i9900 - expectations too high?

Started Feb 11, 2006 | Discussions thread
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i9900 - expectations too high?
Feb 11, 2006

About 2 weeks ago our printer of 5 years (HP 970Cxi) started making noises more like a blender full of ice and less like a printer, so we decided on an upgrade. I knew that in the last 5 years home photo printing technology had improved quite a bit so after lurking here and talking to friends we chose the Canon i9900. It arrived Wednesday.

The prints from it out of the box were impressive - with proper profiling and tweaking of the drivers (thanks mostly to information shared in this forum) the output is even better... except for one thing...

Any picture with a solid blue sky has banding. At Q2 the bands are about 3/8" apart, at Q1 about 3/16". Last night I was on the phone with a Canon tech for about 45 minutes, going through all the cleaning and alignment steps from scratch, which did improve the banding a bit, but also resulted in a new glitch - the top 3/4" of any print has a magenta cast.

Canon is shipping me a new print head next week, which they think will fix the problem. Two friends who have i9900s swear up and down this printer does not band under any circumstances and that the output is "better than any photo service" and that the printer must be defective. I'm wondering if all the hype has led me to expect too much from this printer. On the other hand, the HP we have is not a photo printer but has certainly been adequate these last 5 years. I can't recall any banding except when there was low ink or a dirty head. I rarely see any banding from Snapfish, Adorama, etc. either.

I know this question is very subjective, but is it true that the ink jet printers in this generation can produce truly "bandless" photos?

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