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Best Cheap Printer for Photos in 2023 – our top 4 picks (September)

Last Updated on September 1, 2023

Looking for the best cheap printer for photos? You’ve come to the right place.

In the past, printing photos was something you could only do by taking your camera film to the photo shop and waiting for the prints. However, nowadays, you are able to print instantly from your laptop, smartphone or any other device with a camera and internet connection. All you need to do this in your own home is a printer.

Although many professional-grade printers can be expensive, there are some seriously great affordable printers for home and office use which can print high-quality photos on the cheap. These make a great option for professional photographers on a budget, or just if you want to decorate your home or workspace.

But which is best for you? In this guide, we’ll round up the best photo printers for producing affordable prints – without compromising on quality.

So without further ado, here’s our guide to the best cheap printer for photos.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

We made sure to consider a few things when picking the best cheap printer for photos. Price, print quality, printing speed and color accuracy were the key factors, but we also looked at extra features like wireless connectivity to laptops, smartphone and tablet, or elements like a built in scanner. Furthermore, the affordability of compatible photo paper and ink costs was also a key consideration.

What do you need to print photos?

In order to print out photos, you will need photo paper. These vary – you can pick either a glossy, luster or matte finish. Here’s our top pick.

Are inkjet printers or laserjet printers better for photo printing?

Generally, LaserJet printers are faster and are better suited for printing large batches of photos. However, the quality of the prints may not be as good compared to Inkjet printers. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, may sacrifice some speed but produce more crisp and detailed results. However, Inkjet printers tend to use more ink and require frequent cartridge replacements, which can be costly.

Consider choosing a LaserJet printer if:

  • You want to print large batches of photos.
  • The designs are relatively simple and don’t require high quality.
  • You’re short on time and need photos printed quickly.
  • You need to print in white.

Consider opting for an Inkjet printer if:

  • You want to save money in the short term, although ink cartridges can be expensive.
  • You’re not printing a large quantity of photos.
  • You want higher quality photos
  • You need a versatile printer that can be used in a home office but isn’t specifically for quickly printing large batches.


Our Recommended

Best Cheap Printer for Photos in 2023 – our top 4 picks (September)

  • Superior color depth
  • Sharp details
  • Compact and sleek design
  • A little more expensive than some of the other options on this list

Although falling at the more expensive end of the ‘budget’ scale, we really love the Epson Expression Premium XP-6100.

The Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 is a great budget photo printer for several reasons. Firstly, it produces high-quality photos with sharp details and vibrant colors, thanks to its advanced printing technologies and five-color ink system. It supports various types of material, allowing users to experiment with different types of photo paper.

The printer supports automatic two-sided printing, which is useful for printing on both sides of the paper. The XP-6100 also includes built-in memory card slots, enabling direct printing from compatible memory cards.

Furthermore, the XP-6100 offers convenient wi-fi connectivity. This means users can easily print their photos directly from their smartphones, tablets, or computers without any hassle. Additionally, the printer’s compact and sleek design makes it a space-saving addition to any home or small office. The XP-6100 features a user-friendly LCD display that allows you to preview and edit your photos before printing – we really have to emphasize the ease of use here.

With its cost-effective individual ink cartridges, the XP-6100 helps reduce ink wastage and overall printing costs. Overall, this printer combines affordability, high-quality photo printing, versatile media support, wireless connectivity, and cost-effectiveness, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious users seeking impressive photo printing capabilities.

Best for tight budgets

Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer

  • Very affordable
  • Accurate color
  • Easy to store
  • Cartridges need replacing frequently

If you’re on a super-tight budget and only need to occasionally print photos, you can’t go far wrong with the Canon PIXMA MG3620 Printer. It features a compact design, high-quality photo printing, and decent energy efficiency.

Considering the affordability, we reckon this offers great value for money given some of the features it has. For example, the device supports various types of media, including different sizes of photo paper, glossy paper, and matte paper. This versatility enables users to experiment with different printing options. Inkjet technology produces sharp and vibrant images with good color accuracy, and the small size means it is easy to store. You can scan and copy, too.

However, this printer does not have some of the wider features boasted by some all-in-one printers. One major limitation is its usage of only two ink cartridges: one black and one tri-color. These cartridges have a short lifespan, requiring frequent replacements. Moreover, if a single color runs out in the tri-color cartridge, the entire cartridge needs to be replaced. Fortunately, the cartridges are inexpensive, which keeps costs relatively low.

  • Portable design
  • Very easy to use with a phone or tablet
  • Affordable initial price
  • Photos not highest quality
  • Only 10 photos per cartridge

The KODAK Dock Premium 4×6″ Portable Instant Photo Printer is a good budget option due to its portability and convenience, whilst also offering high-quality wireless printing of photos from iOS and Android devices, or any other device with a Bluetooth connection. Things are made super easy with the Kodak mobile app, making for a user-friendly experience.

Furthermore, the Dock Premium functions as more than just a photo printer. It serves as an all-in-one device that also acts as a charging station for your mobile device. This feature is particularly useful when you’re on the go and need to charge your phone while printing photos.

Despite being a budget printer, the Dock Premium produces high-quality 4×6″ prints with vibrant colors and sharp details. It utilizes dye sublimation printing technology, ensuring accurate color reproduction and long-lasting prints. However, you can only really get 10 photos per cartridge, meaning this isn’t such a cheap option in the long run.


HP ENVY 6055e Wireless Inkjet Printer

  • Great brightness and vibrancy
  • Easy to use
  • Good value
  • Low print speed
  • Lacks USB port

For super-vibrant photos and decent all-rounder functions, consider the HP Envy 6055e. This compact three-in-one printer excels in producing vibrant photos and offers printing, scanning, and copying capabilities. While the starter cartridges provided may have limited ink, replacing them with high-capacity cartridges means you’ll get more bang for your buck with lower running costs. With four individual cartridges, it produces bright images on glossy photo paper up to A4 size. It utilizes thermal inkjet technology and offers a maximum print resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 dpi, allowing for sharp and vibrant prints. It can also duplex print text documents, although at a slower speed.

The Envy 6055e is designed to be energy-efficient, helping you save on energy costs over time. It meets the ENERGY STAR certification, which means it meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.

Unfortunately, the HP Envy 6055e lacks Ethernet and USB ports for flash drive printing and has relatively low print speeds. Nevertheless, considering its small size and affordability, the printer delivers top-value results. It’s the last on our guide to the best cheap printer for photos, but by no means least.

Things to consider

Printer Type

The primary consideration when selecting a printer for photos is whether to opt for an inkjet or laser printer. Inkjet printers are widely preferred for their ability to produce vibrant colors and handle various media types, making them well-suited for photo printing. Plus, only inkjets can print on glossy photo paper.

Print Size and Media Compatibility

Decide on the desired size of your photos and ensure that the printer can accommodate that size. Additionally, take into account the compatibility of the printer with different media types. Photos can be printed on glossy or matte materials, so it is good to check that the printer is compatible with the specific media you want to use.

Ink System

Some models feature individual color cartridges, allowing for the replacement of only the depleted colors. This can prove to be a more cost-effective option in the long run compared to printers with combined color cartridges.


Determine the preferred method of connecting your printer. While USB connectivity is a common standard, if you intend to print wirelessly or from multiple devices, it is worth considering printers equipped with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. These features enable convenient and flexible printing options.

Looking for something a bit more niche? Check out our guide to the best sticker printers.

Our Verdict

Our favorite all-rounder when it comes to cheap photo printers is the Epson Expression Premium XP-6100. Premium by name, premium by nature – but budget in price!