Printer Review: Which Photo Printer Is Right For You? (Plus, WIN a Canon!)

If there’s one thing I’m super passionate about, it’s printing your photos. Well… It’s near the top of my list! It’s why I taught my online course, From App to Archive, on CreativeLive (on sale right now for just $34! Woot!). Worse than the shoeboxes of yesteryear, images today are getting lost in cloudy devices and on social sites that don’t even belong to us. It’s tragic when you think about it. And it’s why I’m all for you investing in a home photo printer. It doesn’t have to be anything big and fancy. In fact, some of my favorite personal printers are bitty. And so cute! LOL


Not sure what to buy? I’m sharing a roundup today on my favorite TV show, Studio 5. You’ll find more details on each listed here. Take a look at their bells and whistles and decide which one is your perfect printer in crime.

PRINTER #1: The Epson PictureMate-400

WHY I LOVE IT: While this printer isn't technically a portable printer, it can easily be transported. It folds up nice and compact, is light weight, and works wirelessly with a wifi connection. Ink and photo paper are affordable, and the ink lasts a long time. 



  • Price: $200

  • Best print quality of the options I have.

  • Prints 4x6 and 5x7 images. 

  • Requires ink refills. An ink cartridge costs around $30 and includes all colors, including black, in a single cartridge.

  • Works best with Epson photo paper. A pack of 100 sheets can be as low as $5 on amazon. 

  • Works wirelessly or with a connection. You can also insert a memory card directly in the printer.

  • Can print directly from a smart device if both it and the device are connected to WiFi.

PRINTER #2: Fuji Instax Share

WHY I LOVE IT: This printer is my buddy. I've had it for YEARS (since 2010) and it's still going strong. I love its retro vibe and portable element. 



  • Price: $99-$140 (depending on package)

  • Prints on Polaroid-inspired film--shake it like a Polaroid picture! ;) 

  • Prints are washed out. Tip: Print darker images than you normally would.

  • Newer model available. Print quality improved with the newer model, so don't be fooled by my oldie-but-goodie.

  • Works on batteries or you can plug it in. Batteries are those short, fat, pricey fellas, so a plug-in is a cost-effective way to go.

  • Requires no ink. Ink is in the film.

  • Film averages about $0.50-$1 per print.

  • Uses the same film as the well-known Instax Mini cameras. 

  • Can buy white film or go with fun, colorful and patterned options. (speciality options tend to cost a bit more.)

  • Fun to craft with because the print has the border at the base, which is great for stamping or adding washi tape to.

  • To connect to your phone and print, the Instax will establish its own wifi connection, which you'll want to select in the settings on your device before printing. 

  • Works with a free app that you add to your device. 

  • App includes limited editing capability, including cropping and filters. 

PRINTER #3: Canon Ivy

WHY I LOVE IT: This is the newest printer to join my family. She's also the smallest/lightest weight. I love that this one comes in pink and teal options. I'm also a fan of the film, which is both a picture and a sticker!



  • Price: Starts at $99

  • Uses ZINC (zero-ink) technology, meaning you don't have to buy ink refills. Instead, the ink is in the film.

  • Film averages $25 for 50 sheets. 

  • Film has a peel-and-stick back, giving you instant stickers (should you want them). 

  • Doesn't print true to color, but the prints aren't bad quality.

  • Works with a free app that you add to your device. 

  • App includes limited editing capability, including cropping, frames, stickers, and filters. 

  • Prints by establishing a bluetooth connection, so you'll want to make sure your bluetooth is enabled.

  • Works via a plug or its rechargeable battery. Note: The battery doesn't hold its charge very long, so you’ll want to keep the charger near. 

  • You can buy a carrying case for it and the film, which is a nice extra for crafting on the go. 

PRINTER #4: The LifePrint

WHY I LOVE IT: It’s like a magic trick! You print a pic with it and then hold your phone over the printed image using your smart device and the LifePrint app. Abbra cadabra! It shows you a movie of what was happening when the pic was taken. VERY COOL!

photo print-1.jpg


  • Uses the same ZINC photo paper you use with the Ivy.

  • Photos must be shot in LIVE mode to get the video component.


Great news! I have a Canon Ivy to give away to one lucky person!! Check my instagram account for details and your chance to win. Contest closes at 8:00 AM MST on Monday, February 4, 2019.

Good luck!