A3 Photo Printer Review - Best A3 Printer

by John, Expert Reviewer

A3 Photo Printer Review - Best A3 Printer

A3 Photo Printer Review - Best A3 Printer

Our A3 Photo Printer Review denotes comparison of photo printers that have the ability to print paper sizes of up to 11 ¾ X 16 ½ inch or even the larger size of 13 x 44 inches.

We will scrutinize the top three brands and note how their A3 photo printer fares in providing modern printing convenience as a mainstream photo printer despite the large size. These types of printers are often sought after by photography hobbyists who desire to elevate creativity to a higher level. Let's find out which brand can provide your need for oversized printing with the most professional looking results in the most convenient manner.

1. HP Photosmart B8550 Inkjet Photo Printer $190.85

This HP B8550 easily strikes us as an economical provider of oversized borderless photos at 13 x 19 inches. Actually we were surprised to find the printer feature-rich when it comes to technology. It ensures the photos produced will have "lab quality" in the truest sense of the words. It will only take 95 seconds and can render images at 9600 x 2400-optimized dpi color.

The highest level of quality can of course be achieved if you use the combined high-tech qualities of Vivera inks and Advanced Photo Paper. This will deliver quick-drying photos that have the ability to stay smudge-free. It's hard to beat technology when it comes to producing photos that are most impressive up to the smallest details.

A3 Photo Printer Review was achieved with great ease since we found convenient tools we could use for printing and doing our own editing tasks. First off, there's a 2.4 inch color LCD you can view to inspect each photo reproduction before giving them the final go as printing jobs. You'll find 15 functional buttons all conveniently labeled and lined-up to provide considerable ease during the edit process.

We checked out the zoom-in button and it gave us the convenience of reviewing details up to the smallest areas of concern. The solo button for the red-eye reduction was straightforward in dealing with this recurring defect in photography. Now if you're too eager to print out what you've got, restrain yourself a bit by checking out four LED lights. These are warning signals of some sort which will automatically light up in case there's something else that needs your attention. This is to make sure you'll be printing your photos with perfection. This really floored us because the concept is really neat.

You can do all these even without your PC because HP B8550 has direct printing capabilities and allows wireless connectivity. In fact it has a wide range of support from Secure Digital/MultiMedia Cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, xD-Picture Cards, Compact Flash and Pictbridge compatible cameras. It's Bluetooth ready and all you need to do is buy the additional HP Blue tooth adapters for its wireless connectivity. We tried printing via the USB ports and it passed the test for high speed.

We had a great time printing photos with this HP B8550 during our A3 Photo Printer Review. Its structure and design dispensed with the frills. This printer offered us convenience with its specialized tray that loads all types of borderless photo sizes ranging from 3.5 x 5-inches, 4 x 6-inches, 5 x 7-inches, 13 x 19 inches including the panoramic 13 x 44 inches.

2. Epson Stylus Photo 1400 $199.99 - one of the best A3 Printers Around

We've run through a lot Epson printers before but this model is the exception A3 Photo Printer Review would have preferred to pass up. We have no issues when it comes to high quality color prints as far as Epson is concerned especially here where Stylus Photo 1400 can spray out ink drops in as small as 1.5 picoliters. It uses the dye-based Claria Hi-Definition inks which makes the printer suitable even for printing Iron-on paper transfers, sticker papers and print on labels to CDs and DVDs. This is where dye-sublimation gets an advantage because it can print through non-porous materials by way of heat transfer.

Nevertheless, we were able to confirm that Claria inks are nowhere as high quality as Epson's UltraChrome inks. This was evidenced by some color shifts if the photos are to be viewed under well-lit condition. However we couldn't reconcile why it seems to be difficult for the printer to achieve black that is naturally black to avoid the hint of cyan for the black and white photos we printed.

In fact, some photos tested revealed not-so-impressive color transitions along the background areas; hence, we find it hard to give our thumbs up for photo quality. It's quite important that in printing oversized photos one should get the same quality as the 4 x 6 standard sizes.

Stylus Photo 1400 has no display screen; we were not surprised at all by its lack of direct printing capabilities via the use of memory cards. All Stylus Photo 1400 can claim for direct printing is via the PIctbridge.

Ease of use was marred when the driver wasn't intuitive enough to disable color management while we were trying out third party paper to see how photo quality would fare.

The user has to go through default view and then advanced view before the radio button reveals the option for turning off the printer's built-in color management. So if you don't want any of these hassles, you just have to use Epson's brand of paper to make sure color management will go very well by relying on Epson's built-in color management function.

Epson's Stylus Photo 1400 is larger than what it appears to be once you pull out its tray. We were disappointed that no roll feed option was available so you'll have no other choice but to use cut-sheet media. As a consolation, the printer will allow you to use media up to 0.11mm thick in all photo sizes including the panoramic 13 x 44 inches.

3. Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II $332.41

A3 Photo Printer Review had a better experience testing PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II. Probably because like HP, this Canon printer was also feature-rich to ensure excellence in photo prints. First off, Canon's Chromalife inks take away the issues whether pigment based or dye based lasts longer. It's even capable of printing on glossies, sticker papers and T-shirt transfers. However, there's nothing to offer those looking for CD/DVD printing for labels.

Canon's Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering or FINE with its patented print head firing ink droplets for as small as 2pl allows the user to use different media types. At a maximum of 4800 x 2400 dpi, software like Ambient Light Correction and Auto Photo Fix made sure we will have professional looking borderless photos from the smallest size up to 13x19-inch.

Photo lab quality at its best in any kind of setting was gratifying. Images were very sharp, skin tones looked natural, no overcast of other color hues, color correct under any lighting condition.

How long does it take to print borderless photos? 1 minute, 7 seconds for the standard 4 x 6 inch, approximately 1 minute 23 for the 11-inchx14 inch color photo and longer at 2 minutes, 47 seconds for 13x19 inch borderless prints. Again, the lack of monitor or LCD screen gave us a lead that this printer has no memory card reader. The only direct printing is through a PictBridge for compatible cameras or camcorders.

Canon drivers didn't give A3 Photo Printer Review a hard time in opting out from the built-in color management, when we tried to use a third-party for this purpose. All one has to do is choose the "NONE" for color management options. What's endearing about this Canon printer is the option to clean only a subset of nozzles that you suspect as clogged.

Pro9000 takes up large space for a printer that does not have a roll-feed option. You have to use a considerable amount of space which can get to be uncomfortable when dealing with larger sized papers.

We had to clear out about 15.7 inches of additional space so we could load the paper correctly on two paper pathways for different purposes. One extended in front and the other at the back. Loading fine art papers on an L-shaped pathway would have better flatness of position on a normally shaped paper feed. This way the user has less apprehension in checking out if the paper gets into printing process with better results.

A3 Photo Printer Review - Best A3 Printer-Summary

It's obvious from our experience that HP Photosmart B8550 Inkjet Photo Printer priced at $190.85 is our choice. Keep in mind that we are reviewing a printer where an amateur could level up his photography for professional printing and not just a compact printer used for the simple fun of having a quick-print. Canon Pro9000 could have dispensed with the wheel features that may have added to its cost. If not for the price of $332.41, we could recommend Pro9000 for its excellence in professional looking photos despite its lack of direct printing capabilities.

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