Photo Paper Reviews & Buying Guide 2018

Gregor

Hello, I'm Gregor and I put this site together. At first, you'll find an overview of recommended photo papers, followed by a public poll and a general buying guide on photo paper. Further down on this page, we do link to other well-written articles and reviews about photo papers. At last, you'll be able to weight in your own opinion in the comments section.

If you choose to buy an item that I've chosen indepenently and recommended it here, I may earn commissions to support my efforts. For you, the price of the product will not change, I'm just saying this to be completely open with you.

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The 10 Best Photo Papers of Our Choice

Quick comparison in an overall view
Brand
Epson
Canon
HEWLETT PACKARD
Canon
Canon
HP
HEWLETT PACKARD
Epson
HP
PrintWorks
Name
Premium Photo Paper
S041465
Photo Paper Plus
SG-201 8X10
HP Photo Paper Premium
5x7 inch
Photo Paper Glossy 4
8649B002
Photo Paper Plus Glossy
1432C007
Sprocket Photo Paper
1DE40A
HP Photo Paper Premium
4x6 inch
Ultra Premium Photo Paper
100 sheets
Photo Paper Premium Plus,
8.5x11 inch
Photo Paper
3-Pack Bundle
Image
Epson Premium Photo Paper Image
Epson Premium Photo Paper GLOSSY (8x10 Inches, 20 Sheets) (S041465)
Recommendation
Canon Photo Paper Plus Image
Canon Photo Paper Plus Semi-Gloss 8" x 10" (50 Sheets) (SG-201 8X10)
HEWLETT PACKARD HP Photo Paper Premium Image
HP Photo Paper Premium Plus, Glossy, (5x7 inch), 60 sheets
Canon Photo Paper Glossy 4 Image
Canon Photo Paper Glossy 4 x 6 Inches, GP-601, 100 Sheets (8649B002)
Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy Image
CanonInk Photo Paper Plus Glossy II 4" x 6" 400 Sheets (1432C007)
HP Sprocket Photo Paper Image
HP Sprocket Photo Paper, exclusively for Sprocket or Sprocket 2-in-1 Printer, (2x3-inch), sticky-backed 100 sheets (1DE40A)
HEWLETT PACKARD HP Photo Paper Premium Image
HP Photo Paper Premium Plus, Glossy, (4x6 inch), 100 sheets
Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Image
Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy - S042174, 4" x 6" (100 sheets)
HP Photo Paper Premium Plus, Image
HP Photo Paper Premium Plus, Soft Gloss, (8.5x11 inch), 50 sheets
PrintWorks Photo Paper Image
Printworks Photo Paper, Gloss, 8.5in x 11in, 90 Sheets (3-Pack Bundle), 00543
Rating
according to our criteria
98 %
in comparison
98 %
in comparison
91 %
in comparison
90 %
in comparison
89 %
in comparison
88 %
in comparison
88 %
in comparison
88 %
in comparison
86 %
in comparison
86 %
in comparison
Features
  • High-gloss bright white resin coated photo paper
  • Print high quality photos for glass frames and photo albums
  • Smudge and water-resistant quick dry surface
  • Beautiful semi-gloss texture that is between matte and glossy that ...
  • Does not reflect as much as glossy papers and resists fingerprints ...
  • Great paper for portraits and gallery displays
  • Use HP's best photo paper for prints that make you proud HP Premium...
  • Optimized for printing on HP inkjet systems HP Premium Plus Photo P...
  • Support sustainable forest practices with HP Premium Plus Photo Pap...
  • Photo paper Plus glossy II yields a glossy finish with exceptionall...
  • Giving your images the look and feel of a traditional photograph
  • Photo paper Plus glossy II yields a glossy finish with exceptionall...
  • Photo paper plus glossy II yields a glossy finish with exceptionall...
  • Sticker photo paper for use with HP sprocket photo printer or sproc...
  • Peel-off sticky-backed photo paper (100 sheet count)
  • 2X3-inch fun size to Print and share
  • Use HP's best photo paper for prints that make you proud HP Premium...
  • Optimized for printing on HP inkjet systems HP Premium Plus Photo P...
  • Support sustainable forest practices with HP Premium Plus Photo Pap...
  • Works with all ink jet printers
  • Available in a variety of sizes - find the perfect paper for your p...
  • High gloss heavyweight fade resistant instant-dry paper ideal for f...
  • Use HP's best photo paper for prints that make you proud HP Premium...
  • Optimized for printing on HP inkjet systems HP Premium Plus Photo P...
  • Support sustainable forest practices with HP Premium Plus Photo Pap...
  • Smooth gloss finish creates professional looking results at home
  • Built-in Tru Color Technology ensures vibrant colors and sharp details
  • Instant dry for smudge-free prints
Offers
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Results of the Straw Poll: Popular Photo Papers

Every month, we analyze which products our readers like the most:

Which Photo Papers Would You Buy Online? (July 2018)

  • 32.26 % (10 votes) Canon KP-108IN Ink Paper Set (3) Pack - 324 Prints
  • 22.58 % (7 votes) HP Photo Paper Premium Plus, Soft Gloss, (8.5x1...
  • 19.35 % (6 votes) Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper LUSTER (13x19 I...
  • 12.90 % (4 votes) Kirkland Signature Professional Glossy Inkjet P...
  • 6.45 % (2 votes) CanonInk Glossy Photo Paper 8.5" x 11"...
  • 3.23 % (1 votes) HP 2FB98A#B1H Sprocket 2-in-1 Portable Photo Pr...
  • 3.23 % (1 votes) HP Sprocket Photo Paper, exclusively for HP Spr...
  • 0 % (0 votes) HP CR759A Everyday Photo Paper, Glossy (4x6, 10...

31 total votes.

If you also want to vote on the best photo paper, click here to view the poll.

Photo Paper Buying Guide

Photo Paper Image
Picture: Premium Photo Paper from Epson

When buying photo papers, you want to make sure that they are high-quality. The last thing you want is to give your customers horrible photos because the paper isn't the best. There are a few things you want to look at to help ensure that you're getting top quality paper. We've taken these things and put them in a buying guide, so everything is together and organized!

Type of Finish

The first thing you want to look at is the finish of the paper. This is pretty much how the paper looks. Different types of finishes are better for certain uses, while other finishes work better for a different use. The main thing is to get the finish that's going to make your photos look the best! There are a few different options for finishes and we've listed them below

  • Gloss/Semi-Gloss- These types of papers make the photos rich and bright. The only issue is that they can easily cause glares. These are best for photos you won't be putting into a frame.
  • Matte- These types of papers don't cause glares and they have a better contrast and darker blacks than gloss paper. They're great for hanging up and showing off!
  • Canvas- These are great for prints that you want to hang as a canvas. It will have a similar contrast and color as matte paper and the bright colors like gloss paper. It's brightest when you look at it from a distance.
  • Art- These have a matte finish with quite a bit of texture. These are great for photos that have flat colors and landscapes.

Paper Weight

Next, you'll want to see what the weight of the photo paper is. You should try and find one that's at least between 24 and 71 pounds. The weight is so important because it's much stronger than traditional printer paper. There's less chance of the photo ripping or getting destroyed. The last thing you want is for your customers to have a beautiful photo that gets a rip right down the middle. The higher paper weight will also make the photo look better than traditional paper.

Color and/or Brightness

Another thing you want to look at is the color and brightness of the paper. There are many different options to choose from and you want to make sure you find the best for the project you're working on. Some paper comes very bright and white, while others are a little dull and off white. If you're going to be printing a bunch of pictures, you'll want to get photo paper that is bright and the whitest white you can find. This will really make the photos stand out and they'll be bright and vibrant.If you're printing something light, you'll want to get a paper that is a little darker and more dull so it isn't washed out. On the other hand, if you're printing something that's darker, you'll want brighter and very white paper. This will help ensure that the photo will print well and won't be too dark.

Opacity

Opacity refers to how see through the paper is. Keep in mind, the less opacity a paper has, the higher chance of ink bleeding through to the other side. If you're going to be printing photos, you don't want this to happen. The main reason is because the actual picture can look distorted because you'll be able to see the ink on the other side. The same is true for printing something light. You don't want that ink to ruin the entire picture. If you're printing something dark, it shouldn't be too much of an issue because you won't be able to see too much through the darkness of the original photo. Before buying the paper, it should say right on the package what the opacity is and you'll be able to buy the one you need based on the reasons you're buying the photo paper.

Durability

When printing things on photo paper, one of the most important things is how durable the paper is. Not only do you want to ensure that the paper isn't going to rip or deteriorate over time, but you also want to make sure it'll stand up in other ways. For starters, sunlight exposure can make the photo or paper fade pretty quickly. If you have a photo paper that's extremely durable, there'll be less chance of this happening and, if it does, it won't happen as quickly. The package should let you know how many years the photo should hold up. Keep in mind, if it says it'll hold up for 70 years, it doesn't mean it'll be completely blank during the 71st year. You also have to remember, just because it says it can last for that long, it doesn't mean it actually will. The best course of action is to get the longest lasting photo paper you can.

Printer Recommendations

A printer recommendation is just what kind of paper the manufacturer of your printer recommends. While you don't have to use this type of paper, there's a higher chance of the photo lasting longer. For instance, if you have a printer that recommends a certain kind of paper, there's a higher chance your photos will last longer and look better if you use that paper. Using a different kind of paper can still give you great photos, but they probably won't be as good as how they would look on the recommended paper. If you aren't sure how to check what kind of paper is recommended, there are a few things you can try. First, try looking in the manual that came with your printer. If it doesn't tell you, try going through the process of getting ready to print a photo. There should be some kind of pop up that will tell you the paper type.

Brand

Different brands have better paper than other brands. You might find 3 or 4 brands that have paper that's the same weight, brightness, and opacity but that doesn't mean they'll all be the same quality. If you aren't really sure about brands, you could try doing an online search to find reviews from actual customers. The great thing about reviews is that they'll write down the exact issues they've had and they'll sometimes have recommendations of better paper. You could also look on various forums that have people who frequently print photos on photo paper. You can do a few things on these forums. First, you can search best papers with the parameters you need. If nothing comes up, you can try making an account and posting your own discussion. This should get quite a few people responding and they'll give you the best idea since most of them will be pretty experienced.

Cost

Finally, you want to look at the cost. There are a few things to consider with this. The first one is looking at similar quality paper and looking at prices. If 2 types of paper have the same quality, you can get away with going with the cheaper option. The only time this isn't worthwhile is if the paper isn't the same quality. The other thing you want to do is actually break down the cost. You want to compare that breakdown with the price you're charging your customers. This will tell you if you need to raise your prices a little bit to make a profit or if you can keep your prices the same. The biggest thing is not spending more than you're making. The point of being a photographer is to make an income, not pay for everything out of pocket. The breakdown will really help you look at things and figure this out!

Now that you know these things, you'll be able to buy the best photo papers you can. You'll be able to give your customers beautiful photos and high quality products. Just make sure you don't buy the first product you see because there are probably better options out there!

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Photo Paper Reviews & Additional Articles

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about the best photo papers and their reviews and guides.

Reviews One of the hallmarks of fine art photography is the production of archival prints. Which begs the question, does the social media generation care about a print's  ...
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Reviews Digital Photography Review: All the latest digital camera reviews and digital I got totally overwhelmed while starting to look for photo paper.Krisp photo paper - Officeworks: Printers and Printing 3 posts24 Jun 2017Whats the difference between Fine Art and Photo paper 10 posts25 Jul 2012What's the best, consistently good, cheap photo paper 4 posts5 Feb 2012Question for those who use HP Photo paper : Printers 8 posts27 Aug 2010More results from www.dpreview.com ...
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Buying Guide You can retain the crisp, clear, color-rich properties of your pictures easily when you print them using photo papers. This helpful guide will assist you in  People also askWhat paper to use for photo printing?What type of photo paper is best for portraits?How thick is standard photo paper?What is the GSM of photo paper?Feedback ...
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Buying Guide You spent time researching which camera and printer to buy, and you put effort into shooting great pictures. It doesn't make sense to load your  ...
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Reviews Peripherals; Review Matte photo papers are better suited for well-lit environments or situations where you want the widest viewing angles. ...
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Reviews I have been able to test the following fine art Hahnem hle papers: William Turner , Museum Etching, Photo Rag Satin, Photo Rag Ultra Smooth,  ...
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The Photo Papers of Our Choice At a Glance

You're not convinced by the previous writings about photo papers? Of course you can just choose by visual impression, that's why we present you all our chosen products at a single glance. A click on any image is enough to open an external link to the best offer we could find.

Tips from YouTube about Photo Paper

Today - Papers For Printing Photographs

theartofphotography.tv In this episode we'll discuss a few printing options including various papers for inkjet and ...

Disclaimer: This video is not from us, but we found it relevant enough to show it here.

Comments

Conclusion for this Photo Paper Buying Guide in January 2019

Finally, we want to present you our rating criteria for our photo paper comparison, so you can better understand and comprehend our recommendations and the rating process itself. Furthermore, we still ask you to keep your eyes open for short term deals in order to make some great bargains with photo paper in 2018.

Published by on StrawPoll.com (last update on ).

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11 of 12 readers found this article helpful.

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(Corresponds to a rating of 4.58 / 5)