When looking for a quality printer for art prints and photos, there are many things to consider.
From features to common complaints from actual users, I’ve extensively gone over 7 of the most popular inkjet printers used exclusively for printing high quality photos and art prints to sell on etsy or on your own.
This buying guide will help you think through what features that are important for art prints, point out flaws that could affect you later on, and ultimately help you decide on the perfect printer for your needs.
Quality Printers for Art Prints
Canon PIXMA PRO-10
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Epson SureColor P800
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Epson Stylus Photo R2000
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Epson SureColor P600
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Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
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Epson Expression Photo XP-960
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Canon PIXMA Pro-100
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Canon PIXMA PRO-10 – Versatile Ink Pigment System
The Canon PIXMA PRO-10 photo printer delivers dense blacks, and a wide color gamut.
In line with other PIXMA PRO printers, it uses the Optimum Image Generating System to help users get exactly what they are supposed to.
Canon’s OIG System calculates the best results for each print mode and depending on the type of paper used.
The built in system looks at various factors like color tonal gradations, black density, reproduction, low graininess, glossiness, anti-bronzing and more
Its unique ability to select ink combinations and placement is a definite plus.
Unlike other inkjet photo printers that require you to replace all cartridges when only one runs out, with this printer, you can just replace the individual empty cartridge. This is a huge money-saving feature.
The individual cartridges include matte black, photo black, gray, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow, red, and chroma optimizer. They can be purchased individually or in sets. It also connects using Wifi or Ethernet and will print from smartphones and tablets using Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint or Apple’s AirPrint.
Also included with the PIXMA PRO-10 Inkjet Printer is a CD/DVD disc printing tray, a user manual, setup CD-ROM, setup ink tanks, a power cord, a print head, and a USB cable.
The art prints coming out of the Canon Pixma Pro 10 are the best you can get at this price point, before moving on to much more expensive photo lab printers.
It should be more than enough for most professional applications up to the A3 size.
Overall, I believe it’s an excellent choice for beginners and experienced photo inkjet printer users alike.
- You can replace individual ink cartridges as they run out instead of buying a whole new set.
- DVD tray allows you to print images directly onto Bluray & DVD Discs
- No touchscreen or extras that may be enticing to people who enjoy technology.
Epson SureColor P800 – Advanced Black & White Printing
The Epson SureColor P800 uses UltraChrome HD inks allowing users to print on a variety of surfaces including photo and fine art paper, canvas, and poster board. It prints up to 17″ wide and includes the option to use a roll feeder.
It’s biggest asset is the ability to print striking neutral or toned black and white photos using a three-level black ink technology.
It uses nine 80 ml ink cartridges and connects via USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. Users can also access the printer with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
Another nice feature is the archival printing. Color photos are guaranteed to last up to 200 years and over 400 years for black and white photos.
The P800 17″ Printer has a good reputation in artist and photograph circles. And for good reason, it delivers very good quality art prints.
The Black and white prints in particular are extremely crisp and satisfying, The P800 is a really good art printer for the money.
- Archival prints will last centuries.
- Superior black and white printing
- It has a touch panel screen.
- BorderFree photos.
- Some colors are not as rich or vibrant.
Epson Stylus Photo R2000 – Fast Connectivity
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 claims unparalleled connectivity using a Hi-Speed USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet.
The joined efforts of Epson and the Munsell Color Science Laboratory produced AccuPhoto HG imaging. This imaging uses mathematical architecture and Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 Ink to enable the printing of vibrant fine art photos.
The Epson R2000 incorporates auto-selecting black inks choosing between photo black and matte black inks to create lustrous glossy, matte, and fine art prints.
The print width at 13″ is smaller than others on the list, but the individual ink cartridges are a definite bonus.
Included with the printer is a CD-ROM with drivers and software, a CD print tray with software, roll paper holders, and a single sheet guide. The eight 159-series Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 ink cartridges included come in photo black, cyan, magenta, yellow, red, orange, gloss optimizer, and matte black.
While this printer’s technology allows vivid prints, there isn’t anything that makes it stand out above the rest considering its cost.
The main complaint seems to be maintenance issues after a few months of use including the inability to resolve clogging.
The individual cartridges and fast connectivity make it appealing, however, there are more affordable printers on this list that offer the same features.
- Individual ink cartridges can be replaced instead of the whole set.
- Fast wireless connectivity.
- The 13″ width is small than some others listed.
Epson SureColor P600 – Affordable Wide Format Printer
The Epson SureColor P600 can print up to 13″ x 129″ panoramic prints. It uses an advanced black and white printing technology with 3 types of black ink.
It can be used on a variety of media including plain paper, fine art, canvas, photo paper, glossy, and CD/DVDs.
It offers fast connectivity using Epson iPrint, Apple AirPrint, Wi-Fi, Google Cloud Print, USB 2.0, and Ethernet. This printer uses individual ink cartridges making it easy to replace only the ones that need it. It features BorderFree printing, a color touch panel, and a roll media adapter.
The Epson Surecolor P600 guarantees archival printing on color prints up to 200 years and over 400 years for black and white prints.
The Epson SureColor P600 has great features including advanced black and white printing technology, a touchscreen panel, and BorderFree printing.
Infrequent use can cause the printer heads to clog.
Overall, a surecolor printer for wide format fine art prints and panoramics, at an affordable price tag.
- Advanced black and white printing technology.
- BorderFree printing.
- Archival printing guaranteed to last centuries
- Infrequent use of the printer can cause clogging
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Double-Sided Printing
The Epson Expression XP-15000 allows users to print BorderFree prints from 4″ x 6″ up to 13″ x 19″.
It uses 6 individual color Claria HD ink cartridges. One of its most unique features is the ability to print both sides.
The color LCD panel is a plus, and it includes Dash Replenishment that can automatically keep up with your ink amounts and reorder when you’re getting low.
Users can print using their iPhone and Android tablets or smartphones or via Ethernet. The printing speed is another plus with the ability to print a 4″ x 6″ photo in 27 seconds.
The box includes the printer, CD-ROM, a power cord, 6 ink cartridges including black, cyan, magenta, yellow, gray, and red, and 1 cleaning sheet.
The Epson Expression XP-15000 appears to be an excellent choice for the price. While it doesn’t offer the number of color cartridges as the other printers listed, it still produces fine art level prints.
The ability to print both sides is a unique feature in this list.
Overall, I think it’s a great printer for those who want to try printing photos and art at home.
- One of the most affordable printers listed.
- Double-sided printing.
- BorderFree feature.
- Less variety in color ink cartridges.
Epson Expression Photo XP-960 – Affordable Multi-Use
The Epson Expression XP-960 allows users to print borderless prints up to 11″ x 17″. It uses 6 Claria Photo HD inks including black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, and light magenta. You can print from a variety of devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet.
The Epson Expression rivals other printers on this list with its speed. A 4″ x 6″ photo can be printed in 11 seconds. A fold-over scan lid is incorporated to hold paper in place, and photos can be scanned and directly uploaded to Facebook. Users can print on specialty paper and DVDs.
This printer has a slim design making it easy to set up anywhere at home. It has a 4.3″ touchscreen for controls. The box includes the printer, instruction manual, CD-ROM containing setup software for both Mac and Windows, a power cord, and 6 ink cartridges.
At first glance, this printer is perfect for those needing a combination printer that will also print art print quality photos.
If you plan to print photos or art prints once in a while, it’s perfect. However, for quantity printing, it leaves a lot to be desired.
At the time of this writing, the reviews are positive with 65% or more giving it 4 or more stars. The negative feedback is what drew my attention. It appears that when one cartridge runs out of ink, the printer will automatically claim all cartridges are empty.
Until that one particular cartridge is replaced, it will not print at all. Again, it’s affordable and has the copy/scan feature and would work great for someone looking for a multi-function printer.
- Multi-functional allowing users to also scan or copy papers.
- High-speed printing
- Goes through ink quicker than most.
Canon PIXMA Pro-100 – Dye-Based Ink
The Canon PIXMA Pro-100 is unique in that it uses dye-based inks instead of pigment-based. It arrives with 8 ink cartridges including 3 that are specifically for creating amazing grayscale prints.
The colors include black, gray, light gray, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, and yellow. Like the Canon PIXMA Pro-10 above, this printer also works using the Optimum Image Generating System that selects color combinations and placement according to the print and type of paper media used.
Users only have to replace empty cartridges but can continue to print even when one or more cartridges are empty.
It produces prints up to 13″ x 19″ and incorporates FINE technology with 4800 x 2400 dots per inch ensuring quality prints. Print Studio Pro software is included and is compatible with other digital software programs including Adobe Photoshop CS, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Users can also print quality images on a CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and jacket covers.
- It uses dye-based ink for those who prefer it.
- The variety of blacks and greys offer optimal grayscale printing.
- Simple outside design with button controls
Buying Guide: Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of printer works well for watercolor paper?
Fortunately, for those who enjoy the look of prints on watercolor paper, Epson has come out with their own brand that is compatible with their printers.
The Epson SureColor P800 uses UltraChrome HD ink cartridges and is well-known for high-quality printing on a variety of surfaces.
What is your budget recommendation for fine art prints?
When it comes to your budget, the best thing to consider is what you will be using the printer for. It makes a huge difference if you’re printing for yourself or as part of your business.
Inkjet printers capable of printing quality photos and art prints can vary greatly between $250 to over $1000. However, keep in mind that more expensive does not always mean better quality.
Our best advice is to research. Decide what features are most important to you and narrow it down from there. It’s also a good idea to read over reviews. If several buyers complain about the same issue, more than likely, it’s something that should be carefully considered.
Why do you only suggest inkjet printers?
While laser printers are great for huge quantities and text-based prints, inkjet printers are more capable of recreating elaborate colored prints.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-10 uses the Optimum Image Generating System which decides the best ink combinations and placement depending on the complexity of the print and the type of media it’s being printed on.
What do I need to make quality art prints to sell on Etsy?
There are perfect printers listed in this guide that will do just that. First, consider whether or not you’ll be printing more color prints or black and white prints.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-10 is an excellent choice for color art prints. If you’re more inclined to try dye-based ink, the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is the best choice. It is also designed to create amazing black and white prints.
If you’d rather stick with pigment-based inks for black and white or greyscale prints, the Epson SureColor P-800 and the Epson SureColor P-600 are both excellent printers that use combinations of different shades of blacks and greys to ensure a quality print.
Should I consider a multi-functional inkjet printer?
If your primary use of an inkjet printer is producing quality photos and art prints, a multi-function printer is probably not the best choice. For those looking to sell photos and art prints, you want a printer that was made solely for that purpose.
If you’re looking to print photos or art prints at your leisure, and you could also benefit from a scanner/copier, then the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 is a great choice.
I’m just getting started and my budget won’t allow an expensive printer. I’m also not positive this is the route I want to go. What printer do you suggest I try first?
If you’re okay with spending $200-$300 to see if printing your photos and/or art at home is right for you, I suggest the Expression Photo HD XP-15000. It prints borderless photos from size 4″ x 6″ to 13″ x 19″. It offers a wide range of connectivity including iPhone and Android smartphones.
What are the main points I should consider before purchasing an inkjet printer?
There are actually many things to consider before purchasing a new printer. It’s even more important when considering one that is higher priced. Below are features I considered when writing this buying guide.
1. Its Primary Use
It’s important to know beforehand whether you’ll be using the printer for personal or business use. When using it for yourself, things such as brightness and perfect color combinations may not be as important.
However, when you’re using it for business, you want to be certain your customer will be satisfied with the artwork prints. Also, if you’re planning to use it for selling art prints, you want them to be the very best quality in order to build your business.
2. Color Versus Black & White
Some printers will produce quality prints in both color and black and white. However, there are some that are geared more toward one or the other.
For example, the Epson SureColor P-800 uses multiple shades of blacks and greys to ensure superior black and white or greyscale prints.
You may want to consider how you will be printing. Will you use your smartphone often, or will you likely use your laptop or desktop for printing? The majority of the printers listed in this guide offer a variety of connections such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and a USB cable.
Not all offer smartphone connections, especially for Android users.
If you’re needing a printer that offers copying or scanning, you may want to consider the Epson Expression Photo XP-960.
This printer doesn’t offer the amount of color combinations as some of the others, but it will produce prints that are perfect for personal use. It’s also one of the more affordable printers listed in this guide.
If you’re looking for a printer just for printing, I suggest you look at others that are listed. While this is a perfectly fine printer for multi-function use, it doesn’t offer the same quality prints as the others.
To be fair, all of the printers in this guide are pretty advanced, technically speaking. However, if you would rather have a touchscreen or the Optimum Image Generating System that the Canon PIXMA PRO-10 offers, you need to consider how advanced you’d like your printer to be.
6. Dye-Based Inks Versus Pigment-Based Inks
The majority of inkjet printer users own the printers that use pigment-based inks. There are a few who like the look of prints using dye-based ink cartridges. Our best advice in this area is to research and compare the differences.
7. The Basics
Definitely think about the width the majority of your prints will need to be. Printers in this guide vary from 13″ to 17″.
Read up on the amount of cartridges used. To some people, it doesn’t make a difference if there are 6 or 9 colored ink cartridges. However, there are users who would rather have a higher number to achieve a truer color print.
Consider the type of media you’ll be printing on. Most of these printers will accommodate a variety of medias including canvas and printing directly onto CDs and DVDs. Others will only print on photo or fine art paper.
Most inkjet printer users prefer the BorderFree technology offered in most printers. If this is important to you, make sure the printer you’re considering includes this feature.
Dash Replenishment is a feature offered on several of the Epson inkjet printers listed.
It keeps up with the amount of ink being used and can be set up to automatically order replacement cartridges as needed.
Last, I can’t stress enough how important it is to read reviews. Once you have narrowed down a few choices, look over several reviews. If you see a common issue, more than likely, you’ll encounter the same issue.
Some complaints are as simple as the printer wasn’t what the user was expecting it to be, or they may not have read the full description. Other complaints can be about the amount of ink that is used or a clogging issue. It’s always a good idea to see if several previous buyers have a common complaint.
My best advice when deciding which inkjet printer best suits your needs is to read everything you can before buying.
Decide early on what features are most important to you, consider what the printer will be most often used for, the types of prints you’ll want to produce, and keep your budget in mind.
Once you’ve narrowed down a few printers that meet your needs, read over the reviews. Pay close attention to common complaints. If there are too many having the same issue, then most likely, you will too.
I hope this guide helps you find the perfect inkjet printer to suit your needs. If you have experience with inkjet printers, be sure to let us know your experience in the comments.
Don’t forget to share this guide with family and friends who may be interested in purchasing an inkjet printer as well.