5 Best Pigment Ink Printers in 2019

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A pigment ink printer is distinct from the alternative dye-based ink printer, seeing as it uses a slightly different type of ink.

While each has its pros and cons and neither is obviously superior to the other, it is true that many photographers in particular will prefer pigment ink.

This means you need to go out of your way to seek out those printers and inks, seeing as the standard default ink for an inkjet printer is dye-based.

In this post, we’ll explore the best printers on the market that let you print using this medium.

The Best Pigment Ink Printers

Product

Features

Price

Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer Color 5760x1440 dpi Print Plain Paper Print Desktop Model

  • Beautiful photos with stunning pigment ink
  • Simple to use
  • Boarderless option

Canon iP8720 Wireless Printer, AirPrint and Cloud Compatible

  • Extremely high def, high quality images
  • Versatile, supports most inks
  • Looks smart

Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Wireless Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer

  • Stunning images
  • Long-lasting ink
  • Prints large images
  • Lots of advanced features

Canon PIXMA PRO-10 Color Professional Inkjet Photo Printer

  • Best-in-class photo printing performance
  • Amazing black and white images

Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer

  • Amazing permanence rating
  • Similar top-tier performance

Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer Color 5760x1440 dpi Print Plain Paper Print Desktop Model

Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer Color 5760 x 1440 dpi Print Plain Paper Print Desktop Model C11C617121

This printer prints using beautiful and highly durable DURABrite Ultra pigment ink. It can print on both glossy or normal plain paper, and it is capable of producing stunning final products thanks to the wonderfully high DPI of 5760×1440.

All this means that for photographers and anyone who is looking to create some memories that will look just as good as if they had been developed professionally (maybe). Adding to this overall effect is the inclusion of

It also of course means that you do need to use that specific ink, which in turn means that it’s going to be a slower and more expensive process trying to add more ink as it is needed.

Another limitation is the speed. The printer is capable of up to 23 pages per minute when printing in black and white, but only 14 pages per minute in color.

That might not be an issue, seeing as you can always stick to quick black and white prints when you need to quickly create a document. But for some, slow color printing may be a limiting factor.

Otherwise, this is a great printer that is easy to use, that is reliable, and that looks the part when you’re not using it. It’s well made, functional, and generally a strong offering from Epson that comes highly recommended!

Pros

  • Beautiful photos with stunning pigment ink
  • Simple to use
  • Boarderless option

Cons

  • Relatively slow when printing color
  • Requires proprietary ink

Canon iP8720 Wireless Printer, AirPrint and Cloud Compatible

Canon IP8720 Wireless Printer, AirPrint and Cloud Compatible

A fantastic printer capable of printing both with pigment and dye ink. That versatility is then doubled-down on thanks to the option to print on numerous different sizes of paper. You can print at 8×10”, 13×19” and more.

Like the Epson, this Canon printer will also allow you to print borderless images, with an even higher resolution this time of 9600×2400 dots per inch. The result is a simply stunning, truly beautiful photos.

Even better is that there is no proprietary ink here. In fact, the Canon will work with a huge variety of different inks, meaning you can shop around to find the best price and best quality. We really approve of this design choice!

The printer is otherwise somewhat standard, providing all the usual connectivity and features. It has a solid, black design, that looks very smart in the home or the office. It’s also intuitive to use and set-up, which is always a big win for a printer.

What’s less appealing is the print speed, which is a really rather slow 14.5 pages per minute. Worse is that this is the black and white speed!

If quality photos and a great looking printer are what you’re after, then this option will do what you need it to. Otherwise, you might want to spend a little less and look for something faster.

Pros

  • Extremely high def, high quality images
  • Versatile, supports most inks
  • Looks smart

Cons

  • Very slow to use

Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Wireless Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer

Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-Format Printer, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled

Another great looking printer that has a very smart appeal. This one has a particularly boxy appeal that benefits from a band of silver around the black chassis. It’s a little different, but it’s overall very smart.

On top of that, you also get some truly stunning performance. The professional media versatility (as Epson calls it), means that you can sheets up to 13” wide. That’s ideal if you plan on hanging posters etc.

Like the previous Epson on this list, this model unfortunately does require a proprietary ink. That is the UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 pigment ink, which you’ll also note is different from the previous DuraBright.

It is a frequent annoyance when companies insist on using a variety of slight variations of a product – which makes it even more difficult to track them down.

But the good news is that this ink at least lasts a long time. The company boasts that you’ll use up to 50% fewer cartridges in total.

Other features help to further improve the results. You have auto-selecting black inks to help optimize black density, smart features to help produce the best possible skin tones and much more.

The company does not list the pages per minute here, but suffice to say that from our tests this is not a fast printer.

Pros

  • Stunning images
  • Long-lasting ink
  • Prints large images
  • Lots of advanced features

Cons

  • Proprietary ink
  • Slow

Canon PIXMA PRO-10 Color Professional Inkjet Photo Printer

Canon PIXMA PRO-10 Color Professional Inkjet Photo Printer

If it’s the absolute best performance with high quality, glossy, color images that you’re after… then you’ll have a hard time beating the Canon PIXMA PRO-10.

This is a printer capable of offering some of the most stunning final products thanks to the combination of both pigment based inks and a Crhoma Optimzer. It also uses smarter software, such as the PIXMA PRO Optimum Image Generating System, to provide more reliable performance and color accurate final images.

We say color accurate, but actually this printer performs even better when you focus on black and white imagery! That’s thanks to three dedicated monochrome inks, which result in some really great black and white photos.

All this results in a printer that is ideal for professionals. Like we said: it’s hard to beat when it comes to pure performance in that regard.

But at the same time, it’s also a printer that is not beginner-friendly, thanks to the requirement for multiple inks mixed together in a single printer. Oh and it’s also crazy expensive.

Pros

  • Best-in-class photo printing performance
  • Amazing black and white images

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not simple to set up and use

Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer

Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer (C11CA16201)

Okay, so maybe there is one more option that might just be able to outperform the PIXMA PRO. This is another professional model that produces advanced black and white photo mode images, uses the Epson UltraChrome K3 magenta ink, and draws upon an 8-color pigment set.

The real bragging right here is that the printer can offer over 200 years Permanence Rating. That means that the images won’t fade over time, even with rough treatment.

Again though, this suffers from the same problems as the previous option: it is extremely expensive and is very complex to set up thanks to a very large number of different inks and settings.

Pros

  • Amazing permanence rating
  • Similar top-tier performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not simple to set up and use

Buyers’ Guide

When looking at printers that use pigment ink, the most important consideration as always, is to think about your specific requirements. 

Chances are that if you’re shopping for pigment ink printers in the first place, you are looking to make some high quality photo prints!

But whether you are a professional photographer, or just someone looking to take a few snaps is still going to determine precisely what you need. If you are indeed a pro, then you’ll be looking for a top-tier printer that can offer stunning color reproduction, bordleress printing, and extremely high definition. In that case, you might not be worried about speed, or about having to track down proprietary inks.

But for everyone else, looking for something that is fast and versatile is a good idea. We highly recommend pigment ink printers that can double as dye ink printers. This gives you the speed and affordable ink when you need it, while retaining the option to produce amazing photos as needed.

From there, it’s a matter of considering all the usual factors: things like the size of image you want to create, the connectivity you need, or how easy the printer is to set up and use.

Conclusion

Pigment ink printers are a fantastic investment for those interested in taking and printing high quality photos.

They can prove to be a necessary tool for professional photographers as well as businesses that print a lot of fliers, posters, and leaflets; but they can also provide the option to make memories permanent for everyone else.

Any of the printers on this list will ensure that you get a beautiful final product every time, and will provide reliable and steady performance. Finding the right option for you is a matter of budget, taste, and your personal requirements.

There should be something here to suit every need – though the selection is much smaller than for other types of printer!