My Current Printers 2019

One of the questions I get most often is about what printers I use here at home to print my photos and digital products and journaling. 

The number one reason I print at home is convenience. I often work last minute with unique sizes and want/need to be able to put projects together at random times without having to think/plan ahead and order prints. I've been printing at home since I started memory keeping back in 2002 and have had a number of printers over the years. The vast majority of my photos are still looking great in my albums. I know some people worry about longevity and I honestly haven't run into that issue. 

If you decide that printing at home isn't for you I recommend Persnickety Prints because they "get" memory keeping and scrapbookers. I'm also a big fan of Artifact Uprising for high-quality photobooks. 

PRINTER UPDATES

I've recently made a couple changes to my printer collection and wanted to give you guys an update on what I'm currently using to print my photos. 

In my office right now I have five printers. It is highly unlikely that you need anywhere close to five printers but as this is my business a couple of the printers are laser printers - one small one for black + white for general printing and larger color laser that we use for printing in-person full color workshop handouts. I don't use either of those for memory keeping projects. 

In addition to those laser printers I have three ink jet printers that I use for memory keeping. 

The new printer I decided to order and test out is an Epson Expression Photo XP15000 (in the image above). This one is replacing my previous oversize printer from Epson (purchased in 2016) that was starting to really struggle (issues related to print quality and the fact that it was HUGE and lived under my desk because it was so big). 

Knowing that I wanted/needed a printer that could print up to 13x19 (most often I'm printing 12x12 on that size paper) I went looking online to see what was currently available. I was interested in finding one that was less expensive (my previous one was around $600) and potentially had a smaller overall footprint so I could have it live on my shelves vs. under my desk (which was fine but annoying). 

I came across the Epson XP1500 (ink jet) and purchased it from Amazon in July. It's small enough to fit on top of my shelves while still printing up to 13x19 and it is also significantly less expensive ($277). I've been using it for the last few months for printing 8.5x11 (I print images cropped to 6x8 on 8.5x11) and larger and it's been working great. I use Epson 13x19 Glossy Photo Paper for printing the 12x12's and Epson 8.5x11 Glossy Photo Paper for other sizes. This printed has one tray so you can also print 4x6 from it but I use another one when printing that size. If you are looking for a printer to enable you to print larger format I would definitely recommend this one. 

I print from my computer wirelessly to this printer and it works great here in my office. I don't print directly from my phone but I assume it would work that way as well. 

The second printer I still have here in my office is a Canon Pixma MG7720 (ink jet). It's an older model now with a much higher price point vs. when I originally purchased it a few years ago (now over $500 and originally purchased for less than $200). It's been a good printer that I used regularly for my 8.5x11 printing needs. It does have two trays which is nice if you want to hold multiple paper sizes inside the printer. I believe they have a newer version of this printer available but I'm not sure of the exact model number. I've been super happy with the quality of prints from this printer - the only downside is that it doesn't print larger. 

The printer I use for printing all my photos that are 4x6 and smaller is an Epson PictureMate PM400. I've been using this one for a number of years (including the previous model). It is my go-to when printing photos for Project Life. This printer is connected to my computer via a wire but I believe it works wirelessly as well. As mentioned above, I don't print directly from my phone but rather print directly from my computer. 

I'm pretty comfortable saying that I would be completely happy with only having the combo of the Epson PictureMate PM400 and the Espon XP-15000. If you only want to have one printer I'd take a close look at the sizes you want to be able to print. If you only print 4x6 and smaller for Project Life then the Epson PictureMate PM400 is an awesome choice. If you want to print a wider variety of sizes I'd go with the Epson XP-15000

If you want to learn more about working with digital products in paper projects you should check out my online workshop Hybrid.

Read my past "Current Printers" post from 2017 here

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17 thoughts

  1. jenwilson says…
    10/02/2019

    Thank you for the updated printer post Ali. I always find these articles interesting. I also have the Epson PM400 and love how it prints, however I struggle with my photos being cut off on the edges and have not been able to figure out why it does this.

    I have played with both the min and max expansion settings and they both cut off the image in slightly different amounts.

    Have you ever come across this with your PM 400?

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/02/2019

      Every once in awhile I notice that - usually if there is something very specific I'm wanting to see on the outside edges. When that happens I adjust to 97% and that seems to work fine.

    2. jenwilson says…
      10/03/2019

      Ah ok, thank you! I will give that a try.

    3. shellapp says…
      10/03/2019

      It could also be that the photo you are taking is not a true 4x6. Most photos taken on a cell phone or digital camera are not 4x6, therefore some cropping will need to occur.

  2. jmcouraud says…
    10/02/2019

    Thanks for this informative post. I have a question regarding the Epson PictureMate PM400. Does it print true 4x6 photos? I have a Canon Selphy and its prints are slightly smaller and it gets a little annoying when putting photos in pockets.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/02/2019

      YES - that's one of the things I love about it - true 4x6.

  3. 9manties says…
    10/02/2019

    I also use the Expression Photo HD XP-15000 and the Epson PM400. My biggest gripe with the XP-1500 is that I bought it for printing 12x12 photos and it will not give an option to actually print that size. I have to load my 12x12 photo paper and then tell the printer I'm actually printing on 13x19. Then I have to rejigger things so that (if I'm lucky) the 12x12 image will land completely on my 12x12 paper. I imagine memory keepers are a big part of the target market with this printer and so many of us work in 12x12. You would think they would provide this as an option so that we can take advantage of the borderless printing and not have to buy larger paper than we need. I hate being wasteful and I hate having to spend time to trim it. I cannot find any options that will print borderless 12x12, so I guess I'm stuck with it.

    For anyone else with this printer, I found that my colors were off out of the box. At first, I was re-editing to bump up the warmth (by a lot) to account for the difference between my monitor and the actual print. It turned out that there was a color profile setting that was not matching between Photoshop and the printer. I changed it and now my photos are printing true to color.

    Jen, I have that same issue with my PM 400 with the slight cut off on the images. I wasted a lot of photo paper trying to figure it out and eventually gave up.

    I love memory keeping but I do find printing issues very frustrating. I'll often procrastinate working on projects because I know I will end up getting into a battle with the printers.

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/03/2019

      Yeah, I just use the 13x19 and cut off the excess.

    2. shellapp says…
      10/03/2019

      There are some printers that will print borderless 12x12. Most printer companies will only include the options for common paper sizes. The Epson P400 or SureColor P600 both print 12x12.

    3. 9manties says…
      10/10/2019

      Thanks, Shellapp! I will look into those next time I buy a printer. It would be so wonderful to print a borderless 12x12 and not have to worry about it getting cut off or having to trim! :)

  4. slanger says…
    10/03/2019

    Does the Epson PictureMate PM400 give you the option for the white border with photos? If not, how do you create the perfect white border? I love that look! Also, could you estimate about how long the ink lasts?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/03/2019

      Yes - that's the printer I use for the white borders. I order ink every couple of months and I print very regularly.

  5. ConnieS says…
    10/06/2019

    I love, love, love my PM400! I've never had a problem with edges being cut off. I print out of iPhoto or Adobe poor-man's Photoshop (on my iPad right now and don’t remember the name... sorry!) I also use this little printer when I print out journaling blocks up to 5x7. The color and crispness of type are excellent! When I do that, I’m printing out of Pages.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Joyley says…
    10/06/2019

    Thank you very much for this update. I’ve been looking at the Epson XP-1500, but I was a bit deterred by the setup issues with a Mac that I read about in the reviews. I assume you work on a Mac. Any problems setting it yourself or did you have to call and use Epson tech support to complete setup? Thank you very much!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/06/2019

      I had no problems at all, even with the wifi set up (which has been complicated with other printers in the past).

  7. Joyley says…
    10/11/2019

    Thank you very much! This is very helpful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. mtlakes says…
    10/15/2019

    I'd love to get the Epson PM400 (I am not fond of my Canon Selphy). But I really want to print 6x8 photos, and the occasional 5x7 and 8x10. Do you think the XP15000 would be a good choice for that flexibility? I guess I could get the PM400 and send out for the 6x8 but that defeats the "print at home" convenience!

    Reply 0 Replies

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