printer comparisons?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill Johnson, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. Bill Johnson

    Bill Johnson Guest

    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
     
    Bill Johnson, Apr 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. Bill Johnson

    Jeffrey Guest

    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" <> 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
    >
    >
     
    Jeffrey, Apr 17, 2004
    #2
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