down to 4 x 8". While not quite as portable as the DS-RX1, this bigger brother weighs about 30 lb and measures 14.4" on its longest side, so it would not be unheard of to use as a printing station at the wedding reception.

For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone, at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.

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I am getting into portrait photography and contemplating a good quality professional printer. Since I am in initial stages may not have much load to keep the printer busy . Would the printers discussed below both canon and epson require a daily usage of few minutes to keep them on the go or would behave the same say if there's a gap of 8-10 days between each print. Would there be smudging or a test print needs to be taken after such interval ?

Kindly advice 



I am basically a wedding photographer, i need a professional advice on the Best kind of printer to use that can give me the quality of print of a GQ magazine because i want to print & make photo books. Also what type of paper can be best used for it. Thanks

Professional/Fine Art  photographers who show and/or sell their work, either to galleries, exhibitions or to clients expecting the prints to last and be pass down from generation to generation, have a responsibility of producing museum-quality archival prints, also known as glicee. Glicee Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The glicee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction. Glicee prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. For low to medium duty cycles, the larger 17 inch wide printers and up are the most cost-effective and due to their larger ink tank capacities, the price-per-ink droplet can be anywhere from 30-60% cheaper than the 13 inch archival printers. The 2 best in the 17 inch size are the Epson SureColor P-800 and the  Canon Image ProGraf Pro 1000. Both have 80 mil tanks and are priced at around $55 per tank.  Major difference is the ability to print on 2” and  3” core, 17 inch wide roll paper (P-800) with the Roll adapter (sold separately). So the largest print size is 17x129” (even more with an appropriate RIP). With the newly designed MicroPiezzo AMC print head technology and the latest Epson UltraChrome HD Inks, which include 4 monochrome the P-800 will deliver vivid color, superior black density and significantly improved print longevity. Canon Pro 1000 uses 11 pigment-based Lucia Pro ink tanks which like the P-800 include 4 monochrome inks and a chroma Optimizer. Largest print size is 17x23.39 inches (yes this is correct. It I not 23.4 or 23.5 inches. It is 23.39 inches). When run through extensive testing with a gamut torture test, both printers are about equal. For paper, you will want fine art archival inkjet paper. They come in a variety of types, sizes, textures and thickness. Both the Pro 1000 and P-800 are compatible with thicker media paper. We carry a wide variety of acid free papers to choose from. A good way to test some of these papers out is by the Sampler Packs we carry from some of the manufacturers. You can find them here.

Hahnemuhle has book-making accessories from uniform grain directional paper, also  they have album covers and paper for the albums to media kits.

Hi Steven,

I am looking for a printer to mainly print pretty basic images/fonts to be inserted into blank coasters keyrings etc. What would you suggest to be the best one?

Thank you for your time

Hi! I am looking to buy a printer mainly to print A3 sized images, both for personal and commercial usage. Dye or pigment both work for me, I am also not too concerned about the longevity. 20 years is more than enough. But what's very important is the cost/print. I liked the Canon Pixma Pro 100 but it's cost/print is very high, much more than online printers. I was wondering which printer would be perfect for my needs. Would love to hear your expert take on this.

You would need a printer capable of 13 X 19 for A3 sized images.  So, Dye Sub would not be an option, at least not from the printers B&H carries (or that I am aware of on the market).  Of the inkjet options, the Canon Pixma Pro 100 would likely have one of the lower costs per print.

thanks  you vercy much i am into teaching of photpgraphic sciene intend toopen a colured photo lab in theschool whereiam teaching kindly send your quotation based on each type of yourprinter and let me se what i can within few days to raise the money

For price quotes, you will need to contact our Sales Department directly. 


800.606.6969 or 212.444.6615

If you prefer to email, you would want to include the full billing/shipping address.

I am opening up an online store to sell original art prints. What printer would you suggest for printing prints up to A3 size, good archival quality, on art papers and prints well both colour and in black and white. Reading through your article Epson Surecolour P800 seems like the one to go with?

The Epson SureColor P-800 is an excellent choice for printing museum quality archival fine art and photography. With the optional roll media adapter, which accepts 17 inch wide rolls up to 100 feet and both  2 or 3 inch cores, you can expand your print size options. The 80ml ink tanks are about 30% cheaper per droplet compared to the 13 inch wide fine art printers.

If you are expecting a decent amount of volume printing, the Epson 4900, which is also 17 inches wide,  has a more robust engine designed  to handle higher volume printing, accepts roll paper any width up to 17 inches, and uses 200ml ink tanks. So you would save even more on ink ($87 for 200ml cartridge vs $58 for 80ml). It also has two extra colors, green and orange. These 2 colors help expand the Adobe RGB color space for printing.

Great article, thanks.

I am more of an enthusiast/hobbiest photographer who would like to print my own work. On varying size papers. I like the idea of the 19" wide and optional roll format. I'm not sure that 13" wide is quite wide enough? The intent is to frame and hang. Also would like to print photobook style work. The Epson range appeals to me, however, open to suggestion. Just a little confused as to which way to go, especially as the P400 is so much cheaper then the P800. For me quality does matter, as these will be display pieces. Hope that's not too vague for you to gauge a response.

The Epson SureColor P-800 is a 17" wide printer with an optional roll adapter. You can print any size from 3.5x5 inches up to 17 inch wide banners. it's archival quality printing is perfect for framing, archiving and preserving. 

The SureColor P-400 is a 13 inch wide printer. The P800 has three black inks for better graduations in both black and white and also in color. It also uses some vivid inks for increased gamut. It has cartridges with nearly 5 times the capacity of the P400, which invariably means lower inks costs when using OEM ink.The P400 only uses six inks plus gloss optimizer. If you are primarily printing on RC and baryta papers, then this is an advantage - gloss differential will be minimized (the difference between the gloss of the inks and the gloss of the paper). Without the glop, the ink can be too glossy for some photomatte, semi-matte, lustre, silk, satin papers; or not glossy enough for high gloss papers. Ink gloss is generally formulated for somewhere in between photomatte and full gloss.Gloss differential is not a problem on fine art papers. Even if photo black was used on fine art papers, the result would still be matte. The matte black is used to increase the Dmax on true matte papers - make the blacks blacker than a photo black ink can achieve.

This discussion addresses print quality on the Epson 9900 Stylus Pro, which is excellent. Not so excellent is that Epson no longer services its printers but subcontracts to a 3rd party. My printer head failed one day and cannot be recovered. The 3rd party service contractor wants airfare, rental car, $100 for "shipping", $175/hour with a 1-hour minimum etc et al, plus parts that could run $3,000. "Don't worry, we'll bring the parts with us." Further research revealed epidemic nightmares in print head failure, no service support and several help lines that pick up in Asian countries. Some try to change the print head. None succeed. Most have many service calls. I loved my 9900 while it lasted. Now it's off to the dump. What a waste. Bad engineering. No service. No support. 

My husband and I have a small business and want to invest in a printer that will print quality photos of every size: wallet, 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, poster, etc.. We also want the ability to print calendars, passports, postcards, canvasses, invitation, wall decor, collages, mugs, blankets, etc.

This is quite an ambitious list you have.  You will not be able to achieve all with 1 printer.  If the largest size prints would be poster-size, then that would be 24” wide format. If you want to offer  museum quality archival printing, then your 2 best options are the Epson SureColor P-7000 and the Canon imagePROGRAF Pro 2000. The P-7000 has a lot of improvements over the previous model which will mostly be seen in the output of the prints displaying significantly better black density levels and possessing longer permanence ratings.  In addition, Epson has once again made technology advancements in imaging with a new UltraChrome HDX pigment ink set for outstanding color and an improved Precision Core TFP print head that contains an ink repellant surface coating to help protect from head clogs. It is the perfect large format inkjet printer for about any printing application within the areas of photography, fine art, proofing and even some signage. Other attributes are a more powerful Controller Board for faster processing and networking performance , New Workflow Features with an optional internal 320 GB Print Server, maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi and variable-sized droplets, as small as 3.5 picoliters, for extreme print quality, Epson ePlaten media-loading technology ensures accurate and automatic media handling. It also has an accurate Roll Media Length Tracking to estimate remaining length of paper for the print job, auto Black Ink Type Switching with Photo to Matte Black , and new User Scheduled Print Head Maintenance Cycles

The new Canon Pro 2000 uses LUCIA PRO 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink that allows for increased color gamut, reduced bronzing, improved scratch resistance, greater image clarity, gloss uniformity and excellent shadow reproduction, as well as increased black optical density. Compared to previous models, the Series features a wider print head (1.28-inch wide) with anti-clogging technology, which improves efficiency as well as reduces cleaning cycles and prevents wasted ink. This newly developed print head allows for a more compact printer design as only one print head is installed in each PRO Series printers. The imagePROGRAF PRO Series model includes several enhancements for increased usability, including a redesigned 3.5-inch color LCD touch panel, direct USB drive print capabilities and mobile connectivity. Also new is the intuitive software solution of Print Studio Pro. With a focus on quality and ease of use, Print Studio Pro is a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Canon Digital Photo Professional software, to easily exports files directly to the printer.1 The Quick Utility Toolbox feature provides users with a portal to launch and control software from one central interface, and Accounting Manager is included to help photographers keep track of consumable costs such as ink and media, helping users to determine their overall printing expenses. 

Another option would be the 8-color ink systems. Both Epson and Canon offer these. They have the same features as the 11 and 12 ink systems. Adobe RGB coverage would be slightly less, but still high quality archival printing. The Epson P6000  is the perfect large format inkjet printer for those thinking about expanding their print service to offer posters, POP, fine art and even some signage applications.  Canon’s iPF6400S 8-Color LUCIA EX pigment ink improved scratch resistance and smoother gradations. The multi-sensor provides improved color density detection and allows for a full calibration to be completed within 15 minutes. The Color Calibration Management System allows for color calibration targets to be created using the iPF6400S with optional spectrophotometer and shared across all iPFX400 12-color printers. The included software allows for all printers on the network to be monitored from one central location. Print times are slightly faster.

An advantage that the Epson has over the Canon is a larger ink tank capacity option. You can use the 150, 350 or 700 ml ink tanks. Canon’s options are 160 and 330 ml. The larger the ink capacity, the lower the per-print-page cost is.

For printing onto ceramics and mugs, you will need a dye sublimation printer. Dye-sublimation printers use heat to transfer dye onto the printing material, a process that transitions the dye directly from a solid state in the form of color panels on a cellophane ribbon to a gaseous state that is deposited on a special paper. This paper is overlaid with a clear, water-resistant overcoat to protect it from discoloration, oxidation and UV radiation. The printer makes up to 4 passes ohn to the print surface- red, green, blue and a final clear coat. Dye sub printers that have the option to bypass the clear coat are what you need to print on mugs and other surfaces. 

For ID and passports, I would recommend the HiTi P310W ID printer. As an ID printer, the P310W can output fifteen 1 x 1.2", six 1 x 1.2" & three 2 x 2", or two 2 x 2" headshots per 4 x 6" print. Other ID formats and configurations are possible with the included IDQuickDesiree Software. For convenience and ease-of-use the P310W has wireless connectivity and may also be used with micro-USB Type B. Add a customized photo frame with the downloadable Printbiz App, which is available from the App Store and Google Play. Small, lightweight, and fully-featured – the Hiti P310W fulfills its purpose with style and functionality.This fast dye sublimation printer has a 47 second, 4 x 6" print speed and offers a choice of glossy or matte surfaces. The print media of 60 4x6 prints is $19.00.

Hi ,

i would like to purchase a photo printer , to print the pictures i have in my mobile phone .

am looking for something easy to carry , can print different size pictures , reflect true colors of the picture and have bluetooth connection to it .. could you please advice

For a portable printer that will print various sizes, excellent color reproduction and mobile phone –capable, the Epson PictureMate PM-400 is a good option.  It features Wi-Fi Direct and is able to print from smartphones and tablets wirelessly even beyond the reach of a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Epson PictureMate PM-400 is capable of producing 3.5 x 5in, 4 x 6in and 5 x 7in prints, and uses a single four-color CMYK cartridge that contains all four ink tanks. As well as Wi-Fi Direct, the printer can be connected by a USB 2.0 port and integrated into a wireless network with Wireless 802.11 b/g/n. The machine supports Epson Connect6, Epson Email Print, Epson iPrint Mobile App, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Android Printing and Remote Print. An SD card slot is also available, and images can be previewed on the 2.7in LCD screen. The device measures 9.8 x 15.1 x 7.9 inches when ready to print and the hopper can hold up to 20 sheets of Epson's Premium Photo Paper Glossy. Ink and paper can be purchased separately, or in a bundle that includes ink and paper for 100 prints.


please advise on the printers to use for my small business of photography that i plan to start.i intend to capture images of people and offer quality photographs as well as be able  to print business cards and calenders for my potential clients.your response will determine my purchase.

For a small business with volume printing that is compatible with many types of print media and has high image quality, a wide format  printer that has large ink tanks will be the best and is the most economical in ink cost is the best option. Designed as a heavy duty, high use production printer, the Epson 4900 delivers huge results in a small footprint.  This 11-ink, 17” roll and sheet fed printer can do it all, from 8 x10 luster photos to 17” x 60” banners, to everything in between.  Utilizing an orange and a green ink gives the Epson 4900 one of the widest color gamuts available, and the Piezo printhead allows for incredibly precise dot placement. Commercial and flexographic proofing for quite possibly the highest quality proofing system available today. It is compatible with virtually any media type, in roll or cut sheets, from letter up to 17 inches wide. A built-in high-capacity paper tray handling up to 250 sheets of plain paper, or up to 100 sheets of premium paper as large as 17x24 inches.  It has 4 built-in media paths including roll feed, front paper tray, front-top manual feeder, and a straight-through front manual feeder capable of handling cut-sheets up to 1.5 mm thick. The 200 mil ink tanks are much more economical for per-droplet costs, up to 50% cheaper than a  13” wide printer.

It´s a pity  you don´t  offer  anything  similar to the  HiTi P510si.  I think  cordless, picktbridge transmition  and available  paper and  ribbon  in  different sizes  is  a  most  in  social  events.  Do you have something similar?

DNP has released the DNP Wireless Print Server. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It achieves wireless operation using a 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n signal and is powered using 110-240V at 50 or 60 Hz. The Wireless Print Server (WPS-1) allows end users to efficiently increase their shoot-to-print business by eliminating the use of wires and memory cards. Use any capture device -- from cameras and cell phones to tablets and computers -- coupled with a DNP photo printer for PC-fee wireless control interface.The WPS-1 is designed to work with the DNP DS40, DS80, RX1 or the new DS620. The WPS-1 supports modern workflows that include mobile devices. In addition to printing from your PC or Mac, the WPS-1 supports mobile devices including iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple iPad, Android cameras and select WiFi enabled DSLR cameras. The flexible workflow and hardware arrangement makes the WPS-1 wireless printer server simple to configure and easy to use. Built in versatility supports up to two DNP printers, image transfer via FTP services and printer sharing. Wireless printing is now possible without a computer, hub, router or internet connection.

HiTi has released the new HiTi P520L. It is  the first dye-sub printer to offer an integrated wireless solution in addition to a standard USB connection. Add a WiFi dongle and print wirelessly from your phone, camera, computer or photo booth, no internet connection necessary. A WiFi dongle is easy to set up and enables wireless printing from your computer using the printer's windows driver or from your phone or phone camera using the HiTi Prinbiz App (available for free for iPhone or Android). The WiFi dongle also offers the option of connecting a memory card reader allowing you to print from your camera's storage card.

which model replaces the discontinued  EPSON XP-810 ?

looking for good quality, reliability and freedom from set-up difficulties  in a sheet printer - no AiO needed

The Epson XP-830 has replaced the XP-810. It has a 4.3" touchscreen with Gesture Navigation and improved ink technology.

Can you suggest a dedicated photo printer? I used to use several hp a serios photo smart printers for 4X6 and 5X7 prints but havent found anything comparable. Its like all the manufacturers straight gave up on compact photo printing after 2010. the problem is all the bigger photo prints have crapy quality. Even the newer hp ones or really short shelf life (especially the hp ones) Looking for something to work with windows 10/8.1 and windows 10 mobile. I would like to print wirelessly. Do not mind how long it takes to print as long as the great photos from the camera phone come out great on paper I also dont mind if its an AIO either. I just wnat to be able to print great photos from my phone and tablet and is compatible with the newer versions of windows. I also don't care about price or ink prices or subscriptions.

The Professional photo printers use 8 or more pigment inks, and start at 13" wide and proceed to larger models.  The Canon Pro 10 , Pro 1 and the Epson SureColor P-400  and SureColor P-600 are examples. They also have wireless printing ability.

 The Epson PictureMate PM-400 is a portable printer with the option to print 3.5x5, 4x6 and 5x7 photos. It is a 4-color printer, which is not considered a professional photo printer. But you are able to choose from a variety of different inkjet photo papers. And it is wireless-capable.

Another option are the dye sublimation printers. Dye-sublimation printers use heat to transfer dye onto the printing material, a process that transitions the dye directly from a solid state in the form of color panels on a cellophane ribbon to a gaseous state that is deposited on a special paper. This paper is overlaid with a clear, water-resistant overcoat to protect it from discoloration, oxidation and UV radiation. Since the dye is never in liquid form, the print can be handled immediately after coming off the printer—a great advantage in event photography where prints can be handed directly to the customer without waiting for them to dry. Dye-sub prints are continuous-tone, much like traditional silver halide prints, whereas the image formed by an inkjet print consists of minuscule discrete dots of single colors that are visible at high magnification.On the down side, dye-sub printers cannot handle special papers such as heavyweight and textured art papers, and prints from dye-sub printers are not quite as sharp as those from the best inkjet printers due to slight gas diffusion before the ink reaches the paper. However, the difference is not visible in prints of modest size. The longevity of dye-sub prints has been vastly improved over the last several years, and dye-sub prints are claimed to be archival for 100+ years. Reliability and clean, durable output are two reasons why many event photographers use dye-sub printers.  

The DNP DS40 is a great dye sublimation photo-only printer that can produce 4x6, 5x7 and 6x8" photos. The DNP Print Server is an accessory that will give the printer wireless printing ability.

I'm looking to replace my Epson 4880, which has been a real work horse for many years, and many 1000's of prints. My wish list includes great quality, high end neutral B&W capability, automatic calibration, lower cost per print, 8x10 color print in under 1.5 minutes, and the capbility to print from roll paper & sheet paper up to at least 11x 14". I've been very happy with my Epson, but am open to other manufacturers.

The closest replacement printer is the Epson 4900, which is the latest generation of the 4880. It is considered the best 17” photo and fine art printer on the market. Its 200 ml ink tanks at $86 each are more economical per page than 17” wide photo printers with smaller ink tanks (Canon’s 17” equivalent, the iPF5100 uses 130 ml tanks that cost around $76 each) .  As in any professional printer, the best method for true color accuracy is by creating your own ICC paper and printer profiles. The ColorMunki Photo does both and also calibrates your monitor with its built-in colorimeter. It also will calibrate and match multiple monitors in a studio setting, including a multiple monitor set-up to a single computer.

What the best printer for gallery quality B&W photos ? Is there any dedicated B&W printers that have no color option(not laser) ? 

Black and white printing presents unique challenges. Some of these are the ability to produce a neutral color without any color casting, the ability to maintain that neutral appearance under different light sources (reduced metamerism), the ability to attain gray balance (consistent color throughout the entire tonal scale); the ability to achieve a very dark black (high dmax) without sacrificing shadow detail (low dot gain), and longevity. In turn, these are heavily dependent  on the media, the profile and the custom black-and-white ink, as is the printer. The printers that have the multi gray cartridges (light black and light light black, for example) and both Photo Back and Matte black cartridges will yield the best quality black and white imagery with the least color casting. The Epson SureColor P-600 and above (SureColor P-800 and the larger SureColor-series printers) include the Epson-proprietary Advanced Black and White in its printer driver software. You get more control over tonal separation, and more tonal control overall, you are also guaranteed a linear response – completely neutral gray, if that is what you want. So depending on which size printing you are wanting to produce, the Epson SureColor P600, P-800 and their larger format printers will be able to produce the best quality back and white images.

I am looking for a photo printer that can read from my computer (don't care if it can read from anything else since I do

all my editing on my computer)  I need it to be able to print small photos - like stamp size or 2x3 size - it is ok for the small size

to be on a bigger piece of paper that I can cut out.  I want good archival quality. I also need it to print up to 5x7  - suggestions??

The printers with the best archival quality are the ones that use the pigment inks. Such as the Canon Pro 10 and Pro 1, and the Epson SureColor P-400 and P-600. These are 13” wide printers and are able to print anywhere from 3x4” sheets of paper  up to 13 inches wide. You can create a layout with two 2x3" images on a 4x6" sheet of paper. The Epson P-400 would be a great option. If you want a smaller printer, none of the letter-size printers use pigment inks. For best quality, a 6-color ink system like the Epson XP-960 (none of the single function printers have a 6-color ink system) would give you the best quality.

I am looking for a home printer for 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 color prints. What are best on market today?

For home use, the 2 best inkjet printers would be the Canon PIXMA iP8720  and the Epson Artisan 1430 . These are 13” wide printers, but they have a 6-ink cartridge system. We do not carry any letter-size single function printer that utilizes a 6-ink system.

Epson does have 2 other printers with a 6-ink system. They are both all-in-ones: the XP-860 and XP-960 .  The differences between these 2 are the XP-860 is an all-in-one with fax and auto document feeder. The XP-960 is an all-in-one without a fax or ADF. It also can print up to 11x17” and has a single back feeder for printing on thicker/heavier paper. These other printers do not have this ability and are limited to paper up to 11.5 mil thick, which is slightly thicker than a premium glossy inkjet paper. A notch up from these is the Canon Pro 100 . It uses an 8-ink cartridge system, can print up to 13x19” and has a straight paper feed option that can handle up to 26 mil paper, which is similar to a heavy canvas paper.

The least expensive option would be the Canon iP7220 . It is a single function letter-size printer that utilized a 5-ink cartridge system.

  1. I,m Chifundo Botoman. I have a great interest in photo printers and want to grab one. In so doing i would like to ask you to contact me on this no: +27733650637. My e-mail is not working well. Thank you. I will just be waiting for your call.

I have requested that a Printer Agent from our Telephone Sales Division contact you at the number you have provided.  If your email begins working well, you may also email us directly at with any product questions. 

I need a photo printer which use a rebon cartrage when printing and one that can print A5 photos as maxmum size, please help me with the make and price?

We do have a few dye sublimation printers that can print up to A5 (6x8 inches). You can see them here. To assist you on choosing the best one that suits your needs, please send us an email to:

Am in need of a photo printer which is easy to manage,cheap,producing not only one size. Please help am zambian

More details are needed in order to assist you better on your inquiry.  Please send an email to: and a printer specialist will guide you through on which printer would be your best option.

I am considering going into clubs and taking pictures of the patrons; leaving to print the pictures, then returning with photo packages. Can anyone recommend a good printer and supply company that I may consider to get starter.

For this type of application the most commonly used type of printers are Dye-sub printers. They can output 4x6 prints very quickly.  Below is a link to a recommended model for you to use for your prints.

I inherted a Canon IPF 5000 with a damaged printhead. Is it worth it to fix this aged printer? I know it does great work with pictures but the expense worth the potential other problems printer issues. Thanks for your opinion. 

The iPF5000 uses two printheads. Each Canon PF-03 Printheads costs $449 to replace. Other things to look at are if the printer was properly flushed after it was used last.. This means all the inks and their residue were properly flushed out. If they weren’t, then you may be dealing with other issues, like clogging. Potentially a lot of new ink could be wasted while attempting to clear up the system. Also, you should check if the Roll Feed Unit RU-01 is included for printing on roll paper. This accessory is $179.95. The iPF5000’s replacement model, the Canon imagePROGRAF 5100, is currently $1649, includes the roll feed unit, and a full set of starter inks. So you should figure in all the costs to get the iPF5000 up and running, plus the wear and tear, versus purchasing a brand new printer. All prices listed in this comment are subject to change without notice. Please check our website for the current prices.

Interesting your write an article on a printer that is discontinued

Epson 3880

Thanks Jesse. As I'm sure you know, lines of equipment get upgraded and then the older models are discontinued. This often happens after an article has been written. Thanks for your input however, it helps us all be better.

What is the closest replacement (features and price) to the Epson 3880?

Thanks Tony-K: I would take alook at the SureColor P800. Other alternatives would be the P600, on the smaller side, or the Pro 4900 on the feature heavy side.

The P-800 is the newest generation of Epson's 17" wide format home professional printers. Upgrades from the 3880 are an optional roll feeder,  wireless printing ability that includes printing from Android and iOS mobile devices, and an improved paper feeder for the thicker media.

Are there any professional photo printers that can be hooked up to a network?  I am a high school photography teacher and I have a lab with 20 computers.  I have been using Epson R2880 printers but we have to orchestrate the printing since they are not meant to be networked.  If 2 prints are sent at the same, they fail to print!

Thanks for reading Rachel. Scott, a resident expert, suggests the Epson R2000. Please see link below.


The Epson SureColor P600 is the newest  generation of Epson 13 inch wide format professional printers. It replaced the R3000, which in turn replaced the R2880. It does have a 100Base-T Ethernet interface to connect to a network. It also has auto-switching black ink technology,  which allows for swapping between matte and photo black ink cartridges, without having to physically switch them out, for greater productivity. The ink tanks also have double the capacity of inks than the R2880, so you would not have to replace them as often.

Another option would be the Epson SureColor P-800. This is replacing the Epson 3880. It is a 17 inch wide format printer that has the same color gamut and print quality as the P600. It also employs auto-switching black ink technology. It has  a 100Base-T Ethernet interface to connect to a network.  Its larger 80 mil ink tanks will equate to approximately a 30% savings in per-print costs over the R2880 and P600 printers.

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