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Old May 20, 2003, 8:17 PM   #1
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Default My old EPSON Stylus Color 900 BETTER than i950?! :(

I'm hoping to find better color settings etc for the Canon i950. But so far it's disappointing in the following areas:

I have an old Epson stylus Color 900 (about 3 years old. Please note this is an OLD 3 color printer, not a "photo" printer). I was surprised by the Canon i950 which I bought last week, in that the color wasn't accurate. It also seemed a little less sharp than what I was used to, but I wasn't really sure as I was simply enjoying the improvement in speed.

I tried MANY different settings for colorspace and print settings etc, but have not so far been able to get skin and hair tones to match the original print. The SPEED however of the canon is absolutely amazing. So I got used to using it for about a week, then decided to go back to the old epson for a comparison.

Well, speed was excrutiating on the Epson, but when the 4x7 print finally came out (5 minutes later! (it takes me 45 seconds on the Canon), I was surprised by the sheer accuracy of color. Upon closer inspection, the Epson, without any fuss with colorspace and print driver experimentation, NAILED the color superbly.

On top of this: the print on the Epson was more detailed in shadows. Canon i950 copletely lost detail and went dark too early on a shot of someone lying in the grass: you see SOME of her shirt, but on the Epson you see much more of it before it goes to black shadow, which is accurate compared to the print.

Hair color: on the epson it looks just like the oriiginal. On the i950 it goes more "white" instead of retaining yellow colors in blond hair. The Canon also lost reds in brown hair, and skin tone on the canon so far (I still am experimenting with the driver) are washed out and cold compared to the original. They are OK, but not accurate and lacking warmth and accuracy.

My point is the old Epson printer completely nails the color for skin etc without any fuss. Also the clothing colors for the subjects in the photo are too lively, darker, bolder on the Canon. The Epson nails it accurately.

On top of all this, there is more detail in the Epson: the hair on the subject in the photo is detailed and fine, the Canon i950 for me so far reduces hair detail, washes it out a bit, reduces it's yellow color.
So, the i950 is impressive for speed, but so far with the settings I have tried, the OLD Epson printer is actually better for detail, shadow detail, color accuracy, skin tone warmth.

There is SLIGHTLY better smoothness on the i950 in terms of naked eye (very close up) inspection of inkjet dot effect. I definately prefer the Canon over the epson in this area, and of course the speed. But the overall look, the old Epson wins which is very dissapointing.
I will continue to experiment with the driver settings and would appreciate any suggestions from other Macintosh users. I would like to keep the Canon because of the speed!

Just taking one more look: the Epson is FAR SUPERIOR.

We're talking an OLD printer here, creaming the look of a brand new Canon. The canon has washed out background detail completely: the epson reveals distant details in a garden behind the subject, that were in shade because of a fence: the Canon washed it out and removed details to almost just a wash of one color: the epson in the same area reveals lots of texture and "details" (the background is out of focus).

Soo,, it's amazing how good the old Epson really is, especially when its only 3 color and the i950 is 6 color. Sure the Canon is way better at smooth results (ie non inkjet looking smoothness, no dots visible, not grainy looking), but I thought all other aspects would be BETTER, not WORSE.
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Old May 21, 2003, 1:12 PM   #2
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It sounds like you've already well tuned your epson printer to produce the exact prints to what you see on the screen. You can do this on the cannon as well you just have to spend another 300 bucks for color profile products and software.
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Old May 21, 2003, 2:14 PM   #3
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That's the thing...I didn't tune anything at all with the Epson: just plugged it in and printed.

I just noticed something very interesting and wonder if it gives you any clues as to what's going on.

It seems that the Canon is printing what is on the screen, very closely. Oddly, the Epson prints a little different than what is on the screen, but EXACTLY the colors of the ORIGINAL print that was scanned in.

The Canon print compared to the screen is similar, but wrong colors in some areas (yellows, browns, shadow detail, blues and purples, everything is darker) when compared to the ORIGINAL PRINT.

So somehow the Epson prints more detail than what is on the screen, but actually is printing the original information. The Canon might be more accurate to the screen, but not the original print.

How can this be?!

(If I increase brightness on the image in photoshop elements, this makes the screen look more like the original, and like the epson print, in terms of detail. However the colors then go a bit wrong)

I am hoping this might give you some clues as to what might be going on....I just can't figure this out.
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Old May 21, 2003, 11:26 PM   #4
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Well the epson Pim technology was orignally designed to do just that match what you see with your eyes not what you see on the screen.

I've noticed that some of the older epson models like the 900,980,880,777 all did an incredible job at printing photos. Its the newer versions of epson printers that just don't cut the bill anymore like they used to.

But I love the 980 I currently own. I also have an epson cx5200 that I would gladly trade in for another Epson 980 printer which is a two year old model.
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