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Old Sep 5, 2005, 2:39 PM   #1
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Hi, i am now on the look out for a new printer, i use it mainly for printing my digital shots which are used for framing, publications etc. the camera i use is a 20D and Fuji S7000. My budget unfortunately is about £150-200. Can anyone throw any ideas or suggestions to fit my needs?. regards. Bev.
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Old Sep 5, 2005, 8:45 PM   #2
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barkerlass wrote:
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Hi, i am now on the look out for a new printer, i use it mainly for printing my digital shots which are used for framing, publications etc. the camera i use is a 20D and Fuji S7000. My budget unfortunately is about £150-200. Can anyone throw any ideas or suggestions to fit my needs?. regards. Bev.
It's hard for someone like my self to actually know the going rate in the stores. I can look at £200 and think about $370 US but there are good reasons that a UK printer may cost more.

That being said, while your primary application may be photo printing, you didn't say whether or not you'd be doing any sort of text printing. This would narrow down the choice a little bit. You also didn't say whether a4 is adquate or if you need a3 or larger.

Another question to ask your self is if print life is a concern. That also would narrow down the choices a fair bit. Also, is drytime an issue, do you need your prints dry within a few min or can you wait. Also do you desire card slots or pictbridge support? Pictbridge is common enough but there are some exceptions.

While i'm not up on current HP solutions, there is the photosmart 8450. Vivera inks are noted as having good resistance to light dispite being dye, and offer the choice between a tri level black cartridge or a plain black... just not both at the same time. Drytime i'm told is high. Supports an ethernet connection, something not always found in printers.

Epson offers the R800. It uses pigment inks rather than dye but they tend not to look as nice as dye on glossy photo paper. Some of the bronzings is resolved by adding a clear cartridge, as well as red and blue cartridges. The prints are reported to last a good long while as well even on papers not offered by Epson. There is no pictbridge support on this printer, nor a fancy screen, nor card slots. Infact the only fancy feature this printer offers above and beyond printing on paper is an attachment to print on a roll for panaramic prints.

There is also the R200 / R300 costing much less. Dye based inks and while they don't offer blue and red inks like the r800, prints are nothing short of brillient. I have had issues with the r200 personaly, but typicaly the printer is so cheap that it's cost tends to be roughly equal to the cost of the 6 ink tanks that it takes. The r300 is basicly the r200 with a fancy screen and card slots.

Canon has new offerings, but only a couple are on the market yet. I own a couple. The new offerings use the Chromalife100 ink which is reported to last 30 years under glass using Canon's premium paper, where the older ink was tested as 25years. Expect this to be much shorter in reality on other papers. While I can complain about the current ink fading more quickly than other solutions, the dry time is fast, really fast. And I've not had a clog yet, where the R200 I owned required many cleanings to operate normaly and wasted much of the ink I put in it. Oddly enough, the current ink seems rather water resistant on the Photo Paper plus, much to my shock. I've not tested this on Costco's Kirkland photo paper, the stuff in the 120p pack. The ink for the r200/r300 wasn't nearly so waterproof on Epson Photo Paper.

The ip8500 "might" fit into your budget. Major bonus is the use of red, green, as well as light cyan and light magenta. The head is also huge too. No fancy screen but pictbridge support.

Lesser in the series is the ip6000D which to be honest I can not reccomend as the older i960 while not supporting CD printing has a larger head and is reported to be faster. To me... if the price is equal and something is designed to do more per stroke chances are it'll enjoy longer life. They are missing the Red and Green inks of the ip8500. What is gained is a fancy screen and card slots for direct photo printing.

Where the ip8500, ip6000, and i960 use light magenta and light cyan as fill inks, the ip5000 uses smaller drops and can print at higher resolutions and unlike the pure photo printers offers a seperate tank for pigmented black ink used on plane paper for text printing. I find the color rendering on the ip5000 to be more accurate, where their other models tend to have cooler warm colors and warmer cool colors... or in more simple terms periwinkle skies.

What I own is the ip3000 and mp760, which is basicly the ip4000. It's generally accepted as being a good general purpose printer with a very base line price mark. My big application was CD printing and tested it with the cheaper ip3000 first. Text quality on these is very good. Photo quality is nothing to sneeze at.

But there really is no replacement for taking your digital camera and jacking it into the available printers at your local retail shop with a pack of photo paper in hand and testing them for your self. Most retail shops are agreeable so long as you leave the prints there. After all they get realistic samples they can show others and you get a hands on view of what each option looks like.

One reason to go Canon is the availablity of 3rd party inks and the ease of refilling. This is an option in epson as well.. but the tanks are more complex you have little option but to buy a 3rd party solution. There tends to be more options for 3rd party ink for Epson, but i've found Epsons to require more maintance. There is a gent in one of the newsgroups who offers a free cleaning kit which if you pick an Epson... you gotta get it. If interested i'll direct you his way.




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Old Sep 6, 2005, 2:29 AM   #3
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Many, many thanks for your helpful advice and apologises for leaving out necassary details for my requirments. A4 would be adequate and yes i require quick dry for my prints, im not worried about all the fancy bits on it, quality of prints is paramount. I have the hp photosmart 7762 at present, although quality of prints is above average, i know and want better. Its so noisy! and the ink cradle keeps jamming and now the paper alignment keeps going awonk! I did have an Epsom before this one and as you mentioned this was being mended more times than being used! so im alittle shy of epsom now. I will endevour i think to try and do as you recommend and take my camera along to the store and try out various printers, but i have a feeling my stores wont go along with this. I have noted down some of the printers you mentioned and i am drawn to looking at Canon now. Once again many thanks for your help.
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Old Sep 6, 2005, 3:28 AM   #4
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barkerlass wrote:
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Many, many thanks for your helpful advice and apologises for leaving out necassary details for my requirments. A4 would be adequate and yes i require quick dry for my prints, im not worried about all the fancy bits on it, quality of prints is paramount. I have the hp photosmart 7762 at present, although quality of prints is above average, i know and want better. Its so noisy! and the ink cradle keeps jamming and now the paper alignment keeps going awonk! I did have an Epsom before this one and as you mentioned this was being mended more times than being used! so im alittle shy of epsom now. I will endevour i think to try and do as you recommend and take my camera along to the store and try out various printers, but i have a feeling my stores wont go along with this. I have noted down some of the printers you mentioned and i am drawn to looking at Canon now. Once again many thanks for your help.

I'm not directly familar with the 7762, likely the uk equilivent of the 7760 which i'm also not directly familar with.

I'm not directly familar with the drytime of HP ink, I get this info second hand. Also i'm told the offical HP paper is the swellable type rahter than microporous.

But assuming the drytime on the HP is too slugish that narrows down the choice to Canon or Epson. I lean tward the Canon for continued operation without problems where my Epson experence I spent more time mucking with the printer with Windex clearning clogs than printing... but I have days when I want to switch back as I found the color rendering on the Epson to be spot on where Canon tends to be more vivid (save the ip5000). Also the Canon inks tend to require more manual adjustments depending on the paper you use.

CD-printing full color I technicaly prefered the Epson. The ink seemed to wick less esp notable when you have white text on a black background. However the opposite is true when using colored text on a white background, even on my canon printing in color I found them to be more clear than the Epson.

http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer...rinter-08.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer...229/index.html



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Old Sep 7, 2005, 2:23 AM   #5
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Just to let you know that i purchased the Canon Ip5000 today after spending a day looking, testing etc, and found this one to fit my criteria. The printing quality is superb and its so quiet i can actually hear myself think over it! Many thanks for your guidance and advice its helped greatly and i have learned lots along the way. regards.
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Old Sep 7, 2005, 6:50 PM   #6
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barkerlass wrote:
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Just to let you know that i purchased the Canon Ip5000 today after spending a day looking, testing etc, and found this one to fit my criteria. The printing quality is superb and its so quiet i can actually hear myself think over it! Many thanks for your guidance and advice its helped greatly and i have learned lots along the way. regards.
Hey great. I can understand the apeal to the iP5000... decent photo printing and excelent text printing. You can look at the numbers till your eyes glaze over but the final choice between a printer that offers more tanks vs smaller dots is ultimatly totally user preference.

It's one of those models you can't feel badly about buying because the versions don't offer better specifications... that is the ip4200 and ip5200, well except they take new ink with chipped tanks and there "may" be a speed improvement but the ip5200 I've not seen even sold nor are there any real reviews on the subject so the point in moot. There might also be greater noise in the new version as well. Canon typicaly speaking likes to repackage old technology as new.

I was critical of canon 2 months ago when they didn't offer Windows XP-64 drivers claiming that only professionals needed it, but they are actually "finally" making xp-64 drivers available for *some* of their products. XP-64 support is one of those things that isn't all that important today... but is important for tomorrow. The mp780 is already supported under windows xp-64 and as the ip4000 and ip5000 operate under similar protocals there is every reason to believe that current generation printers will be supported under the current generation operating systems.




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Old Sep 7, 2005, 8:31 PM   #7
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Here's a bizarre idea.

Select your printer based on the photo paper you like.

As for me, I like the HP premium photo paper, so I'd be best off getting an HP printer.

I've heard that there's not much difference between ink jet printers.

I have a 3 in 1 HP PSC 1315 that I bought for $79 US dollars and it prints awesome photos as long as I'm using the HP premium paper, and a color and photo inkjet cartridges.

-- Terry
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Old Sep 7, 2005, 10:11 PM   #8
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terry@softreq.com wrote:
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Here's a bizarre idea.

Select your printer based on the photo paper you like.

As for me, I like the HP premium photo paper, so I'd be best off getting an HP printer.

I've heard that there's not much difference between ink jet printers.

I have a 3 in 1 HP PSC 1315 that I bought for $79 US dollars and it prints awesome photos as long as I'm using the HP premium paper, and a color and photo inkjet cartridges.

-- Terry
Sound advice, if one has a preference... will make sure to modify my statement "go into store with your favorite paper".

I do disagree that the printers them selves don't have much difference. Among the big three we have

1. HP - high temp thermal jet
2. Epson - micro piezo
3. Canon - Classic bubble jet

Not to speak of differences in terms of resolution, number of color tanks, size of the drops. And the differences in terms of software... dithering techniques.. etc etc etc.. all of which have an effect on the final output.

Good reasons to like the HP paper. I'm told it's swellable and has a benifit of long life. Vs something like canon that is microporous which definatly doesn't offer the same long life that HP vivera inks and HP paper does but does offer something that resembles water resistance. Oddly enough I just tried putting a fresh print under the tap using the Kirkland photo paper. There was "some" ink loss but not much oddly though. Epson dye ink on Epson Photo paper (not their fancy stuff the regular photo paper). I observed didn't hold up to water at all, though it did hold up to the sun better than Canon on non-canon paper.

I have noticed some odd ball things in the canon software that I don't see in HP. For example printing to plain paper text black mixed with color text my ip3000 uses cyan magenta and yellow to make black even though it is text and there is a dedicated text cartrage. I'll have to experiment with setting the driver to "mixed text and photo" and see the result. HPs don't seem to do this.

I'll have to actually buy some illford smooth pearl for the canon to see how well it works, though technicaly I think that is a paper type more geard for HP.
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