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Old Nov 11, 2002, 4:10 PM   #1
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Default Choosing a Printer

Hey all,

I recently purchased my first Digital Camera (A G2) and now want to buy a photo printer to go along with it.

My Problem? How do i choose a printer? I have seen several advertised in the local advertisements but don't know how to tell the difference in them. I have tried looking on the web but there doesnt seem to be much info or reviews on most printers.

The ones I have seen advertised
(and in my price range) are:
HP Photosmart 7550 and 7350
Epson Stylus 820S, 925 and 1280
Olympus P-400
Canon S900

Does anyone have any comments on any of these printers? Is there a Certain manufacture i should steer clear of?

I would like to learn more about these printers. If someone could point me to a website or give me some more info on them it would be greatly appreciated.

Im looking for a printer that prints great photos (Obviously) i will probably print 4x6's mostly with the occasional 8x10. Cost is a major factor in my decision but that can include the cost to run it too...

I was leaning towards the Canon but only because my camera is a Canon Powershot G2.

Don

thanks in advance
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 4:41 PM   #2
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I have the HP5550. It is a great printer and less expensive than the 7350 or 7550. You can also do six color printing with the 5550. You can not print directly from the media as with the 7550. I always want to look at my pics before I print them anyway.
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Old Nov 13, 2002, 3:21 AM   #3
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Don,

I will try to simplify things for you.

First of all, the Olympus P-400 uses a quite different technology to all the other printers - the Olympus uses dye sublimation, all the others are inkjets. There are long arguments on dye sublimation printers versus inkjets. With a dye sub you get better print longevity and some people think that the prints are more like a conventional photograph. Against that, you have to use the manufacturer's supplies so printing costs can be high, you can only print photos, not text, and on the Olympus you only have a choice of two sizes: 4 x 6 and just under 8 x 10. On some dye subs (I am not sure about the Olympus) you can only get glossy prints. If you are interested in a dye sub you should probably look at the HiTi range rather than Olympus.

The Epson 1280 is a wide carriage printer. If you do not want to print over 10 x 8 you do not need one.

All the other printers are letter size/A4 inkjets. All three manufacturers produce excellent photo printers and you would be happy with the photo image quality from any of them.

The two HP's and the Epson 925 all have the capability of printing direct from a camera or memory card. This facility is not of much use if you have a PC and you pay quite a large premium for it, so you might want to look at cheaper models from the same manufacturers: HP 5550 and 7150 (both with optional photo cartridge), Epson 825 (still with direct printing option but cheaper than the 925 and same print quality). The equivalent Canon with a direct print capability is the S830D.

Quick summary:
Canon S900 - fastest
HP 5550/7150 - limited borderless printing, best text performance but need to swap cartridges for text/photo
Epson 820 - cheapest.

If you want the best possible photo print quality you might also want to look at the Epson 960 which is about to be released in the US but which has been around in Europe as the 950 for some time.

You might like to look at the manufacturers sites to compare specifications (very difficult to do on the Epson site). For reviews, look at Steve's reviews on this site and also the following two:
www.dp-now.com for a review of the S900, the Epson 950 and a partial review of the HP's (they all have the same photo print quality)
www.photo-i.co.uk for a review of the Canon S830D (same photo print quality as the S900 but slower) which has some comparison against the Epson 825/925.

Chris
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 12:02 AM   #4
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Default RE:

Thanks Gibson and Chris...

I will be checking out those links. I am probably gonna wait to buy a printer till after the first of the year with christmas coming and all but the hp 5500 is looking like the choice for me, i havent given much thought to printing bigger than the 8x10 size but who knows the whats the deal with this 2200 i've been hearing about?

I am quite disappointed with the printer i own now which is a Canon BJC 5100 (it came with my computer) i cant even get it to print text properly. will printers that are designed for printing photos be ok as an everyday printer too? Do they print out text well?

again thanks for the help!
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 3:13 AM   #5
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If you want to use the same printer for text you should consider the HP 5500 (although you have to swap cartridges) and the Canon 850i.

Chris
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Old Nov 18, 2002, 6:28 AM   #6
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The epson 2200 is a quality printer. The cost of the printer is very high and hard to find because of the demand. I would stick with HP 5500 unless you have some professional printing requirements.
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 11:32 AM   #7
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Since I did not get any answers on another post, I thought I would ask this question: What about the small HP's like the HP100,
HP130 or even the newest one HP230?
I am only interested in "4X6" prints.
Sorry to jump into another post, but it is going to be a gift and I would like to know.
Thanks....
Bill
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 12:43 PM   #8
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Bill

The HP130 and 230 have the same specs as the HP75550, 7350. The only difference that I can see is the 130/230 are for 4X6 printing. I think either will serve you well.
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 5:22 PM   #9
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Thank you gibsonpd3620, I appreciante it, this sounds like something my wife will get a lot of use out of, she takes quite a few photos of family, baby showers, etc.
Thanks again.
Bill
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Old Nov 19, 2002, 5:47 PM   #10
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Bill
Tell her to have fun.

Phil
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