Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Printers > Photo Inkjet

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 25, 2002, 1:43 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 8
Default Acheiving High Quality Prints

Hi,

I've been toying around with my HP PhotoSmart 1315 for some time, and overall I've been un-impressed with print quality. I've used a number of image sources, including 2.1 and 3.x mpixel cameras, as well as my Epson 2450 Photo Scanner.

My biggest complaint with respect to all my prints in general is color vibrancy. Compared to the original (in the case of scans) the image color look relatively flat.

I've tried using matte and high gloss photo papers - always using highest printer quality settings (PhotoRet, and 2400x1200 dpi).

Most recently, I've noticed that my scanned prints look grainy, regardless of any smoothing techniques I may apply to the image (on-screen, the unmodified image looks wonderful.)

Is there something I'm missing here? My wife wants to know why I've spent $$ on photo equipment, when the cheap store copies at the local store looks better.
gbenoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 27, 2002, 11:42 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 86
Default

The HP 1315 is a 4 colour Photoret 3 printer which is inferior photo print technology to the Epson/Canon specialist photo printers, e.g. Epson 785, 960, Canon S820, S900. The latest HP printers, 5550/7150/7350/7550 use Photoret 4 technology and, with the right ink cartridges, use 6 ink colours to produce photo quality on a par with the Epsons and Canons.

Because it only uses four colours, the 1315 will show visible dots in areas of smooth light colours, e.g. the sky. If the graininess that you are reporting is in these kind of areas, then this is normal for the printer. If you have visible dots in other areas at normal viewing distances, then there may be a problem with the printer. Try to compare your prints with those from another HP Photoret 3 printer as a check.

Colour matching/vibrancy is a much more complex problem. Again, I can only suggest that you compare with a print off of another HP printer.

I have an HP psc 750 printer (Photoret 3, 4 colour) and that produces very good colours on a par with my Canon S820. However, I can see visible dots from the HP prints which I cannot see from the Canon.

Chris
Chris R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 28, 2002, 10:19 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 8
Default

Chris,

Thank you for your input. When I originally purchased this printer, I did so after reviewing articles on CNET, and comparing their photo print ratings. I'm less confident in their ratings now that I understand more about the technology behind the printers. Yesterday I sold my 1315 on Ebay, and I'm looking on the market for a replacement printer. I had relatively no use at all for the on-screen LCD, and even the CF Card Reader was too slow for my taste. I don't need those bells and whistles -- just very high quality prints. What are your recommendations, and futhermore, is there a definitive place I can go to which will have more reliable ratings for printers?
gbenoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 29, 2002, 2:39 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 86
Default

There are quite a lot of photo printer reviews on this site, including a lot of reviews of dye sublimation printers.

The most exhaustive reviews, although the sites don't review many printers, are on Ian Burley's and Vincent Oliver's sites:
http://www.dp-now.com/index.html
http://www.photo-i.co.uk/
Luminous Landscape also has some printer reviews:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/

All of these sites review some semi-professional printers as well as "consumer" photo printers.

The site with the most active "printers" forum is Phil Askey's:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1003
If you do a search on printer recommendations on this site you will get a lot of information which may or may not be helpful - a lot of people are very partisan.

Chris
Chris R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 2002, 11:20 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 15
Default

Hi gbenoni,
As Chris said, you need atleast a six color printer. I'd recommend getting Epson 785 ($150) or, if you want a bigger picture, Epson 1280 or the new 2200 (seven colors). I've always used Epson printers for pictures and I have no complaints.

- Cyberflaw
cyberflaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 1, 2002, 3:27 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 8
Default Printer Comparison

I think I've narrowed down my list to the following 3 printers for my price range:

Canon S820 - 2400x1200 - 6 Color - 249USD

Epson 785EPX - 2880x720 - 6 Color - 149USD

HP PS7350 - 4800x1200 - 6 Color - 249USD

I've quickly noticed that the printer manufacturers are playing a resolution game. From what I can tell, most people claim that high quality prints are unrelated to the resolutions which are being touted - I have a feeling that there is truth to both claims - enough to continue soliciting advise anyway.

A few points:

* Formost, I'd like to achieve the highest quality photo prints.

* I like to be able to quickly print B&W for non-photo work on non-photo paper.

* I'd like to remain cost conscious with regards to replacement paper/inks.

All the best,
G
gbenoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 1, 2002, 10:44 PM   #7
MK
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 57
Default

Canon S820 is $228 at Buy.com, free shipping.

I used to have the Epson 780, same engine as the 785. Clogged constantly. I gave up using it.

HP - have not experience with that.

The Canon hasn't clogged on me yet. I've been an Epson person since the dot matrix era. I'm trying Canon since the clogging problem was so severe I don't trust Epson now.
MK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2002, 3:10 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 86
Default

The DPI differences are not real - I believe that HP uses a different definition of DPI to Canon and Epson. The latests Epsons, the 825/925, are now quoted as 5760 DPI which is Epson playing HP's game and changing the definition.

I think that you may have a real problem getting black and white prints on non-photo papers. Most photo inkjets give poor results anyway on non-photo paper (certainly my Canon 820 does), and B&W is a real problem on any paper. If you really need B&W, get somewhere to run test prints for you on the three printers.

Perhaps somebody else on the forum has tried B&W on one of the printers.

Chris
Chris R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2002, 7:43 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 86
Default

G,

I misread your prior post - you were referring to B&W text printing rather than B&W photo printing. All 3 printers will produce reasonable text although, with the possible exception of the HP, they will be slower than a general purpose non-photo printer.

Chris
Chris R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2002, 3:44 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 8
Default

I went into a Staples yesterday, and attempted to test their printers on display. Some printers are equipped with a "Try this..." button, but most were either non-functioning, not plugged in, or without test buttons. I brought in my laptop and USB cable, but didn't think about downloading the drivers before I got to the store. In the end, I bit the bullet and took the Canon S820 on faith. Store has a 14-day return policy, but so far I've been very pleased with the results. I was very impressed with the quality (especially on Kodak Ultima Photo Paper). The Staple's brand Photo Paper doesn't compare to the print results. I'm curious if there is a less expensive paper on-par with Kodak's photo papers. So far the only complaint I have is its a bit slower. I may retain a cheap B&W Laser for regular print work. My only problem so far has been getting envelope prints working properly, for some reason I continue to get ink smudges from the top to the bottom of the left side (near return address). I left a message for their support in the mean time.

ps: I with regards to Black Photo Printing, I achieved very fine results on the Kodak Paper. The blacks are actually black! The interesting thing I noted was that on very close inspection of the print (which does not occur on other photo papers I've tried) I see what looks to be medium sized dots in gray shaded areas - At beyond a foot away, those are not discernable and the photo looks impressive.

Regards,
G
gbenoni is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:00 PM.