Inkjet printer replacement recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alexander Miha, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Hello,

    I am looking for printer recommendation to print digital photos (I have
    a BW laser for other stuff) to replace a dying HP 5550. The features
    I look for are:

    1. Good quality output
    2. Borderless printing, preferably both 4x6 and full page (8x10, 8.5x11)
    3. Reasonable cost of ink per page
    4. Reliable: can withstand a pattern when it sometimes sits for months,
    then prints 40 full pages of trip photos.

    I am looking at printers for under $200 (buying in the US), but can
    spend more if the quality is significantly higher. Also, I always print
    from a computer so printing directly from memory card is not important.

    Do you know/use something that fits the above descritpion?

    Any info is greatly appreciated!
    -- Alex
    Alexander Miha, Aug 28, 2006
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  2. After miserable experiences with permanently clogged ink flow and the
    exhorbitant cost of ink, I chose to buy a laser for B&W and make prints
    at the photo store. Cheaper and better over all.
    Ockham's Razor, Aug 28, 2006
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  3. Alexander Miha

    joesarrach Guest

    A little more money and you oculd get a color laser. I've seen some
    great prints from color laser.

    Joe Sarrach
    joesarrach, Aug 28, 2006
  4. Alexander Miha

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    I have a HP Deskjet 6520 and am satisfied with the results I get.
    Neil Ellwood, Aug 28, 2006
  5. Alexander Miha

    Marvin Guest

    That requirement means you should focus on HP printers. I
    don't have one of the models that is dedicated to photo
    printing, but I used one a few months ago, and the output
    was fantastic. Most, if not all, models print directly from
    memory cards, with provision for some editing.
    Marvin, Aug 28, 2006
  6. How about the canon ip 4300?
    It has single inks, dipensable separate head so when the ink is clogged you
    trash just the head and not the whole printer, can print on printable cds
    and dvds and costs here 136 euros with taxes.Every inkjet printer, according
    to computer experts (I have asked them) should print at least once a week,
    both B&W and colour or else.
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Aug 28, 2006
  7. Alexander Miha

    Mark Guest

    I have had a Canon i9900 for about 3 years ... it has gone many months
    between print cycles and never clogged. While it is a large format
    printer, the smaller page size Canon printers that use similar
    head/ink technology should perform similarly. Truly excellent output.
    Mark, Aug 28, 2006
  8. Alexander Miha

    bmoag Guest

    Sitting six months without use is hard for any printer.
    While I am biased in favor of the quality of Epson images and the
    superiority of Epson color management and printer drivers clogging is a real
    issue with Epson printers, worse when the printer is not regularly used.
    If color management is not crucial to the way you print Canon printers in my
    experience are less prone to printer head problems than Epson although more
    difficult to get critically accurate color out of.
    I do not have experience with current generation HP photo printers, which
    reportedly have improved, because I found earlier generations were
    bmoag, Aug 28, 2006
  9. Alexander Miha

    Dave Cohen Guest

    And therein lies the problem for people like me, so it's laser for b&w,
    on-line printing for photos. Also cheaper that way. Want a quick print,
    try the Kodak kiosk at CVS.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Aug 28, 2006

  10. HP is probably the safest choice for a casual and
    infrequently-used printer. Epson pigments will give
    the best-lasting prints, but they don't take kindly to
    sitting idle.

    Personally, I don't expect any inkjet printer to withstand
    years of heavy use - except maybe a pro model (eg.
    Epson 7x00/9x00 etc.) And Even those big Epsons
    fall down occasionally.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Aug 29, 2006
  11. I hope they're doing better on the fading issue. Between the fading and the
    paper handling (the HP printer I had would scratch even slightly heavier
    than the thinnest stock papers) I'll never buy an HP again.
    But my hated HP was given to an acquaintance years ago, and he reports that
    his kids are still using it as their main printer.

    I don't know which model it was, but in Tokyo, HP was selling a 13x19
    printer that produced very nice glossy B&W prints. It may not have the
    subtle gradations of the Epson 2400, but the samples looked very nice.
    (Well, they were from 35mm and looked like cr#p from anything closer than
    two feet, but that wasn't the printer's fault.) And it's less than half the
    price of the Epson.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 29, 2006
  12. Alexander Miha

    rafe b Guest

    The HP "Vivera" inks, on HP swellable-polymer papers, do
    pretty well in longevity. The problem is that with that ink set,
    you will NOT get the rated longevity on any other paper.

    The paper handling on my DesignJet 30 was pretty awful.
    As you say, paper scratching. Face down paper loading --
    what a joke! Worse yet, the paper surface never really dries.

    These two items are the main reasons I ditched it and went
    for the (Epson) R1800.

    I had no particular complaints about the tonality and image
    quality from the DesignJet 30. The R800/R1800 and Epsons
    in general are a bit more precise about the dots they lay down,
    and the dots are smaller. Epson still has the best "micro-weaving"
    algorithms in town.

    In fact, I'd say 90% of the issues from Epson printers these days
    stems from the nature of pigment inks. They will always be more
    troublesome than dyes.

    rafe b
    rafe b, Aug 29, 2006
  13. Alexander Miha

    perry lee Guest

    One more vote for the Canon i9900, although the cost is about twice your
    stated limit. We have been running ours for three years, and we have
    yet to replace the printhead. It prints on an astonishing range of
    papers and materials. We even print on the Epson roll canvas, with
    great results. Plus, when a color runs out, you do not replace some
    silly three-in-one cart. The separate tanks are app. $12 USD apiece.
    perry lee, Aug 30, 2006
  14. Alexander Miha

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, Alex:

    If you want superb photo-quality prints, with incredible detail, pick

    If you want endless headaches, pertaining to clogged nozzles, pick
    Epson. <g>

    John Turco <[email protected]>
    John Turco, Aug 31, 2006
  15. Alexander Miha

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, bmoag:

    Don't know about HP, but you definitely nailed the pros/cons of Epson
    inkjet printers. When they're good, they're very, very good.

    But, when they're bad, they're horrid. :)

    John Turco <[email protected]>
    John Turco, Aug 31, 2006
  16. May I suggest comp.periphs.printers; look up one Arthur Entlich who
    hangs out there. He'll send a manual to anyone who requests it directly
    that'll be helpful to owners of most Epson models.
    John McWilliams, Aug 31, 2006
  17. Many thanks to all for comments and suggestions! I am leaning towards
    Canon i9900 -- while somewhat more expensive (~ $350), it seems to offer
    great quality and versatility. Can someone explain whether it needs a
    special paper to do borderless prints (4x6, 8.5x11, 13x19)? I am
    cautious because the box of my old HP 5550 claimed "true borderless 4x6"
    which turned out to require a special (larger) paper, from which, after
    printing, you detach the borderless 4x6 print. Not having to go through
    this would be a SIGNIFICANT advantage.
    Alexander Miha, Aug 31, 2006
  18. Alexander Miha

    JD Guest

    From the online manual for the i9900:

    Making Settings for Borderless Printing

    1. On the Page Setup tab, select Borderless Printing.

    2. When the confirmation message appears, click OK.

    When a message prompting you to change the media type appears, select a
    media type from the list and click OK.

    3. Check the page size shown in the Page Size list. If necessary,select
    another page size from the list.

    The Page Size list displays only sizes that can be used for borderless

    4. Make sure that position of the Amount of Extension slider is as
    shown below.

    5. After making all the necessary settings, click OK.

    The document will be printed without any margin on the printing media.


    If a page size that cannot be used for borderless printing is selected,
    the size is automatically changed to the top size displayed in the valid
    page sizes for borderless printing.

    When High Resolution Paper, T-Shirt Transfer, Transparency, or Envelope
    is selected from Media Type on the Main tab, you cannot carry out
    borderless printing.

    When Plain Paper is selected from Media Type on the Main tab, borderless
    printing is not recommended, and therefore the dialog box for media
    selection appears. If you are using plain paper for test printing,
    select Plain Paper, and click the OK button.

    Print quality at the top and bottom of the sheet may deteriorate a
    little depending on the type of the media used.

    Expanding the range of the document to print

    Specifying a large amount of extension allows you to carry out surefire
    borderless printing. However, the portion of the document that extends
    off the paper range is not printed. Subjects around the perimeter of a
    photo may not be printed.
    Try borderless printing once. If you are not satisfied with the result
    of borderless printing, reduce the amount of extension to expand the
    range of the document to print. The extension amount becomes shorter as
    the Amount of Extension slider is moved to the left.


    If the amount of extension is shortened, an unexpected margin may be
    produced on the print, depending on the type of media used.

    JD, Sep 1, 2006
  19. Alexander Miha

    perry lee Guest

    It will print edge to edge on 4X6, 5X7, letter, whatever you put into
    it. Maximum size that can be set in custom is 13 X 23 & 3/4
    perry lee, Sep 1, 2006
  20. Alexander Miha

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, Joe:

    Well, >I've< seen some pretty mediocre color laser prints -- and these
    were the manufacturers' own samples, yet! (They were next to the display
    models, at Sam's Club.) Compared with the output from even the cheapest
    photo-quality inkjet, they looked like crayon drawings.

    John Turco <[email protected]>
    John Turco, Sep 2, 2006
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