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printer comparisons?

 
 
Bill Johnson
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      04-17-2004
Can someone point me toward some hard information about laser / inkjet
printers?

I am about to take the jump from a midrange ink jet printer that has served
me very well, but is rather slow, to something better. I like the sound of
the Canon i960, but I was hoping for something a little faster to serve the
desktop-publishing-with-an-accent-on-photography needs we have here. A
brochure from the hp Color LaserJet 4600 has caught my attention.

The long and short of this is I can find no place that compares/reviews,
advises about what is now available in the way of good home
publishing/photographic printers, ink jet and laser. Price is not really
the issue, it is more a question of photographic quality and speed.

As always, many thanks in advance. Bill


 
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Jeffrey
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      04-17-2004
Excellent Sites for Review are

http://www.dpreview.com/
http://www.steves-digicams.com/

You can get some information from the manufacturers sites, but it is hard to
find the real information.

I understand your frustration about being able to compare printers, and
trying to compare the advertising puff, from real specification.

I did it before Christmas, and probably did not get it 100% correct. I
learnt a lot more after, but alas I am a bit out of the more recent
offering. I will therefore give a couple of factors to look for in inkjet
printers. Unless things have changes rather dramatically, colour laser jet
printers, are not suitable for photoprinting. The only real alternative to
inkjet printers is colour sublime printers.

The factors to look for

1. Number of colour. (printers vary from three four, six and eight
colours. The colours are basically Cyan Magenta, Yellow and Black. The
extra colours are generally Light Cyan, Light Magenta, and different shades
of grey. Although I think the new Epson's introduce some different colours.
2. The size of the dots, and whether the printer can print varying size
dots. The small the dots, obviously the greater the resolution. Varying the
size of the dots obviously increase the number of different colours that can
be printed.
3. How well the inkjet technology allow different colour inks to be
deposited on same paper pixel. This is mostly a quality factor of the paper
being used etc.
4. Whether the inkjets use a dye technology or a pigment technology.
5. The cost of the printer cartridge/cartridges.
5. Whether the cartridges are single colour or multi colour.
6. The longevity of the print.
7. the print size (6x4, A4 or A3 or larger)
7. The cost of the printer (in some cases this appears to be inversely
proportional to the cost of the cartridges).
8. The consumable cost of the paper. Bearing in mind what ever
proprietary technology that you select. You will generally get better
results using photo from the same manufacturer because you can have
confidence that coating of that paper has been designed for the inks used in
the printer.
9 The cost/quality/convenience of external printing services available to
you.

While I am 100% certain, I presume that the technology from all the leading
brands, offer

1. variable dot sizes.
2. comparable resolution.
3. ability to mix various colours on the one paper pixel.

All produce prima facie great quality prints.

What may be left out of that comparison, is the effect of the number of
colours available.

When I made my choice last Christmas, I chose a 6 colour HP printer (HP7260,
mostly because of the cost, about AUD$178, compared to a cost of AUD$698 for
a HP7960). What I did not realise at the time, was that the 2 extra colours
(being shades of grey), substantially increased the number of different
colour printed pixels that could be produced by the printer. I am told that
these extra colours produce substantially better prints in the shaded part
of the photographs. I had thought I did not need the 2 shades of grey,
because I thought that they would only be useful for bw printing (where they
are out on their own). What I also did not appreciate, was the cost of the
cartridges (AUD$120 per set).

Notwithstanding the above, I would still make the same choice because

1. low initial cost.
2. my other choice would have been the 7960 but they have the same
cartridge costs.
3. my print quantities do not justify paying a higher initial cost to
obtain lower consumable costs.




"Bill Johnson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:1082163289.438617@prawn...
> Can someone point me toward some hard information about laser / inkjet
> printers?
>
> I am about to take the jump from a midrange ink jet printer that has

served
> me very well, but is rather slow, to something better. I like the sound

of
> the Canon i960, but I was hoping for something a little faster to serve

the
> desktop-publishing-with-an-accent-on-photography needs we have here. A
> brochure from the hp Color LaserJet 4600 has caught my attention.
>
> The long and short of this is I can find no place that compares/reviews,
> advises about what is now available in the way of good home
> publishing/photographic printers, ink jet and laser. Price is not really
> the issue, it is more a question of photographic quality and speed.
>
> As always, many thanks in advance. Bill
>
>



 
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