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Keekoo May 3, 2004 12:24 AM

My 640GALA arrived, ordered Monday arrived Friday (see my previous post).

I have a Kodak DC240 digital camera with over 5500 pictures taken. Got a 8 meg CF card with it and then bought a 64 meg and then a 256 meg as prices dropped.

I took my time putting the printer together checking and double checking each step. Nobody around to impress, so I took my time. It went together as easy as pie... Took a little more force than i thought it would on the paper tray, but it is a snug fit. Wanted to start out in stand alone mode, which was part of the reason that i got it. Popped in my 64meg CF card and it woke up and said 'card error'. I thought i had fried my card, but putting it back in the camera it worked fine, so i took the 256 meg card, same story. I then used the 8 meg CF card, it found it and it worked fine. Went to a xmas family picture that i had a 4x6 and 5x7 and 8x10 printed out by a 'Fuji Frontier 370'. I had always used a lower resolution in my Kodak DC240 digital camera as it worked fine on my epson 800 with continous feed ink, even a 8x10. I 'll talk more about that later.

So, doing some web searches I discoverd a Hiti website for the Netherlands and a FAQ.

Q27 under Operation Problem, it briefly mentiond that the Kodak DC260 formats the CF card with a non standard FAT. Well I had formatted my 64meg and 256meg card with the camera, model number did not match, but it is a Kodak. The 8 meg came with the camera so i never did anything with it. A dozen or so searches later, i discovered while my system is FAT32 it will format with FAT12 or FAT16. Also that i could format the CF card with the card reader (SanDisk)... so, i did, put on the kodak sub directories that it looks for, copied some old pictures on to the card and put the card in my camera and took a additional picture. The camera seen all the pictures and the 640GALA seen them all. FIXED that one, hopefully if you read this it will save you the 2 hours it took me to find and fix the problem. I did not do a through search of the HiTi FAQ for North America, but just looking under 'Operation Problems' the FAQ for the Netherlands had 43 vs our 28. I'm not up to doing a search to see if it is listed someplace. I will email next week and see if HiTi would like to combine all the FAQ's or if I some how missed it in the North American FAQ.

On to the best part. I printed out that xmas picture to compare it to the uploaded one I sent to Sam's club to be printed out on their Fuji Frontier 370, (list price of $125,000).

You really can't compare a HiTi 640GALA printout of a lower resolution jpg to a Fuji Frontier 370 using the same jpg. It would be foolish to expect the same quality from both printers.

Sure enough, I got the printout out of the 640GALA bent the end tabs back and forth, they came off easily. Then I placed it next to the Fuji print. They are just not the same. I really did not expect them to be. I placed the HiTi print on the right and the Fuji was already sitting on the left. I'm looking and compairing and picking up the magnifying glass and looking at each one. I've never seen anyone other than another 'photo nut' like me look at a print with a magnifying glass. But, i noticed something was wrong. Oh, i had probably switched the postion left and right of the prints easy to do when your looking at them, near and far and magnifying etc. No problem, Fuji Logo is on the Fuji print and HiTi logo on the HiTi.

So, i picked up the poorer, well not really poor, it is just that the other print looks better. They are pretty close and i'm going to a party tommorrow and will get a few dozen people to pick the one they like best and i will report back here. To me it looks like someone was a little 'heavy' and the picture looks a little extra sharp and sort of bold. I like the other one better, it looks more natural and where the colors change is not as well defined. Sort of a softer more natural look. I rememberd then, i did not do anything with that jpg but send it to sam's club for printing on the fuji and took it off the same memory card and printed it on the 640GALA out of the box, nothing done.

OH, I almost forgot , when i turned over the best looking picture it had the HiTi logo on it. I am very pleased, way more than pleased. Money well spent on a supurb peice of equipment.

AWESOME Printout.

Just to look at both sides, i would think that the Fuji does have some print quality settings and i don't imagine the operator of the machine is very concerned about print quality. This is not a put down, just a statement of fact. It is just a job for them. I would not last a week doing it as i want perfection and that slows things down usually, well sometimes, then again sometimes not. Also some people might like a picture with more contrast. My girlfriend said the skin tones of the Fuji print had sort of a walnut color. I did not tweak anything with the 'white' setting or whatever they call it, have not did that yet.

I did meet a woman last week who has worked on a Fuji Frontier 370 and I might go visit her at work and discuss print quality.

The point being, the Fuji should have at least done as well as the Hiti and possibly even better. I don't imagine i'll visit 5 or 10 Fuji stores and get prints just to see. I am going to see if i can clean the heads on my old epson 800 color stylus with continous feed and use Sam's Club (great prices) for my prints larger than 4x6. If my local friends want to start talking who's printer does the best, I'll just give them a copy of the family xmas jpg and tell them to print it out and we can compare prints.... talk is cheap, let me see side by side the prints.... I'll tell you which one I like best!


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