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Photo Printer irishprophet25 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 115 W: 21 N: 280] (1118)::2010-02-21 12:16
Hi all,

I was wondering if any of you has any recommendations for a good dedicated photo printer. For the last 2-3 years my Dad has used an Epson R2400 for his prints, but when it came to printing off some of our more recent landscape shots it got the colours completely wrong. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if there was a printer that you own/use that you would recommend as we (mainly my Dad ;)) might be looking for an upgrade.
Many Thanks

Sion
Re: Photo Printer jpinkham Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 87 W: 3 N: 151] (685)::2010-02-21 15:19
I've seen some really excellent results with prints from the HP Photosmart printers that take the 564 inks. Probably, the most affordable is the PhotoSmart Premium, a printer/scanner/copier with a touch interface. Normally $199 US, though last week it was on sale at Best Buy for $125. It has five individual inks, and it is double the photo resolution of the next best HP predecessor. All the inks are available in XL size and there's a photo value pack -- all of which cut down on costs. Unless you're looking for a $500-$600 truly professional model that can print on canvas and the like, this one is a very strong candidate.

There's also a stand-alone, wide-format HP model that takes the 564 inks, runs $200 to $300, and will do a 13 x 19 full bleed.

HTH,
Jim
Re: Photo Printer SunToucher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)::2010-02-22 10:06
Look at printers from HP, Canon and Epson that have 5 or more ink tanks for the different colors. Then decide what size you want to print (e.g. A4, A3+ etc) But more important, calibrate your monitor and your printer otherwise the colors will still not look the same. Calibration can be done manually but it is better done with a calibration tool. (look at brands like Pantone, x-rite and DataColor (Spyder))

Niek
Re: Photo Printer ubc64 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 21 N: 208] (789)::2010-02-24 13:00
Hi Sion,

For years, I relied on a Canon i9900. It worked fine, until the time that it refused to print from the yellow tank. I bought two new cartridges, and still it was the same. I went to Canon printer support and did all of the cleaning and adjusting tasks they recommended. Nothing changed. Finally, I was informed that the problem lies either with the vacuum pump or the print head -- neither of which is cheap to replace.

So, I looked for a new printer. A Canon replacement looked to be too expensive. Then, I looked at Epson. The eight-cartridge R1900 model seemed to be on a par with the i9900, but has some newer features. However, it was quite pricey also. I finally settled on the Epson R1400. It can't handle all of the media that the R1900 can take, and the six cartridges are quite expensive. But, I find the quality and capabilities are quite reasonable for occasional printing. My use of the 1400 is primarily to print 4X6 prints from time to time, and sometimes 8.5X11. If I wish, I can use up to 13" wide stock. The 1400 uses dye-based ink, while the 1900 uses pigment-based ink. The former ink type is normally sensitive to moisture, but the 1400 ink is said to be moisture-resistant. The 1400 ink is said to be almost as fade-resistant as the 1900 ink too.

Just now, I noticed on the Epson site that the current price of the 1900 is only $100 more than that of the 1400 ($400, as opposed to $300) -- from the Epson site in the U.S. That would seem to make the 1900 a good buy right now -- especially, if you like the advantages of using professional media and pigment-based ink.

I hope this helps a little.

Regards,
John
Re: Photo Printer jpinkham Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 87 W: 3 N: 151] (685)::2010-02-24 19:49
John's post raises a couple of points worth mentioning that I think make the HP compare favorably:

1. Cartridges -- HP's earlier foray into multiple color cartridges, the 02 ink system -- required colors such as light cyan, light magenta, etc. The new 564 ink system used in the Photosmart Premium has dual-drop technology -- i.e., precision color mixing by using a combination of a large and small drop sizes. To compare apples-to-apples, this technology makes the new five-ink printer function like an eight-ink printer -- all three color cartridges have the dual-drop design.

2. Dyes and pigments -- The HP five-ink printers use both. The photo black cartridge is pigment, the three colors and text black are dyes (see http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2008/printingpro/bg_564.pdf for details).

3. Price -- The Photosmart Premium is typically $199 U.S. unless on sale and does quality work on media up to at least 8 by 11.

I haven't looked in detail at Canons recently, but historically my perception is that Epsons are the next best option after the HPs when making valid comparisons at a given price point.

Regarding John's comment on moisture resistance, bear in mind that the print medium plays a huge role here in both the quality and longevity of the print.

Hope this helps, too,

Jim