Getting the right printer for your needs can be a minefield, and with the variety of different devices on offer from a range of manufacturers you’d be forgiven for being a little bit confused by the choices. However, as long as you know what you intend to use a printer for it's simple to narrow down your choices and pick the right device.
The easy decision when it comes to photo printing is the choice between laser or inkjet. Though laser printers are good for offices where text and business documents need printing they aren’t great at photos. For this simple reason you should be looking at an inkjet printer.
For high-quality prints you’re going to have to look out for a couple of factors. Firstly, good quality photo printers will have separate ink tanks rather than having all the ink in one cartridge. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, they’ll have more than the standard CMY and K inks with ink cartridges for things like photo black or other specialist ‘photo’ inks. Naturally, this increases the costs, but it also makes your photo prints much better.
Other things to consider when buying a printer for high-quality photo prints is the range of photo papers that are compatible with the device. Some manufacturers have hundreds of choices where others only provide a small selection of alternatives. If you’re likely to be doing canvas prints or would like to experiment with textured papers make sure those are available before putting your cash down.
The size of prints you want will also have a limiting factor on the type of printer you buy. Most printers will do edge-to-edge for full-page coverage, but others are capable of printing on rolls for panoramic shots and the like. Of course the larger the paper a printer can handle the more flexible it is. An A3+ printer will be great for posters, though of course it will be a physically large device too so make sure you have the space for it.