These days, since photography may involve a lot of movement and travel, continuous improvements and innovations have made photography even better with the portable photo printer.Top 5 Best Portable Photo Printers:
- Fujifilm Instax SP-3
- HP Sprocket 2nd Edition
- Zink Polaroid Pop 2.0
- PeriPage Mini Pocket Photo Printer
Compact and lightweight, the mini photo printer offers the flexibility of taking them with you everywhere you go and printing photos on-demand. Ideal for travelers and outdoor lovers, or event photographers who often need to take and print photos on site.
This guide brings you the best portable photo printers money can buy and everything you need to pay special mind to when shopping for one.
Best Portable Photo Printer Reviews 2020 – 2021
To save you the frantic, tiresome search for the best portable instant photo printer in the crowded market, ahead, we got you covered with some of the most sought-after models.
#1 – Canon IVY Mobile Mini Portable Photo Printer
On those days when you are on the move and too held up to access a studio, don’t miss to capture and stamp your favorite moments onto paper. Grab the Canon IVY Mobile Mini photo printer and enjoy clean, lifelike pictures that center on vibrant colors and super fine details.
Measuring 4.7 × 3.2 × 0.7 inches (L × W × H), it can comfortably fit in your palm. And with the mini photo printer weighing an insignificant 5.6 ounces, you will barely notice you are carrying anything extra. This is additional to the fact that you don’t need a lot of space to utilize the device.
This Canon portable picture printer uses the Zink inkless tech and saves you the frustrating messes cartridges are known for. Expect wallet-sized 2 x 3-inch photos with peel and stick layer at the back that will tightly adhere to whichever surface you throw them on. You will need to buy Zink photo paper and blue Smartsheet to use this piece.
Is that all that this Canon IVY portable printer has to offer? Nope! It just keeps getting better and better!
Thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity, the printer allows you to sync with your Apple or Android smartphone and print your favorite pictures directly from your photo gallery. You’ll, however, be required to download the Canon mini print app for free on the app store and at Google Play.
Not just that, the Mini Print App offers filters, frames, text, tile print, collage print, and effects, plus a drawing tool for customizing each shot and tweaking the image to the best possible quality.
- The photos are smudge-proof, tear-proof and water-resistant,
- Comes in multiple colors
- Only works with Bluetooth enabled mobile devices
The portable photo printer is out to surprise those who think hard copy images are things of the past. With Canon IVY Mobile Mini, the picture quality can be termed as excellent, and using it is simply a cakewalk.
#2 – Canon Selphy CP1300 Compact Portable Photo Printer
In case you are wondering why we had to include another Canon portable photo printer on this post, that’s because it’s simply how great the manufacturer is at building equipment to suit every taste and budget.
It is not that hard to give your photo a clean, appealing, and professional look that will impress all when you have the Canon Selphy CP1300. This professional portable photo printer caught my attention for the simple fact that it is trim, highly functional and versatile, and packs sufficient oomph for all medium to heavy-duty photo printing jobs.
If you are on a quest for a portable photo printer that prints different sizes, then look no more. The Canon Selphy CP1300 can work with photo papers of postcard size (4 × 6 inches), L Size (3.5 × 4.7 inches), Card Size (2.1 ×3.4 inches), and square label (2.1 × 2.1 inches).
Better yet, the printer uses dye sublimation printing technology – a technique known for stunning bright and color-rich images that will even outlast the print paper itself. The sublimation ink used will dry in no time without messy smears and smudges.
How thoughtful of the company to include a bright and interactive tilting 3.2 inches LCD touch screen? From the display, you do not only access the setting but also enjoy the convenience of filtering and modifying the images to your specifications before hitting the print button.
The 7.1 × 5.4 × 2.5 inches’ dimensions may sound more enormous than its earlier sibling, the Canon IVY Mobile Mini. Even so, the Canon Selphy CP1300 still is a reasonably sized device that won’t weigh you down and is easy to carry around with you without strain.
As you’d want, there is a wide offering of connectivity options. Should you wish to print the pictures on your phone’s photo gallery, simply download the Canon print app3 on the smartphone and connect it to the printer via Wi-Fi. You can also plug in a portable USB drive or camera’s SD memory card.
- Creates fun collages with Party Shuffle Print
- 1-Year limited warranty
- Includes an anti-Theft wire lock slot
- The battery pack is purchased separately
Canon is synonymous with the best quality portable photo printers and this unit is a prime example of that.
The Selphy CP1300 is as functional as can be with lots of exciting features such as compatibility with pictures of different sizes, smartphone integration, touch screen display, and more. Highly recommended.
#3 – Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Mobile Photo Printer
A deserved entry to this list, the Instax SP-3 sets new heights in matters of quality performance, compact design, and premium construction.
The Instax SP-3 is a better version of its predecessor, the Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 which had taken the printing world by storm. The manufacturer added numerous practical features that will, without a doubt, ensure that every moment you spend using this Fujifilm Instax mobile printer is worthwhile.
This unit is among the top portable photo printers with a compact 6.1 x 6.1 x 3.7-inch size that means the printer will fit just about anywhere. And weighing a mere 11 ounces, it is lightweight and compact so you can carry them whenever you are out and about, barely increasing your weight. Moreover, the printing speeds are neck breaking at about 13 seconds per photo and the noise levels have also been kept at a minimal.
The company praises this unit for print pixels of 800 x 800 dots which promises true to life pictures with superb color accuracy and details that almost pop at you. The handheld picture printer works with square INSTAX Film measuring 2.4 × 2.4 inches.
Courtesy of via Wi-Fi connection, Instax SP-3 is truly a pocket printer for android and IOS, and will seamlessly connect with your mobile device via the downloadable free Instax SHARE” App. It can print photos directly from your gallery or social network.
The app provides you with filters, effects, templates, and split and collage functions to help you spice up things to your liking. The best part is there is a rechargeable battery inside so you can carry your mobile printer to areas with limited power supply and use it without needing to plug in.
- Rechargeable battery
- Compact and lightweight
- Fast printing
- Difficulty connecting with the latest android versions
When it comes to compact photo printers that are optimized for blistering performance, color accuracy, and ultra-fine details, this pick takes it to another dimension. The Fujifilm Instax SP-3 outperforms printers that cost twice as much and provides the most bang for your buck.
#4 – HP Sprocket Portable Instant Photo Printer
HP is a recognizable electronic giant so highly regarded and creditable accomplished not to appear in our countdown. The company boasts immense experience in this space that they pour into constructing the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer.
Some of the main highlights include the ZINK Zero Ink technology. The images you get will be free from smudges and resistant to water and tearing. So, you need not bear with the annoying messes and smears of cartridge printers. What’s more, the HP Sprocket portable photo printer supports 2×3 inch photo sizes.
Like other top-quality photo printers in its class, this Bluetooth pocket printer will connect to your iOS or Android mobile device and offer you the convenience of printing photos straight from the device. The app comes with countless filters, frames, stickers, and effects for customizing the images to suit your specification.
That is not all. This instant photo printer features a sleep mode feature that ensures the device remains connected even when you’re not using it without eating up much battery power. That said, the printer will be ready to print as soon as you’ll be.
A rock-solid battery life that can stand up to 35 photos ensures that the printer does not die on you amid a print run when you are away from civilization. Connecting and using the device is also pretty simple and won’t demand any special skill.
- Comes with ten sheets of print paper
- Rechargeable battery
- Covered by a one-year limited hardware warranty
- Picture quality is average
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer will take your photography to a whole new level and generate an impressive amount of muscle to cope with all printing tasks, big or small. If you’re seriously looking to document your photo-worthy experiences, then do not think twice about investing in this piece.
#5 – Zink Polaroid Pop 2.0 Portable Photo Printer & Digital Camera
Polaroid is the king as far as instant cameras go. The company has been around the printer manufacturing space for about 8 decades now and they bring all this experience in building the Zink Polaroid Pop 2.0 2 in 1 portable photo printer.
The main selling point is the snap and print feature that lets you capture every notable moment on-site using one device. The Polaroid Pop 2.0 doubles as a camera and printer and packs a laudable 20 MP camera with flash and digital zoom. The camera produces crisp, larger than life shots. They just made it better with a built-in speaker and mic that pairs with the full 1080 HD video recording function to deliver studio-quality videos.
The Polaroid Pop 2.0 sits pretty at the very apex of the best Zink printer list. The ZINK Zero Ink Paper does away with the need for cartridge toner, film, or shaking; and delivers clean, vivid prints with nature’s depth of color and striking details. The Polaroid printer manages lightning-quick print speeds with a brief 15-second wait to get your 3. 5 x 4. 25 inch GIFs printed.
And if you intend to carry it with you on the go without weighing you down, you will be delighted to know that the photo printer weighs a mere 1lb. Besides, the materials and components used to create the gadget are premium quality so that it can keep up with long decades of daily on-the-go use.
Another sweet spot is the bright and intuitive 4-inch LCD touch-screen display that gives quick access to modes, adjustments and allows you to preview and edit the picture to add stickers, filters, and frames, and customize to your preferences.
This portable travel camera and photo printer offers an ample internal storage capacity of 10 photos. But should you wish to upgrade, the device offers memory card support of up to 128GB.
By syncing your phone to the camera via the Polaroid Pop app, you get to print and share your treasured memories with friends on social media platforms like Facebook. From the app, you can still personalize the image with emojis and stickers to suit your taste.
- Incorporates a 20MP full 1080p video camera
- Intuitive 4.0-inch LCD touchscreen display
- Pictures are printed with the classic Polaroid Border
- Multiple colors available
- Slightly heavier than the competition
If you are on the market for the best portable camera printer that will capture and print the image on the spot without giving you any storage or transportation troubles, I dare you to try the Zink Polaroid Pop 2.0 Mini Camera. Even with all these amazing features, this unit is still affordable and will not blister your wallet.
#6 – Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Photo Printer
If you are constantly traveling and can’t do without capturing all the exciting instances and documenting them in hard copy, then this Fujifilm Instax portable postcard printer is the best thing you can reward yourself with.
To begin with, the company chose to go different with laser printing technology that is known for speed, precision, and economy during printing without spilling excess ink and causing messes. The laser printer is also pin-drop quiet during use with lower production costs.
Do you like taking photos using your smartphone? The manufacturer did put you in mind when they included the Bluetooth function that lets you connect and print photos from your mobile device making it the best portable printer for iPhone and Android phones. You need to simply download and install the Instax Mini link app on the phone.
As you’d wish, the app also lets you edit and adjust the image and add frames, prints, stickers, and create a collage to match your demands. You need not bear the frustration of waiting, the printer takes a hasty 12 seconds to deliver a single print.
Under the hood, there is a robust rechargeable battery that can power this thing up for up to an impressive 100 prints.
- Can print photos from videos.
- Include a reprint function for the last printed photo
- Comes in varied colors
- Limited to Bluetooth enabled devices
We could not resist adding another entry from Fujifilm. The Instax Mini Link is a convenient and affordable photo printer if you are a hobbyist or just getting started in this niche.
#7 – Lifeprint 2×3 Portable Photo and Video Printer
Not many times do you come across a portable photo and video printer that is compact, sleek, inexpensive, and delivers stunning pictures that deserve to be seen.
Let not the compact nature of this device deceive you. The Lifeprint 2×3 portable photo printer prints like a dream and relies on Zink Zero Ink Technology to deliver crystal clear and true to life pictures that are showstoppers to look at.
The photo paper used is smudge-proof, tear, and water-resistant so the photos will last long enough to be handed down as memorabilia from generation to generation. The 2×3 inch papers come with a sticky back for safe and secure sticking on to surfaces.
The makers wanted to make it easy to haul and save you tons of storage space so they made it compact and 6.3 ounces’ light. The construction is still sturdy enough to hold up to the rigors of frequent movement.
As you’d expect, the Lifeprint wireless photo printer is Bluetooth enabled and connects to smartphones through the downloadable Lifeprint app. The app provides a full photo editing suite that lets you add filters, frames, text, memes, and stickers, and tweak the image to match your style.
One downside we noted is the clear absence of the on/off switch. This flaw makes for quick draining of the rechargeable battery whenever you carry it on the go.
- Very affordable
- Package includes a starter pack of ZINK paper
- Comes in diverse colors
- Lacks an on/off button
If you genuinely love showcasing pictures as much as I do, you will want to check out this photo printer. The supreme quality photos you will get from the Lifeprint 2x3 Portable Printer are unmatched for its size and what it costs.
#8 – KODAK Smile Instant Portable Photo Printer
It would have been unfair of our post had I wound up without including an instant digital photo printer from Kodak. The KODAK Smile Instant photo printer is all you need to make a small print station wherever the hustles and bustles of life may take you.
The mini printer is small and weighs in insignificantly meaning you won’t even notice any difference when carrying it. The price is still within comfortable reach of the budget shopper, making it one of the best portable photo printers under $100.
The company chose to adhere to the new trend and used Zink Zero Ink technology for superb quality pictures with lifelike color and details. The printer produces 2×3 inch photos that are sticky-backed making for effortless sticking on to intended surfaces.
Pairing your printer with your smartphone has never been easier! All you need to do is download the free Smile app on your smart device and connect it to the printer via Bluetooth. You will then get to apply effects and filters, correct color, adjust lighting, crop, and more apply other fun effects.
It is also worth mentioning that the Kodak mobile printer uses a commendable rechargeable battery that can stand up to a 40-picture printing run after a 2-hour full charge.
- Comes with a starter pack of Zink paper
- Includes 5 Sticker Frames
- Different colors available
- Limited to Bluetooth enabled smart devices
Such a printer will save you loads of the time and money you spend to access photo studios when you are on the move. Overall, Kodak has built this one with you in mind and done all that is in its power to offer you fantastic quality at an inexpensive price for a longer time.
#9 – Prynt Pocket Photo Printer for iPhone
Like most of its counterparts, the Prynt pocket handheld printer for iPhone uses Zink technology to print images onto sticky-backed 2×3-inch Zink paper.
What’s even better is that the printer easily connects to your iPhone via the downloadable Prynt app. So you can print photos from your camera roll or social networks. The app lets you edit and apply effects and enhancements for the best photos, and gives you endless possibilities to express your creativity. You can also add videos to your photos before sharing it with your friends online.
The printer is powered by a powerful rechargeable battery, perfect when your access to an electric power supply is limited.
You’ll see uniqueness all over the printer’s design even from afar. And photo printers don’t just come smaller than this. It is about the size of your palm and easy to carry and store. But not to the compromise of power.
One shortcoming you will want to note that this instant photo printer for iPhone does not work with Android gadgets. You will need an iPhone smartphone no earlier than the iPhone 5.
- Can add videos to photos
- Compact, lightweight, and portable
- Varied colors available
- Only compatible with iPhones
Prynt did a good job of coming up with this portable photo printer for iPhone users. Part of the beauty of the Prynt Pocket is the simplicity of the system and clean, top quality photos.
#10 – Aibecy PeriPage Mini Pocket Photo Printer
With the Aibecy PeriPage Mini Pocket Photo Printer, you get the correct incentive for your cash. At a small fraction of the price of its premium competitors, you still get a good quality photo printer that is easy to use and has lots of useful features. You can’t do better if you are in search for a portable photo printer under $50.
The thermal printer is light, compact and easy to carry around. The Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity enables you to link the printer to your Android or iOS phone and print images from your camera roll. You will need to install their proprietary app that will guide you through the setup process.
The company was also wise to include a USB port and provide a USB cable for those of us who like to transfer photos to the pocket photo printer from the computer.
The device uses thermal printing eliminating the need for messy cartridges. You will need to purchase 57mm(width) x 30mm (roll diameter) thermal paper. Inside, there is a reliable 1000mAh built-in rechargeable battery to power you through your print run.
- Very affordable
- Compatible with computers
- Includes a roll of thermal paper
- Incompatible with Apple Mac computers
If you are on a very tight budget and seriously looking to document your photo-worthy experiences, then do not think twice about investing in this cheap portable photo printer.
Portable Photo Printer FAQs
What is the difference between a portable photo printer and a regular printer?
Most regular tabletop printers are large and bulky and quite cumbersome to transport. They also need to be plugged into an electric supply to work. They can produce large images and banners.
On the other hand, portable photo printers are compact, lightweight, and comfortable to carry with you everywhere you go, and print photos on-demand. The phone instant photo printer, for instance, is pocket-sized and easy to slide into your pocket. These mini printers feature built-in batteries that power them when access to electricity is limited. They are appropriate for travelers and outdoor lovers, or event photographers who often need to take and print photos on site.
How does a portable photo printer work?
There are two main printing techniques in photo printers, ink, and inkless printing. Inkless printing is the most prevalent among portable photo printers. Inkless printing uses ZINK or Zero ink technology. The technique uses a special Zink paper which is overcoated with a protective polymer layer outside and holds the ink. Colorless dye crystals are embedded between the paper and the overcoat. The inkless portable printers use heat and pressure to activate and colorize these crystals and produce full-color images.
Some of the ink printing techniques used in photo printers include dye-sublimation. These printers use a special type of sublimation paper with a polyester coating. The printer heats the sublimation ink into a foggy gas without melting it into liquid. The gas then penetrates the paper, bonds with the polymers in the polyester, and dries and solidifies within the matrix of the paper upon cooling to form permanent and colorful images.
Portable photo printer vs instant camera?
Portable photo printers are small devices used for printing images onto photo paper. A good portable photo printer allows you to pair it with your smart device through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and print photos from your phone gallery or social media networks.
Instant cameras are small gadgets that come equipped with cameras for taking photos and videos, while also supporting the photo printing function. Therefore, you will need not incur the extra cost of purchasing a camera. The cameras have screens that display the photos and allow you to edit your captured shots before editing. They also offer internal storage space for keeping the photos. Instant cameras are the best fit for people who do not like taking photos using their mobile devices.
Can a portable photo printer print from the PC directly?
Yes. Some models come with USB cables which allow you to connect the printer and print directly from your computer.
How to choose your portable photo printer?
- Performance and Portability
The printer should be able to function seamlessly and quietly without jamming. Make sure the battery is solid enough to run you through the entire print run without dwindling. Ensure the construction is sturdy to withstand rough use during movement.
Ensure the printer you have in mind is lightweight so you can carry it around with straining. It should also be compact and easy to fit into your pocket or bag.
- Print speed and Size
You do not want to sit around waiting for the printer to work when you have tons of work to do. Check that the printer is fast enough to deliver without wait especially if you will be printing large volumes. The print speed should be no more than 20 seconds per photo.
Portable photo printers produce different sizes of photos. Find out if the printer can print the photo size you like to print.
- Inkless or print cartridge printers
Check the printing technique and find out if it is inkless or ink. You will want an inkless printer to do away with messes. But if you prefer otherwise, look for a printer that performs well, and is economical to maintain, such as the Canon Selphy CP1300 above.
- Connectivity and compatibility
The printer ought to be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connected and compatible if you wish to pair it with your mobile device. If you do not have a smart device or wouldn’t want to use your phone, check out models that come with SD card and USB drive slots.
Most printers use their own brand photo paper while some accept generic manufacturers. If you choose to go with the former, ensure that the photo paper is affordable. Opt for models that come with a starter pack of the photo to save you extra costs and get you started.
Make sure the options you invest in can print different types of images and text perfectly such as images with effects, borders, and other enhancements you may wish to apply.
How to use a portable photo printer?
- Begin by reading the instructions manual carefully from cover to cover before setting up the printer. Confirm that the printer is fully charged or plugged on to a power source.
- While observing the provided instructions, open the top cover of the printer and load up to 10 sheets of photo paper with the barcode and logo facing down.
- Download the proprietary app from Google Playstore for Android users and Apple store for iPhone users and install it on your smart device.
- Switch on your printer. Enable the Bluetooth connection in your phone and search to see if the printer is visible. If yes, connect the printer and the phone.
- Open the app and select the ‘edit’ option to customize the image to your liking. Make sure you save the changes before proceeding to hit the print button.
- Give the printer time to produce the picture. You should only remove the photo when the printer is idle and silent.
What is the best wireless portable photo printer?
Looking for an efficient wireless pocket printer to keep memories alive and produce stunning pictures that will make a statement? Then you can’t go wrong with the Canon IVY Mobile Mini. The printer is compact, lightweight, and performs like a champ without drilling a hole in your wallet. It is the best portable 2x3 photo printer money can buy.
What is the best 4x6 photo printer?
If you are looking for a portable photo printer that prints 4x6-inch photos, then the Canon Selphy CP1300 would be it. The printer produces pictures of varied sizes ranging from the postcard size (4 × 6 inches), L Size (3.5 × 4.7 inches), Card Size (2.1 ×3.4 inches), and square label (2.1 × 2.1 inches).
Which is a cheap photo printer for the iPhone?
Most mini printers for mobile phones with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity can pair with your iPhone. However, if the cost is an obstacle, and you genuinely need a portable photo printer compatible with iPhone, you should take a close look at the Fujifilm Instax Mini. It is the best portable photo printer for iPhone, works fast and pairs flawlessly, and produces colorful enticing pictures.
HP Sprocket portable photo printer vs Canon IVY
In terms of print quality, the Canon IVY crushes its competition, the HP Sprocket printer, with ease. The quality of the photos you get from the IVY is unmatched and consistent.
Both printers produce 2×3 photo sizes and are Bluetooth enabled. They both offer free download smartphone apps for connecting with your phone.
The Canon IVY is, however, more consistent in getting the photos right at all times and smaller and easier to squeeze into your pocket making it perfect for travel. As anyone would desire, it is lighter adding to its portability and convenience for traveling users.
So if you are still pondering over what is the best portable photo printer and haven’t yet decided on one, consider the top three portable photo printers:
- Canon IVY printer – Nice quality prints and super easy to use
- Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Mobile Printer – Quick printing and high quality photos
- PeriPage Mini Pocket – Great for the price under $50
With the best mini photo printers reviewed above, you will enjoy keeping your treasured memories in physical form so you can see them every day.