Best A3 photo printers: 6 options tested and rated

    | Accessories | Reviews | 27/04/2014 00:01am
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    A3 photo printers let you print lab-quality images at home. But, with prices ranging considerably, you want to be sure that you get the right one. We’ve tested six of the best A3 photo printers priced between £230 and £650 to help you make your choice. Here’s how the contenders measured up.

    Best A3 photo printers: 6 options tested and rated

    Best A3 photo printers: 01 Canon Pixma Pro-1

    Price: £650

    With its premium design and build quality, the Pro-1 is aimed squarely at professionals who demand top-quality black-and-white as well as colour prints, on everything from glossy or matte photo paper to fine art media.

    It uses 11 pigment-based inks plus a chroma optimiser to enhance the smoothness and uniformity of the finish. Extra-large 36ml ink tanks have plenty of stamina and help to reduce running costs.

    At the best quality setting, an A3+ borderless print takes about nine-and-a-half minutes. The results are simply spectacular for both colour and mono. The latter is helped by the provision of both matte and photo black inks, plus three grey inks.

    Verdict

    Pros: Stunning print quality for colour and mono on all sorts of media

    Cons: It’s the only printer in the group that lacks Wi-Fi connectivity

    We say: It’s the best photo printer on the market for quality and versatility

    Score: 5/5

    SEE MORE: 11 photo printing mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

    Best A3 photo printers: 02 Canon Pixma Pro-10

    Price: £500

    A scaled down version of the Pro-1, the Pro-10 is a slightly smaller and lighter A3 photo printer. It uses nine rather than 11 pigment-based inks, in lower-capacity 14ml cartridges, along with the same type of chroma optimiser.

    It’s not quite such a black-and-white specialist, featuring photo and matte black inks and just a single grey ink.

    Mono photo prints still look very good and generally free of unwanted colour casts, but can lack a little of the contrast and bite of those from the Pro-1.

    For colour printing, there’s practically no difference in quality between the two printers, while A3+ borderless printing is slightly slower at 11-and-a-half minutes in top-quality mode.

    Verdict

    Pros: No discernible difference in colour print quality, compared with the Pro-1

    Cons: Black-and-white photo output isn’t as convincing as from the Pro-1

    We say: It’s a good buy for a pigment based printer, if you’re not mad about mono

    Score: 4/5

    SEE MORE: 20 questions you need to ask about how to print photos

    Best A3 photo printers: 03 Canon Pixma Pro-100

    Price: £370

    Running on eight dye-based inks, the Pro-100 adds grey and light grey inks to the usual, colour-friendly mix of CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta. Cartridge capacity is 13ml.

    There’s a slight warmth in the balance of colour photo printing, which can be flattering for skin tones, but the Epson dye-based printers are a little cool. The Pro-100’s accuracy for mono images is better, thanks to the extra grey inks.

    It outputs A3+ borderless prints in under four-and-a-half minutes using top-quality mode, making it the fastest A3 photo printer on test.

    It reigns supreme for super-smooth results on glossy paper, but prints on matte media lack the robustness of those created with pigment-based printers.

    Verdict

    Pros: Fast even in top-quality mode; sumptuous results on glossy paper

    Cons: Dye-based inks are never a favourite for matte photo media

    We say: It’s the best choice if you’re only interested in creating glossy prints

    Score: 4/5

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    PAGE 1: Canon Pixma Pro-1, Canon Pixma Pro-10, Canon Pixma Pro-100
    PAGE 2: Epson Expression Photo XP-950, Epson Stylus Photo 1500W, Epson Stylus Photo R3000

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    Posted on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 12:01 am under Accessories, Reviews.

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