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Old Dec 6, 2003, 8:52 PM   #11
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Ah, I see on Amazon they are finally stating, "Usually ships within 24 hours"

It'll be interesting to hear your reviews!
Aside from cost, the only thing I thought was "too bad about this printer" is that it states, "314 DPI" whereas the new Hi-Ti (4x6 printer) has the 403 DPI.

After printing various sizes...do tell all! :lol:

~informativetoo and eagerly awaiting to hear. :lol:
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Old Dec 15, 2003, 9:24 AM   #12
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FatNoah, Any comments on the P-440? Did you get it?

Regards,
cfrick
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Old Dec 15, 2003, 12:32 PM   #13
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If you did get it...you got it at the better price. I've been watching a few items (in electronics) and Amazon has done a recent price hike.

Capatalizing on the last minute shoppers.
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Old Dec 15, 2003, 1:16 PM   #14
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I'm really crunched @ work this week, but I can give a little summary.

Packaging:
The most interesting thing about the packaging is that it came with a replacement sticker for the front of the printer. The original stated that it could print 3 5x7s and 4 4x6s on an A4 sheet. The replacement correctly stated what could be printed.

The instruction manuals are very sparse, especially if you plan to print from a PC. More detail is provided for operating the printer from it's controls and printing from memory cards.

The unit comes with paper and ribbon for 5 prints.

Hardware:
It's a pretty nice looking unit, though it does have a pretty sizeable footprint on my desk. The printer doesn't look too out of place though, since it sits next to my 22" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro monitor, which is fairly hefty.

The controls and the screen look nice, and the tray that receives printed output can be completely hidden under the printer, though it (the tray) feels a little flimsy.

Setup:
Setup was a snap. Install the drivers, turn on the printer, set the printer control to USB input. Voila. Installing the ribbon wasn't too bad...I initially tried to put it in upside down, but it only fits in correctly one way, and a little RTFM fixed my issue!

Software:
I write software for a living, so I tend to be very critical of software. The CamMedia master software is not something I would wish to have my name associated with. It works, but it has some serious issues, namely:
* Fairly frequently, I get an "Unable to Load Image" error when trying to set the images to print, such as when printing 2 separate 5x7s on a sheet. The only way to fix this is to shut down the software and restart it completely...then the images can be loaded.
* Images are resized when loaded. Let's say you're printing a 5x7, but load a 6.5" wide picture that looks just right in PS...the software will resize it to 7" wide. Fortunately, the software does let you manually set the size...so you can set the size back to the original, but this applies to all prints on the sheet, which means you can't print one image as 6.5" wide and one that is 6.8" wide both at their original widths on the same page.
* CamMedia software seems to be the only way to print 2 5x7s, ect. on a sheet, etc. (at least with different images...the printer driver configuration looks like it supports printing multiples of the same image on sheet.

Printing!!!
Ok..this is probably what people want to know about. In my first test, I printed two unretouched pictures...and they looked good, but weren't jaw dropping. As I found out, the issue was with the source material.

For the next test, I spent a little more time:
1) 35mm color negative, scanned at 2400dpi, 16bit color.
2) Medium format (~50mm?) b&w negative, scanned at 2400dpi, 16 bit greyscale.

The first image consists of my wife and I standing on some rocks by the ocean. Lots of good stuff....rocks, waves, late afternoon sun, black suit, white dress, pink flowers, and land visible in the distance (about a mile away). I used PS to sharpen the image and did the far land, ocean, rocks, and people in separate layers.

Second image is a B&W shot of me dancing with my mother. I did a minimal one shot sharpening, since the picture looked pretty good to start with.

RESULTS!
The results (keeping in mind this is my first experience with a dye-sub) were absolutely stunning. The colors are fantastic and the pictures are crisp and razor sharp. The B&W looks especially crisp (as one might expect).

Image 1 Comments: Detail and color are terrific throughout. The image easily looks as good as the proof provided by the photographer. In fact, after adjusting the levels and sharpness in PS, I think it looks better. I can see the individual hairs standing up on the top of my head...even more impressive since it shows my wife and I from head to toe and we only occupy about 75% of the height of the picture. I can easily (with a magnifying glass) count the windows on a house over a mile or two distant in the background.

Image 2 Comments: WOW!!! The better source really shows what the printer can do. The image is super-crisp and sharp. Everyone I've shown the image to has the same reaction: "This is from your printer?" The detail looks phenominal. Both my black pants and white shirt show detail and no washing of color. I'm not doing the picture justice with this description...it is amazingly good!

Durability:
Just for fun, I completely wet my fingers and rubbed the print vigorously and with a good deal of pressure. As near as I can tell, I didn't do anything to it. I then dabbed enough water to form a small puddle on the image and smeared it around with my hand. Again, I didn't seem to do anything to the print, though I could feel a litte bit of something on my fingers....probably some of the top coat coming off due to the fact that I was rubbing pretty hard. The print still looked the same.

As a note: a friend has a Canon S9000 (? or something like that). It makes tremendous prints...but they don't compare to this. It's not like difference between normal TV and HDTV, but it is noticeable.

Bullet Points
* Easy Setup
* So-so software
* Fabulous prints (better than any inkjet I've seen)
* Pricey Media compared to inkjets
* Very durable prints! (at least relative to water...time will tell about UV durability)
* Print time: I didn't time it , but it was pretty fast. I'd say < 90 seconds from clicking print button to when I was holding it in my hand.

Ok, so this wasn't so short...If you have any questions, go ahead and ask!
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Old Dec 15, 2003, 1:55 PM   #15
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Great news! Thank you for taking the time to post an informative reply!

I have a few questions:

1) Have you printed the same picture at 4x6, 5x7 & 8x10?
If so, do you notice a reduction in sharpness etc.?

I have a 4mp camera and printed only on 4x6- so I have no experience in the appearance of photos printed at different sizes, hence my question.

2) Having to cut your own photos, how do the edges look? What do you use to do this?

3) Beings that you have a scanner, would you be willing to scan a sample photo and post it here?

4) Have you come up with an average cost per print?

I've been giving some consideration to the upcoming Epson R800 and the question regarding this:

5) Have you seen photos printed with the higher-end Epsons? If so, what are your opinions of the Epsons V. P-440?

I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us. Perhaps in the near future, Oly will supply updates for the software.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 12:01 PM   #16
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I haven't tried any of the things in your post, but I've got ribbon and paper on the way. Once I get those, I'll have a chance to play around some more.
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