help me choose a printer

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by eric_kelley, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. I just got my first digital camera a Nikon 8800 and now I would like
    a printer to do some 8x10s on nothing larger are the HPs a good
    value? I looked at some of the epson's but at 100.00 for the ink I
    think I'll pass unless someone has a good reason otherwise. This will
    be a dedicated photo printer not a general purpose one.
  2. The epsons have the best quality and archivalness (if you talk about pigment based), and also possibly the highest price. You generally speaking get what you pay for. HP has incredibly poor customer support (a friend of mine tried to replace a faulty unit under warranty but HP persists in claiming it was purchased 1 year before it actually was and does not take credit card receipt for proof of purchase. Second example: we had a laptop at work which had a faulty CD writer, would not write any CR-Rs. We requested it to be fixed and HP/Compaq demanded that we first empty the hard drive. It was my work computer and I certainly am not going to empty the HD just because it had a faulty CD writer. Examples can be found ... this company these days belongs to the AVOID category.)

    If you want an alternative to Epson, look at Canon printers as they as quite good also. However, the image quality from the Epsons is quite phenomenal.
  3. Hi Eric, I have a new printer in the box (never used) that I won in a photo of the month contest at Steve's Digicams. It prints sizes of 4X6, 5X7 & 6X8 inches, and has very economical cost to run. More info at:

    Thanks for looking at my pitch, and please call if interested.
  4. Look at the Canon series. I have found that they are more
    economical than the Epsons I've had.

    I use the i9900 now, but there is a smaller format for your 8x10
    (the i960).

    Also, what computer platform are you using? Mac or PC? It made
    a difference in my decision.
  5. "The epsons have the best quality"

    Naturally you have seen the finest prints all printers can do to make this statement?
  6. I'm talking about the printers which are generally marketed to the public. If you have a Nikon 8800, you aren't going to buy a Lightjet.

    Typical pro inkjet printers (large format inkjet printers used by labs) are generally one or two generations behind in image quality when compared with the latest Epson desktop photo inkjet. This is simply because large format inkjets are used to print such large prints that they need not have a small drop size.

    But if we talk about A3 or A4 inkjets (which are the category of interest to a compact digital camera user), the Epsons have the best image quality and highest per print cost. And they're also the most archival when appropriate printers and materials are used (pigment), and Epson also have a wide range of printing media which high quality profiles are available on the net. Yes, I have looked at prints from the latest Canon and HP photo printers and they are not as good.
  7. Any statement that one printer is "the highest quality" should be taken with a grain of salt. If you search through the archives, you will find lots of people with that same opinion about every other printer manufacturer. It's an opinion and you should try to form your own if possible by looking at samples, maybe at a store.

    As far as archivability of prints, do you have data to back up what you're saying about pigments being best? If you look at Wilhelm's data, he shows HP dyes on HP paper being equal or better in some instances than Epson. Also remember that this is "display permanence". People seem to confuse this a lot with "archivability". To me, archiving would be storing in a box somewhere for a long time, unexposed to light or the environment. I don't know where you can find data about this.

    Sorry Eric if this doesn't help, but I just wanted to point out some issues with a lot of posts that show up about printers.
  8. I studied up on printers for months before buying a Canon i960 at TigerDirect, who had it on sale.

    Here?s a great site for in-depth printer reviews.

    Also, there's a wealth of information on printing on Norman Koren's site. He focuses on large format Epson printers, but it's worth scanning through, and he also has a list of great links.

    By the way, in the Canon line-up, there's the new Pixma printers, which don't impress me as a photo printer (they're built for all-around printing, with an extra black and duplex for brochures), so your best bet with Canon might still be the Canon i960. Still, Consumer Reports did just give the Pixma 4000 their Best Buy choice.

    Good luck.

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