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Best Paper To Print Photos

Best Paper To Print Photos

Even a view that looks great through a DSLR lens may not necessarily turn out perfectly when you come to print it. And that’s not because you’re a bad photographer. No, you’ll be surprised at just how much the paper that you print the photos on can affect the final image.

If you want to produce a happy, colorful family photo, you won’t get as good a final result if you went with a heavily textured matte paper. And likewise, if your photo is meant to be dark with lots of shadow, you could ruin the effect by using super glossy photo paper.

The solution, then, is to buy a selection of printer paper that’s designed for the type of photos that you want to print.

You know, producing your final prints can be just as much fun experimenting with different papers as with taking the photos themselves. It’s a skill and an art of its own, and part of the whole photography experience.

In this article, we’re going to review some of the best paper for printing photos that are available today. But if you’re a newbie, we’ve got some extra help for choosing your paper in the form of a buying guide.

And just a quick heads-up, for the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you're printing with an inkjet printer. Most inkjet printers use dye-based inks rather than pigment based inks.

And without further ado…

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Best Paper To Print Photos – Comparison Table

Best Paper To Print Photos – Reviews

Our Pick
Canon GP-701 LTR 100SH GP-701 LTR Photo Paper Glossy (100 Sheets/Package)
Our rating:

Now, this is a pack of photo paper with phenomenal customer ratings and reviews!

After more than 5,000 individual customer ratings on Amazon, the average customer rating still comes in at a whopping full 5 stars, thanks to more than 80% of customers giving it a full 5 stars.

They also rated it at 4 and a half stars for a number of specific features, including print quality, picture quality, value for money and brightness. 

Coming from a brand like Canon, you know that this is a pack of paper that has been made with photography in mind. Did you know that you can buy Canon brand printer inks, too?

They work perfectly well with Canon photo paper.

This paper features a high gloss finish for crisp and clear photo quality. It’s great for everyday family photos, and for vibrant landscape photos.

At 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches long, it’s ever so slightly smaller than A4 paper. And it’s more than twice as thick as regular printer paper, with a weight of 200 GSM (more on that in our buying guide later). And this helps to produce a sturdier print.

But despite this additional thickness, very few customers have reported having trouble with paper jams. Although we would still recommend manually feeding sheets of paper through one at a time (more on that in our buying guide too).

The stand-out feature of this photo paper however has to be the microporous coating. It quickly absorbs ink deep below the surface.

And this in turn prevents excess ink being left on the paper’s surface, which means that the prints dry instantly and therefore won’t smudge.

Amazon occasionally has significant deals on this particular pack of photo paper – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

But even if you end up paying the full listing price, it’s still excellent value for money because it’s a pack of 100 sheets rather than the more usual 50 sheets.

Pros
  • From the top brand Canon
  • Phenomenal customer ratings
  • It’s excellent value for money
  • Produces a high gloss finish
  • The prints dry out instantly
Cons
  •  The paper is more than twice as thick as regular A4 paper 

HP Glossy Advanced Photo Paper for Inkjet, 8.5 x 11 Inches, 50 Sheets (Q7853A)
Our rating:

This has also proved a particular favorite with customers, having earned excellent customer ratings and reviews. On Amazon, for example, it earned an average customer rating of 4 and a half stars even after well over 3,000 individual customer ratings, thanks to more than 80% of customers rating it at a full 5 stars.

Customers also rated it on specific features, and they gave it four and a half stars for print quality and for value for money.

This pack of paper has earned the title of Amazon’s Choice in the category of paper for printing photos. Such a title is only given to products that are both of excellent quality and are available at a good, reasonable price.

It gives your printed photos a stunning high gloss finish, with maximized color intensity.

It’s 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches long, so is ever so slightly smaller than regular A4 paper, and will easily slide through your printer.

This paper is also quite thick and sturdy, with a weight of 250 GSM (more on GSM in our buying guide later).

We were also impressed with how quickly the ink on the prints dry out.

The star feature of HP printer paper though has to be that it’s climate pledge friendly, and is Forest Stewardship Council certified, which means that it’s a product that supports responsible forestry.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular pack of photo paper – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros
  • Three-Axis PlateEarned the title of Amazon’s Choice
  • Excellent customer ratings & reviews
  • HP supports responsible forestry
  • Produces a stunning high gloss finish
  • The prints dry out very quickly indeed
Cons
  • The paper is more than twice as thick as regular A4 paper

Canon 7981A004 Photo Paper Plus, Matte, 8-1/2 x 11 (Pack of 50 Sheets)
Our rating:

Perhaps you already have a big stack of glossy photo paper and want to experiment with different finishes. Besides, once you’ve placed a glossy photo print out in a photo frame lined with glass, you can often get too much reflection produced.

If you want to try out photo quality paper that produces a matte finish, this is a great one to choose. And coming from a brand like Canon, you can trust it to produce the kind of quality results you’re after. 

Besides, sometimes you want to print photos for other uses besides framing, such as for posters with graphics and text, or for paper craft and greeting cards.

This pack of photo paper has been flying off the shelves with the leading online retailers. On Amazon, for example, there have been well over 10,000 individual customer ratings.

And, better yet, the average customer rating still comes out at a very impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5. This is thanks to more than 70% of customers rating it at a full 5 stars.

Despite its matte finish, you can still get prints with a high level of brightness, and crisp and clear imagery. And although you get a matte finish, the paper is almost as smooth as the glossy paper counterparts.

With a weight of 170 GSM, it’s significantly more lightweight than glossy photo paper, but noticeably thicker than regular A4 printer paper.

The stand-out feature of this photo paper however has to be the microporous coating. It quickly absorbs ink deep below the surface. And this in turn prevents excess ink being left on the paper’s surface, which means that the prints dry instantly and therefore won’t smudge.

It’s available in 3 different sizes, including 8.5 by 11 inches (slightly smaller than A4), 13 by 19 inches, or 4 by 6 inches, which is the traditional size of photos you used to get from photo labs. The smaller the size you go for, the more sheets you get in a pack.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular pack of photo paper – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros
  • Comes from the top brand Canon
  • Excellent customer ratings & reviews
  • More affordable than glossy paper
  • Produces a smooth matte finish
  • The prints dry out instantly
Cons
  • Not as thick and sturdy as glossy photo paper, but is still thicker than regular paper
  • The texture is the same on both sides, which makes it hard to tell which way round to put the paper in

Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper GLOSSY (8.5x11 Inches, 50 Sheets) (S042175),White
Our rating:

If you don’t mind paying an extra few dollars to ensure that you’re getting a top quality product, then this might just be the perfect photo paper for you.

It has certainly proved popular with customers, having earned an average customer rating of 4 and a half stars on Amazon, even after well over 600 individual customer ratings. This is thanks to more than 80% of customers rating it at a full 5 stars.

Customers rated it 5 stars out of 5 for specific features too, namely for print quality, and even more impressively, for value for money.

It produces a beautiful high gloss finish that will really bring out the color and the detail in your photos. The resulting prints also have an ultra smooth feel to them, and are designed to be long-lasting, and take a lot of handling without causing any of the usual wear and tear.

And this is down in part to how the paper is both smudge and water resistant. No amount of thumbing and drink spills will ruin your photos with this paper at hand.

One of the things that helps to prevent any smudging is just how quickly the ink dries once it has printed your image. 

The other thing that makes this such good quality photo paper is just how thick it is. At almost 300 GSM, it’s three times thicker than regular paper, and is also thicker than regular glossy photo paper. But it’s not so thick that it won’t fit through your printer. (More on GSM in our buying guide later.)

This is the paper to use for your most treasured photos, such as wedding day favorites, or the marking of your children’s milestones.

Each sheet measures 8.5 by 11 inches, which is slightly smaller than A4 paper.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular pack of photo paper – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. We hope you do catch a deal because this is a relatively expensive pack of photo paper to buy for the amount of sheets you get.

Pros
  • Excellent customer ratings & reviews
  • Achieve a beautiful high gloss finish
  • The prints can take a lot of handling
  • Paper is very thick, sturdy and smooth
  • Prints dry very quickly & won’t smudge
Cons
  • Premium product at a premium price

HP Premium Plus Photo Paper | Glossy | 4x6 | 100 Sheets
Our rating:

If you don’t like the idea of buying paper that’s almost A4 in size only to print out one 4 by 6 inch photo, then you can avoid wasting paper by buying it already cut to 4 by 6 inches. It’s perfectly sized for photo frames and photo albums alike.

This Premium Plus photo paper from HP features a beautiful bright and glossy finish, with rich and vivid colors, and it’s very thick too, coming in at 300 GSM, which is several times thicker than regular printer paper, which makes it particularly sturdy, and perfect for use in designing postcard-style greeting cards, or other photography projects.

And that’s not all, the properties of this paper mean that it’s also resistant to fading from exposure to sunlight. And it’s highly water resistant, too, so it can take a spill.

Although the size of the paper is smaller, you still get a total of 100 sheets, so you can print up to 100 perfectly sized photos.

The star feature of HP printer paper though has to be that it’s climate pledge friendly, and is Forest Stewardship Council certified, which means that it’s a product that supports responsible forestry.

Moreover, the paper is made with sustainable and easy to recycle fiber, so it won’t damage the environment in the distant future.

We were also impressed with how quickly the ink on the prints dry out.

And just because it's HP paper doesn’t mean it can only be used with a HP printer – it will work with any inkjet printer.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular pack of photo paper – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros
  • Perfectly sized at 4 inches by 6 inches
  • Very thick and sturdy paper at 300 GSM
  • There are a total of 100 sheets in the pack
  • Brand that supports responsible forestry
  • It’s made from an easy to recycle fiber
Cons
  • Can only be used for standard size photos, 4 by 6 inches in size

Best Paper To Print Photos – Buyers Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide, aimed at newbies.

Type of Paper

Glossy

Glossy paper is the traditional paper that photos are printed on, and it's still the most popular choice today. It can really lift the look of a photo and make it look more cheerful and vibrant. It’s great for family photos or photos with beautiful scenery and colors.

Semi-Gloss

Semi-gloss paper is basically midway between a high gloss and a matte finish. They tend to have some shine to them, but just not to the same extent as a high gloss.

Some variations of semi-gloss paper can be textured, and this will affect not only the appearance of the photo, but also it’s feel. 

It’s a good choice for when you want a little gloss but also want to avoid glare.

Matte

Matte is the polar opposite of a shiny high gloss. It’s not at all reflective, producing a much flatter image. 

Matte photo paper can come in a wide variety of textures, but while some are very heavily textured, others can feel surprisingly smooth.

It’s the best choice of paper if you want to achieve a more somber mood for your photographs, or if you’re printing in monochrome, or black and white, with a lot of shadow in the features.

But remember, if you are going to frame the photo behind glass, or in the shiny sleeves of a photo album, the photograph will no longer look matte.

Paper Thickness

You also need  to consider the thickness of the paper that you’re going to use.

The main metric for measuring paper thickness is GSM, which describes the weight of the paper measured in grams per square meter. And to give you an idea of GSM, an average A4 sheet of paper is about 90 GSM. It’s thicker than newsprint, but thinner than most glossy photo paper.

But choosing a paper to print your photos is, unfortunately, about more than just your final results. If you choose too thick a paper, you will risk the printer getting jammed, which is quite a common occurrence at the best of times. And thicker paper is more likely to jam than thinner ones. 

If you do choose to work with thicker paper, we would recommend using a manual feed option, since this not only greatly reduces the chance of a paper jam, but it also reduces the chance of transference of ink from one print to the next.

Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

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