Why are low dpi printers more expensive?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by me, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. me

    me Guest

    I'm looking to buy a new photo printer for my Canon 10d digital

    I want an Epson printer because the carts are cheap and the printers
    last a long time.

    Just one thing, I've seen DPI on the new and old printers and I can't
    understand why the low dpi printers cost more momey.

    For example, Epson Stylus Photo 2100 is 2880 DPI on A3 paper and costs
    around £422. The Epson Stylus Photo R800 is 5760 DPI on A4 paper and
    costs £240. There are other printers aswell which are like this, low
    DPI more money, high DPI less money.

    From what I understand, "The resolution is stated in pixels (points)
    per inch. The higher resolution the finer printouts."

    Why is the higher DPI printer/s cheaper than the semi professional
    Photo printers? I really can't understand.

    I know photo paper can only handle so many DPI before it starts to
    overlap but why are the low DPI A3 printers so much more money?

    I don't think A3 printers can print more DPI on A4 paper.
    me, Aug 8, 2004
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  2. me

    Mark B. Guest

    Epson 2100 is a wide-format printer, R800 prints up to A4/8.5" x 11". Look
    at the size of the printer first.

    Mark B., Aug 8, 2004
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  3. me

    me Guest

    At the moment, I envisage to print on A4. Until I start printing and
    using the printer, I don't know if I'll be using A3 or not. Is it good
    having an A3 printer if the DPI on A4 prints is less??

    I've just looked at the RX 600 which looks good aswell as an All in

    Is it worth spending the money on A3 which has lower DPI if I've got
    spare cash ?

    Full Specs of 2100 Maximum 2880 x 1440 dpi in black and in colour:
    Full Specs of RX600 Maximum Resolution 2400 x 4800dpi / 3pl droplets:
    http://www.epson.co.uk/products/all_in_one_products/product_spec/Stylus_Photo_ RX600.htm
    Full Specs of R800 Up to 5760* x 1440dpi optimised , 1.5pl droplets:
    me, Aug 8, 2004
  4. Because it's not a black and white printer. In the black and white
    world, more DPI equals more quality.

    But in the color world, DPI is down the list. Other factors come into
    play for quality.

    I can show you some 600dpi stuff that you would swear was 2400dpi
    minimum. It's all in the engineering of the system.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, Aug 8, 2004
  5. me

    Mark B. Guest

    I don't know why I referenced A4 in my reply; I just realized I don't know
    what size that actually is. 2100 can do up to 13" wide, R800 up to 8.5"
    wide. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the dpi difference. From what
    I've seen with 1440 dpi on my 870, I can't imagine 2880 will be a noticeable
    difference. Get the printer for the size prints you'll be doing. If you
    need to do larger prints, then it's worth the money. Keep in mind the 2100
    has been replaced by the 2200 which can do 2880 in one direction (1440 in
    the other). Check epson.com for specs on all their printers.

    Mark B., Aug 8, 2004
  6. The important point here is that the 2100 is a wide-carriage printer,
    capable of printing up to 12 inches wide. The R800 is a
    narrow-carriage printer, limited to 8.5 inches wide.

    Wide-carriage printers are both harder to build, and sell in smaller
    quantities, so they're expensive.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Aug 8, 2004
  7. me

    dj_nme Guest

    Mark B. wrote:

    A4 is 210mm by 297mm (8.27" by 11.69") in size. A3 is twice the width at
    420mm by 279mm (16.54" by 11.69").
    dj_nme, Aug 8, 2004
  8. me

    Douglas Guest

    There is a great deal of difference to a photographer in 1440 and 2880! Also
    the 2100 IS the same printer as the 2200.The 2100 is the Euro version! The
    2100(2200) and the R800 use "pigment inks"! The RX 600 does not! Pigment
    inks have solids suspended in them,and give much loner lasting prints,on the
    right papers!By the way Mark,the 2000 was the printer replaced bu the 2200!
    I agree people should check Epsons website for specs instead of
    "speculating" on the differences!
    Douglas, Aug 8, 2004
  9. me

    Toby Guest

    Past 1440 there is really no appreciable gain in the reviews that I have
    read. You might see a very, very slight increase in smoothness in monochome
    prints with 2880. Don't take maximum DPI too seriously, some very high dpi
    printers (notably Lexmarks IME) turn out prints that look like trash...

    Toby, Aug 8, 2004
  10. me

    me Guest

    Is it worth investing in the 2100? or should I be looking at another
    printer. From what I can tell, this is one of the best printers for
    mid range money.

    The reason I need a printer is because I'm a professional photographer
    and I send out my pictures as jpgs to my clients.The publications
    print the images themselves. I only want the printer for contact
    sheets and samples of the jpgs. The images will be printed by the
    client using the CD-ROM's I supply.

    I could go for a R800 or R300 quite easily but if I'm going to buy a
    printer I want to get it right first time. I like to keep my printers
    for a long time.

    I think I'd very rarely use A3 size. it's just one of those nice
    things to have. I also like the idea of being equipped to deal with
    bigger prints if the situation should ever arise in the future.

    If I went for an Epson A4 printer would the quality be better? If yes,
    which Epson printer is better than the 2100 for A4 prints.
    me, Aug 8, 2004
  11. Not if they know what they are talking about!

    Here we are talking about *DOTS* per inch, not *pixels* per inch, or

    All of the Epson desktop range resample all of the images you send them
    to 720ppi (other manufacturers do the same but with differing native
    resolutions, like 300ppi etc.). The dots per inch is always higher than
    this for an inkjet printer so that each pixel's colour can be reproduced
    as accurately as possible by dithering the ink dot placement. More ink
    colours means that less dots are required per pixel to accurately
    produce its colour. In addition, since the highest resolution that you
    can see on the printed page without use of magnification is about
    250ppi, and for most people it is a lot less, that 720ppi resampled data
    means that there are about 9 actual pixels on the page for each resolved
    unit that you can see - so the driver can easily afford to dither dots
    over 9 pixels before you would even see any performance fall-off. Epson
    take advantage of this using a stochastic dither process which produces
    very high colour accuracy over areas where adjacent pixels are almost
    identical, yet achieves up to 360cy/in resolution on the page where the
    image actually contains such information.
    Kennedy McEwen, Aug 8, 2004
  12. That's what you think right now - because you don't have the ability to
    print 13x19" Super A3. Once you do, those little squiddly A4 prints
    will just seem like trash magazine pages. ;-)
    And when you have it its very nice. ;-)
    When so equipped, it is amazing how frequently that situation arises.
    No, unless you want the highest gloss on glossy paper possible, then it
    will make a difference, but not in resolution. The R800 uses
    ultrachrome inks which have a glossier finish than the pigment inks on
    the 2100. The 2100 doesn't really provide a high gloss finish at all,
    and the results on high gloss paper can look slightly embossed.
    Kennedy McEwen, Aug 8, 2004
  13. me

    stanb Guest

    The R800 is the latest in epsons range of pigmented base inkjet printers -
    apart from the width,it differs from the 2100/2200, and other ultrachrome
    printers ( 4000 , 7600 etc) in that it uses a different inkset ( a red and
    blue rather than a light cyan and magenta and, to improve the glossy finish,
    has a clear gloss cartridge as well. this evens teh surface when printed on
    gloss paper ( the 2100 etc suffer from what is called bronzing on semi and
    glossy papers a reflection of the ink when viewed at an angle - it bothers
    some, but I dont find it a major issue)

    The greatest advantage of these printers is the print life - these should
    outlast traditional, wet darkroom prints, so may be too much of a printer if
    all you intend is to print contact sheets - If you intend to sell your own
    prints, then these are the best available at the moment .

    Finally with a 10d, you can print reasonable 13*19's without interpolation -
    but I wouldn't recommend too much cropping, (or printing larger, nor
    studying it too close!); how do I know - I have the same combination....
    stanb, Aug 8, 2004
  14. me

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Kennedy McEwen
    Do you have a source for this? I know they resample to *something* internally
    since if you save off the print files they are always the same size for a given
    image regardless if you start with 100 ppi or 900 ppi (and it looks like they
    use nearest neighbor resampling internally) but I've never found a source from
    Epson that explicitly says they resample to 360 or 720 or ???.

    I'm not doubting your number, I thought it was higher than 360 ppi myself and
    so 720 would make sense but I would like to see if Epson themselves has stated
    this somewhere.

    Bill Hilton, Aug 8, 2004
  15. me

    Toby Guest

    Kennedy, you are a gem. Thanks for that very lucid explanation.


    Toby, Aug 8, 2004
  16. me

    me Guest

    So is the 2100 still a safe bet? The only reason I'm asking is because
    it's been around for a couple of years and I'm worried that the newer,
    cheaper printers such as the R300 or R800 are better.
    me, Aug 8, 2004
  17. me

    Mark B. Guest

    If you're talking about printer dpi, it will be nearly indiscernable. The
    difference between 720 dpi & 1440 is noticeable, but not from much more than
    an arm's length. I'd be willing to bet very few folks could tell the
    difference between a 1440 dpi and 2880 dpi print using the same image file.
    OK, thanks - that's exactly why I recommended the Epson site for info.

    Mark B., Aug 9, 2004
  18. me

    Mark B. Guest

    Think of the R800 as a little brother to the 2100. They both use the
    archival pigment based inks.

    Mark B., Aug 9, 2004
  19. I pretty much second what Kennedy states here... how nice to not have
    to write all this stuff myself ;-)

    Arthur Entlich, Aug 9, 2004
  20. me

    andrew29 Guest

    They haven't, AFAIK. Some independent research was done at Qimage:

    andrew29, Aug 9, 2004
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