Photographs are snapshots of memories. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hobbyist who likes clicking and storing pictures, an emotional person who loves storing memories or a professional photographer, to bring out the most from a photograph, one needs a photo printer.
Photographs tell a tale of their own, not captured by e-images. Hard copy images have their own charm. In the changing times, it is not rocket science to be able to print your own hard copy images. The best images which are printed are the ones which are 4×6 sizes. There are a gamut of options available for printing images of 4×6 size. This could get tad confusing.
Top 10+ Best 4×6 Photo Printers in 2020
We have given a detailed review below on the best 4×6 photo printers that we could find.
|Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer|
|HP Tango X Smart Wireless Printer|
|Epson Expression Premium XP-7100|
|Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4×6” Instant Photo Printer|
|Primera Impressa IP60 Photo Printer|
|Epson PictureMate PM-400|
|HP Sprocket Studio Photo Printer|
|DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS|
|Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000|
|HP A716 Photosmart Compact Photo Printer|
- Speed– 1 image per minute
- Weight– 1.9 pounds
- Warranty– 1-year limited support
A large screened photo printer, which has a user friendly interface, connectivity features, is portable and has superior print quality is how we define one of our choices for the best 4×6 photo printers. Canon Selphy CP1300 is set apart by other printers in this range because of its features.
Selphy, as opposed to the modern offerings of Zero Ink or ZINK printers, isn’t merely a cool device which prints mediocre to average photo prints, that are acceptable to wallets or colleges. This is a full-fledged thermal dye sublimation printer. The print quality is good. The benefits of dye sublimation are that the ink dries rather instantly. This process requires a photo paper to be passed through the printer in four steps. One time each for one colour from black, cyan, yellow till magenta.
The printer is controlled by a 3.2-inch touch colour panel, which is an LCD screen. It is powered by an adapter or a battery which as per claims lasts for nearly 54 prints for a single charge. This printer though has an SD card slot along with a USB slot for inserting memory or thumb drives. It even has a mini USB type B port, wi-fi connectivity and can be converted into a wi-fi hotspot by turning on its internal hotspot.
The output quality ventures between good and great depending on the saturation and colours. While some are good enough as drugstore prints, some prints come out as well detailed, vibrant coloured arts. Some prints though showed a loss of light and shadows, with the average being good and the rest ranging from great to below par. Though more often than not, it was good.
The cost of printing comes down to nearly 24cents for a 4×6 print. This is calculated taking in mind all three costs, the initial investment, the paper and cartridge cost. Not many portable printers are a match to the print quality and connectivity options that match Canon Selphy1300. It prints well, at low cost and can easily be connected to a variety of network options to be printed. This is a printer one must look at.
- Outstanding print quality for the range
- Vibrant colours
- Versatile connectivity options
- Some features disappoint.
- Speed– 11 pages per minute
- Weight– 6 pounds
- Warranty-1 year limited
A small and compact printer, which is purposefully designed for home users, supports wireless technology is why we included HP Tango X in our list of the best 4×6 photo printers. The wireless printer works in tandem to the HP Smart App which helps to print images stored on the cloud. Though this is a breakthrough for most mobile smartphone camera enthusiasts, they can be disappointed with the inaccurate cropping and copying.
The aesthetics of this photo printer is riveting. It is a printer that blends in the background and doesn’t jar. There is an included cover, made of linen, which helps to keep the printer safe and help the aesthetics when the printer is not in use. Weighing at roughly 6 pounds, this is an extremely lightweight device.
One primary drawback which we felt was that the printer lacked a screen, touch panel or navigation buttons, therefore a smartphone or a personal computer is needed to operate this device. To function the printer, one first needs to connect to the HP smart app, set up the device, then use it. There are few preset buttons which only light up when the printer is in action and the set functions are like cancelling a print or checking the status of sheets.
Also, to keep the printer compact, the designers have removed the output tray. The prints, therefore, exit on the front on the panel. One needs to keep enough clear space to avoid the printouts from falling on the ground. Because this is a wireless offering, it lacks Ethernet or USB connectivity options. They only print via the cloud or mobile connectivity.
The printer can only print documents in the PDF or online drive or dropbox format. You cannot find a link to print from the phone’s internal memory. Therefore, to be able to print word formats, they need to be converted. Also, the said copy and scan function from the HP smart app is basically you taking a picture of it, so the resolution and the clarity depends on your phone camera. The scanned copy can then be printed out via the printer or sent as an attachment as PDF or zip file.
The speed of printing is good. It prints 9 pages per minute for normal printouts and a glossy photograph printout of letter size, takes nearly 2 minutes and 38 seconds. The print quality is exceptional though. Text printouts are precise, sharp and legible with rich fonts and outcomes, graphics had fine detailing and colour accuracy, with well saturated and smooth colour transitions. The photograph printouts were light, bright, with the colour real and natural. We have already spoken about the scan and copy quality, which is wholly dependent on the camera of the smartphone used to scan.
All being said, this is a perfect printer whose entire work is stored online or in the cloud. With fast and accurate printing, this slightly expensive printer is worth the investment.
- High and accurate print output
- Compact and aesthetic design
- Fast print speeds
- Copy/Scan through mobile phone.
- Speed– 15.8 pages per minute
- Capacity– 2000 pages
- Weight– 21.50 pounds
- Warranty-1 year limited
Even though this is an all in one, mid level inkjet printer, which makes some exceptional photo printouts. It has an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder, which not only prints great photos, but scans, copies without any manual intervention.
Dubbed as the small-in-one, it is one of the most compact and lightweight multifunctions that can copy and scan well. It has a 30 page ADF which can make two sided copies, making it not just a great photo printer, but also an office oriented multifunction. This machine uses 5 cartridges of ink for printing. Apart from the CMYK which is regular, this introduces a photo black as well. The addition of another black ink helps deepen the colour of the texts, enhance the backgrounds of photographs and give the grayscale graphics or photographs a different depth while exploring a wider gamut of colours and hues.
XP 1700 has a paper sheet tray capacity of 120 sheets, with 100 in the main cassette and 20 in the photo tray. This printer is not just a photo printer which prints other things as well (more on the output, later,) it also is a printer which in the mid-range is capable of printing on prepared optical disks, CD’s, DVDs with the help of a small caddy.
The entire operations from walkup functions, to preset functions, to scanning, copying or using software to print labels etc are handled by the 4.3 inch LCD colour touchscreen. This machine believes that physical buttons are a nuisance and hence they only have a power button as the physical button. With this, they give you diverse connectivity options like Ethernet, USB2.0, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct as a nod to the peer to peer networking. It is also compatible with mobile printing and cloud printing options.
The speed of printing is fairly average with 15.8 pages per minute for a monochrome print out, 11 pages per minute for coloured printout. For a 4×6 snapshot which is extremely detailed, the printer took 24 seconds to print it out which by comparison is a very good speed.
When it comes to quality, Epson XP 1700 is leading the pack. Not only does it print crisp, legible texts down to smallest points and gradient free, banding free graphics, it also prints some really detailed and dynamically coloured photographs. The cost of printing per page (CPP) comes to 13.7 cents for a coloured and 5 cents for a monochrome, considering they use a 5th ink cartridge, this is not bad.
If you are looking for the best 4×6 printers and wouldn’t mind one which can print other things well and can scan and copy, then the ideal choice would be Epson XP 1700.
- Surprisingly good print quality
- Auto-duplexing automatic document feeder
- Touch panel extremely easy to use
- Costs are high
- Speed– 60 seconds per image
- Capacity– NA
- Weight– 1.7 pounds
- Warranty-1 year limited
If you are looking for a photo printer which has a niche of its own, pioneered by the brand Kodak who iconised snapshot-printers, this very easy to use machinery actually churns some good quality images. This is our inclusion in the list of best 4×6 photo printers not only because of the above reasons but also because it packs in some really cool features like charging akin to a smartphone.
This a compact printer which measures a measly 2.7 by 6.5 by 3.9 inches. The micro-USB port is strategically placed on the top of the machine with a small dock which can hold all types and sizes of smartphone. The smartphone doubles up as the control panel for this device. The control panel is innovative and has so much more to offer than a typical control panel installed on the face of the device. The physical buttons on the device are just two- power on/off and print buttons. The LED around the power button is capable of flashing in 9 different colours, which each colour signifying a meaning for eg- print in action, error in the printing, need more paper amongst others.
This supports USB drive printing as it has a slot on the side to tether smartphones or print from USB devices. The navigation of this would need a smartphone to be docked or tethered. In connectivity options, it also has Wi-Fi direct, by which you can pair your smartphone if you don’t want to dock or tether it. The docking port doesn’t drain the battery of your smartphone, instead, charges it. If you have two devices connected simultaneously, that is, one at the dock, one at USB, it would charge both the devices.
The paper has to go through 4 passes to print a clear image, one pass each for cyan, magenta, yellow and clear coat. They use the Kodak Printer Dock App, which not only helps you navigate but also a bunch of uncommon edit features. The app is great to use the phone in any which ways. It controls everything. It makes using and understanding this complicated hardware very easy.
The easy to setup device just needs to be connected to a smartphone, have photo papers inserted (maximum 10) and use this solid-ink cartridge. The cost per page (CPP) of the printouts, using high quality glossy original canon photo paper, comes to around 39 cents. The USP though is the cost doesn’t alter as per the sizes of the paper used to print out. This happens though with other brands. The time for printing taken is 1 minute for normal images and anything between 1 minute and 1 minute 50 seconds for high resolution and detailed images.
The printer prints above-average photo printouts, we have seen better images from better or similar ranged printers. The quality is very good, not average, but the printers with 5 or 6 ink, deliver more superior images as compared to this 3 ink printer. These printers print images from your phone or other cloud devices and at 39 cents, they are a reasonable investment as opposed to getting drugstore camera printouts.
- Easy to use
- Your smartphone acts as the entire control panel
- The app support is splendid.
- The printer is a bit slow
- Speed– 9 images per minute
- Weight– 8 pounds
- Warranty– 1 year warranty
If you are looking for a printer not for personal use, but to be used in a photo booth or professionally, schools, parks amongst others, where you need to print on the go photos which are of good quality, then the Primera Impressa IP60 Photo Printer is the best 4×6 photo printers to have in your arsenal. The description we gave should be a vivid description of the quality of printout.
This printer uses the newage and highly advanced inkjet technology to give those sleek, glossy photos. But thick and glossy is expected, you can also print matte, woven, luster, repositionable adhesive amongst others. The printer can print on a variety of surfaces and therefore gives a print quality higher than thermal dye simulation. This professional grade printer is good for those who need bulk and large amounts of print everyday.
This model is compact and extremely lightweight, this is purposely designed such that it can be carried anywhere and kept in small areas and yet be conveniently functional. Not only does this help you print on the go, it also saves you time by helping you make custom props with the preset features. All you need to do is customise and print it on their repositionable adhesive paper.
This printer though is fabulous with 4×6 photographs, this has been designed for that, is also able to print photo magnets and magnetic cards amongst others. It supports paper sizes from : print 2×6, 4×6, 6×6, 6×8, 6×12, 6×18, 6×24, the last being panoramic size very well and doesn’t upend the quality of the printout. Also, what is to be noted is that any change in size doesn’t require changing supplies, with the width being common, the supplies need not be changed.
The connectivity options are limited with it being connectible via USB 3.0 and wi-fi and mobile printing only. Even though it is a professional grade printer, the lack of Ethernet slightly rankles. DigicamControl software works highly well with this machine. The printer though is a bit of a hassle to set up and setup takes time. So before you need the printer, you might have to spend some time setting it up. The use of ink cartridges make it more fun to have around.
The USP of this printer is the speed. It can print a 4×6 detailed, glossy image in less that 7 seconds, with the colours more or less being true. As opposed to the thermal dye simulation printers, which give a maximum resolution of 300 dpi, this printer gives a resolution of 1200 by 4800 dpi. Even the more expensive dye sublimation models give a dpi of 600.
The cost per page or CPP of a photo printout comes to as low as 12 cents. This when compared to others is very low. This is because the cost of the ribbons have gone, in place of them are the all in one ink cartridges. There is an option to choose between dye ink and pigment ink. The dye inks are for vibrant and dynamically coloured photos, whereas the pigment ink is used for photos that need to be saved for long and need accuracy.
This is a custom and well built machine that is designed to last.
- The cost of printing
- The high resolution prints
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Extremely tedious to set up
- Weight– 6 pounds
- Warranty– 1 year limited
This is a great printer for borderless printing of 4×6 photos. Even though this printer can print 5 by 7 photos as well, this is one of the best 4×6 photo printers according to us as the quality is unparalleled along with its connectivity options.
Even though this supports printing on a larger size, this model is smaller, compact and more lightweight that Epson’s other offerings which are dedicated 4×6 photo printers. At 6 pounds, this printer barely weighs. It is fairly quick to set this device up with one just needing to load the cartridge, the photo paper and one is good to go.
The printer has been named photo lab because of its ability to offer a variety of connectivity options like, Ethernet, bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, USB 3.0, cloud printing and mobile printing. The only option that this lacks is NFC or near field connection. But given the other options at connectivity, it seems fairly inconsequential.
The speed of printing is anything between 40.8 seconds to 42.4 seconds on glossy paper, very interestingly, if the printout was ordered from an android or wi-fi direct connect, the speed reduced to 34 seconds. This is an oddity we can’t wrap our heads about. The speed comparably is similar to most models in this given range. Some either slightly fast, some slow.
The quality of reproduction of most images is exceptionally high and above the regular drugstore standards. Very dark images may have some loss of shadow detail, but that is not for normal to dark images. That we are also attributing to the quality of paper in the machine for 4×6, because the same wasn’t observed for a 5×7 printout.
The cost per page (CPP) comes to around 39 cents per page, which is dependent on the cost of paper and cartridge, we are basing the cost on the basis of the lowest we could order supplies at. The longevity of the printouts as claimed by Epson is at 200 years when stored in dark.
Well if you are looking for a model that can not only print 4×6 but also 5×7, this is a good model to choose, but in case you only want a dedicated 4×6 printer, then the best model to choose is Epson Charm.
- This printer is capable of both 4×6 printing and 5×7 printing
- Diverse connectivity options including memory cards
- The speed of printing is good
- The printer is relatively expensive and requires it to be connected to AC.
- Capacity– 80 photos
- Weight– 2 pounds
- Warranty– 1 year limited
This is a dye sublimation printer which produces top notch 4×6 photos. It is a basic printer which prints at good speed and good quality. This prints at low cost per image making it a feature of our best 4×6 photo printers review.
This is a compact machine at 2.7 by 6.6 by 10.7 inches which is extremely lightweight at 2 pounds. This is a 2 part device. The first part is the paper tray and the second part is the printer body. The body has the cartridges, and paper feed rollers with the requisite machinery. The tray has an allotted spot in the body of the printer. The printer is compact enough to fit in any bag and be carried along.
This again to similar printers of this league, is entirely controlled by a smartphone. The only button on the body of the device is a power on and off button. Otherwise the smartphone on which the app is installed is the control panel of this printer. The light around the power button has a 4 colour notification system namely for device switched on, printing in progress, error in printing and printer out of paper. For every single charge the printer is capable of printing nearly 40 high definition images.
The connectivity comes across as a drawback as this machine only supports Bluetooth connectivity and no other connection works. The Sporocket app is compatible and downloadable with both android and iStore. The setup process is simple with the bluetooth being switched on and the Sporocket app fired, the rest of the setup is undertaken by the app itself. What is noteworthy is their fun feature which uses Augmented reality is called Reveal. This feature reveals the thumbnail grid of the picture taken around the picture meant to be printed.
This is a dye sublimation printer which is far superior to the ZINK or zero ink printers available. Using this technology, 4 passes are required to make an accurate print with Sprocket Studio. Each pass is done for each colour in the CMYK setup, with the final pass being for a clear coating on the image. The print speed is measured at 2 minutes and 5 seconds. This is one of the slowest we have come across.
The cost per page (CPP) comes to around 44 cents for every printed sheet. The colours are true and vibrant. The images are well detailed, with the bright areas losing slight details. The quality you should expect is similar to a drugstore quality print.
This can be a good alternative to those who are looking to print something larger than wallet photographs at an affordable price.
- Uses HP Sprocket ecosystem.
- Has a good range of editing features
- Low cost per ink
- Everything else
- Weight-30.8 pounds
- Warranty– 1 year limited
At a bargain price, this high quality photograph printer, not only prints affordable images, but is also a reliable machine, therefore, featuring in our review for the best 4×6 photo printers. This machine is a God sent gift to photographers who need to give high quality, precise images to people in a jiffy.
The dimensions for this professional 4×6 photo printer is 11 by 12.6 by 13.8 inches. At a weight of 30 pounds, this machine falls squarely in the physical attribute category of other comparable printers. This printer misses a dedicated control panel. It is completely controlled by the computer it will be connected to. It has a dedicated power on and off button near the USB port, which by far is the only means of connectivity. The notifications come in the face of the four lights, which display the said notification.
This printer uses the thermal dye sublimation that results in low price of printouts. This print policy uses the paper roll form of paper input instead of using individual papers. The width of the sheet that it can accommodate is 6 inches, therefore it can print all sizes from 2×6 till 8×6.
People prefer a professional grade printer for printing conspicuous amounts of photographs not only to derive economies of scale and increase the output quality, but also that individual or personal printers can not handle this level of printing.
The setup, as common with most industrial grade printers, is complicated and difficult. The paper roll is tricky to fit in along with the ribbons. They are not as easy as snapping in the ink cartridges. The print of a standard 4×6 photo will take 15 seconds for single prints and 12.6 per print seconds for 10 consecutive photos printed. The printer has two modes, a high resolution mode, which prints deep and vibrant photographs at 600*300 dpi, the other mode is the fast mode which prints at 300*300 dpi.
The print is a good, kiosk quality printout. The cost per page comes down to 19.2 cents per image. It fits the thumb rule which says lower the initial cost, higher the running costs. This printer prints good quality images at low price, it is a fine printer in its own accord.
- The print cost
- The quality of print is good
- It looks compact
- It lacks connectivity options.
- Weight– 70.5 pounds
- Warranty– 1 year limited
Well this will not strictly qualify as a 4×6 printer alone. But as we were reviewing the best 4×6 photo printers, we couldn’t resist from including this, because even though this prints other sizes as well, this is by far the best printer for any size, therefore, also for 4×6. It prints so well that it has walked away with accolades from most of the critics.
This beast of an offering from Canon, is literally also a beast in size. At a dimension of 11.2 by 17 by 28.5 inches, a weight of 70.5 pounds, this is a mean machine that needs a lot of dedication for it. The only thing that upsets us about this printer is that it cannot print from paper rolls. It has diverse connectivity options to be completely connectible with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi direct, Near Field Communication (NFC), smartphone connectivity and cloud printing.
This printer has an unbeatable quality because it uses 12, correctly read, 12 inks instead of the standard 4 or 6. These inks are Cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow, matte black, photo black, gray, photo gray, red, blue and a Chroma Optimizer which acts as the clear coat on the photos. The use of Canon’s patented FINE technology (Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering) which prints microscopic droplets, helping the images get a high resolution of 4800 by 2400 dpi.
As this is just a printer and not an all in one, there doesn’t arise a need for a control panel, in spite of that they give one a 3 inch color display which shows the status of the ink, a wheel for navigation, few buttons for preset functions. Even though the claims of it being the fastest printer is incorrect, it still prints at a reasonably good speed. The high quality setting gave photo prints outs in 1 minute and 35 seconds, whereas, a normal photo print out came over a minute.
The print quality though is what benchmarks and standards are set against. With the texts standing out after being printed even at the smallest of font sizes, the graphics were all unblurred and unmarred. The photos though were something else. If the image inputted is of a good quality, then nothing can stop the output from being envelope pushing. To say it was spectacular would be tame, the prints are nearly flawless. The grey and black ink cause the monochrome or grayscale images to also turn out to be nothing short of brilliant.
This printer isn’t cheap, that we all must have known by now. As a 4×6 photo printer, this is a good buy only if you need a professional grade printer for printing conspicuous amounts of printouts. The cost per page (CPP) can not be defined as it is highly dependent on the kind of photo printed, but everything from the initial investment, to the supplies are expensive.
- Brilliant output quality
- Exhaustive connectivity options
- Grayscale images also look great
- Weight– 5.2 pounds
- Warranty– 1 year limited
In case you are looking for a budget printer which gives you good quality images, which are waterproof, has a lot of features and is HP, then the best 4×6 photo printer for you is this. Unlike most of the HP predecessors where photos smudged on hot humid days, this photo lasts.
The connectivity options for this printer are Bluetooth, USB, memory card or PictBridged enabled cameras. Even though it can print pictures from all sizes from 4×6, 5×7, up till 4×12, the optimal photos are the 4×6 ones. It has a USP of having an internal storage, which can store more than a few hundred photos to be used as slideshows. The internal memory capacity of 4 GB is huge.
It is easier to view and edit photos on the 2.5 inch LCD screen, and can also be viewed on the TV thanks to their video input output port. There is an option where you just press a button on the remote while viewing the photos and the printer would remotely print the images.
For any photo printer, the quality remains the most important aspect and the HP doesn’t disappoint. We tested prints with a variety of image choices, from portraits to landscapes, to events to grayscale, the quality remains good, just like that from a drugstore. There is no noticeable brightness or loss of finer details here. The photographs are waterproof or as close as to what they can get.
It is a slow printer though. Especially when compared to other printers of this class, this printer disappoints with its speed. An average photograph of 4×6 size took nearly 1 minute 48 seconds to print, which is slowest amongst most in this review. The Cost per page (CPP) of the print comes down to around 29.2 cents, which is neither too low or too high.
Overall this is a decent printer, which prints water resistant images, has strong features, good quality and low initial investment.
- The print quality is good
- Has an internal storage of 4GB
- 2.5 inch LCD screens lets you edit and view pictures
- Very slow printing.
Frequently Asked Questions
One needs to know what they need to print and how often. If text and documents are in majority, a normal printer must be chosen, if photos are in majority, then a photo printer. Connectivity is also important. Find out how you need to connect the device to make printouts. The size is also important, whether you need a portable one or a desktop. Last and most important is the quality and cost of print that you are looking towards.
The paper types used in photo printers are- glossy papers, they help cause vibrant colours and glaring photographs; matte paper, they offer optimal contrast and help reduce the glare; canvas paper, this paper is ideal for framing, it offers good contrast ratio, has longevity and doesn’t have a glare. Lastly is semi-glossy, which is a marriage between matte and glossy.
As a basic thumb rule, the higher the resolution, the more sharper and detailed the image. Resolution is measured in dpi or dots per image. The more the dots, the finer, more detailed and accurately coloured the photo is. The best resolution is 4800×2400 dpi.
This entirely depends on the kind of printer you have chosen. If you have chosen a dedicated 4×6 photo printer only, then the text printouts won’t be very good and would be way too expensive. If you choose, say an inkjet printer which prints photos well, then you can print documents as well.
Looking at the entire review for the best 4×6 photo printers, we have come to the conclusion that all of the given printers are great in their own right. Some are commercial grade printers, some photo booth printers, some all in ones, some very personal use printers. To know which works best for you, you have to match it to your requirements and find the best fit.
The dedicated professional quality photo printers are generally quite expensive, not just in the initial cost but also the cost of running. It is important to do a cost benefit analysis before you choose a dedicated printer or a general printer.
We recommend the photo enthusiasts to go choose a dedicated printer and canvas their talent.