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Old Dec 26, 2006, 5:34 PM   #1
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I'm thinking of buying a photo printer, and I've set my eyes on the Canon PixmaiP4200 because of it's high DPI resolution of 9600.

I'm looking for a printer that can print lab quality photos and I really don't care about it's speed. I also heard about Die-Sub, but since that can print only photos and it's quality isn't all that much better than the iP4200Inkjet

I was wondering what exactly do I have to look out for when buying the best quality printer for printing photos? Is the DPI the only factor when it comes to quality? Are color Laser printers better for photos? I heard that the DPI for laser printers is actually higher..

Greatly Appreciated!
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 8:53 PM   #2
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I don't know a lot about printers, but here are some things to think about:

Resolution isn't the only consideration. Dot size, shape and placement also affect quality, as does the number of colors available. A printer with six colors will probably produce a more accurate print than one with only four colors.

How big do you want to print and on what kind of media? If you don't think you want to print any bigger than 8X10, most any printer will do. But, if you plan to do a lot of larger sized prints, it might be worth it to get a wider-format printer. Also, if you want to print on media other than regular weight photo paper, you have to make sure that you get a machine that can handle greater media thickness.

How many inks are going to be available for your printer? Printers that can use both pigment and dye type inks are more versitile, and, if you plan on doing a lot of prints, it might be worth it to get a printer that can handle continuous ink (bulk) systems. Also, how archival are the inks available for a particular printer? Today, this probably isn't much of an issue with all the major manufacturers producing lines of long-life inks.
Ink cost is also a factor. Consumer Reports has good information on the average cost per print for a wide range of consumer-grade printers.

If you want to be able to print without a computer, you need a machine with a card slot or Pictbridge, and a monitor would be helpful.

The paper and ink combinations that you use will affect print quality greatly. If you want the best quality, stick with ink/paper combos that come with profiles from the printer, paper or ink vendors. Otherwise, you have to do a lot of experimentation or invest in a home printer profiling system which can be pretty pricey.

Unless you have big bucks to lay out for a color laser printer capable of making photo-quality prints, stick with inkjet. There are commercial laser printers that can produce excellent continuous tone output, but at over $10,000.00, I doubt that you want to go that route.

Just some things to think about.

Grant
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 9:26 PM   #3
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Thank for the reply!

I heard that Canon has a new feature that creates drops as small as 1 picoleter, is that whatyoure refering to by "dot size"? By "placement" are u refering to the ammount of nozzles? I dont think i can afford an 8-ink printer, so 6 or 5 will have to do. I only have 1 now..

Since ill be using it for printing documents and such, i wont be needing anything larger than 8x10. I was thinking 4x6 at first, but if i can have 8x10 with the same quality, why not.

How many inks will i buy? well, as many as the printer needs.. I will want to use a PC though.

So Laser is out.. what abt Dye-Sub?

So ur saying that the reason that the iP8500 is better than the iP4200, is because it has more inks, even though it has half the resolution?

And also, will the iP4200 actually yield "lab" quality prints?

Thanx!
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 10:26 PM   #4
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I recommend three Canons to look at:

1. IP4300

2. IP6700D

3. Pro9000


The IP4300 is a basic 5 ink model which prints great photos for it's price range. It has two black carts one for text and one for photos so it is really a 4 ink photo printer.

The IP6700D is a 6 ink model which is slower but due to it's 6 inks, LCD, media cart slots, some would consider it a true photo printer.

The Pro 9000 is new, large 13 x 19 prints and 8 ink high end photo printer from Canon. It offers superb color range and outstanding quality.

For specs: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...categoryid=117



Laser printers are great for documents and pie charts but not so great for photos.

The specs for printers today are all about the same in there respective classes. They do however end up printing differently sometimes using different technology.



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Old Dec 27, 2006, 1:32 PM   #5
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The 6700D costs twice as much as the iP4300, is it worth it?
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 3:02 PM   #6
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Track wrote:
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The 6700D costs twice as much as the iP4300, is it worth it?
That is a personal decision. I recommend you go to a store that sells both and bring your camera, the usb cable and some photo paper. I assume you have a newer pictbridge compatible camera that can be connected to either and print up a photo on each to see if the 6700 is worth the money to you.

Staples had the 4300 on sale for $100 - $50 rebate = $50 plus taxes. The 6700 is probably $150 or more. So it could end up being three times that.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 5:02 PM   #7
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I don't live in the U.S. and I doubt I'll find a place where they will let me use the printers, or even a place that has those printers. So from your experience, is it worth three times as much money?
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 6:52 PM   #8
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Track writes: I heard that Canon has a new feature that creates drops as small as 1 picoleter, is that whatyoure refering to by "dot size"?

Yes.

Track continues: By "placement" are u refering to the ammount of nozzles?

No. A more technically correct term would be "dithering." This is a process of creating the illusion of new colors and shades by varying the pattern of dots. Different dither patterns can affect the perceived "smoothness" of the tonal transitions.

If you can find some reviews of the printers you are interested in, that will help a lot in your decision.

So ur saying that the reason that the iP8500 is better than the iP4200, is because it has more inks, even though it has half the resolution?

I don't know what the specific trade-offs are, here.

And also, will the iP4200 actually yield "lab" quality prints?

Sorry, m' man....I'm not really sure what you mean by "lab" quality. The best way to judge this is for you to look at some sample output from the various contenders from the manufacturers site and/or from reviews. Too bad you can't check it out in person.

Don't know much about dye subs, but have heard that they are rather pricey, have high cost consumable supplies, and are quite limited as to the choices in papers and ribbons. Check out the dye sub thread in these forums for the real skinny.

Grant


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Old Dec 27, 2006, 9:35 PM   #9
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Alright, wellthe iP4300 is 150$. The 6700D is 325$ and the 8500 is 600$.

1. Shouldnt i be looking at more brands other than Canon?

2. Is the 4300 better than the 4200? They are the same price.

3. Out of those, wich is the best? Price/Performance wise. (performance means quality)

4. "Lab" quality means the quality u get when u give ur 35mm film to Kodac and they produce it for u in an hour. I dont have a printer that i can print the samples, and i dont think i know of a place where they will let me print a comparison photo. So would the quality be as good as u can get from kodac?

5. How DO u print photos from a digital camera if u dont have a photo printer?
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 7:06 AM   #10
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Track wrote:
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Alright, wellthe iP4300 is 150$. The 6700D is 325$ and the 8500 is 600$.

1. Shouldnt i be looking at more brands other than Canon?

2. Is the 4300 better than the 4200? They are the same price.

3. Out of those, wich is the best? Price/Performance wise. (performance means quality)

4. "Lab" quality means the quality u get when u give ur 35mm film to Kodac and they produce it for u in an hour. I dont have a printer that i can print the samples, and i dont think i know of a place where they will let me print a comparison photo. So would the quality be as good as u can get from kodac?

5. How DO u print photos from a digital camera if u dont have a photo printer?
At those prices I would get the IP4300, the difference between the 6600 and 4300 isn't great enough to warrant the extra $175 dollars. The 4300 can do amazing things with 4 colors.

Yes the 4300 is better then the 4200, it has twice the nozzle count for one and is the replacement for the 4200.

What country do you live in ????
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