Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Software > Printing General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 13, 2006, 11:26 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 56
Default

I'm looking at buying a photo printer for my wife who likes to scrapbook and stuff with photos a lot. We currently take our images to Harvey Norman and have them printed there and they look great. However I'm wondering what the current crop of inkjet vs. dye sub photo printers are like. For some reason I'm thinking dye sub is a better option. I've seen a couple of basic units in the shops for $150-$200 AU. Is there a reason to go for one over the other? What is the comparitive quality of each type, and how does cost per picture vary between the 2 technologies?

thanks.
shadow-wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 13, 2006, 12:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 183
Default

Ink Jet is just that...a jet of ink (very tiny droplets) sprayed on paper. An ink jet printer will work with various types of paper and depending on the size of droplets and paper used can produce some nice results. Any ink can fade over time depending on conditions (humidity, UV exposure, etc.) and ink manufacturers are constantly working to improve longevity and color reproduction of their inks. There are aftermarket ink cartridges available for many printers as well.

Dye sublimation uses a "ribbon", like a roll of paper towels with a core at each end of the roll, that has dyes for the colors it reproduces. The colors are transferred to the paper (usually by heat) and the ribbon advances with each print until it is used up. Depending on model some of these can reproduce colors with far more variations in tone than ink jet, rendering some spectacular results. Many also lay down a final over-laminate, or protective layer, on the print to guard against moisture (get an ink jet print wet and the ink can run). Sounds great. These printers, however, have dedicated media (specific ribbons and paper for their model) so throwing in a piece of copy paper for a quick draft print is not an option. The media GENERALLY costs more on a per-print basis andis normally notavailable in as ready a supply as ink jet cartridges. So a dye-sub printer should be a photo-only unit to complement your regular-duty printer.
stowaway7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 2006, 5:36 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 56
Default

I'm only interested in a dedicated photo printer as I already have a B&W laser for other stuff, and I have access to a colour laser at work if I really need to do colour stuff, so from that point of view I have no problem with wasting Dye sub consumables. Having said that, I'm predominantly interested in what the output quality is like like comparatively, including finish, which i understand is generally much more of a glossy photo feel with the dye sub.
shadow-wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 2006, 6:14 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
rjseeney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Taylor Mill, Kentucky
Posts: 2,398
Default

Dye subs tend to be more expensive per print (as much as .50 cents or more). The also struggle to produce true blacks, and don't have as wide a color gamut as a "photo" ink jet printer. I have both, and only use a dye sub to produce prints on the spot when traveling. Ink jet prints tend to have more pop, especially the ones with 4 or more inks. Dye subs usually only have yellow, cyan, and magenta.
rjseeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 2006, 9:49 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 56
Default

after talking with canon, they gave me some costs per print for both types of printers.

Their iP4000/5000 series are as follows for 6x4 borderless:
Cyan=430
Magenta=290
Yellow=310
Black=1650

at a cost of $20 AU per colour (can be a little cheaper for non-canon), and assume an average of 380 printers per set of tanks, (obviously black throws this a little) you're looking at about $0.21 per print, plus media cost. which is also around $0.21 per sheet of photo paper.
$0.42 per print.


CP610 dye sub printer for 6x4 borderless:
$53 AU for 108 combo of ink/ribbon + media.
$0.49 per print.

So inkjets are marginally cheaper about $0.07 per print. Is this worth the cost for the difference in quality, assuming there is one, and from what I understand, the dye sub is slighting more reliable in getting wet etc. i.e. it won't have any run issues as with the liquid inkjets.
shadow-wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 2006, 2:46 AM   #6
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

It very much depends on how much you are willing to spend.

The high-end inkjets that use pigment inks are very good, and won't fade for silly amounts of time (100 years or so). The dye-based inkjet printers fade very fast - photos lose their colour within a couple of years.

On my Epson R800 the prints on gloss paper are dry within a couple of minutes.

And of course it depends how large you want to print. There are no easily available dye-sub printers that can print larger than A4 (8x12). Good A3 inkjet pigment ink printers can be had for reasonable money.

To my mind you should either print at a shop or buy a decent pigment-based printer. In the Epson range look at the R800, R1800, R2400.

Canon and HP have some decent printers too, and have new ranges imminent that promise to be as good or better than the Epsons mentioned above.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 2006, 8:59 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
hgernhardtjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 516
Default

Actually, a dye sublimation printer might marginally be best for scrapbooking as the resulting photo is water-resistant and the output is as close to film-prints as you can get and the prints have a very long color life. While many of the more inexpensive dye-sub printers use some form of thermal ribbon, some of the larger professional (very expensive) units use small blocks of solid ink (crayon-like) which are sublimated (turned from a solid to a gas state, with no in-between liquid state). The result is an immediately dry and usable photoprint, whether ribion or solid ink based.

That said, is their high print cost worth it? Personally, I think not and I agree completely with peripatetic. A good, long life, pigmant based ink on quality paper will last a very long time and is much cheaper to produce.
hgernhardtjr is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:13 AM.