iSAPS Guy wrote:
Sorry. Pardon the expression, wide-format. Canon's wording in their literature says large-format for their i9900 and large-format for the commericial series printers (image Prograf W6400 and W8400). Their BCI-6 series inks have a higher light density in them than any other commercially available dye ink, which gives off such a vibrance of color. In a technical document I just read, pigment based inks have more of a tendancy to clog up print nozzles and so this is possible why Canon has stayed away from pigment inks in the consumer line. This makes sense since I read so many complaints from Epson users about the heads clogging and rendering the printer unusable. Using the Canon BCI-6 ink, which do not have a computer chip on them, like HP and Epson, yeilds to move, over 200 4"x6" prints before one cartridge runs out, and starting with a complete set, had yeilded approximately 21 borderless, 6MP, 13"x19" inch prints before one cartridge ran out. Also, in cleaning, purging or aligning the print head, Canon provides more control now over this as you can select which colors you want to clean. Canon's print head (being one inch long), is unlike Epsons Piezo Electric technology is that it's print head is made from a semi conductor process similiar to how Intel stampls out processor chips. This one piece wafer, can now create droplets down to consistent 1 pico litre droplets, and at 1/4800th of a pitch, can do so at 4800x2400 dpi, which is far higher with the smallest droplet of ink layed down than any other printer vendor in the world. As well, no one can match Canon's speed by having over 6144 print nozzles in the head. The borderless 13"x19" print finishes dry in about 3.5 minutes. For the people that demand pigment ink, the commercial Canon machines offer a pigment set of ink, both based on the same type of print head with the same technology built in.
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"In choosing weather or not to purchase a six color machine or 8 color, one needs to decide based on what camera they have. It's no secret that agian, Canon has the best digital SLR camera's made in the world. Each year at the PMA in Germany, and arond the world their digital and film cameras come out on top. If someone is just starting out, I would get a i960 or 6000d, if they need text and want decent photo's, I would get a ip4 or 5000. If they have a pro-sumer highend camera or have 5MP or above and are real serious, they should get the ip8500 unless they would like to print wide format. Whoops, I mean large-format. -End
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"BTW, the BCI-24 and 21 series ink has the same formula as BCI-3 and would render the quality the same quality. Not bad for low end machines. The BCI-16 in the ip90 portable has now the same ink formula as the BCI-6.
If what you say is true, then by that very logic the BCI-3eBK would clog. But needless to say this is a major disadvantage not letting the consumer make the choice what they want. Plenty of 3rd party pigmented ink around, image-specialists and media street spring to mind. Bigger 3rd party market for Epson though.
It's remarkable the concept of the digital SLR. You don't actually need a single lens reflex system in a digital camera. It's nice but the whole reason for the SLR in the first place was to create a system where the photographer could actually see through the lens making it ever so much easier to do close up photography. Otherwise rangefinders are spiffy and are still used by many wildlife photographers including National Geographic. But it's no secret Canon very much shot them selves in the foot with the when making the switch to the EOS line making FD lenses unuseable on their cameras where Nikon and Pentax actually respect the fact that photographers who already invested hundrads if not thousands of dollars in glass. And point per pound even small format hold more data than CD-rom and DVD and is rated beyond 5-10 years. I wouldn't buy a Canon Digital SLR due to the fact that they abandoned the EX line which would have at least been compatable with my already existing FD lens set and switched to EOS making sure to adjust the focal length just enough that one would need a 1.6x adapter adding distortion and making those wide angle and fish eye lenses worthless.
But needless to say it's a very invalid assumption that the only criteria for picking colors is the raw MP of a camera. Digital photography is only one of many applications and even then even your lame old 2mp camera (interpellated up to 3.2/4 and not marked as such) is still going to capture at least 24bit color. I.e. there would be a benifit to a wider color gambit. Other applications would be film, artwork, you name it. But everyone I know whether they have a Canon, Pentax, or Nikon and actually make money from their printers... they have Epsons if not HPs. As you pointed out Canon offers very little choice for their inks, they just pick one and go with it, and a not very lightfast choice either. But at the end of the day the main reason Canon printers are not taken as seriously by digital slr owners is the lack of any sort of color accuracy. You can quote specs till you are blue in the face but it's but if the colors are off (periwinkle skies and purple pandas) it's going to be tossed as an option even one has a mechanicaly superior product. It seems to be a big secret how to set your color curves to compensate for all the adjustments the canon drivers make. And this is comming from a Canon owner. The true critics are far less kind. Lightfastness as been a huge issue and will continue to be an issue until we get that new formula but for now that's a pipe dream as i've not actually seen it used or tested. Something sold in september isn't going to help someone who's buying today. I feel deep shame for buying into an FD series SLR.
But really the best way to determine what someone needs is to actually ask them, find out what their application is first, then show them a digital original followed up with the printer's output esp when we're talking consumer printers. Numbers without context are absolutly meaningless, With a budget of $150 given the choice between an ip4000, ip960, and epson r200, by the numbers i'd likely pick the ip960. But by the output, in terms of color accuracy and fine detail between stark black and white space I would and did pick the r200. But given the r200 had to spend time in the shop I picked up a ip3000 just for laughs followed up by the mp760. I might trade in the r200 for something canon, but my choice is not totally without regrets. I hate the interface and the fact that I have to remember that this paper requires +2 intensity, this CD requires +10 and these Fuji's require +22 and "why the heck did you center my red always too much magenta and yellow go away red".
But it doesn't really matter what "canon" calls "wide" format, it's a vague term at best. Why not stick to the format of paper they take or width in inchs, 8.5 11 13 14 too big for you. Or better still... anyone in the market for 11 wide is going to know what A3 is. And I think the criticism was not only using ambiguous terms but going off on a tangent about A3+ printers when someone was looking at letter sized.
Regarding the inks, the bci-16 is ultra confusing. that would sugest a pre BJ-2000 based on their old number scheme. I.e. dont see epson as being any better. That's sad they are going to continue with the 9.5ml thimble sized cart... that is a classicly lexmark tactic... they should feel deep shame.