Epson Picturemate Photo Printer

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BRH, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. BRH

    BRH Guest

    When visiting my local computer store today, I noticed the Epson
    Picturemate photo printer. I don't recall the specific model number,
    and it may not even be a new product. (I haven't been keeping up with
    th latest and greatest hardware....)

    However, I've been considering a dedicated printer for my photos, so I'm
    wondering whether anyone here has had any experience with these. I'm
    also curious as to whether there are any competing products (perhaps
    from HP or Canon). If so, how do they compare?

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
    BRH, Oct 29, 2006
    #1
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  2. BRH

    ASAAR Guest

    I don't know how they compare with other brands, but the picture
    quality is pretty good, and the print longevity is probably the
    greatest available. Of course it depends on how the prints are
    stored, but according to some reviews I read when I got mine over a
    year ago, they should outlast most print made by local photo labs.
    They cost is 26 cents/print (B&H sells Epson's consumables kit for
    $26, which includes an ink tank and 100 sheets of 4x6 paper). As
    far as I know there are two versions. I think that the older model
    has a monochrome display, vs. a popup color LCD on the newer model.
    The newer model prints slightly faster.

    The Picturemate doesn't require a computer, and is able to do far
    more picture editing that what the local labs allow. Most people
    don't like overprinting times and dates on their prints, but if you
    have the Epson do it, it's much less obtrusive than I've seen other
    printers, cameras, and software do it. It's printed using a very
    small font, but it's also very fine and legible. When I (and
    others) have compared the Epson's print quality with that from local
    labs, sometimes the lab does a better job, and sometimes the Epson
    does. I'd say that most people I've given prints to where they had
    a choice of an Epson or a lab print, chose the Epson's prints about
    2/3 of the time.

    As I said, I can't compare it with other brands, but in addition
    to HP and Canon, there's Kodak, Olympus, Sony and several other
    brands available. One, whose name I don't recall (but it may start
    with "T") is well regarded, and besides the usual 4x6 printers, also
    sells a model that makes 5x7 prints. B&H probably sells most of
    these brands, so you could check either their catalog or website to
    see what's available, as well as what the current prices are for the
    printers and consumables. If I recall correctly, Sony's printers
    and supplies are for those that have no shortage of money. :)
     
    ASAAR, Oct 29, 2006
    #2
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  3. BRH

    BRH Guest

    Thnaks for your informative reply. It sounds like you're prerry
    satisfied with it!
     
    BRH, Oct 29, 2006
    #3
  4. BRH

    laocmo Guest

    I have an early PictureMate. It does a beautiful job WHEN it works.
    Unfortunately, it suffers from the common PictureMate problem, "Error 2"
    It does a fabulous job about 5 times out of 10 tries. Then for no
    apparent reason it locks up and refuses to print. I shut it off and
    shake the hell out of it, then it works for about 10 to 20 great prints,
    then freezes again. If you seek it out, there is quite a discussion on
    the net about this problem and people have offered a myriad of
    solutions. Most of which don't work. I think it is a problem inside with
    the mechanics. Hope they solved it with the PictureMate Express and the
    Deluxe Version, I would buy another if it worked reliably. Epson is in
    the middle of a court settlement due to their printers falsely informing
    the user that they are out of ink when such is not the case. I plan to
    use my settlement $$ to buy another PictureMate if the problems have
    been solved.
     
    laocmo, Oct 29, 2006
    #4
  5. BRH

    ASAAR Guest

    You're welcome. Yep, and it continues to perform very well. The
    other brand that I couldn't recall the name of is Hi-Ti (High
    Touch), and unlike the Epsons, their small format printers are
    dye-sub, and range in price from a bit over $100 to nearly $800.
    The expensive ones are probably intended for commercial printing,
    but they all seem to be ruggedly built.
     
    ASAAR, Oct 29, 2006
    #5
  6. BRH

    ASAAR Guest

    I've never heard of any PictureMate problems, but don't dispute
    that you may be having a problem with yours. The court case you
    mentioned can't have anything to do with the PictureMates, since
    they're only supposed to be good for 100 prints per cartridge, but
    I've had to buy some extra 4x6 sheets, since I get a little more
    than 100 prints per cartridge. I've never had any problem other
    that what I expected. When I haven't used the printer for a long
    time, such as 8 months, I've found that usually one color doesn't
    print. But it takes only one quick cycle (about a minute or two)
    cleaning the print heads to get it working again. Considering
    Epson's reputation for clogging print heads, this is a much better
    experience than I've had with my HP printers (8"x10", not 4"x6").

    If you get another PictureMate I doubt that you'll have any
    problems with it. But if you buy it from the right dealer and test
    it quickly, say within the usual store refund period, you'll see
    whether you got a lemon or not. I've printed many hundreds of
    prints and haven't had a single failure. I think that mine is the
    Deluxe version, and never heard of an Express version. I've only
    seen an older PictureMate that has monochrome LCD that I don't think
    pops up, as the color LCD does on mine.
     
    ASAAR, Oct 29, 2006
    #6
  7. BRH

    Mark B. Guest

    I've never had any such problems with mine, I've had it now for several
    months and have run dozens of prints through it.

    Mark
     
    Mark B., Oct 30, 2006
    #7
  8. BRH

    Hebee Jeebes Guest

    The original ones were great. I bought a refurb from the Epson site for less
    than $50 with free shipping. You can check the Epson store clearance section
    to see if they still have any.

    The new ones not only look like crap, but they have went from the much more
    stable pigment ink to dye ink and have went from 6 colors to 4. All of this
    so that they can offer a battery for in the field printing and in the case
    of the high end (high cost one) being able to burn CDs and DVDs. Personally,
    I wouldn't touch the new junk. But, the old models are a dream. Easy to use
    and create great prints.

    R
     
    Hebee Jeebes, Oct 30, 2006
    #8
  9. BRH

    Hebee Jeebes Guest

    Well, you shake anything long enough and it won't work flawlessly either.

    R
     
    Hebee Jeebes, Oct 30, 2006
    #9
  10. BRH

    ASAAR Guest

    It would help if you gave model numbers since some of your
    information is incorrect. There may be newer models that I'm not
    familiar with, but of the two that I've seen, including the one that
    I own, both use 6-color cartridges, and mine (and presumably the
    earlier model, but this is just a guess) can also operate from an
    optional internal Li-Ion battery for field use. Is there really a
    portable Picturemate 4"x6" printer that burns CDs and DVDs? That
    doesn't sound very appealing. I'd rather have an individual printer
    and DVD burner than a combined model. For that matter, a portable
    DVD burner makes much less sense these days than a smaller, more
    portable disk vault, especially one that can also display images.
     
    ASAAR, Oct 31, 2006
    #10
  11. BRH

    BRH Guest

    I read somewhere that a model with built-in DVD (or CD?) burner will be
    on the market in a few weeks. Supposedly, it will be available only at
    Best Buy.
     
    BRH, Oct 31, 2006
    #11
  12. BRH

    ASAAR Guest

    The main reason why I'd find it unappealing is that while I'd
    probably appreciate the ability to backup pictures to CD or DVD in
    the field, I wouldn't want to have to bring along a printer to do
    it. Even a small portable printer adds too much weight. I also
    haven't bought a battery for my Picturemate. Any place I print
    pictures from, even if it's not at home, will have an AC outlet. :)
    On the other hand, if the printer has a better picture browser than
    current Picturemates, being able to select pictures to print from a
    CD or DVD instead of a flash card might be useful. The current
    picture browser makes selections much more of a chore than it could
    be, and I wouldn't want to use it to make selections from a half
    full CD, let alone a DVD.
     
    ASAAR, Nov 1, 2006
    #12
  13. BRH

    BRH Guest

    I agree with that assessment. Having had my Picturemate Deluxe Viewer
    Edition now for (only) two days, I find that the selection procedure for
    picking a single photo to print off of a 1 Gig SD card is rather
    tedious. That's my only complaint about the Picturemate, though. Other
    than that I'm pretty impressed with it.
     
    BRH, Nov 1, 2006
    #13
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