By Geoff Harris
Best A4 and A3 photo printers revealed
It's indeed ironic that in an age where cameras are everywhere and everyone is a photographer, the number of images being printed out is actually falling. Sharing images online, via social media or email attachments, has become the norm. The risk is that great images will be lost to posterity; can you really imagine your great grandchildren digging up your old Facebook page to find some pictures? So, read on for some of our best photo printer buys, from cheap and cheerful sub £50 devices to pro-orientated A3 + workhorses...
HP Envy 4500
A good budget choice, with surprisingly strong image performance for a two-cartridge print engine, the Envy 4500 is easy to use and solid. Just be aware that corners have been cut to keep the costs down, so there's no wi-fi connectivity or even a memory card reader.
£49 | Buy it now fromAmazon
Canon Pixma MG3550
Cheap it may be, but this Canon A4 printer delivers the goods, with outstanding print quality for the price. Colours are vibrant, and black and white output respectable enough for a printer with two ink cartridges. Although there's no LCD screen or memory card reader, you do get wi-fi connectivity and a scanner.
£39.99 | Buy it now from Amazon
Epson Expression Premium XP-950
This is a solid A4 performer, offering separate cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan and light magenta for vibrant colours. It can also print A3, and features a powered tray and control panel and touchscreen controls. Operation can be a bit fiddly but worth persevering with.
£249 | Buy it now fromAmazon
Canon Pixma MG7150
Another outstanding printer from Canon and although it's far from being the cheapest on test, you get what you pay for – in this case six ink tanks, an 88mm touchscreen, two media trays, lots of connectivity options and a direct disc print tray. Colours are rich and black and white output is impressively clean.
£240 | Buy it now fromAmazon
HP Envy 120
Features a neat LCD screen that can be turned to 45 degrees, along with wi-fi and a full range of connectivity options. It's another two-cartridge device, and you get a scanner too. Image output is OK but the slight red cast can be annoying, so it's not as convincing as the Canon Pixma MG3550.
£154.99 | Buy it now fromAmazon
Canon Selphy CP910
If you are looking for a portable printer that prints 4 x 6 inches or smaller, this is a stylish and reliable dye-sublimation model. You don't get scanning or copying, but there is support for AirPrint and an optional battery pack for road warriors.
£74.99 | Buy it now from Amazon
Epson Expression Photo XP-950
On to A3 printers. This is a solid performer, with a maximum print size of A3 rather than A3+, which equates to 16.5×11.7 inches instead of 19×13 inches. The Epson is well equipped, with a quality touchscreen display and built-in scanner but even the XL cartridges only take 10ml, so you may be refilling more than you'd like.
£249.99 | Buy it now from Amazon
Epson 1500W Stylus Photo
Like the newer XP-950, this printer features six dye-based inks: CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta. Without any grey inks, it's not such a good choice for black-and-white photo printing, so is better suited to glossy colour output.
Canon PIXMA Pro-100
Running on eight dye-based inks, the Pro-100 adds grey and light grey inks to the usual mix of CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta, and the slight warmth in the colour photo printing can be flattering for skin tones. The Canon outputs top-quality A3+ borderless prints in under four and a half minutes, so it's fast.
£373 | Buy it now from Amazon
Canon PIXMA Pro-10
A scaled-down version of the well regarded Pro-1, this printer uses nine rather than 11 pigment-based inks, in 14ml cartridges. Mono photo prints still look very good, if somewhat lacking contrast, and it's reasonably fast, taking 11 and a half minutes to deliver borderless A3 print in top quality mode.
£619 | Buy it now from Amazon