Despite the deluge of digital images in modern life, there’s still something about a printed photo that can get people excited about photography again. Whether you’re creating a photo album for wedding clients, selling individual prints on your website, or printing out photos to hang in your next gallery show, a printed image has depth, texture, and weight that can’t be matched on a computer screen.
To meet the demand for quality photo prints, manufacturers continue to produce excellent professional-level inkjet photo printers in a range of sizes. These days though, the number of pro photo printer companies has shrunk to only two serious brands: Epson and Canon. But between the two of them, they offer some excellent output options. Here are our choices for the five best photo printers in 2021, including 13-inch to 24-inch-wide models.
Epson SureColor P700
The Epson SureColor P700 ($799) is one of the best 13-inch inkjet photo printers we’ve ever tested. It’s also surprisingly compact. With dimensions of 20.3 x 30.3 x 16.5 inches (WxDxH) and weighing 35 pounds, it’s easy to find room for the Epson P700 on a desk or small table in your home office or studio. The P700 uses Epson’s 10-ink UltraChrome PRO10 pigment ink set, featuring cyan, light cyan, vivid magenta, vivid light magenta, yellow, gray, light gray, violet, photo black and matte black inks. That’s a solid range of color and the Epson P700 performed well for both landscape photos and portraits. We also liked that P700’s MicroPiezo printhead now has dedicated channels for both photo black and matte black inks so you don’t need to switch them depending on which type of paper you use. Black-and-white print quality was exceptional, and a new Carbon Black printing mode increases Dmax, aka maximum density, so the dark areas of photos look pitch black for increased contrast. The Epson P700 has pro-level features but you don’t need to be a printing expert to use them. The printer’s functions can be accessed via an intuitive and customizable 4.3-inch, flip-up touchscreen on top. There’s also improved support for wireless printing (including 5GHz). One other small but welcome feature: the P700 has an interior light so you can see the progress of your photo as it prints out.