Digital photo printers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanaA, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm hoping that someone can help before I sink money into this. Do dedicated digital photo printers do a better job of printing photographs than regular printers? Will the pictures come out noticably better? Any suggestions in the $150 to $300 range?
     
  2. RodC

    RodC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dana,
    FWIW, we just picked up an HP7550 at CostCo. for $279 w/ a $50 mail-in rebate. We used it to do our photos for Christmas cards. My wife who isn't typically excited about technology was amazed at the quality of the prints. It uses 3 ink carts that seem to be in the $20-30 price range, each. It does borderless 4x6 prints, and can have several of the popular memory cards inserted right into the printer w/ the pics viewable on its built-in LCD screen (2" diag., maybe?). We used it standalone with ease.

    Hope this helps.

    Rod
     
  3. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks Rod,
    Went to my local Costco just yesterday, but didn't see the printer you're referring to. I was in a hurry though and easily could have missed it. How close does the HP get to the 35 mm prints you get from a regular photo developing lab? The reason for all of this is that I bought my youngest daughter a Canon A40 for Christmas. The shots come out great on my computer screen, but were extremely bad when just printing off my regular computer printer, which only does 600x600 dpi's. I'd think the dedicated photo printers would exceed this.
    I'll definitely go to Costco and look again.
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes and no. Generally the same technology is available in the other printer models. Take the HP7550 in the post above above. The insides are the same as the HP 5500. Now it does not have ans LCD screen or memory card slots but the print quality would be the same. in you r price range check out

    HP5500 149.00
    HP 3800 $99.99
    HP7xxx series photosmart printers $150-300.

    The photo series has no difference in quality the higher models have the extra features like LCD display and memory slots. It all depends on what features you want. The HP 3800 will print great pictures but will be slower and not have the same features as the photosmart line.

    Also don't forget that the quality is also dependent on the source material(camera,scanner) and media(good quality photo paper). If possible bring a file you are familiar with when checking out the printers. Otherwise the demos are always very good.

    ps. I work at HP so I am biased. Definitely check out Epson and Canon as well.
     
  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks Lee,

    The HP printer I'm using is for the photos is the 990 cse. In your opinion, would that do as good a job as the printer Rod referred to?

    As an aside, I love HP printers. We have four of them in the house.
     
  6. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard nothing but good about the Canon S900 and S9000, so check them out too. A good thing with the Canon printers is that EACH cartridge is a single color, meaning if you use more magenta then yellow, you only have to replace the magenta instead of the whole color cartridge. Saves some money in the long run.
     
  7. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use a 990 as well. I think it does a great job. It uses the same technology as the all the photosmarts made before the 7xxx series. To tell you the truth I have not seen rod's perform. My suggestion is to print a picture on you 990 and then got to your local store and see if they can print the same file on a 7xxx series. It probably prints a bit better in respect to the colors especially with the photo cartridge. But you would have to decide if it is worth upgrading for what would probably be a small difference.
     
  8. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a Canon S9000 and love it. It can print 13x19 scans that look AMAZING. The only downside is that it doesn't work with 3rd party inks (eg archival or specialized b&w inks) like the Epsons do. It's not cheap -- ~$500, but coupled w/ a good scanner like the Epson 2450, you can produce prints that are indistinguishable from photo lab 4x6 copies. The comparable Epson model is the 1280, with the 22(something) being a step above that.
     
  9. Shane Bos

    Shane Bos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2002
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've used the Canon S820D and printing 8x10;s shot with the 4MegaPixel G@ look amazing off this printer. I imagine that the S830D would be even better. The HP 5550 or 7550 both are wonderful printers.
     
  10. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    Went to Best Buys today. They had some Epson, Canon, and HP digital photo printers. I took something along for them to print up, but the HP was broken and the other two had not yet been hooked up. So far, I was left to look at their sample books and was probably most impressed by the Canon 900 (didn't see the 9000) and it fell within my price range.
    Oh, and a big thanks to each of you. I know I'm still undecided about what to do, but your information has been invaluable. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Joe McKeown

    Joe McKeown Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was a total Dye-sub snob until I got my canon S520. It does a great job, that most of my family can't tell from the results I got from Shutterfly. (I can see some posterization on certain colors, and occasionally very slight banding) But I started out working in a camera shop, and know my prints. The point is the 520 is good enough for all but the closest inspections.

    The thing is the 520 is their lower to mig range printer. They have 6-tank models that supposededly do better.
     
  12. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the S900 and it's AWESOME. The S9000 is the same as the 900, but can print on larger paper. The internals/print heads/etc are the same.

    I really like the seperate in tank idea and the fact that it shows a display everytime I print that shows the current ink level of each tank.

    Also, the Canon Photo Paper Pro is nice. It does seem to scratch easily though. I have mostly used the Kodak paper in the past, but I like this Canon paper better.
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Canon would be my leader right now. Just want to find someplace set up where I can try it. The guy at Best Buy said it comes with their 30 day return policy and their 10% preferred customer coupon is for next weekend, so maybe...
     
  14. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I would suggest is buy it, and try it. If you like it, great, keep it. If you don't like it, then Best Buy shouldn't have any problems taking it back.
     
  15. Joe McKeown

    Joe McKeown Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    I second the suggestion. I've always liked checking out printers, hoping the photo grade will get better. and I've NEVER seen a good display model. People complain about RPTV's not being properly calibrated in the stores. Well printers are worse. Most stores have the printers unplugged, or out paper or down a tank or two on ink. When they have paper, it's the $3.00 a ream garbage. No printer looks good printing pics on plain paper, no matter what the literature says.
    Read the reviews on line at C-net and make sure the store will take it back if you're not satisfied.
    One note. My Canon was pretty marginal until I went through the setup stuff that came with the printer. Only then did it become good
     
  16. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    You all, of course, are right. Buy it from Best Buys and, if not satisfied, return it. I think it was $249 at BB, so with the 10% off, it will be about $224, which seems a good price as CNET states the MSRP is $399.
    I want to add one thing: HTF is so amazingly great in helping out. Yes, I do google searches all the time, but many of the things that I've really enjoyed getting all came from information I found at this site, especially on the HT front. For this, you all deserve [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    I may be too late, Dana, but I'll still put a word in for the HP 5550. Bought mine a month ago for $149 and was astounded at the quality of the photos.

    That said, sticking with HP, Canon, or Epson, I doubt that you'll go wrong with todays printers.

    Good luck!

    Jon
     
  18. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a HP Photsmart 1115 that I just wasn't happy with for photos. Last Monday I picked up the Canon i850 and have been very pleased with the results so far.Canon has a $30 rebate going on so the i850 ends up at $169.
     
  19. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dana, if Costco or Sam's Club has what you need you could save some money and they have awesome return policies if the printer doesn't live up to your expectations. Most of the latest printers will do an incredible job, but my Canon from Sam's cut down my cost of printing substantially. Ink tanks are dirt cheap on the net. Not a big deal if you don't print much, but my Lexmark was killing me in that regard hence it's current residence in a landfill somewhere. (It also quit feeding itself paper.)
     
  20. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,357
    Likes Received:
    293
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Dana,
    The cost of (photo-)printing is not the price of the printer alone, but also (and more) the cost of the ink cartridges. In this respect Canon has a big advantage because you can buy (and replace) different color cartridges apart. When an often used colour (say: blue) is empty in a multi-colour cartridge, you have no alternative but to replace the whole thing, meaning you have to throw away the rest (of the red and yellow ink left, in this example).
    That said, please have a look at the Epsons. They have two brand lines, one designated as the "Color" so-and-so and the other as the "Photo" so-and-so. Personally, I like these (the Photo ...) best of all printers I have experience with, including HP! They have four-colour ink cartridges and a better (less "covering") black. They deliver amazing results.
    BTW, Canon has a possibility to use special photo color-cartridges, which are very good as well.
    BTW, the real secret of printing amazing digital photographs is in the (glossy photo-) paper. But I assume you knew that already [​IMG] !
    Cees
     

Share This Page