What Photo Printer should I get?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Brett DiMichele, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Hey all,

    I figured I would pick the brains of those in the HTPC
    Section before I spend the money.

    I just rencently bought myself a fairly substantial Digital
    SLR Camera package that I pieced together and I had all
    intentions on letting places like Ritz, Walmart, Walgreens
    do the prints. But then my friend calls me and says hey
    come on up and check out the new printer I got for Christmas.

    He bought the new Canon i-960 and he let me use it to do
    some 4x6's on Canon Photo Pro Paper (Glossy) and I did some
    full borderless 8.5x11's on my cheap photo glossy and I was
    blown away.

    I think there are only two choices in the photo printer
    market and that is either Canon or Epson but the question is
    should I go for the i-960 or the Epson Stylus R300?

    Here are the specs of each..

    Epson Stylus Photo R300:
    [​IMG]

    6 Colors CcMmYK (Seperate Tanks)
    3 Picoliter Droplet Size
    90 Nozzles
    5760 x 1440 "Optimized Resolution"
    77 Seconds for 8x10 Photo
    37 Seconds for 4x6 Photo
    Maximum Printable 8.3" (Blah!)


    Canon i-960:
    [​IMG]

    6 Colors CcMmYK (Seperate Tanks)
    2 Picoliter Droplet Size
    3072 Nozzles
    4800x1200 True Resolution
    37 Seconds for 4x6 Photo
    60 Seconds for 8x10 Photo
    Maximum Printable 8.5"


    Both printers are very similar in price and features but it
    seems to me like the Canon has the edge on the Epson plus I
    was told that Epson's Glossy Photo Paper can't hold a candle
    to Canon's Photo Paper Pro Glossy (I don't know if this is
    true or not..).

    Which way would you go?

    For anything larger than 8x11.5 I can have them done at
    Ritz or some other place.. But for 4x6's, 5x7's and 8x10's
    it seems like a reasonable price for either.
     
  2. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    Ihave the Canon and it's the best printer I've ever owned. It's almost the most economical printer I've ever used too, which is significant if you're going to be printing very many photos.

    What kind of camera did you get?
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Ken,

    I got a Sigma SD10 with Sigma SD Battery Grip, Sigma EX
    F2.8 24-70mm, Sigma EX F2.8 50mm Macro, Sigma EX F4 100-300mm
    ,Nixvue Digital Album Lite 30GB Portable Hard Disk, Pelican
    1600 Waterproof Hard Case, 2 Lexar 512MB 16X CFII Cards,
    Manfrotto 3221GN3 Tripod Legs, Manfrotto 3030G Pan/Tilt
    Head and some other goodies..

    I still have to get my RS21 Remote Control and the Sigma
    EF 500 Super SA-N Flash.

    Here is one of the studio pictures I took with it..
    http://www.westol.com/~brettd/sd10/lamb.jpg
    (Fairly Large)


    Economy is a good point about home printing.. I am sick
    and tired of Lexmark printers with thier $32.00 each
    cartridges that cost more than the printers are worth.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

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    I hear that Canon produces the best prints. Epson claims to produce prints with 20 - 70 year lifespans using their mated inks and papers. Kodak's photo printer is dye sub, and prints should have long life and be waterproof.
     
  5. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    From my experience, the Canon printers are really the best in photo quality. It's nice to have the 6 ink tanks, but not so nice when they run out at just about the same time... but that's a minor gripe.

    I have a Canon S900 / Canon Photo Paper Pro glossy and the photos are awesome. The Photo Paper Pro really does make a difference. I have tried Kodak and some generic paper and the Canon paper is by FAR the best. The only SMALL problem I have seen with the Canon paper is that it scratches a little easier.

    The newer Canon x9xxx printers are just about the same as the older 900/9000 series.
     
  6. Arthur Legardo

    Arthur Legardo Second Unit

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    I'm an Epson fan so I'd suggest the 2200 if you want to do wide format prints. The ink supposedly has a lifespan of +70 years (if used in conjunction with their special long-life paper). If wide format isn't your thing, wait for Epson's R800 printer, supposedly it's a smaller version of the 2200 (with archival inks), a better 960 that does borderless upto 8x10.
     
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Thanks for the replies all!

    I think I am going to go for the Canon i-960 though. I have
    seen the results and the Photo Pro paper from Canon is top
    shelf stuff! And it's affordable also.

    I don't like how Epson says "Optimised Resolution" it has
    less nozzles and larger droplets of ink it can't possibly
    have more true resolution than the 960 offers (IMHO).

    I am still going to go look at the Epson's in person and
    see if I can print some of my images to compare but I am
    fairly certain the 960 is the one I will go home with.
     
  8. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    Canon.......'nuff said.
     
  9. Kevin Eckhardt

    Kevin Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    Just thought I would add my name to the Canon camp. I've got last years i950 and I've been very pleased with it. I most recently used it to create keepcase inserts and cover art for a DVD I gave out as a Christmas gift. They both turned out wonderfully. (The DVD, a collection of all the Return of the King related TV appearances, was a hit).

    For paper I use Ilford Galerie Smooth Gloss with great results. On their website Ilford gives recommended printer settings for using their papers on most of the popular printers. It is also pretty cheap at Sams Club,
     
  10. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    The Epson R800 is actually an improvement over the Epson 2200...an extra cartridge is used that adds a coating to the print that virtually eliminates metamerism (color shifts under different light sources), a problem inherent with pigment inks that are used on glossy paper.

    I suspect it will be every bit as good as the Canon i960 yet have 4x the life span.

    With that said, inkjet printers don't like low humidity very much, and in those conditions you will be wasting a lot of ink keeping the printhead clog-free. I think I lose 15% of my ink just doing the cleaning cycles in this crazy 25% humidity that is par for the course up here in the Canadian prairies. [​IMG]

    And before I forget...to get the most out of your printer, you should have it color calibrated. There is a website out there called "Cathy's Profiles" ( http://www.cathysprofiles.com/ ), and she can "ISF" your printer for $100 US. [​IMG] I've done it, and the results are amazing on my Epson 2200!
     
  11. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Oops I should have said $100 US for 3 profiles, one for each type of paper I was planning on using... Epson Matte, Epson Premium Luster, and Epson Premium Glossy.
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    The problem I've always had with Epsons (despite the lovely printing quality) is keeping the damn things clean. My Photo 890 gets used maybe once-twice a week and yet I always seem to have to clean excess ink from the paper path. Heads get clogged up to, sometimes and unlike Canon, there's no way to replace the print head without an expensive engineer job.

    I'll be looking at Canon for my next one.
     

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