You don’t want to be left waiting for 15 minutes while a print creeps out, only to see a blurry mess appear in the tray and to then run out of ink.

The best photo printers speedily turn out crisp, vibrant and realistic-looking photos, and won't drain your printer ink in the process. 

You can see a selection of some fantastic photo printers in the table below, based on our tough lab tests, and two to avoid further down.

Is home photo printing worth it?

Many modern printers can print photos in various sizes, particularly inkjet-type models. 

Printing an individual photo at home is much cheaper than using an online printing service. Print a 10x8-inch image, for example, and it could cost around 35p from a Best Buy printer. You could pay more than triple that from an online photo printing service, with delivery costs on top. 

However, online photo printing services can be much more cost effective if you want to print a lot of photos in one go, as they often offer a discount. 

So for printing the odd photo here and there, use a Best Buy home photo printer. Printer manufacturers aren't shy about calling their products "photo printers." Many consumer all-in-one printers (inkjet printer/copier/scanners) wear the label, even if they have no more than the four usual ink cartridge colors—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black or CMYK—instead of the five or six shades that produce better-quality prints. Some vendors even apply the term "photo printer" to inkjets with the antique two-cartridge (black and tricolor) system. And some of their output, to be fair, isn't bad, as long as you're printing on special photo paper instead of plain or copier paper.But this article assumes you're looking for a true photo printer. For consumers, these fall into two broad categories: near-dedicated photo printers, and dedicated snapshot printers. Beyond those, some all-in-one inkjet printers take a decided photo-centric bent. We'll run through our latest tested favorites of all three kinds below, then get into how to buy a photo printer that's right for what you do.

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested PicksEpson SureColor P900 17-Inch Photo Printer

Epson SureColor P900 17-Inch Photo Printer

Best Pro-Grade Photo Printer

Why We Picked ItOnly professional photographers are likely to spend roughly $1,200 for a 10-ink freestanding printer capable of producing gallery-class 17-by-22-inch prints and 17-inch-wide banners almost 11 feet long. Those who do will find Epson's SureColor P900 worth every penny—including the extra $250 for the roll adapter. This magnificent machine generates brilliant colors and deep blacks (automatically switching between photo and matte black ink), with its UltraChrome PRO10 pigment inks more than fulfilling the promise of its ICC (International Color Consortium) profile and a control panel that lets you configure print jobs in ways that previously had to be done within Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. (There's also an Epson Print Layout plug-in that replaces Photoshop's Print dialog box.)

Who It's For

If you have to ask, you can't afford it, but if you need spectacular wide-format prints, panoramas, and banners, the P900 is actually something of a bargain. For anything short of high-volume commercial printing, the SureColor is a sure thing.

Canon Pixma Pro-200

Canon Pixma Pro-200

The Pixma Pro-200 isn't the flagship of Canon's photo printers—it's limited to 13-inch-wide (supertabloid) media instead of 17-by-22-inch stock or roll paper for banners or panoramas. But its eight ChromaLife100+ CLI-65 inks offer deep blacks, brilliant color reproduction in blues and reds, and an enhanced color gamut that makes your prints look gorgeous, with particularly great grayscale images. If you don't need roll support (the Pro-200 can manage limited banner printing up to 13 by 39 inches), it's a clear winner.

Who It's For

The Pixma Pro-200 fills a nifty niche between high-end desktop inkjets and super-deluxe, large-format photo printers. It offers a friendly control panel, versatile paper handling, automatic nozzle clog detection, and print quality you wouldn't expect from a $600 printer, as well as lower operating costs than most machines in its class.