Photo printer recommendation?

Hello comrades,

I am in the market for a good photo printer. I think I’ve been really close to hitting the buy button a few times on an Epson SC-P700 but the linux story is… um… nonexistent really. Does anyone have a recommendation for a photo printer that works well in Linux and has Airprint support ? Honestly speaking probably the main use in terms of volume will be printing from an ipad but it seems so wrong for Linux support to not be a thing!

Thanks in advance —


Hey Andy, welcome to the forum. I have the Epson SC-P600, and I really like it, though I might be a but biased because I worked at Epson for 5 years.

If you want Linux compatibility, Epson does offter Linux drivers for a few printers: EPSON Download Center

Be advised that AirPrint is a really stripped out driver and won’t give you all the photo options you need.

Hello, TurboPrint provides a printer driver for Linux for named printer. It’s not free (nor expensive) but you can try it for 30 days.

Funny, I looked at another Epson site and they said “no Linux driver available for the SC-P700”…

I can’t speak towards the Ipad experience, but Linux support for photo printers is possible by third party drivers by TurboPrint.

Since I’m cheap, I print to my Canon Pro-1000 through Canon’s printing software running on a Windows10 VirtualBox Machine. I use a shared folder to export my print files to that I can reach through Windows on the VM. The big limitation on the Canon print software (free) is that it only handles jpgs. With zero compression, the results are fine. A work around if you want to print tiff files is to use the Canon plugin in combination with Photoshop on the Windows install.

Thanks all for the information. What a funny situation, to have to pay to install aftermarket proprietary software for a printer whose manufacturer certainly has already made similar software — but here we are I guess! I will give the SC-P700 a go with turboprint, good to hear that a workable solution exists. Thanks very much for the pointers!

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If you want to try, you can extract a .PPD file from the Mac installer for Epson, and CUPS should be able to load this PPD.

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Call that the Linux advantage! :wink:

Just a note though. I own an Epson from the SureColor series and a Linux driver is available indeed, but they are unsupported, that means not official. So you can’t call Epson in case of printing problems. That’s not a big deal.

More important is that the Linux driver for my printer lacks some functionality compared to the Windows driver, for example the Draft mode for print quality, that is Windows-only. Worse (and in some cases a show stopper) is that I can’t tell the Linux driver to not use color management, which is important when you embed a printer/paper profile in your photo. In these cases I’m forced to print via Windows (I don’t have a Mac).

On the plus side: in Windows I’m unable to tell my printer not to cut roll paper automatically - it always cuts, even with the option Do Not Cut selected, in the printer and in the driver! The Linux driver works as expected here.

I can’t use TurboPrint because they don’t support my printer and don’t have plans to do so in the future, they told me.

Is there a reason the Gutenprint driver doesn’t get mentioned here?
Gimp:Gutenprint@SCP600 seems to work rather well for me.

Left to itself, an iMac on the network uses Gutenprint to print to this printer, also.

DarkTable seems a little unforthcoming about how it drives the printer. Rather well in some instances.

darktable uses CUPS or TurboPrint.

How are the SureColor printers on running costs? I am also in the market for a printer and the ET-8550 caught my attention too, due to the tank design, its ink is really cheap. If the photo quality isn’t that inferior, It could also be a good solution.

The lab I get good prints from charges 15-20€ for a 30x45 Hahnemühle Photo Rag print, it would be great to have the option of printing at home for less money, even if at reduced print quality. I’m able to trade that for convenience and over time costs.

After some searching, it seems that the larger P900 has larger cartridges and the ink ends up to be cheaper overall. This is of course disregarding everything else that consumes ink on the printer like the cleanings and so on.

For people that print a lot, it seems advantageous to splurge the extra money which will be quickly regained with ink costs.

For Info, Epson provides the app Epson Ink Cost Calculator for wide-format printers for photographic or office use. The P600 and P800 are listed there, as well as other wider-format printers. In my experience these estimates are rather correct (and are in line with the calculated ink costs in the links above).