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Old Nov 14, 2004, 8:01 AM   #1
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:?I have a Pentax Optio S40 and want to buy a digital Photo Printer. Very new to this and need help in selcting the proper printer. Are there only specific models of photo printers compatible with with certain types of digitals cameras? I'm leaning toward the Epson PhotoMate, but I'm unsure if this model is compatible with my camera. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 7:11 PM   #2
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Judy:

Your camera is PictBridge compatible, so it should plug into any Pictbridge compatible printer fine.

However, I'd probably use your PC to print with instead (via a USB Connection to your PC).

For one thing, if you want to print 4x6" prints, you'll probably want to crop them to the correct ratio of width to height using software. The Aspect Ratio (Ratio of Width to height) of the images from your Pentax is 4:3. The Aspect Ratio of a 4x6" print is 3:2. So, most digital camera images will require you to crop the print (take off some of it) for correct printing.

Even though you may be able to print without cropping, usually 1 of 2 things happens: the printer driver crops off part of the photo for you (and it may not be the part you want cut off), or you end up with unwanted and/or uneven borders.

So, I'd advise using your PC to edit and crop your photos first, then send them to a printer via USB.

It looks like the printer you're considering (I assume you mean the PictureMate versus PhotoMate) ships with Epson Film Factory. This software can crop the photos (as can many other image editors).

Steve has a review of it here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_.../epson_pm.html

Chances are, most any good printer would work from your PC. Steve has more printer reviews here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/printers.html#reviews
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 8:14 PM   #3
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ALL Inkjet printers are a fools errand IMHO.

Use one of the many good online photo printing services like shutterfly.com.

Inkjets are cheap to buy but not to run. Paper is 25 centsto 1 dollar a sheet depending on the type. Inkjet cartridges are pricy and spoil even if left in their packaging too long. Anyone who has owned an jet knows there has to be a better way.

Good Luck
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 10:04 PM   #4
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anthlover wrote:
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ALL Inkjet printers are a fools errand IMHO.

Use one of the many good online photo printing services like shutterfly.com.

Inkjets are cheap to buy but not to run. Paper is 25 centsto 1 dollar a sheet depending on the type. Inkjet cartridges are pricy and spoil even if left in their packaging too long. Anyone who has owned an jet knows there has to be a better way.
Well... I'm not so sure. I've been printing my own Album Pages (with multiple prints per page) for years, and don't think the cost is too bad compared to sending out for prints. I've owned Epson, Canon and HP Printers.

I just bought a Canon Pixma IP4000 earlier today, since I can get generic inks pretty cheap for it, and I buy paper on sale. Tom's Hardware guide figured the cost at 35 cents per print for 4x6" prints and$1.10 for A4 size prints (using retail prices for both Canon Ink and Paper).

Well, I can buy pretty good generic inkat a fraction of the cost of what genuine Canon ink costs. MIS Associatessells ink for it at $5.00 per cartridge (the IP4000 I just bought will use cartridges they sell, too -- they just haven't added it to the list):

http://www.inksupply.com/index.cfm?s.../cartsale.html

Of course, you can find cheaper ink too (some generic brands are less than $3.00 per cartridge), or you can buy refill kits and save even more.

For paper, I'll use the new Kodak Ultima Paper (which Kodak says will last over 100 years, without worrying about keeping them under glass, etc.). You'llsee some links to white papers on the technology they're using here:

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQueri...q-locale=en_US

Here's a quote from their marketing material:

Quote:
TheKodak ColorLast™ technology locks ink molecules into the image layer, protecting your picture from fading factors. Using a unique blend of mordants (additives to "fix" the dyes) in the bottom two layers, along with nanoparticulate ceramic particles in the top layer to further stabilize the image, Kodak scientists have engineered a significant leap in longevity and color reproduction.
Retail on this paper is a little high, but Costco sells it for $24.99 for 75 of the 8 1/2 x 11" Sheets (works out to around 30 cents for each of my album pages, with multiple prints of various sizes per page with the Epson Film Factory software I usuallyuse).

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...opnav=&cat=

Sometimes I'll use the HP Printing Software, too (it has also templates that can fill a page with prints of different sizes -- handy for giving away wallet size prints of your favorite images -- with a mixture of larger sizes on the same page).

So, my cost will be very low for myalbum pages using generic ink, with good longetivity using this Kodak paper.

The Epson she's looking at has a relatively low cost per print, too (but I personally like to print larger prints and album pages too much to buy a printer like this one). Steve's review says this about it:

Quote:
Each PictureMate Print Pack includes the photo cartridge and 100 sheets of 4 x 6" glossy photo paper and retails for $30 -- this yields a per print cost of $0.30. Each ink cartridge is guaranteed by Epson to print at least 100 4 x 6" prints.
Now, the 30 cents per print is retail. Doing a quick check of internet prices, I found dealers selling it for under $25.00 using the price search engine (ignore the first few low cost dealers as these are only selling an ink cartridge without the 100 sheets of paper).

http://www50.shopping.com/xPC-Epson_...Y_PAP~S-2~OR-0

So, that's not too shabby, and the Epson says the prints will last for 100 years under glass or 200 years in an album. Here's a quote from Steve's review:

Quote:
Epson claims that PictureMate prints are fade resistant with a print life of up to 200 years in photo album conditions or 100 years when displayed in a glass frame. The prints are water and smudge resistant too.
Do I always print myself? Nah... If I've got a lot of prints, I sometimes upload them to a printing service somewhere to save the time and hassle. I just did this for a bunch of prints a couple of weeks ago (since Winkflash.com is now charging only 16 cents each for4x6" prints with 99 cents shipping for any size order).

But, you can't beat the flexibility of being able to print them yourself.


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Old Nov 15, 2004, 8:07 PM   #5
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Thanks so much JimC for your help, and for the links to the websites for supplies. Funny you mentioned that you just bought a Canon Pixma iP4000--I've been doing more research on photo printers and had settled on buying that one rather than the Epson. I like having the option of printing a 5X7 or an 8X10, whereas with the Epson I'm limited to only 4X6" pictures. And the reviews on Steve's review pages helped me make up my mind as well.

Thanks again for your help.


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Old Nov 16, 2004, 10:19 AM   #6
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More on in-line vs. Photo/InkJet printers

Of course you loose the same day gratifcation with uploading to the web.

And Yes if you shop hard for paper and refill and your print heads/cartridges you might save a little or break even (maybe not if you count the cost of the printer).

** Point is for most folk they see cheap ink jet printers (with or with out rebates) and they do not realize the consumables add up fast and that they spoil unless used frequenlty, heads clogdry out etc. etc.

This is of course a personl decission. The only color printer I would ever buy is a Laser whoose price have come down as low $500. They do not make ideal photo printers either though. Of course thier cost per print is lower then any other.

To each thier own. good luck




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Old Nov 16, 2004, 8:19 PM   #7
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Yes, I've heard and read about the ink drying out when the printer hasn't been used for a while. So maybe I'll just have to use up the ink quickly by printing off the hundreds of pictures I have stored on my computer that I had intended to take to Walmart or CVS and just never got around to!!! Thanks for all your good points.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 7:23 AM   #8
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Of course you need not go anywhere as we both mentioned you can just upload them to one of the many good online Photo printing services..
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 11:34 AM   #9
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I prefer a 4 X 5.33 format for small prints. Wal-Mart will reportedly give you 4.5 X 6 prints from digital which require less cropping from a 3:4 camera. Neither will fit in an album made for 4 X 6 prints, but they look better IMO. I do most of my printing to pass around in 5 X 7.

I can do a 4 X 5.33 for about 6c and a 5 X 7 for 12c. I print on Red River paper which they often put on sale, and use Inkjet Goodies ink in my photo printer because it was recommended by the Canon owners at the dpreview printer forum. My guess is that it is the same ink as MIS. I've been buying HP ink from MIS for at least 8 years and it is good ink.

The thing that improved my cheap printing from 8.5 X 11 stock was a bright light under the edge of my trimmer. You can trim exactly that way. Most printers anymore print borderless, so you have only two sides to trim if you put the individual images in the corners. Trimming is easy with a light under the trimmer edge – otherwise it is a hassle to get it exact.

My HP general-purpose printer spit out some plastic parts a couple of weeks ago and it has been less than pleasant to print multiple pages. I also ordered a Canon iP4000 as a general purpose printer to go with my wide format Canon. They take the same ink and cartridges but the iP4000 requires a pigmented black and the photo printer has some more photo colors. You do get better photo prints from a current 7 or 8 color photo printer, but the iP4000 looks like the best choice if you just want to have one printer for everything. It will be nice to just have to stock one type of ink for me.

If you print a hundred pictures a month it might be more convenient to put them on a CDR and drop them off at Wal-Mart or Walgrens. Or most cameras let you write your sorted and edited images back to the card for local printing. I hear Walgrens have a good deal going on large numbers for 19c each. Both will do prints in an hour, so you can pick them up after you do your other shopping. But I print all of my own. With a fast printer it is more convenient and cheaper.

Canons don't dry out that quickly. The ink stays fine for years, you just can't leave the heads for too long without printing something. You can print a small color plain paper graphic once every couple of weeks and you have no problem. Even if you forget, it is easy to remove the print head and soak it in hot water – you can't do than with an Epson.

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Old Nov 20, 2004, 11:46 AM   #10
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slipe wrote:
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My HP general-purpose printer spit out some plastic parts a couple of weeks ago and it has been less than pleasant to print multiple pages. I also ordered a Canon iP4000 as a general purpose printer to go with my wide format Canon.
:lol:The exact same thing just happened to me recently. My HP Printer (Photosmart 1215) literally spit out plastic from the front. It had some plastic prongs that poked up along the paper path inside when feeding, and I think that a couple of them broke offafter I cleared a jam of heavy card stock the wrong way (although there is some kind of tab in the paper exit paththat looks like it broke the connecting mechanism, too).

So, it quit feeding (jams every time now). Oh well.I can't complain too much though (this printer has served me well, with quite a few reams of paper through it).

Interestingly, I bought a Canon Pixma IP4000 to replace it (fast, low cost per page, duplexing, etc.).
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