Nowadays, you can print your pictures on different types of materials. Earlier, people used to print on different types of photo papers. Now, we are seeing photos getting printed on canvas, fabric, acrylic sheets, foam boards, etc. When it comes to fabric, you can create custom t-shirts, personalised cushion, and even photo blankets using your images. Printing technology has grown drastically over the past few years.

The next preferred material after photo paper for a photographer is the canvas. So, what is the difference between paper and canvas prints? Which is better for prints? If you are looking to make a selection between these two, this article is for you. We will try to find the answer to these questions through this article.

I will list out the major difference between canvas and paper photo prints. It will help you to decide which is best for you.

1. Quality of Print

framed photo prints on wall

As a photographer, you will be really interested to know whether canvas or paper photo prints offer the best quality.

There are multiple paper and ink options when it comes to paper photo prints. So, it is possible to get a high-quality print using paper if you go for a high-quality paper with a high-end photo printer.

When it comes to canvas, you have only matte and glossy canvas. These two canvas variants do come in premium qualities also. But when you compare the paper print from a high-end printer with a high-end canvas print, the paper print will have a slight edge in quality.

2. Cost of Print

cost of print

Cost is a major factor when you look for photo prints. You can easily get a premium quality 8×12 photo print on a luster paper for about $4. It will cost you around $16 for the same size when you go for a canvas print. So, a canvas print costs almost 4 times the paper print.

The photo paper wins when it comes to the cost factor.

3. Lifespan of Image

photo printsWhen you print a picture, you expect the image to be there with you for your entire lifetime.

When you take the case of print on a photo paper, temperature, humidity, and quality of ink do have an effect on the lifespan of the print. You can enhance the life of the paper print if you go for an archival paper with supporting inks.

If you compare the lifespan of the regular photo paper with the regular canvas print, the canvas print will have more life.

4. Resistance to Water

If you accidentally spill some water on paper prints, there won’t be an issue if you can wipe off the water immediately. But if the print remains in contact with the water for a long time, it will damage the paper print.

Canvas prints are more resistant to water when compared with paper prints.

5. Effect of Sunlight 🌞 

You might be interested in hanging your print in a place where there is Sunlight.

In the case of frame photo prints, you might be using a glass frame. So, there will be lots of glare from your picture. Another issue with the paper print facing Sunlight is that the colors in the image tend to fade over a period of time.

If you go for a matte canvas framed print, there won’t be any glare issues. Also, the fading issue is comparatively less in the case of canvas prints.

6. Finish on the Print 🏞 

paper photo print

If you use photo paper for printing your images, you can get many types of finishes. It includes Glossy, Matte, Luster, and Metallic. You must choose the right kind of paper to get the desired finish.

You are left with only two options in the case of canvas prints. You can either go for the matte finish or the glossy finish.

7. Printing at Home 🖨

You can easily set up a normal photo paper printer at home. You will be able to get a photo printer in different price ranges. So, you can easily pick one according to your budget.

When it comes to a printer that supports canvas printing, it is going to cost you more. So, it is not a practical idea to set up a canvas printer at home.

👉🏻 📖 READ MORE: Tips for Better Photo Prints at Home

8. Weight of Framed Prints 🖼 

framed canvas prints on wall

Framed paper prints will weigh more when compared to framed canvas prints. It is due to the reason that the framed paper prints come with an exterior frame, a protective layer of glass or acrylic.

9. Reproduction of Details in the Image 🌉

The print will look more realistic and attractive when you can reproduce most of the details in the actual image onto the final print.

The paper print will allow you to reproduce most of the details in the image. You need to use a high-resolution image and a high-end photo printer to get maximum details in the picture.

The level of details will be slightly less in the case of a canvas print when you compare it with a high-end paper print.

10. Fine Art Black & White Prints  

Black and White Print

Many photographers print their images in black and whiteMost of these images will come under the fine art image category.

Paper photo prints are a better option for fine art black and white images when compared to canvas prints. It is due to the fact that the paper print can produce more details.

11. Effect of Humidity

When you are printing on a photo paper, the humidity will have an effect on your print unless you provide a protective coating layer to the paper photo print. So, if you place the photo print in a very humid area, then the print will get damaged very soon.

Humidity has almost zero effect on canvas prints. You can hang it in humid areas without any issues. It will not affect the life of the canvas print.

12. Single Image Broken into Multiple Frames

One of the common ways to décor your home wall is to hang your framed photo print. It can be on canvas or paper.

The framed canvas images allow you to break a single shot into 3 or 5 parts. You can hang these canvas print sets in a series fashion on your wall. Now, when you view these pictures from a distance, it will look like a single photo.  It will be very pleasing to the eyes.

When you try the same with a paper photo print, it won’t be that aesthetically pleasing. It is due to the difference in framing techniques.