Photo printers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most all-in-one models can also print snapshots, but it's not their sole focus, and office and workforce-type printers might lack the picture quality you want. Dedicated compact photo printers can typically handle 4-by-6-inch (and sometimes 5-by-7-inch) prints, but not much else. Some, like the Epson PictureMate Charm and the Canon Pixma iP100 (*Est. $170) , are designed to be ultraportable so you can take them on vacation or to a baseball tournament.
Other inkjet photo printers like the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 (*Est. $520) are capable of handling larger media like 8-by-10-inch prints, and even CDs and DVDs. At the upper echelon are professional photo printers that use sophisticated ink technology to produce archival-quality images. While most mini printers cost less than $200, it's hard to find a professional photo printer for less than $1,000. The rest fall somewhere in between based on features and brand.
Epson and Canon are industry leaders in the photo printing business. The Canon Pixma and Selphy lines are generally reviewed favorably, with some models offering more versatility than others. The Epson PictureMate series also gets high praise, as do the slightly higher-end Epson Stylus models. You'll also find some Hewlett-Packard and Kodak printers in the game, but reviews tend to be mixed.
ConsumerSearch.com analyzes reviews and rankings from publications such as ComputerShopper.com, PCMag.com and PC World that specialize in computer technology news. ConsumerReports.org evaluates and rates a limited number of photo printers through its renowned testing program. PrinterInfo.com comprehensively and independently tests printers, and provides quality information for the products reviewed. Customer feedback from retailers like Amazon.com, and specialty photo vendors such as Adorama.com and BHPhotoVideo.com, is insightful and useful, particularly when there are a large number of reviews for the most popular printer models.