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Old Jan 13, 2006, 3:54 PM   #1
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I'm looking to buy a printer primarily for printing to inkjet printable CD/DVDs. I currently have a HP Photosmart 7660 which I use for occasional printing of documents and photos. I'm reasonably happy with it. What I like about it is the option to use either 6 colours for photo printing on photo paper, or 3 colours plus a pigment black for document printing. The pigment black does a good job producing near-laser quality text and black line art on plain paper so its good for things like printing pdf articles with text and colour figures. I'm happy enough with the photo quality output as well. I find the colours don't match my screen very well but that's a whole other issue… I did have some clogging problems in the past which rendered several cartridges useless for everything but draft prints. But given that the heads are replaced with the cartridges, there's no permanent damage to the printer and I haven't had any clogging problems lately. Maybe I'm printing more or maybe it's my new location's air quality…
Anyway, given that I'm pretty happy with my current printer I don't want to spend a lot of money replacing it. However, if a modestly priced newer printer can match it for quality as well as print to CD/DVDs it might be worth replacing to save some desk space as well as lower the clogging likelihood since the same printer would get used more often. I also like the auto-duplexing feature in the new Canon printers.
The options I see are either an Epson R220 (the R340 seems like the same printer with some bells and whistles I'd never use) or one of the Canon PIXMA printers. The North American version of the Canon printers don't come with CD/DVD printing support but from what I've seen can be fairly easily modified to fix this.
I don't see any of the Epson printers being a replacement for my HP since they don't have a pigment black to rival the HP in document printing on plain paper. On the other hand the PIXMA iP4200 or iP5200 do. They've only got 4 colours for photo printing, but I suspect a smaller drop size than my HP so I'm not sure how photo printing quality would compare to my current printer. In contrast, there's the iP6600D, which is getting expensive by comparison, which has 6 colours but no black pigment. So I suspect this one is at least as good my HP for photos but probably pretty crappy for text/document printing. Is that the case, or does the iP6600D have a black ink that looks good on plain paper?
There's also an iP4000 which uses the older Canon inks with a larger drop size. I wonder if this reduces clogging problems?
So I guess I have 2 main questions:
1. Will any of the PIXMA printers match the HP 7660 for both document and photo printing (so I can replace it)?
2. If not – I'll keep using my HP and use the new printer exclusively for CD/DVD printing. In this case, are there any advantageous to a PIXMA iP4200 over an Epson R220? The Epson is cheaper, but if the Canon has better CD/DVD printing quality or is easier to maintain (significantly less clogging when used infrequently) or long term ink costs are a lot lower it would be worth it. My last Epson was a Stylus 600 (several generations obsolete) and I hated it with a passion because it was always clogged… I don't know if the newer Epsons are any better nor if the Canons are any better in this regard.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!
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Old Jan 13, 2006, 5:39 PM   #2
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tinaa wrote:
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I'm reasonably happy with {the hp PS 7660}. What I like about it is the option to use either 6 colours for photo printing on photo paper, or 3 colours plus a pigment black for document printing.
This is not an option with the canons so far as I'm aware. If it is an option it would not be clearly documented. The only options are a slider from 1 to 5 that denote fineness.

I wish it was an option, but from my understanding of the software the printing is document oriented. This is a picture, this is text. HP is object oriented... this is a batch of text and this is an image. I wish for example I could say use pigment here and use dye here, but I can not... the printer does not understand. It's either one or the other.

Quote:
I don't know if the newer Epsons are any better nor if the Canons are any better in this regard.
Epson is on micropiezo (piezo gr. to squeeze). Canon and HP are using thermal. The nozzles on micropiezos from my understanding are larger and as a result can clog more deeply. Thermal is basicly nothing more than a coil in a chamber.


Quote:
They've only got 4 colours for photo printing, but I suspect a smaller drop size than my HP so I'm not sure how photo printing quality would compare to my current printer. In contrast, there's the iP6600D, which is getting expensive by comparison, which has 6 colours but no black pigment.
Indeed... new canons use 5pl and 1pl drops, the HP IIRC uses 5pl or so. But these are just numbers really, technicaly speaking Monet used large dots but we don't measure his work by the size of his brush. You should test these for your self, most shops are agreeable so long as you leave the prints there. You get an idea how the printer works for you, they get free demos for other customers. Either the reccomended paper or your favorite paper.

Canon has two models that i'm aware off that offer 4+2 color and pigmented text. The first is the mp900/950 something that is the ultra fancy all in one that costs a pretty penny. The other is the ip7500 which isn't in the Americas nor Europe so far as i'm aware.

The basic 4 color models are typicaly going to be cheaper to operate. Those light inks tend to get used more. The result is beautiful but the inkuse is higher.

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I don't see any of the Epson printers being a replacement for my HP since they don't have a pigment black to rival the HP in document printing on plain paper.
Epsons offer pigments, just for the CD printers like the r800 they are all pigments.

Quote:
1. Will any of the PIXMA printers match the HP 7660 for both document and photo printing (so I can replace it)?
I'm not sure of the lightfastness of the 7660. Newer HPs while on the reccomended papers are not waterfast are rather lightfast.

Quote:
In this case, are there any advantageous to a PIXMA iP4200 over an Epson R220?
I lack direct experence with the newer models. I have something i'm working on i'll scan in a moment. A simple CD cover which is using a mix of graphics at various quality. It's an IP3000 and using non-oem ink but it should give you some idea whether you can live without 6 tank printing. I prefer the r200 to my ip3000 in many ways but I found I was mucking with the printer more than printing.



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Old Jan 13, 2006, 6:02 PM   #3
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This is the orginal. You'll note some flawed graphics.... it's a work in progress

White text is not a strong point of the canons... epsons are better in this department.

The scan looks a tad washed out... to be expected scanning glossy paper. The the graduated blues in the background are quite smooth.

And keep in mind that this is the ip3000. No dye black so technicaly it's 3 color. Expect the ip4200 to be better.
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