The cost of printing using your own printer - revised 2016

Many people get scared off at the presumed cost of printing their own images, compared with online or printing in store at office supplies outlets (no names, but you know who they are).  This is assuming that the quality of the prints from online stores is comparable with the best practice using high quality papers and printers.

Our experience with seeing what is done online and in the office supplies print services is that the quality is "acceptable" to the novice, but a long way short of the quality you can achieve printing at home.  In addition to the quality issues the online printers use low quality papers with variable results.

We have recently conducted a cost breakdown using the current costs in Australia for Epson P600 and P800 printers and using Canson fine Art papers.  

The results are very interesting....

The real costs of printing yourself have been calculated using some assumptions:

Consumption of ink has been assumed at twice the quoted rate as advised by Kayell Australia and assumed to be up to 90% of cartridge capacity only.  Actual usage will vary depending on image content and other factors, but this is a conservative estimate.

Inkset and printer costs are current as of November 2016 in Australia

Paper costs are based on Canson A3 and A2 boxes of 25 sheets at the current price in November 2016 in Australia

We have also calculated the amortised cost of printing assuming the cost of the printer being written off over 5 complete inksets used.  This is a very conservative estimate of the life of a printer and is for illustration purposes only.  A new printer price includes a full set of inks and we have included the cost of the printer plus 4 full replacement inksets.


Printing in store or online A3 size (40cm x 30cm) cost per print is $ 15.00 - $16.00 per print

compared with doing it yourself:

Printing A3 using an Epson P600 printer and Canson Platine A3 is $ 5.90 per print *

Printing A3 using an Epson P800 printer and Canson Platine A3 is $ 4.70 per print *

Printing A2 using an Epson P800 printer and Canson Platine A2 is $ 10.00 per print *


Epson P600 and A3 Platine total costs amortised  = $ 7.40 per print 

Epson P800 and A3 Platine paper total costs amortised  = $ 5.45 per print

Epson P800 and A2 Platine paper total costs amortised = $ 11.35 per print

 * Please note the above costs are per page printed, including test prints and rejects and assumes full page printing over 90% of cartridge capacity.  Your actual usage may vary, but we are confident that these are realistic costs, based on our own experience.  The initial cost of the P600 printer is offset by the much higher cost of inks - these work out at about double the per ml cost of the P800 printer, however the initial cost of the P800 is higher.  In essence, if you are going to print seriously, the P800 is the more cost effective printer to buy.

So, there is no excuse for not printing your own images.  You will save money provided you intend printing on a regular basis, plus you have absolute control over the process, can choose between several beautiful fine art papers and have the satisfaction of doing it all yourself.

We are running a printing Master Class early in 2017, check the Workshops page for details.