Dye based printer

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
MRCocoa Regular Member • Posts: 183
Re: Do you use a fully color-managed workflow?

Aw, gee, I was only telling the OP about my experience with both printers, now I have to respond to a technical challenge, too?

The Epson ET-8500 has a theoretical advantage in resolution over the Canon PIXMA Pro-200 in PPI, but because the Epson is a multi-function machine, I didn't expect it to hold its own against a dedicated photo printer.  It did - and had I purchased the wider ET-8550 in the first place, I wouldn't have the Canon.

I've printed a couple hundred 5x7-inch prints, scores of 8.5-11-inch prints, and dozens of 6x9-inch prints with my ET-8500 and haven't drained a single ink reservoir (but the magenta tank is getting a bit low).  It's the most economical inkjet printer I've ever used.

I let Adobe (Photoshop or Lightroom) manage colors, and set the respective printer software app to "Perceptual".  There is, as I said, a slight difference in how vivid the pictures are, using proper ICC profiles for identical paper, and you must look at them closely, side-by-side, to see any difference.  To me, it's most apparent (although still hard to see) in the yellow-gold colors, not blues and greens where they are essentially indistinguishable - I didn't print anything with red tones, so I can't comment on that.

The Canon seems to print a wider gamut than the Epson, but again, you have to examine them closely, side-by-side, to see any difference in the details in darker areas of a print.

Overall, I prefer the prints from the ET-8500.  I like how it handles yellow tones better than the Canon.

I paid around $525 (+/-) for mine and I don't remember where I bought it, but I expect directly from Epson since I don't often by the good stuff from online retailers.  Maybe I had an introductory offer?  Maybe I found it on sale?  I don't know.  The ET-8500 is on sale now at most places, marked down from the $699 MSRP.  One doesn't often find Epson printers on sale, so the MSRP is arguably the cost of these printers most times of the year.

If you're an Epson fan, leave me out of these silly challenges, please.  I didn't claim one printer was better than the other, only that the prints from each one aren't exactly the same when I look at them through my very own eyes.  Your mileage may vary, and that's just fine.

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

I use both a Canon Pixma Pro-200 and an Epson ET-8500. Even up close, I can't see a difference in resolution between them

That's to be expected. At the 'normal' 300 ppi for Canon and 360 ppi for Epson, IMO only a small fraction of combinations of images, papers, and viewers will see a difference; and at their respective higher resolutions of 600 and 720 ppi, the difference will almost never (if ever!) be visible.

BUT the Epson colors "pop" more. The Pro-200 produces prints that look extremely close to what I see on my MacBook Pro screen, the Epson prints are a slight bit more vibrant (but you have to look at them side-by-side to notice it).

This claim needs some explanation. If you use a 'printer manages color' workflow, then that is really more about the driver defaults. On the other hand, if you use a fully color-managed workflow, including use of truly correct / applicable ICC profiles, then I'd expect the differences to be very, very subtle to invisible in the large majority of combinations of image and paper. We did some tests (thread starts at https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64999810), and found that the XP-15000 (which has red ink that the ET-8500 does not) produced on the whole very slightly larger gamut than the Pro-200 and very slightly darker maximum black, but we're talking differences probably near the edge of visibility, and then only with some image-and-paper combinations.

As with all things, YMMV, but I think the ET-8xxx are great printers - or were when they cost less than high-end printers (I just looked at the prices and I guarantee I didn't pay anything near $700 form my ET-8500. Wow! Times have changed...).

The ET-8500 was introduced less than two years ago, costs $600 at the moment, and hasn't as far as I know every been available for much less than that. What did you pay, and where and when did you buy it?

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