What is better for printing photos – Inkjet or Laser?

We’ve already explored various topics on printing and scanning photographs and while there are many things to take into account, we wanted to look at whether inkjet or laser printers were better for printing photos.

Both have their benefits and a lot comes down to what your specific needs are and what exactly you want to achieve so we’ve looked at some of the benefits to both.


Are Inkjet Printers Better for Printing Photos?

If you use photo coated paper then inkjet machines will win hands down every time. When you put these two things together you’ll see deeper blacks and smoother colour transitions.  If you get one of the semi-professional inkjet printers such as the Epson SureColour SC-P400 and add orange and red inks into the mix then the effect can be dramatic, especially if you’re using a high-quality archival paper.

Inkjet printers are particularly great for art reproduction thanks to the great range of colours you can use with an inkjet printer, but you will be looking at a costlier process because of the colour.

Epson SC-P400 Image

Or are Laser Printers Better for Printing Photos?

If you’re looking to print colour images in volume on plain paper or card, then this is where the laser/LED printers will be the best choice. Specifically, posters, brochures and other point of sale materials will be best printed through a laser printer. If you are using a graphics printer with shiny toner output, with a Postscript driver or a dedicated RIP (Raster Image Processor) then you’ll be able to print high-quality images quickly and at a cost way below that of the inkjet. However, you won’t be able to achieve the same art reproduction finish that you will be able to from an inkjet.

A basic RIP will be found in most printers but some have different profiles depending on the requirements. It isn’t essential but if the printer has this software it allows for the handling of multiple files, file types and sizes. This in turn allows for the printing of high-volume photos in different sizes and types a much easier process.

When picking your printer there are of course lots of other things to take into consideration including size capabilities, accepted media thickness and resolution quality to name just a few.

However, hopefully the above makes this question a little simpler to answer but you can also take a much deeper look into printing photos and the different options available to you.

Take a look here at the massive range of photo printers we offer.