It’s no secret that I love printing my photos at home. I love having them instantly when I’m ready to scrapbook. I love the precise control that I have over margins and colors. I print almost all my photos for scrapbooking and Project Life at home, using a Canon Pixma MG5320. This model is no longer being manufactured, but I’ve had two Canon Pixmas and they are both fantastic. If I were to purchase one now, I would buy the Canon Pixma MG5520 or the Canon Pixma MG5420, which are both under $80!
Why do I love this printer?
- I can print borderless 4x6 photos and sheets of 8.5x11 photos at home.
- It prints true to the color I see on my screen.
- I print all my digital journal cards at home using this printer and the Canon 4x6 Matte Paper.
- I print all my Silhouette print & cuts on this printer.
- I can control the margins very precisely so that my photos never get cut off.
- I can save print “presets” for various things, such as “4x6 printables”, “4x6 photos”, “8.5x11 photos”, “8.5x11 digital printables”, etc. I set up these presets once and forget about it. Then every time I want to print one of these items, I just choose the preset and the print software will automatically choose the right paper and settings for me.
- It is wireless wifi, so you can print from a laptop somewhere else in the house.
- It has AirPrint for Apple iOS products, so you can print directly from your iPhone or iPad.
For example, I last changed the Magenta ink on 1/18/2014, six months ago. I replaced the Cyan ink on 2/4/2014, and the yellow ink on 3/8/2014. I haven’t had to replace either black ink cartridges this year yet. Since January, I have printed 78 of 4x6 glossy photos, 17 of 8.5x11 sheets of glossy photos, 23 of 8.5x11 regular documents, 14 of 8.5x11 sheets of digital printables, 41 of 4x6 sheets of digital journal cards. All together that’s a whole lot of printing for not having to change a set of inks yet! (Although I will need to change the black and magenta soon.)
Anyways, enough about the printer itself. Suffice to say, I love it.
I wanted to show you some photo paper comparisons that I’ve done. I was running out of Canon 8.5x11 Canon Glossy Photo Paper, and I was at Target, so I thought I would try the Target Up & Up brand of photo paper because it was cheaper. I opened it up to print my June Project Life photos, and noticed immediately that the paper was much thinner than my regular Canon photo paper. After printing, I was not happy with how dull the photos looked at certain angles. I printed the same sheet of photos on the Canon photo paper so I could compare. I was surprised at how different they looked at an angle.
The left is Canon and the right is Target.
Now, to be fair, the photos didn’t look too different when looking at them straight-on. But the Target photo paper was still much thinner to the touch.
I posted the comparison on Instagram and Facebook, and was surprised to hear from a great number of scrapbookers love to print their photos on Costco’s Kirkland brand professional glossy photo paper! Even scrapbookers that I admire who are on multiple design teams told me that they love the Costco photo paper. So I had to give it a try!
I also had some Canon Semi-Gloss papers on hand, so I threw that in. I had a few sheets of 4x6 Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper that Peppermint gave me, so I threw that in too.
Here were the comparisons. I was surprised that my beloved Canon photo papers looked slightly yellow compared to the Costco and Epson photo papers.
The Costco was the brightest white compared to the Canon and the Target. The Costco was also very thick.
The Epson Ultra Premium seems to have the most bright white paper. Costco’s white has a slight bluish undertone.
In this photo below, you can see clearly how much brighter white the Costco photo paper was, compared to the Canon. The Canon definitely has a warm yellowish undertone.
Another Canon vs Costco comparison.
Again, the Canon papers had a slightly more yellowish undertone than the Costco or the Epson.
In this comparison at an angle, you can definitely see the Target paper looks dull at an angle compared to the other ones. And the Costco was the brightest.
One last comparison.
For me personally, I prefer the brightness of the Costco and Epson photo papers versus the Canon. If you prefer a warmer photo, then Canon would be the choice.
Let’s take a look at the cost comparisons.
For 8.5x11 photo papers:
- Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II: $4.99/20 sheets = $0.25 per sheet
- Target Up & Up Soft Gloss: $5.99/30 sheets = $0.20 per sheet
- Epson Ultra Premium Glossy: $22.99/50 sheets = $0.46 per sheet
- Costco Professional Glossy: $18.99/150 sheets = $0.13 per sheet
For 4x6 photo papers:
- Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II: $24.00/400 sheets = $0.06 per sheet
- Epson Ultra Premium Glossy: $25.49/100 sheets = $0.25 per sheet
- Costco Professional Glossy: $13.99/300 sheets = $.05 per sheet
I hope that you found my home printing photo paper comparisons helpful. What is your favorite photo paper for printing at home? Did you learn anything new with these comparisons? Do you have other printing questions that you would like me to address in a future blog post?