In January I shared a comparison of prints from the Canon Selphy and the Epson PictureMate Show. This side-by-side test affirmed my investment in the more expensive Epson printer.

The one flaw of the Epson that I mentioned was that prints seemed a little over-saturated and contrasty. It turns out this was not a true flaw in the printer at all.

Last month I sent a photo to the printer and it came out with horrible red-eye that wasn’t present in the original. I was baffled and started to dig into the settings more.

It turns out the Epson Easy Photo Print software has auto-correct turned on by default and this must be manually turned off for every photo printed. So I did that.

The result was an improvement, but not as much as I would have hoped. On a whim I tried printing from Photoshop. The difference was dramatic! I’m not a printing expert, so I was beyond surprised.

Just to be sure there wasn’t an issue with the photo, I also printed the same photo from my review post. Printing to the Epson directly from Photoshop indeed removed any flaws I had noticed before.

From what I understand, it boils down to there being no color management being done by these consumer-level printers. By printing from Photoshop, the software can control getting a printed result that’s similar to what you see on-screen.

(If anyone really understands this better, please do leave a comment!)

The bottom line is this: If you’re unhappy with your printer, make sure it’s really the printer and not the software you’re using to send photos to it!

Additional Notes:

  • There’s a weird orientation issue that happens when trying to print landscape photos from Lightroom to the Epson.
  • I have no reason to believe this wouldn’t work the same in Photoshop Elements as the print dialog is similar.
  • I also tested how the Selphy printed from Photoshop but the results were similar. Images were washed out, with a yellow cast.

Printing at home can be prone to frustration, which is why I often outsource the job. However, it turns out that small tweaks can make a dramatic impact on the end result.

What software do you use with your home photo printer?