Best Canon Photo Paper

It is common for owners of Canon printers to search for the best photo paper to yield the highest results from their newly purchased Canon device. Often we are asked what is the best canon photo paper and the answer is rarely simple.  As other manufacturers do, Canon offers a wide array of different options that vary in many respects. These photo papers vary in size, finish and weight so a suitable option for one customer is rarely suitable for another. Your considerations when choosing the most suitable printing media will include the following.

Size – The idea behind selecting the most appropriate size is really down to avoiding waste and avoiding having to spend too much. In most cases the larger the sheet of photo paper is, the more it will cost so it makes sense to match the size to your particular needs.

  • Size 10cm x 15cm – These are similar in size to 4×6” and used as photo cards to insert into albums.
  • Size 13cm x 18cm – These are similar to 5×7” and again used to print photo cards and in some cases invitations cards.
  • Size A5 – These are one size bigger than the previous 13cm x 18cm and precisely half of an A4 sheet. Used almost exclusively for invitation cards.
  • Size A4 – By far the most common and popular size, their size is double the size of an A5 sheet and half of an A3 sheet. Used for image printing (often framed) and leaflet creation.
  • Size A3 – These require a Canon A3 printer due to their size. Double the size of an A4 sheet, they are used for image printing. There is also an A3+ size, which is an oversized A3 sheet, used for graphic and photographic proofing where there is a need to view the full A3 sheet and use the boarders for comments and notes.  A3 and A3+ are seldom the choice of home users.

Finish – Canon offers photo papers in three distinct paper finish so you can match the finish with your desired taste, often a personal choice. These are matt, semi-gloss and gloss.

  • Gloss – The shiniest finish of the three, it is highly reflective and not suitable in all cases due to its high shin, though the most popular for no particular reason.
  • Semi-gloss – Other manufactures call it ‘satin’ finish, however at Canon they choose to call it semi-gloss. This finish is bang in the middle between matt and glossy and includes a slight sheen. The image can be viewed more easily from a wide angle.
  • Matt – Also referred to as matte, this finish has no reflective properties and suitable for indoor lighting. Matt does not have the properties and characteristics of the two above, as it isn’t a full photo paper, meaning that its quality will be lower than the other two options.

The hardest decision often falls between glossy and semi-glossy.  Semi-glossy paper will provide the most flexible image on a piece of paper, allowing it to be displayed in differing environments.  Glossy papers are liked by many but required precise conditions in order to be viewed to its full potential.

Weight – People often relate the weight of the sheet measured in GSM with quality. Mistakenly thinking that the heavier the sheet is, the higher in quality the paper is. While it is true to some extent, the coating that covers the paper is as important and will directly influence the quality properties of the paper such as anti-fading qualities and high definitions of the image and print. Canon photo papers are available in a wide range of varied weights and in general you can use the following weight key to match the most suitable option with your intended print.

  • 120gsm – 200gsm – These papers are often used to print flyers and brochures.
  • 170gsm to 240gsm – These papers in their various sizes are often used to print photos and proofs, however their longevity will often depend on the coating technology and the based paper.
  • 200gsm to 260gsm – These are used to print photos, greeting cards and invitation cards.
  • 250gsm Plus – These papers again in their various sizes are often used to print photographs for keepsake and in most cases use the higher end coating technology (microporous and nanoporous coatings).

Printer compatibility – The purpose behind ensuring complete compatibility between the printer and the paper is to avoid damage to the device. Naturally, canon photo paper will prove compatible with a canon printer, however you will be limiting yourself by not exploring other options. There are other photo papers that will suit your printer as they are 100% compatible and often offer better value for money. For example, Ilford one of the world’s leading manufactures of paper supports all brands of Inkjet printer, as does the rest of the range at Photo Paper Direct with 100% satisfaction guarantee.

When evaluating printer compatibility ensure to match the printer technology to the paper. Inkjet photo paper should only be fed into an Inkjet printer and the other way around in the case of LaserJet technology.

If you have any questions about the best canon photo paper for your printer, leave your comment below.

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10 Responses to Best Canon Photo Paper

  1. KevT says:

    I enjoyed the quality of your paper with my old canon but now I own a multifunction printer from HP. Can I still use the canon paper? Do you have any similar (200gsm) paper for HP? Thanks

    • Matt says:


      We’ll cover HP photo papers soon. We do carry a range of 200g papers suitable for all major printer brands including HP.

  2. Pat says:

    What is the best paper to use with a Canon Pro 9500 printer for competition purposes?

  3. Nigel S. says:

    I have a Canon ix5000 printer and I use PPD paper all the time, but recently I have been having trouble getting colours right, e.g I often tend to get a slight blue/green cast. I have read that it is best to try to download ICC profiles for the paper – are any profiles available for PPD’s own products?
    Also I usually use “compatible” inks. Would I get more consistent results if I used only Canon products do you think?

    • Aron says:

      Hi Nigel,

      The change of colours are not due to lack of ICC profiles but to due to the compatible inks. In order to get the same tone all the time, you should use original inks. ICC profiles are set for original inks only.

      Get in touch with support (via the contact us) and we will supply you with a profile for our papers.

      Thank you!

  4. Robert says:

    I have a Canon 9500 from the papers I have tried I like the Ilford Omnijet satin best. The other papers seem to glossy for me. I recently passed my LRPS using this paper.

  5. bridget says:

    i have a canon pro 1 v1 i am printing on photodirect satin pearl 280g paper, A3. I am happy with colour production but have some horizontal lines across the picture which may be due to chnges that I have to make in the print instructions eg rear tray or manual, I cannot find an ICC recomendation for this paper and the canon pro-any ideas?

    • Joseph Eitan says:

      Hi, are these lines or track marks made with the little toothed guide wheels?
      Also, What paper settings were used when making this print?

  6. Mike Shave says:

    I need to print CD covers and inlays on my Canon iP7250 ink jet. I am trying to replicate what has gone before when a printing company did the original run on semi gloss 170gsm paper. To make it economical I would need to cut the paper to a size of 140mm x 297mm using A3 paper cut to size as my printer will only handle up to A4. This way I can get 3 per page instead of only 1 from A4.
    Are you able to recommend a specific paper?

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