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Epson or HP photo printer ?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Red Kite, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    Hi,

    I have decided to purchase a photo printer.
    I had decided on the Epson R300 ( £80 ) but then i discovered the HP Photosmart 7960 could be purchased for £120.
    I have read some favourable reviews of the HP 7960 when it was priced over £200, so is it a bargain at £120 ?
    Would i be gaining anything by splashing out an extra £40 on the HP ?

    Views and comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. kiebler

    kiebler
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    i own an r300 and its an excellent printer. in the photographic mags it came out 3rd best but it was behind canon ip8500 (£328) n epson r800 (£250) so you get the most value for the money
     
  3. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    Thanks for the reply kiebler.

    I must admit that i am still tempted by the HP 7960.
     
  4. RekalinSimms

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    I don't have that specific HP model, but I do have a HP OfficeJet and a HP Photosmart 375. I'm very happy with both of them so far.
     
  5. condyk

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    The R300 is awesome. But check out the cost of replacement cartridges for any model you are interested in.
     
  6. 7up4it

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    I have just bought the R300 from Currys for £99.99, however I should have purchased from ebuyer for £108.88 + delivery as this model has the 2.5 inch preview monitor, I was under the impression (unless i'm doing something wrong with my Fuji digital camera??) that you could view the image you wanted to print on the cameras own screen however this is not the case! it just comes up saying USB mode and doesn't display any picture. You can print off an index however this seems like a little "over kill" and a waste of paper & ink, am I doing something wrong with the camera? the monitors can be bought separately however they cost over £70.00 :eek:
    How annoying is that :rolleyes:

    I liked the idea of this type of printer as it could print directly from the camera/memory card without the need for a computer.

    Can anyone offer me any advice please?
     
  7. fraggle

    fraggle
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    Just bought an R300 for £80 from Amazon. Could have got it for £130 together with the little colour preview monitor, but as its sitting next to the computer it seemed a little pointless getting that!

    Love the print quality, excellent!

    Another thing I love is that when you connect it to the computer, the card readers built into the printer act as card readers for the computer, connected via USB2, so work nice and fast! :)
     
  8. fraggle

    fraggle
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    What you can do is sit down with the camera (not connected to anything else), choose which pictures you want to print, you tell the camera which pictures you want to print and how many copies, and then connect it to the printer, and use a special print mode that reads the info about what pictures and how many copies you just entered, and prints out what you want. Can't remember what this mode is called (DCIM?) but someone wot knows will be along shortly :)
     
  9. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Probably not comming as a surprise, but I got the HP 7960. I actually bought it at the full price of £249 when it was first released in the UK. Would I buy it again, most definitely...at £119 it is an absolute no brainer and I would still pay £250 for it...

    I love the form factor for the paper mechanism, also like the fact that it has two trays; one for 6x4 and one for A4 or other large...Although it is a manual switch between the two....

    The print quality is fantastic, but when you go on HP Premium Plus paper in the maximum dpi setting it just incredible...

    Speed comparison...I don't know, not really an issue for me when the quality is that good...

    Running costs...Very good...60 sheets of 6x4 Premium plus are £11...And ink cartridges run at £13 each....

    In addition it supports direct printing with good results, has got every memory card reader under the sun and when connected via USB it can even be a memory card reader for your windows machine...

    Drawbacks - It shakes a lot when printing on it and you have to spend some time clearing out all the rubbish HP installs together with their drivers...Just don't understand why manufacturers insists on these phone-home applications that just eat up resources....


    Side note: I purely and only use this machine for photo printing. Never even tried to print anything else on it...For my daily printing needs I use an HP1220C A3/A4 printer....Both are connected to the network using a 4-port USB server...

    Advantage of the R300 over the HP7960....I would like to be able to print directly onto DVD/CD....
     
  10. 7up4it

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    Hi Fraggle,

    Thanks for that, I did try doing that last night while "playing" however the numbers of the photo's stored on the memory card don't marry up with the numbers on the printer, unless I can somehow reset the numbers on the cameras memory card to begin from 1 which would make things a lot easier?

    Cheers
     
  11. fraggle

    fraggle
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    You should be able to reset the cameras photo numbering back to start at zero, but you shouldn't need to.

    The way my Nikon D70 lets me do this is as follows:-
    I enter the "Print Set" option
    Choose "Select/set"
    It presents me with a little 2 x 3 grid of thumbnails of all pictures on the CF card.
    Using the cursor pad I move round these. Left/Right selects the picture, Up/Down adjust the number of copies.

    I can then plug it into my printer and it'll print off the pictures I want.

    Whatever the files are called, I don't care. The camera and printer hide all that detail from me.

    I've just downloaded the manual for a Fuji F700 (don't know your exact model, but they'll all be roughly the same way of operation for any one manufacturer)

    That says to do this:-
    Turn camera on.
    Select playback mode.
    Press Photo Mode 'f' button.
    Press '<' or '>' until DPOF is displayed
    If you want the date printed on your photos, select "With Date" else select "Without Date"
    Press 'OK'
    Using '<' and '>' select the picture you want printed.
    Use '^' and 'V' to select number of copies to print.
    Set number of prints to Zero to not print that image.
    Press 'OK' to save these settings.
    (if you press BACK the settings you just entered are lost)

    Then all you need to do is plug the camera or memory card into the R300, and that should automatically set the print type to DPOF and the number to the total number of prints you just set. Just hit "Print" to start printing them out.
     
  12. 7up4it

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    Hey Fraggle,

    Thanks for that :smashin: , my camera is the Fuji 5500.

    I will have a play about later on when I get home & try what you have suggested.

    Thanks again.

    John
     
  13. 7up4it

    7up4it
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    I should add that the pictures I have printed so far are excellent, I am really pleased I chose the Epson R300, just sorry I didn't get it with the 2.5" LCD monitor :(
     
  14. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    I was tempted by the HP 7960 so i have just placed an order for one, i will let you know how i get on with this printer when it arrives.

    Could i ask dejongi a question seeing that he already uses this printer ?

    Where do you purchase the 6 x 4 premium plus paper and the ink cartridges that you mentioned in your post ?

    Thanks.
     
  15. dejongj

    dejongj
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    The last time I order was:
    Paper from Amazon.co.uk
    Ink from ebuyer...

    I am confident that you like it!
     
  16. fraggle

    fraggle
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    No problem :smashin:

    Let us know how it works.
     
  17. 7up4it

    7up4it
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    Hi Fraggle,

    Worked perfectly! :smashin: (Didn't doubt you for a minute ;) )

    Changed setting on camera to Renew instead of continuous and it appears now to count up consecutively.........

    Thanks again.
     
  18. wsurfa

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    r200 (same printer without direct print stuff) - excellent quality, but quite slow. I use Ilford for glossy/pearl, photoglossy Super Matt (very good and cheap) and 3rd party ink from svp.co.uk (JetTec at 3.13 each)
     
  19. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    Wow that was quick. :thumbsup:

    I placed my order for the HP 7960 last night at 8pm and it was delivered at noon today.

    I had read some negative comments about Dabs.com but i cannot complain about that delivery time.

    Now off to get the printer up and running.
     
  20. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Wow that is really good! Quite a different experience compared to mine, I originally ordered mine via dabs.com for my wife's birthday to complement her digital camera which was also a present...A week later it was still not in sight, so I cancelled and spent £20 extra in PC World...

    Very good indeed...Let me know whether my advice was any good ;-)
     
  21. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    It caught me on the hop when the printer arrived today so i did not have time to stock up on paper and buy a USB cable.

    I have unpacked the printer and installed the cartridges and printed some photo's directly from my memory card.

    I have to say i have been really impressed by the quality of the photo's.

    I will get a cable so i can link up to my PC and print some more test photo's.

    My first impressions are that £120 as been wisely spent.

    Thumbs up from me for this photo printer. :thumbsup:
     
  22. dejongj

    dejongj
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    One word of advice when printing from the PC...Even when you select premium plus paper the driver tends to select Best quality settings. I was fooled in believing it is the best, but...it is not, there is a setting below it called maximum dpi which produces significantly better results and uses the gray photo cartridge whilst the other settings don't...

    BTW can't believe that HP still ships printers without cable...
     
  23. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    Thanks for that tip dejongi, i will remember that when i get the printer linked up to my PC.
     
  24. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    I have now got the software installed and the printer connected to my PC.
    But i am finding that the photos printed from images stored on my PC are to say the least blurry.
    If i print the same images directly from my memory card then the photo is sharp and the quality is excellent.
    I have been using the setting 'maximum DPI' as recommended by dejongi in a previous post.
    I have the set the paper type and size etc, is there something else that i should be doing ?

    The difference in photo quality between the two is considerable.

    I should add that i am new to digital photography so it may be me doing something stupid. :rolleyes:
     
  25. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I had that experience before as well...

    Check that you have the latest drivers...
    Also note that when printing directly from the card the printer is actually cropping a bit..
    Be very carefull that you are comparing like for like and that colormanagement in your PC is not messing things up..

    You can better the print-direct quality so much better via the PC...

    You can always PM me and send the culprit photo you have difficulties with..I can check what's up....

    My mind is blank, but I have been there before and there is a very silly, easy fix to it...So bear with me, or search the Internet...
     
  26. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    When i said that the photos where blurry that's not the best descption.
    A better description would be to describe them as pixaly (is that a word ?) even blocky in appearance.This blocky appearance gives the blurry effect and straight diagonal lines become like a flight of stairs.

    Printing directly from the memory card the photos are razor sharp.

    I do have the lastest drivers.
     
  27. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I know exactly what you mean RedKite...It is definitely a driver setting thing as I get rasoz sharp pictures via the PC, Laptop and Mac connected to it...Dont have the time now to look at it as I am having the weekend out with my wife and child (Nice shots at Bodiam Castle yesterday, Woburn today..)...

    Could you please let me know what type of file you sending to the printer;
    a) The original as it is on your memory card: so what camera, what settings, what resolution, what colour space, what file type
    b) Printing through your computer: what software application, what version is your driver, if the file format is changing what is it now...

    Remember the printer when printing directly from memory card does crop a little, it does show you on the screen. But it depends on what the original file is like; format and resolution. So if you don't do the same on the computer, the file will get scaled differently and you will get a different result.
     
  28. Red Kite

    Red Kite
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    Hi,

    My camera is a Panasonic DMC- FZ3
    Settings...
    Picture size 2016 ( 2016 x 1512 pixels )
    Quality fine ( Low compression )

    Images...
    JPEG Format ( Exif )
    Image size w 2016 x h 1512
    Colour 24 Bit
    Size 1,377,658 Byte

    I have been using the software that came with the printer 'HP Photo + Imaging' (version 1.1).
    I don't know what number the driver is but i ran a check from the HP website and that informed me that the driver was up to date.
    The image remains a JPEG
     
  29. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Aargh...Been playing to much with the settings...Print from the PC is razor sharp for me, but when I put my compact flash in it gets all a bit 'blurry' like the colours are running...So at least I have managed to recreate it, but in reverse...This is with my D70 6MP pictures...It is fine when printing direct from my wife's Sony 5MP on memorystick....And when printing from the PC and my Mac...
    This is such a simple thing to resolve but I can't remember it anymore...

    Are you using the premium plus paper?
     
  30. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I've sorted out my problem....All images on my compact flash card are in RAW format duh!!!! It doesn't have a built-in raw processor, so it extracted the embedded thumbnail and upsized it to 6x4 resulting in the horrible resultion...Duh!!! Silly me, guess it was a bit too much to expect....

    Still can't recreate the printing from the PC problem....Have you got any other software than HP own? It should work with HP's own of-course, but I never installed their software as it is so much on the hard-disk and system resources and it doesn't come close to what Adobe Elements does.....
     

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