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Old Feb 19, 2005, 11:41 AM   #1
ESM
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Looking at photo printers in the $200 and $400 price range. I've not decided what I want to pay as of yet.

I have a variety of things I plan to do. I have a 4MP Canon S400 digital camera where most of my printing will come from. I have no plans to upgrade digicam's in the next few years.

I have a slew of wedding photos shot from Nikon D100's and I will be printing off some these for some small albums (8x10), wallets, 4x6, 5x7's, etc.

I'm the only one printing, and I'm computer savvy. I don't need to have the requirement of being able to plug in a camera and press print and that's it.

I want borderless up to 8x10, I don't need anything larger then that.

I'd like prints that are going to last and not fade in a 2 years requiring me to re-print them. Most pictures will go in a standard photo album, nothing fancy.

This printer will be dedicated for photos, pretty much all color. If I wnat to get into B/W photo, I'll pick up an inexpensive printer to dedicate to that purpose.

It seems that everyone says Canon or Epson is the way to go, and HP for B/W. In my prices ranges, it looks like PIXMA iP4000/5000/6000D vs Canon R300/320 and the iP8500 vs R800

I'm really looking for the best quality in the 2 ranges. I'm confused as to which of the lower priced PIXMA's is the best of the 4, and there's the inevitable Epson vs. Canon decision.

I know Canon consumables cost less, but I am not printing 100s and 100s of pictures either, so I'm not sure that would sway me one way or another. I am a little concerned by the non-user replacable print heads in the Epson and about the heads becoming clog form non-use. I could go a month, or even 3, without needing to print a picture. If the only way to keep the head in good shape is to print something every few weeks, then I can deal with that, if I'm going to see considerable quality difference.

I just don't know which way to go. I can read educated posts and reviews that say Canon is better and Epson is better. With my core criteria of borderless printing, best photo quality, and longevity of prints, which is the way to go in these 2 ranges?

Add lastly, given my sources, will I have visible improvements in quality and longevitiy between these 2 price ranges.
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 1:09 PM   #2
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I have an I960, I bought it last year and it prints awesome. I have also have seen the IP3000 and IP4000 print and I can say the IP4000 is as good as my I960 with 2 less colors. and the iP3000 comes really close. you cannot tell the diffrence between prints from these printers and a regular photograph. the ip5000 is supposed to have an even smaller picoliter size for even better prints. The IP4000 and IP5000 also have a seperate black ink for text printing so your photo printer can double as a regular printer also. Also I have never had the heads go in my canon prnter over a year, and the inks are cost effective. I hope that helps you in making your decision/
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 2:01 PM   #3
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any new feedback on your printer search ??? Thanks !
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 10:33 PM   #4
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Try this link: http://www.neilslade.com The site reveiws printers, ink and papers and suggests which printer to purchase. It's one persons opinion, but he seems to know his business.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 1:13 AM   #5
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I have both a Canon and HP printer. I've been trying to determine for the past 3 months which one I like better but cannot decide as I am starting to learn that you can't have it all with just one printer. Here are the pros and cons, based on my experience, of both printers assuming you use Canon paper with the Canon printer and HP paper with the HP printer.

Canon Pros: The Canon paper allows you to have prints that are just like what you would get from a photo lab. The prints appear to be waterproof.

Canon Cons: The prints are not as sharp as the HP prints (but not that far off). There is talk about prints fading shortly after printing them due to the fact that the Canon paper is porous and not swellable. The print head clogging and inevitable "ink absorber full" error code, which shuts down your Canon printer, are issues specific to Canon and not to HP.

HP Pros: Prints are a little sharper than Canon's. Prints should last much longer due to the use of swellable paper, based on what I've read on the internet about how the HP ink is encapsulated when dry.

HP Cons: Prints are not waterproof. Even a drop of water/moisture will ruin the print. The HP paper doesn't feel like traditional prints from the photo lab - the HP paper has a sandy backing and isn't very glossy.

At this point, I personally like the Canon because of the traditional photo-look and waterproof properties but am concerned about the potential fading. Its too early for me to tell if my Canon print will fade or not as I have been printing digital pics for only 3 months. If I can be convinced that the Canon pics will not fade for many years to come, I will have to say that Canon is the way to go. Canon paper and ink is a lot cheaper than HP. Also, I read once on another forum that generally, all photo printers produce the same quality and when you pay more for a printer, you are paying for more features and not necessarily better print quality. In other words, just get a cheap Canon printer and if the heads get clogged or the ink absorber shuts down your Canon printer, you can just toss it and get another one since the printer was so cheap anyway.



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Old Apr 3, 2005, 12:12 PM   #6
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If you intend buying factory ink and paper I think the Epson R800 is the printer of choice in your list. There isn't much to choose in output quality compared to the Canon iP8500, but it appears the ink will be longer lasting. The paper of choice for Canon printers is Canon Photo Paper Pro, but it is pricey. Epson has a much wider range of papers.

The R800 will print a 44 inch panorama where Canon printers are limited to 24 inches. Canon is running scared in the US and removes the CD printing ability that is available in overseas models. The R800 will print CDs as will most US Epsons. B&W photos are not Canon's strong point and the R800 makes very nice B&W prints.

I am using a couple of Canon printers because of their one remaining strength – the ability to be easily refilled. I have an old S9000 wide format photo printer which I am unlikely to upgrade in the Canon line. The S9000 had a glitch in the Win98 driver that lets you print banners on photo paper. You have to dual boot, but it is the only Canon I know of you can print real panoramas with. I bought an iP4000 as a general purpose printer when my HP crapped out because I don't want to stock more than one kind of ink.

Kodak is making a paper they advertise 100 years life with dye based inks. I might get some for prints I give to others, but I don't really care for the prints on my own walls. It is easy and cheap to just reprint anything that fades on me. They will all last fine in albums where they aren't constantly exposed to bright light. I have read that the encapsulating paper like the Kodak can cause some ink pooling, but I haven't tried it and can't comment.

The built-in duplexer and dual paper trays on the new Canons are great features. You can keep photo paper in the lower tray and plain paper in the upper feeder. Just a push of a button lets you print either photos or normal text without having to mess with paper. The duplexer is slow but great for printing manuals and such. The iP4000 is a nice general purpose printer and the photos are quite nice.

kdt82002[/b] Some model numbers might be enlightening. I'm curious what HP prints sharper photos than what Canon.

I haven't encountered the ink absorber error, and I've used a Canon for nearly 3 years. In that time I have had one clogged head problem because I let it sit without printing for too long. A nozzle check uses only a tiny amount of ink and seems to keep the heads from clogging if you print one occasionally if you haven't done any color printing.

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