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Old Jan 20, 2003, 6:28 PM   #1
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Default Terminology Overload

Choosing a quality "photo" printer has become a challenging task. Printer manufacturers are introducing new terminology to sell their products and confusing buyers. Speaking of which; Which type of photo printer (to be used primariy for photos) will provide the best color (most realistic) and greatest detail:
a) 2400 X 1200 DPI - 6 colors - 2 Picoliters (jet size ?)
b) 4800 X 1200 " " - 4 Picoliters
c) 4800 X 1200 " - 4 colors - 4 Picoliters

Speed is not an issue for me...I'm patient.

Any assistance will be appreciated.
Thanks,
Ray
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 3:06 AM   #2
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Hi Ray, reading the specs and hype is fine, but it really comes down to what pleases your eye. After that, you can consider factors like 'ease of use' and material costs. From personal experience and that of friends, avoid Epson if you want immediate 'ease of use'...the HP Photosmart printers give excellent results with minimal user experience, cartridges are expensive, and my Canon S820 is awesome and very quick. Read the reviews by the pro's like Steve and then go to epinions.com and read everyday user reviews.
Blessings, Johnny
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 5:11 AM   #3
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IT depends what you are looking for. I'll still swear by an epson 960 which has pretty much seen nothing but good reviews except for cnet whos editor I wrote and did nothing but contradict themselves when I confronted them about it not to mention when I looked it up it advertised a canon printer popup on my screen. I'm also a fan of the 925 due to its ease of use off the card although its photos in comparison to the 960 tend to look a little to the higher contrasting side giving a warmer photo overall. The 960 tends to give a very nuetral photo with the stock settings. I'm sure this could be very easily tuned to produce a warmer photo. Hence the reason for color profile software.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 7:31 AM   #4
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Ray,

The DPI numbers being quoted are just marketing hype.

The major difference in photo print quality is between 4 colour printers (most inkjets) and six colour printers (photo printers). The six colour printers give a greater colour range, smoother colours and less visible dots in light areas. The only exception to this at the current time is the Canon i850 which is a four colour printer that gives very nearly as good photo print quality as a six colour printer.

The differences in print quality between the available six colour printers are now very small to the naked eye, especially if the prints are viewed apart. I doubt that you would be disappointed in the print quality of any six colour printer.

The differences between the printers then come down to other factors: price, maximum print size, speed, print longevity, ink costs, reliability, borderless printing, suitable papers, ease of setting up, etc.

Getting the most realistic colours from your printers is another matter altogether and generally requires setting up colour profiles for each combination of monitor/printer/ink/paper that you use. This can get very complicated.

Chris
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 9:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Terminology Overload

To all who replied to my posted inquiry....a grateful "Thanks"!

Ray M
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 3:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris R
Ray,

The DPI numbers being quoted are just marketing hype.

The major difference in photo print quality is between 4 colour printers (most inkjets) and six colour printers (photo printers). The six colour printers give a greater colour range, smoother colours and less visible dots in light areas. The only exception to this at the current time is the Canon i850 which is a four colour printer that gives very nearly as good photo print quality as a six colour printer.

The differences in print quality between the available six colour printers are now very small to the naked eye, especially if the prints are viewed apart. I doubt that you would be disappointed in the print quality of any six colour printer.

The differences between the printers then come down to other factors: price, maximum print size, speed, print longevity, ink costs, reliability, borderless printing, suitable papers, ease of setting up, etc.

Getting the most realistic colours from your printers is another matter altogether and generally requires setting up colour profiles for each combination of monitor/printer/ink/paper that you use. This can get very complicated.

Chris
I just gota correct ya on a couple of things. The epson 980 which has a 3 picoliter droplet size and 3 different drop sizes does the same quality as any photo printer out there. Color wise since it is a 4 color printer looks good but because it is not a 6 color cannot do as many colors so things like neon colors and a little on the skin tones are not able to be fully reproduced but because the inks last damn near forever and the photo quality is incredible it is another exception to the rule. There is a reason you still have to pay 200 or more just to get a used one. I wish epson had continued making that printer cause if it were still around it would still be a major powerhouse in the industry. I'm glad I bought one before they discontinued it. I get 2000 pages out of a black tank and 120 8x10 photo prints out of a color tank that retails for 40.

Also you are rigt on maxium sizes. Also look to how many sizes you can use and how many paper types you can use.
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