Color Printer Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Will K, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    I'm looking to purchase a quality color printer for $300 or less for general printing, CD labels, and custom DVD covers. Can anyone recommended or suggest a model? Thanks.
     
  2. Pat K

    Pat K Stunt Coordinator

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    Epson C80. Sweeeeeet.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've had the Epson C80 for about a month now, and am happy with it. My one complaint is that the ink clogs up after a few days of no use (then I have to run the cleaning procedure, which consumes ink). This was an issue with my previous Epson as well. I don't know if this is typical of all inkjet printers.
    On good paper (>100 brightness, inkjet paper), the output is near laser-quality for the text, and colors are rich and saturated. I've not tried any photo prints yet.
    PC World recently chose the C80 as their Best-Of inkjet printer, from the past year.
    I also looked at equivalent Canon and HP printers. Both look really nice, and go for $200. But Epson is cheaper. HP doesn't have individual color ink cartridges in the $200 model. And Canon was putting out mediocre printers a few years ago, so I was reluctant to go with them. And I've had Epson before, and was generally pleased with it.
    Regardless, I think any inkjet printer you pick for $150 - $300 is going to be a good choice [​IMG]
     
  4. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    Thanks fellas. I think will check out the Epson this weekend.
     
  5. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    Canon is putting out some real contenders now. They truly are competing.

    I second the motion of the Epson C80, for general-purpose color printing. However, for better photo printing, should this ever become important to you, consider the Epson Stylus Photo 820. This is a $100 printer at retail now (the C80 is $150, btw), and yet its photo output beats or rivals that of printers costing several times more. The difference between the 820 and the C80 is that the 820, being a photo printer, prints with five colors (adding light cyan and light magenta to the standard cyan, magenta, and yellow). The two extra light colors are used in the highlights, making the colors more vibrant and accurate.

    At CompUSA, where I work, I did a direct comparison between these two printers, in fact. Using Epson's Premium Glossy Photo Paper, I printed the same 8x10 photo on each printer (the photo was an ~8MB TIFF file that was a sample photo from some Apple software). The C80's output, which I did first, was quite amazing. It was very nearly photo-lab quality. However, after the 820 was done, that just blew the C80 away. The two extra colors really made a huge difference. Flesh tones were more accurate, there was a greater range of colors present, and the page also had a uniform full-gloss finish. The C80's page was semi-glossy in some areas, but matted in other areas.

    Both pages were printed in 2880x780 mode, best quality, paper type set to what I was using, etc. Time for the 820 was about 20 minutes, quite a long time. The C80 was a bit faster, but that's true of the C80 in general. I showed both pages to a number of people that day, and everyone, without exception, said the 820's output was the better of the two (with everyone I asked, I asked first which was better, before explaining what the difference was, so the test would be "blind").

    One other difference was that with the C80's output, in some areas, you could see, just barely, a dithering pattern. I could detect no dithering pattern in the same areas of the 820's output, or anywhere else on the page for that matter. The output of the 820 absolutely does look like a real photograph, with continuous tones, no dots, no dithering, high-gloss finish, etc. All this, from a $100 printer.

    The advantages to the C80 are it's a faster printer; full-speed text output is rated at 20ppm, and the 820 is rated at, I believe, 12ppm. The C80 will also be slightly more economical to operate, due to the differences in pricing and amount of ink between the three-color cartridge for the C80 and the five-color cartridge for the 820 (both printers use a separate black cartridge). For simple business-type graphics, like charts and graphs and suchlike, the color output of the C80 will probably be more desirable for these types of things.

    But you know what? You asked for something under $300. The cost of the C80, plus the cost of the 820, is $250. You see what I'm saying? Get a good general-purpose printer and an excellent photo printer and still come in under budget. Alternatively, if text is a big deal, you could get the 820 for all color needs, and a personal laser printer for text needs. Something like the Samsung ML1210, which is usually around $200 retail, and has output to rival similar but more expensive personal lasers from HP. For text printing, lasers are far more economical to operate than ink jets. And again, you'd be right at your budget, $300.
     
  6. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Question: why haven't color laser printers come down in price to affordable levels?
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Justin, nice comparison. How is the 820 with text and graphics (such as clip art)?

    Jon
     
  8. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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  9. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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  10. Pat K

    Pat K Stunt Coordinator

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    The average joe really can't tell the difference between text qualities of a C80 versus any other printer, unless that is what you are looking for. If your just reading the text, no one is gonna be like "this text looks messy"
     
  11. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Definitely can't go wrong with Epson printers. It's the only brand I buy and I've never had a problem with any of them.
     

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