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Direct photo printer experiences...

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by dejongj, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Hi,

    I have just bought, well awaiting the delivery now, a Sony DSC-P10 for my wife's as she wanted a small point-and-shoot camera. I am now trailing the net to find the 'best' direct photo printer.
    Main reason for a direct photo printer, direct from the memory stick, is to make it as easy as possible to produce photo's. My home office is still not sorted, so she doesn't have to switch on a computer.

    Anyway my short list contains the following printers and I was hoping to here any feedback from actual users.

    Canon S830D
    Epson 925
    HP PSC-2210
    HP Photosmart 7762
    HP Photosmart 7960

    On paper the 7960 seems to take my preference as steves-digicams has got a very good review and the difference in the black-and-white picture compared to a canon is quite astonishing...

    Anyone got real life experience with any of these printers...

    Cheers,
     
  2. nunew33

    nunew33
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    One thing worth noting about the canon is cost of cartridges and the fact that there isnta tricolor cartridge so less waste (ie you dont throw away all three colors when only one has run out).

    This may not be an issue, but if cost is an issue its worth noting this.

    Also the comparison of the HP and canon - the canon is the pro printer not the S830D, its worth getting a demo rather than trusting the laminated cards that usually are on display
     
  3. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Yeah I will try to get a demo. Would you think the pro is better or worse than the S830D...
    I do like the idea of seperate ink cartridges, however realistically that should be put in context as well I think. Take for example 6x£9.99= £59.94 versus 2x£22.99=£45.98. One will need to keep a printer likes this for a long time or print off an awfull lot of photo's to notice the diference in your pocket.
    Then again my favourite, on paper, the 7960 has got three ink cartridges providing 8 colours....So that will make the Canon look economical....

    Anyone actually ownes one of these printers? Do you all print via the computer? Or via a printing service? Or not at all....
     
  4. woody67

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    Do these canons still use the separate print heads and ink tanks?

    My epson photo has the heads combined with the ink cartridge, so you just replace the cartridge. However, a friends who has always bought canon, not only has to replace the ink tanks, but also the head unit after every few '000 characters.

    I would not print directly to printer, as I like to check the picture first, and do any contrast or brightness etc tweaking first.

    Also, especially for skin tones, you may want to callibrate the printer to properly reproduce colours.

    The concept of just putting your memory card into a printer and printing off all your pictures is a good, but very expensive one. But it is far better to display the pics on the computer first, edit them, and then print exactly the ones you want.

    woody
     
  5. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Hi Woody...

    Some interesting points made, but I tend to disagree for the following reasons.

    1. If you take a good picture in the first instance, you can't improve the source in the literate sense of the word. Yes you can change it on a computer, but then it is no longer the picture that one took is it...
    2. This maybe contradictionary to point 1 but I think still relevant. The printers have built in functions for contrast improvement (if you like that kind of thing), red-eye removal, cropping, rotating, etc...
    3. Some of the models listed have a preview screen so you can see the picture before printing...
    4. Then again you don't really need point 3 as the camera has got that same screen as well.
    5. For the normal day-to-day snaps I do not think that adjusting the brightness etc is feasable. One would spend the whole day at the computer. Besides for those who did not have a darkroom at home, we never did that nor felt the need for everyday snaps. For those special portrait ones that we want to frame, yes I may spent some time to artistically digitally retouch and 'enhance' the images.
    6. Regarding printing exactly those you want, there are various methods. Direct from the functions of the camera using the camera preview window. Preview on the printer using the build-in lcd display. Print out an index sheet and type in the number you want. Or in case of the psc-2210 print out an index sheet, cross the pictures you want, scan it in and voila they appear.

    I didn't realise that Epson has got the print-head in the ink cartridges. I was in the understanding that HP was the only one who did that and that for Epson you have to send it to a service centre, and that for Canon you can do it yourself.

    Woody, could you educate me on why printing it direct from the memory cards is a very expensive solution? I couldn't really see a price-difference between the highly rated (read reviewed) models. But maybe I am missing something....

    Oh and I nearly forget, you say something about calibration for skin tones. What is that and how do you do that for skin tones only? Or are you talking about the overall color calibration? I am not too educated on this subject, but would the Exif information stored alongside the photograph not take care of that?

    PS What printer/camera combination are you guys/girls using?
     
  6. woody67

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    The majority of digicams still do not produce as good as image as traditional. Noise and colour saturation are examples. So many pictures could benefit from a little help to attain a print equal to a traditional photo. Phot printers can print excellent prints, but will not make a poorly saturated picture look any better

    1. You can improve/make more life like the picture taken (which incidentally is not really the picture you thought you had taken - only a digital representation of it) by a few little tweaks prior to printing . Don't confuse this with editing (eg removing a telegraph pole) but consider it as bringing it back to the picture you thought you had taken and the picture you wanted.

    When you send your films away to be developed, the processor makes some tweaks to saturation and contrast to enhance the prints. You will be doing no different to this.

    2,3,4. The printers built in enhancement features, and the cameras small limited screen, do not let you really see how the pic will look at 6 x 4 or 8 x10. When you pint the image and scale it up, you are also scaling up the noise and other minor imperfections to an extent that they can spoil the picture.

    5. True, we never bothered with picture adjustments from film - we just acepted the prints back from the developers. However, the developers did the adjustments for us.

    6. Yes, you can certainly select the files you want printed. But the 5 files you select to print, may not be the 5 pictures you would have printed when you see the results.

    Regards the epson printers, what I meant was that the printhead is a non-replaceable part and lasts as long as the printer. With the older canons, you had to replace the print head after a while. This added to the cost.

    The concept of putting your card into a printer and printing out your pictures is good. But if half of the pictures come out rubbish, then those are an expensive waste of paper and ink. You could afford this with film, as the cost per print was much lower. But you do not really want to be printing pictures that then go straight in the bin.

    If you want to print all the pics, then one of the on-line printers is much better value.

    Yes I was refering to monitor and printer callibration, and this is important for skintones, as we tend to notice off colour skin - especially if its our own!

    I use an epson photo ex for general pictures. However I have embraced the digital age and tend to keep all my pictures on computer and have them displayed as a permanent screen saver on various wall mounted flat panels around the home, or view them on the TV.

    Larger pics edited for impact, I get printed from a photo printers
     
  7. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Cool Woody, thanks for the timely and exhaustive response.

    I have seen the result and liked it very, very much. So I just bought the HP 7960 8ink printer.

    We could have a long debate about colour calibration between monitor and printer. Let alone to add a CRT, LCD, Plasma and potential a projector in the equasion. It is a near impossible task to get them all calibrated, at least one that I do not find worth the effort.
    I do not know what PC's are like these days, but there used to be a large different in the white-point compared to TV and Macintosh.....

    Thanks for the advise though...
     

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