3 Best Photo Printers for Macs > May 2024 > Buying Guide

Best Photo Printers for Macs – Ultimate Buying Guide

Finding the best photo printer for macs may seem daunting, but we’ve made it much easier with this user-friendly buying guide. Whether you have a Mac tower, iMac, a MacBook laptop, or a Mac mini, we’ll help you get setup with a high quality photo printer today. We’ll go over the basics and what to consider when purchasing a photo printer. Then we’ll provide in-depth reviews of the best photo printers for macs currently available.

What is a Photo Printer?

A photo printer is aptly named since it is a printer designed to print photos. A photo printer is usually an inkjet printer, although it can be a thermal dye printer, which has the ability to print high-quality digital photos and other vibrant color projects. The appeal of being able to print pictures instantly, along with the drop in digital camera prices, has enticed many people to purchase a photo printer.

best photo printers for macs
You can print directly from a DSLR camera

A photo printer can either be a printer dedicated to printing photos alone, or it can be a printer that can print photos as well as other types of documents. Photo printers differ from other printers because they have more color cartridges, which allow for a wider range of color hues and tones, and some even contain special photo ink. Technically all printers can print a picture; however, not all printers will have the quality or the various options of photo printers.

best photo printers for macs
Photos printers can print photos and documents

A portable photo printer is easy to transport and doesn’t have to be connected to a computer. Equipped with slots for reading digital media cards, or memory cards, these printers also typically have parallel and USB ports. It’s rare for a printer to come with connection cords, so it’s wise to know what you’ll need before you hit the store.

The price of a photo printer can vary widely depending upon a number of factors. DPI, which stands for Dots Per Inch, is a measure of print resolution that indicates how many dots of color, or pixels, a printer can create per square inch of print. A DPI that is too low will produce grainy, speckled photos that appear pixelated or blocky. A DPI of 4800 x 1200 is thought to be of lab quality.

Most photo printers have editing functions such as red-eye removal, border options and creative coloring effects such as creating sepia and black and white photos. If you’re in the market for a photo printer, you should research the numerous available features.

Although a photo printer can be more expensive than a regular inkjet and may not print as quickly, they’re ideal if you want high quality photos with a variety of creative options.

What to Consider When Buying a Photo Printer

1. Dedicated vs. All-in-One

If you’re serious about printing high-quality, professional-looking photos, find a printer that’s designed specifically for this purpose. All-in-one printers will print photos, but the quality might not be as good. Dedicated photo printers have added features that make printing better photos easier, like extra ink cartridges to enhance color or an LCD display where you can crop images and remove redeye.

2. Size and Portability

For printing photos outside the home or office, consider a portable option that’s not a pain to lug around. The Canon SELPHY CP800 weighs just 2 pounds and is about the size of a shoebox. An optional battery makes this model ideal for printing from anywhere.

If you’ll only be printing from home, size may be of less concern than price and the included features. Look at standard-sized inkjet models that offer excellent print quality with the versatility to produce larger prints.

3. Ink Options

Photo printers are available with two different printing options: inkjet or dye sublimation.

Inkjet photo printers can produce larger and higher-quality photos. While photo quality still varies by printer model, having more ink cartridges often results in better prints. For the best quality, look for a photo printer that has six or more color cartridges as opposed to only four.

Dye sublimation or thermal dye models are more typical of compact photo printers that produce 4 x 6 inch prints. Found in models like the Canon SELPHY, dye sublimation offers the advantage of producing photos with a clear overcoat that’s more resistant to smudging and moisture damage than inkjet prints.

4. DPI

Look at the print resolution too, it’s essential for a high quality print. Search for at least 600 dots per inch (dpi) for inkjets, which is standard for most printers now. Higher resolutions will produce better prints, so if you want the best look for the highest dpi.

5. Print Sizes

The size of prints you’re looking for may help you decide which photo printer option best suits you. Snapshot printers can typically only handle 4 x 6 inch photos or smaller. If you’re looking for larger than that, you’ll most likely be after an inkjet model, which can typically print on sheets as large as 13 x 19 inches. There are even some larger, wider options to choose from.

6. Cost per Print

For printers that offer print kits that include paper and ink for a specific number of photos, calculating cost per print is as simple as dividing the total number of prints by the price per pack. The cost varies depending on the quality and size of the paper and ink you purchase. For a 4×6 print, it typically would cost approximately $0.10 to $0.15 per print.

7. Printing Speed

It’s well known that photos often take a bit longer to print than standard text documents. It should be expected if you want a high quality print. If you really want to cut down on the printing time, you may want to consider a laser printer. Laser printers do print faster than inkjets, but they’re printing quality for photos is usually not quite as good. Inkjet printers on the other hand can range fairly widely in print time, with some taking more than a minute to print a photo. For most buyers, inkjet printers offer the best overall combination of speed and quality.

8. Connection Options

Most photo printers will connect by a USB connection to a computer. The current standard however, is rapidly changing towards wireless connections via wifi or bluetooth. There are additional options including being able to insert memory cards and USB thumb drives directly into your printer. Many printers have the “PictBridge” connection option, which is considered the industry standard for printing directly from your camera.

9. Price

For essentially every product and service, you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the best possible image quality and features, expect a higher price tag. If you are willing to sacrifice some features and/or quality go for a lesser priced model. There are plenty of options to choose from the lowest priced models to the highest. Typically the low end range is around $100, and the upper range can be around $1000 for at home projects. If you’re looking to print photos for a business they often range from about $2000 to $6000.

Best Photo Printers for Macs 2023 – Quick List

  1. Canon Pixma Pro-100 Best Overall
  2. HP ENVY 5055Best Budget
  3. Epson XP-960Best Epson

Best Photo Printers for Macs 2023 – Reviews

1. Canon Pixma Pro-100 Printer – Best Overall

best photo printers for macs
Best Photo Printers for Macs 2023 (Best Overall)

The Canon Pixma Pro-100 wireless photo printer excels with image quality and convenience. The printer comes with eight dye-based inks, for outstanding color and gradients. Three of the colors are dedicated grayscale inks, which will produce high quality black and white prints. Even more, this unit has an Optimum Image Generating System, that reproduces colors, as you intend them.

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More so, the output tray has a capacity of 150 sheets, ten sheets photo paper and a manual feeder as well. The printer is also compatible with various cartridge designs and can support different colors on the color spectrum. As one of the most powerful photo printers, this unit can produce 4800 x 2400 per inch with fine technology. This way, you enjoy incredible detail when printing your artwork.

We currently recommend the latest model Canon Pixma Pro-100, but if you want to save a few bucks the previous model Canon PIXMA Pro9000 is a best seller as well.

2. HP ENVY 5055 Printer – Best Budget

Best Photo Printers for Macs 2023 (Best Budget)

Are you searching for a solid performer when it comes to photo printing functions? Well, the HP Envy 5055 Wireless printer is an excellent example. The printer lets you step up and create projects conveniently at home. It can print, scan and copy borderless, high-quality photos each time. The printer is also available with a HP Smart App, that lets you set up the wireless functions conveniently. You can even scan documents with y our camera, and pint using social media or cloud platforms such as Google Drive.

With this printer staying connecting and printing is always a breeze. Why? Well, whether you want to connect to your network or mobile device, the reliable Dual Band Wi-Fi makes the process convenient. Plus, the Bluetooth Smart function also offers a convenient secondary approach for connectivity. It also provides wide range paper support, including sizes such as legal, 4 x 6 in, 5 x 7 in, and 8 x 10 in.

3. Epson Expression XP-960 Printer – Best Epson

Best Photo Printers for Macs 2023 (Best Epson)

Make your printing projects way much convenient when you have the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 Wireless Printer. This unit can produce professional-quality photos, that will make a good impression on your clients. It can create stunning borderless photos of up to 11” x 17” in size, and with sharp text to match. The printer will also provide exceptional six-colour Claria Photo HD inks, which are perfect for photographic printing purposes.

As one of the fastest photo printers on the market, this unit is quick and can print 4” x 6” photos in as little as 11 seconds. You will also appreciate the ultimate wireless functions on this printer, that makes printing a breeze. It is easy to print using your iPhone, Ipad and android mobile device.

More so, the printer also has an innovative fold over scan lid, which helps hold the originals in place.

Best Photo Printers for Macs – Honorable Mentions

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