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Old Nov 14, 2005, 11:19 AM   #1
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I need a photo printer (X-Mas present) formy Motherwho doesn't have a computer but is gettinga Digital Olympus Mini Stylus Verve camera from my sister for X-mas.

I'd like to keep theprice under $300.00.

I don't know squat about themand I wasdirected to this site for help.

My Mom doesn't drive so going to aWalmart type of store to get pictureswould be tough.

My sister who insisted on "US" getting her a camera and photo printer left it up to me to pick out the printer.

Is there a good and 'VERYEASY' to understand, as well as economical (cost per photo, paper, ink, etc.) printerin the price range I have targeted.

I think she likes 5X7 but 4X6 would probably be OK.

LQQK


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Old Nov 14, 2005, 12:28 PM   #2
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The only printers i would ever buy would be canons. Their printers are high quality and econimcal. I dont know which printer would be the easiest for her to use, but you should get one with pictbridge. Or have one with an lcd screen and card slot. Because with those features she could print without a computer.

Make sure her camera supports pictbridge too.
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Old Nov 14, 2005, 1:05 PM   #3
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LQQK wrote:
Quote:
I need a photo printer (X-Mas present) formy Motherwho doesn't have a computer but is gettinga Digital Olympus Mini Stylus Verve camera from my sister for X-mas.

I'd like to keep theprice under $300.00.

I don't know squat about themand I wasdirected to this site for help.

My Mom doesn't drive so going to aWalmart type of store to get pictureswould be tough.

LQQK
There are a number of online places that you can upload prints to and get copies sent via mail. It's hard to beat the price with any consumer printer with OEM ink. Still everyone my self included want something resembling a photo printer.

-Take with a grain of salt - i've not had time to see these new models in action -

HP photosmart 8250 - Some people prefer the older model 8150 which is nothing to sneze at at all. Unlike the 8150 it takes inktanks and has a unique priming system that in theory wastes less ink. The cure time for photos is very long but according to wilhelm-research (note this is the 8450 model not the 8250 or 8150) they are quite light fast on their premium papers. The new model doesn't offer grey inks like the older model It's also a 6 ink tank system with extra light cyan/magenta which helps to smooth out images but also adds to the cost. $200ish
** Bonus.. onboard screen... card slots... and in the past HP offered a print preview on a proof sheet which the user would fill in the ovals and poof... prints.

Epson R800 - I have mistrust of the sub $300 printers from epson but enough people use these on a regular basis and sware by them. It's an 8 tank printer offering extra red and blue inks. Again the cure time is somewhat long but the inks are pigment... and prints are rather lightfast. No Pictbridge support so no direct camera to printer printing... this model is marketed tward those who edit in photoshop first.
**cd printing is a nice feature, also found on their cheaper models.

Canon ip4200/5200 - These are not so lightfast even though they claim the spiffy new inks last for more than 100 years.. sure in a box not under glass. But the drytime is *fast* and on the right paper reasonably waterfast. They are 5 tanks printers offering a dedicated text cartridge that provides one of the lowest costs per page for pure text. The other 4 tanks are the usual dye black cyan magenta and yellow, but a smaller dot size might eliminate the need for light inks.... not seen the output yet. $150ish
* Black text is VERY ecconomical... no doubt hands down for an inkjet this is good. For photo printing the new HP canon seem to be almost on par. I'll have to recalculate as the new inks cost more, but regardless i'd lean tward the ip4200 / ip5200 for a general purpose purpose printer. CD printing is a nice bonus but not a stock feature in the US... but plenty of info here on how to enable the feature.

In the past i've seen the HP work really well for the over 70 not very computer literate crowd. We're talking a generation of people who were raised to understand put the tape in the tape player, put the record in the turn table, and the whole put the card in the card slot, press proof sheet and fill in the bubbles works. I'm not sure if my next printer will be a Canon or an HP... but ease of use I lean tward HP.




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Old Nov 14, 2005, 1:43 PM   #4
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To LQQK,

I'm pretty sure the verve is pict bridge but double check to be sure. There is a review of the Camera on this web site unless its a slightly different model.

But a large number of choices meeting your criteria exist. The most improtant question to ask, at least in my mind, is what kind of printing volume your Mom is likely to engage in. If its going to be very high you will want to lean towards something with very low per print ink consumable costs----and photoprinting does use ink at high rates. If you don't think its going to be a very high printing volume, you might weigh other factors like ease of use more highly.

Being somewhat Canon biased because of economy, I also recommend you look at the recently discontinued Canon models that use the BCI-6 series of cartridges. vs. the new Canon series that use the CLI-8 chipped cartridges. Something like the Canon ip4000 or ip5000 ( or even the dedicated photoprinter models) would do a very good job on photoprinting and leave you money left over to buy extra ink and paper to keep printing until her shutter finger gets sore.

But X-mas is still a ways off and you came to a good place. So take your time, get familar with some of the issues, and many people may make various recommendations.
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 1:57 AM   #5
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There's a lot of different printers that you can purchase for $300.00.

I suggest you and your sister determine if your mom would like a printer that supports direct connect of the Olympus camera to the printer, read theXD-picture memory card (some printers need a separately purchased adapter), have a LCD preview monitor, use of indivdual ink cartridges.

Many of these printers can operate without being connected to a computer.

1) a small portable printer that prints 4x6 photos (eg, Epson PictureMate and HP 425 Go-Go)

2) a printer for photos up to letter size (eg, Canon iP6600D, Epson R340, HP 8250)

3) an all-in-1 that combines scanning, copying, printing (and maybe faxing) (eg Epson RX620/RX700, Canon MP500/MP800, HP 3210/3310)

With the holidays coming, there's a lot of sales and rebates on printers.


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Old Nov 15, 2005, 1:19 PM   #6
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Another option would be to look for local community resources in the form of a
store that sells printers. If you can find a knowledgable salesperson, they can show you the printers in action. Since you and only you are a good judge of your Mom's technical
ability, you can get a feel for the learning curve.

But beware of salespeople also. They can be either just personally biaseed or biased by the brands that offer the highest commissions. Even if its confusing, the more you learn about printers, the better end choice you can make, Don't be swayed by just one way cool feature, there are a lot of criteria to judge printers on, and no one printer will be clearly first on all. I can only suggest you start looking at compiling a list of criteria important to you. I suggest------------and not necesarily in that order.

1. Quality of output
2. Printing economy
3. Leagth of time print will last without fading
4. Ease of use.
5. How well printer dovetails with the verve camera
6. Manufacters warranty and tech support.
7. Other things important to you
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