This post was most recently updated on June 22nd, 2020
The best printer for photo printing has one primary function; printing amazing photos. That doesn’t mean it prints great photos. It means it prints the best photos in the industry. The Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 is a printer for people who are serious about their print quality.
Let’s get this out of the way; you don’t want to buy this printer for your grandmother for Christmas. This isn’t a printer for printing photos every now and then to post up on your fridge. The Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 was designed for customers who need professional quality photo prints. Think artists, graphic designers, or photographers. This doesn’t mean you need to be a professional to own one. A hobbyist will certainly love this printer. It just isn’t a worthy investment if you’re not serious about your prints.
Beside print quality, which should be your first, second, and third concern, there are other aspects of a printer which make it the best printer for photo printing. How much are you paying for those prints? How long are you waiting for them? Can you walk away and come back to a fresh stack, or do you have to babysit your printer? Also, how large are you able to print? These are all factors that you will have to evaluate to find the best printer for you.
Will the Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 make the top of your list? Let’s find out.
Amazing Photo Quality
Obviously, the Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 has a very high print and scan resolution. That’s pretty much a given. What is different about this printer from other photo printers is the six-cartridge ink system.
While this is normally a negative for me, in this case, it is a good thing. In addition to CMYK cartridges, this printer also has a grey and a red cartridge. The addition of grey gives you a smoother value gradient, and red allows for a fuller color gamut.
These are essential for professional quality photo prints. If you put your photo on a light table under a magnifying glass, does it hold up? Well, with this printer, it will.
Large Format Photos
A large format photo printer is incredibly difficult to find. Typically, you see photo printers max out at 8×10 inch prints. After that, there’s a gap to huge format printers, printing images that are over two feet wide and cost thousands of dollars.
The Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 can print up to 13×19 inches, and it won’t cost you thousands. This is a huge bonus if you are planning on selling your prints. If every one of your competitors is selling 8×10 prints, and you have 11×17, you’re going to stand out to customers. And that’s awesome.
Epson photo printers have often been unable to print all the way to the edge of the print. It’s been a big negative for me. But, this printer is different.
The Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 can print all the way to the edge of any size print, even 13×19 inches. The best printer for photo printing must be able to print completely to the edge. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a lot of experience with a trimmer. As someone who has worked in a print shop, trust me, you don’t want to do that.
The cost per page for the Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 rounds out to about four cents per page for each color. This isn’t spectacular by any stretch of the imagination. However, it’s better than most photo printers, which can get over ten cents per color.
I’m not sure about this, but I’m pretty sure this is the smallest wide-format printer ever. It’s only sixteen inches tall and nineteen inches wide, which is tiny for a wide-format printer. On top of that, it has a paper tray that holds 200 pages, which is unbelievable in such a compact printer.
Photo printers kill me. I can’t stand how slow they are. This printer is a Snorlax.
The Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 prints documents at nine pages per minute. Photos will take up to a minute per print. Yes, quality can take time, but I’m not a patient person. I want to print photos of my photo printer quick enough to get back to printing photos. IT’S MY MONEY AND I WANT IT NOW!
Sorry, patience is not my virtue.
An Epson printer without a scanner just feels wrong.
I’ve said it many times, Epson builds amazing scanners. Even their cheap photo printers have professional level scanners. When you’re building the best scanners in the world, it’s easy to incorporate that tech into your printers. And that is a big benefit for the customer.
This printer is designed for amazing art prints. Most of the customers who purchase this printer probably own a great dedicated scanner. However, a simple scanner shouldn’t be too much to ask for.
The Verdict: Is the Epson Expression Premium XP-15000 the Best Printer for Photo Printing?
Yeah, I think it is. The problem is it falls into a very niche category of printers. It’s better than most home users need, but it’s not on the radar for most professionals. I think that’s a bit unfair.
At this price point, there isn’t a real reason why this couldn’t be used for home photo purposes. Also, it is more than good enough for professional photo printing. I’d highly recommend checking this one out. The top review on Amazon called it “The best printer of all time!” I don’t know about that, but I do think it’s the best printer for photo printing, and that’s all it needs to be.