Thoughts on a new printer?

Started Dec 13, 2012 | Discussions
Florida Nature Photographer
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Thoughts on a new printer?
Dec 13, 2012

My printer has died and I need a new onw. I don't print a lot of photos but since I now have the bug I want to give consideration to photo printing before making my purchase.

I definitely want an all in one. I haven't decided if laser or ink jet is best.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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chillgreg
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Sorry can't really help. But my 9-pin dot matrix can do 16 shades of grey! ;)) (NT)
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 13, 2012
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windmillgolfer
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 13, 2012

I've been using an HP920C for sometime but rarely print images because when I do I usually want something big. I find the HP printers much faster than Epson for general purpose and in draft mode entirely usable and fast.  Bought an Epson once, admittedly low model, and gave it away.

I tend to use third party cartridges and have never had an issue. Saving 50% and more on HPs high priced ink.

The market is swamped with models, which often have a very limited life before being superseded.  All in one is certainly the way to go. One reason I like HP is that they tend to be sheet fed from a horizontal tray, so nothing sticking up/out at the back.  People tend to stick with the make they 'know'.

There are some incredibly cheap colour lasers.  So cheap that buyers tend to just replace it with another whole printer back when the toner runs out.

WiFi is another question, can be tricky to install.

No answers but food for thought.

Good Luck. Stuart

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Trafford
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

The printers are pretty cheap these days, it is the cost of
the inks that are the killers, and for serious photo work one
has to stick with the OEM cartridges, which get expensive.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to windmillgolfer, Dec 14, 2012

So I went shopping and thought I had picked out the one I wanted. Then I came home and read a couple reviews that say it doesn't have good photo printing quality but it does have good text printing.

Reading more reviews it seems that they all are good in one are and not so good in the other.

Looks like I have to choose between good text or good photos. Hmmmm....

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chillgreg
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Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
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rfactor
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Re: Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
In reply to chillgreg, Dec 14, 2012

Im rockin a Canon Pixma and it does wonders with photos!

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
In reply to chillgreg, Dec 14, 2012

Not according to this and another review I read...

Office Jet Review

This is actually the printer I thought I was going to buy until I read the review. Do you own this model?

HP Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
In reply to rfactor, Dec 14, 2012

rfactor wrote:

Im rockin a Canon Pixma and it does wonders with photos!

That's what the reviews say but they say the text isn't the best.

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Alisande
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All-in-ones are not photo printers.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

Laser printers are great....for printing text. You can get a decent one for under $100. But if you want to print photos you need a photo printer. And those are not lasers.

Canon is running some impressive rebate promos this month; there's a list of them on their website. I bought the Canon Pixma Pro 9000 Mark II earlier this year from Amazon. With a $200 rebate, it cost me $200. It's a huge printer with a big footprint on my desk, but it produces beautiful prints. I'm very happy with it.

Canon has an extensive line of photo printers. If you're interested, I would check out the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere. I learned on the DPR printing forum that Epson isn't recommended if you don't print frequently because the inks tend to dry out if not used. My 10-year-old HP photo printer is still going strong, but I don't know anything about their current offerings.

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rfactor
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Re: Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

rfactor wrote:

Im rockin a Canon Pixma and it does wonders with photos!

That's what the reviews say but they say the text isn't the best.

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Florida

Text works fine for me and I love having a dedicated black cartridge for text and one for photo.  If you do a lot of text I would invest in a cheap laser printer.  Nothing will match that for text.

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rfactor
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Re: Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
In reply to rfactor, Dec 14, 2012

Not trying to sound like a sales man, but I was really impressed with the quality of the photo scan feature.  I scanned several pictures that are 40 years old and older.  The quality was better than the original .

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john10001
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

Canon, Dell and Epson have some printers that are exceptional at printing photos.

A few examples would be:

EPSON Stylus Photo PX730WD

Dell P713W

Canon Pixma MG8150

It is expensive business though with the price of ink. Always better to use a reputable online printing company.

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John
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Cyril Catt
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to john10001, Dec 14, 2012

You have to decide your own priorities.

I like to be able to print both sides especially with text, so duplexing is a major plus. I use a cheap Brother HL-2270DW laser for most of my text printing.

I don't do much photo printing; need relatively frequent scanning (often from books, so a flat platen is a priority, and auto feeding is seldom needed). I also find an inbuilt memory card slot convenient. So last week, when my previous printer died, I chose a Canon MG6250, as it included a grey ink - to make better black & white prints - as well as the black, cyan, magenta, and yellow for colour pictures; a pigment based black for archival documents;  - and it was on sale at half price.

Although it does a good enough job for my needs, I am annoyed that its manual is not a printed one, nor even a sequentially paginated pdf, but a pdf divided into numerous unpaginated scrollable sections within sections, each written with numerous provisos and warnings, without an index. So it is difficult to quickly find the appropriate section and to digest it when found. It is also written primarily with Windows OS in mind, and does not appear to cater for the most recent Mac OSs.

In making my choice, it seemed to me that Canon had a range of printers from low cost personal ones to more expensive office models, but Epson appears to have concentrated more on printers especially for photographers, with somewhat more expensive models with a greater number of ink cartridges to cover a greater range of colour nuances and paper sizes.

Cyril Catt

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Dads HP Officejets print beautiful photos even on plain paper in draft. Also economic ink users.
In reply to rfactor, Dec 14, 2012

rfactor wrote:

Not trying to sound like a sales man, but I was really impressed with the quality of the photo scan feature. I scanned several pictures that are 40 years old and older. The quality was better than the original .

I have been evaluating my printer usage. I realized that when I print text it is rarely for critical viewing such as if you printed a resume, for example. However, infrequent it may be that I print photos, when I do I would certainly want it to look as good as possible.

Given that it appears I have to choose between good text or good photos I think I should lean towards good photos at the expense of text quality.

I have my own set of old pictures. I'm wondering if I ever decide to digitize them if I might decide I need a dedicated scanner or if the ones included in Multi Function printers to a good enough job to suffice?

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to john10001, Dec 14, 2012

john10001 wrote:

It is expensive business though with the price of ink. Always better to use a reputable online printing company.

So, if you were going to frame and display in your home 10-20 of your photos and had thoughts that you might rotate in fresh photos perhaps seasonally you would not use your printer but would send them out?

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manthasfamily
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

I use to work for a company that sold printers, among other things, so I took a couple of my pictures and did some samples.

First off *everyone* wants a fast printer, but they aren't necessarily the best quality.

Second.... you only get what you pay for sometimes is true.  I will say that manufactures like to run sales so look for a good deal.

And most important quality....  I got into an argument with a Lexmark rep when he said you don't need more then three ink colors.  That is a crock of bullwhoopie!  I showed him the results and he just walked away insisting there was no difference in the pictures.  I told him he needed to be in a different business.  More colors makes a big difference especially in the shadows.

My tests were done on photo printers not business printers.  Yes, there is a difference....  So, in my tests, and at the time we didn't sell canon printers, Epson came out the best with HP next.  Though HP only had 3 colors, the printer I tested had two blacks which helped with the shadows.  I used to have a Canon Photo printer, and it was the best I have ever used.  Unfortunately it went down.

Now, those were consumer photo printers not professional ones where you can get up to 8 colors.

One final note here....  I have had three HP printers and 1 Canon.  On all three of the HP printers if you don't use HP photo paper it won't pick up the paper.  I have to feed mine one at a time.  Maybe it's just my bad luck, but I'm just stating what has happened to me.  I can't speak for Epson since I've not had one, but my Canon had no problem with different papers.  Because of that I'll not buy another HP.

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Alisande
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

When I was exhibiting I sent all my images to Mpix.com or Adoramapix.com (Mpix had a slight edge in quality, in my experience). Their 11x14's and 16x20's looked great, cost less than printing at home, and spared me a lot of hassle.

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Susan
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Weogo
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

Hi FNP,

I have been reading posts in the the Printers and Printing forum(highly recommended!) for several weeks and yesterday bought a refurbished Artisan 50 from Epson.

It is supposed to be very similar to the R280, 1400 and 1430 that some folks are using with very good results.

The XP-450 is an all-in-one that uses the same six inks as the above noted printers.  The Artisan 835 appears to be last year's version.

For higher volume printing, there are several companies with very good inks at reasonable prices.

I talked with one of the aftermarket ink companies and they said if you print frequently, clogged heads aren't much of an issue, and that any printer that sits un-used for a long time can clog.

There are printhead soaking trays/cleaners available if this is an issue.

Several happy Canon users on that forum as well.

Hope that helps!

Good health,  Weogo

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Fz10Kiwi
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Re: Thoughts on a new printer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Dec 14, 2012

Hi Florida,

I have a Canom Pixma which is about 6 years old ( a dedicated printer) and not had any trouble at all. I bought it to print photos and for text it prints duplex in very acceptable style. The unit prints up to A4 to a quality that has won me many przes in photography exhibitions.

One comment I would make is that a unit that does everything must, by definition, compromise on some feature.  I have a seperate scanner to use when necessary.  The ink is quite expensive it works out for me about NZ$4.00 for an A4 full colour print. Also seperate ink tanks are the way to go. Hope this helps.

PS: lousy text can be accepted, lousy photos  are something you dont want to show your mates.

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Cheers Roy from Down Under

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