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Photography Question 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
 

Printers for Digital Photos


I am looking to buy a printer for printing digital photos. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to buy based on price and quality. Thanks!


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3/21/2005 6:05:10 AM

 
John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
  Generally speaking, most inkjet printers deliver acceptable prints. The issue remains the cost and quality of paper and ink.
But, you should go for a photo-grade printer and, based on my experience, go for a printer that will handle 13X19 paper. That is, don't get trapped with a printer that handles 8.5X11 as its largest size - you're then limited to 8X10 prints.
Also, go for a printer that uses individual ink cartridges. That way, you change only the cartridge that becomes exhausted, not a multiple-color cartridge that still has one or more colors not exhausted.
There will be many arguments on manufacturers. Like the Canon vs. Nikon debate with cameras, you'll have supporters of Epson, Canon, and HP. I have a Canon and love it; however, I have to say that most pros use Epsons. I'd stay away from HP.
To start, use the papers supplied by the printer manufacturer. You can always try other manufacturers (Kodak, Ilford, Fuji to name a few).
But, everything I've read says to stay with the inks from the manufacturer. Perhaps someone else has experience with aftermarket inks.
Hope this helps.


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3/21/2005 6:40:14 AM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks John!! I was hoping to get a Canon since I am kind of partial to their cameras!! I will look into the Epson as well but it sounds like the Canon will suit my purposes for now.

Thanks again for your help!


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3/21/2005 8:29:04 AM

 
Gregg    Check out this lab. www.whcc.com
They are a professional lab and the prices are unbeatable. Should you need a personal printer, check out Kodaks thermo printers. They previouly sold an 8500 but now have a newer version at half the cost. 8x10 prints at $1.75


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3/22/2005 5:49:28 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Gregg. I went to the website and I have a question. on the questionnaire it asks for the name of a studio. Do they do prints for just regular people or just photo studios?


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3/22/2005 5:55:33 PM

 
Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2002
photosbyphotobug.com
  Tammy: I shoot with Canon cameras and had a Canon Printer, which did very well, but only printed up to 8x10's. When I was looking to upgrade the photo printer, I bought the Epson 2200 and I really love it. The prints come out better than I thought they would. One reason I went with Epson over Canon was the choice of papers. Epson has many more papers to choose from and each gives your image a very different, unique look. Their Lustre paper is fantastic. I did portraits of my 2 year old grandson and printed them on Lustre and they look like they came from a lab...only better!!

I saw the Epson Rep at my computer store over the weekend and she told me Epson is coming out with a new printer, the 1800, which will have a red and blue ink tank in addition to the other tanks. It will print up to 13x19 like the 2200, but will sell for about $500. This may be a printer you might want to check out.

Don't rush with your decision. Check out all your options, and make paper variety one of your options. Once you start printing images, you will want to experiment with all types of paper. Also, printers are made to print on their own paper.

I agree with John...don't get an HP printer. They are great for office setups (I use one at my office), but they just aren't up to Canon and Epson quality when printing photos. Also HP paper is not the greatest.


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3/22/2005 6:30:10 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you very much, Pat for your information. Sounds like the Epson would be better in the long run. The 2200 might be my best bet - right now, I would only use it to print out shots to hang on my walls or send to my family.


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3/22/2005 6:37:56 PM

 
Jim Wilson   Tammy; I upgraded from a Canon i950 that would only 8x10's to a Canon i9900, and love it. It has 8 individual ink tanks including dedicated red and green.

As to paper, the Canon rep where I bought the printer told me to use Epson papers - larger selection than Canon - and in my humble opinion produce better results.

I use Canon ink in the i9900 which is reserved for printing photos (up to 13x19), and the i950 for "snapshot" printing and all other printer needs.


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3/22/2005 7:16:35 PM

 
John D. Gretzinger   I have been looking for a good printer (inkjet) as well and have been going back and forth between the Epson 2200 and Canon i9900. I had been leaning toward the Epson, but finally purchased the Canon. My reason for the Epson leanings had to do with the longevity of the inks. Canon does not advertise their life and finding that information was difficult (I met a Canon factory printer rep who finally gave me the 75 year plus information).

I like the colors available from the Canon - the blacks are truer as well as a nice flat black.

Either the 2200 or the i9900 should give you great results until you can get a Sony UPD70XR Dye Sublimation printer, but at $7,700 for an 8x10 printer you really need a great excuse for buying one.


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3/22/2005 11:57:12 PM

 
esta    i too am looking for a printer but was told to buy a laser printer any comments?


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3/23/2005 3:53:44 AM

 
Steve Parrott
LightAnon.com
  You will never equal a PRO lab for the best results, but that has already been argured here, so that being said, I am satisfied with my Canon i9900 for personal use prints. I have use Epsons, and HPs. The Epsons are S-L-O-W compared to the Canon, and I personally do not think the Epson puts out a better photo than the Canon. I actually liked the results of my HP, but it would only give decent results with HP paper and inks, which are both VERY expensive. It also went through ink at a horribly fast rate. So, overall, the Canon is a good choice for *me*.


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3/23/2005 8:52:02 AM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Jim, John, and Steve!!! It looks like a dead heat between Canon and Epson. I am partial to Canon because those are the only cameras I have ever owned. I think what I may do is try an online lab until I figure out exactly how many prints I will be requesting. If it turns out to be a lot, I will invest in a printer. Thank you all so much for your help and expertise on this subject!! It is tremendously appreciated!!!


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3/23/2005 8:56:58 AM

 
Dick Maclauchlan   I have also been researching printers. I found help at FLAAR who prints reports on the printers they use. My research so far has me leaning toward the HP 130. This is a wide format (24') printer with "Archival" inks and sells for under $2,000.00. The problem with most home use printers (beside the small size) is that the stunning results fade very very fast. I am doing my own fade test now with prints from the HP130, the Epson 7600 and my home use Canon S800. My results also are pointing to the HP printer. You might also look to a company called Wilhelm for additional info on print longevity. Good luck and I like your photos.
Dick


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3/23/2005 3:54:38 PM

 
Claudia Gathercole
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/14/2004
  Tammy, I have been using the Epson 2200 for all of my clients, for over a year and love it. I am my own lab and only use Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl Paper. I only use Epson inks though. I started with the Epson 1280 (which I still have and use for contact sheets). My cameras are Canon but my printers will always be Epson. Happy Shooting.


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3/23/2005 4:00:24 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you so much Dick and Claudia for your information! I really appreciate your taking the time to respond!!!


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3/23/2005 4:14:55 PM

 
GARY FESPERMAN   Hi Tammy
I'M a Potographer and Instructor. I work at YPG in Yuma Arizona ( a testing center for the Army ) prior to this I was a Combat Photographer in the Marine Corps. And I also teach Photography/ Digital Photography at Arizaona Western College.
I have tried Canon, HP and Epson Printers. I use Epson printers, both personally and Professionally.
They are the BEST! The 2200 is a Great printer for prints up to 13 x 19.
I have also heard of Epsons new 1800 printer, 8 ink system. One is actually a Gloss Optimizer.I have not used one, at this point I also know of no who has
personally at this time. But Epson is claiming a 200 year print life with their Archival Matte prrint. Epson has the longest lasting prints and Great looking prints.I have used several of the Epson papers, Gloss, Semi Gloss, Matte, Water color, and last but the best I think is their Luster paper.
With the Epson 2200 its about 80 years
print life. I also use the 1280 Epson, and several other of their photo grade printers, including the Epson 300 & 320
which does 8 1/2 x 11 paper, uses 6 inks. Great results for a printer that cos aprox. $200.
Epson, Cannon, and HP all make prints that look Great, but they do not last as long as Epson prints.
If you are not a patient person the Canon 9900 is much faster than Epson or
HP. Also Epson has a wide variety of papers. I have also used Kodak, and Ilford papers with Epson printers.
I like the Kodak Satine, and their new PRO Luster papers. With Ilford I like their Smooth Pearl, and Smooth Gloos papers.
Many people like Glossy papers. But they also have the shortest life span.
These prints also scratch and finger print easier than some of the other paper surfaces.
Best of luck in your choice and printing.
Gary


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3/24/2005 7:21:32 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you very much for your expertise in this area, Gary!! I don't worry too much about speed - quality is always the better bet. Someone else mentioned the new Epson as well so I will have to take a look at it!!

Thanks Again!


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3/25/2005 4:07:19 AM

 
Darlene K. Anderson   I have an Epson R800 and have loved it. I now have an Epson R1800 on order. Do you want to print more glossy or more matt pictures? Each printer seems to best at one type of printing. Darlene


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3/25/2005 1:09:13 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Darlene! I went online today and looked at some Epson printers and there were a couple that I really liked!


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3/25/2005 1:38:24 PM

 
Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2004
  Hi, All...

I just purchased an Epson Stylus Photo RX500 about a month ago. It does absolutely amazing 4x6 prints, and really good 8x10's.

It's one of those "Do it all" printers that will scan, copy, print photos, etc. I didn't spend an arm and a leg on it because I send anything larger than 8x10 out to a professional lab, but for the money I spent, I couldn't be happier with it.


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3/25/2005 2:21:00 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Hey Julie!!! That is one that I looked at today and it looked like a very good deal!


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3/25/2005 4:23:04 PM

 
Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2004
  :) I picked mine up at Sam's Club and paid less for it than they had listed on the Epson site.


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3/25/2005 4:25:59 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Really?!? We have a Sam's Club here and I am a member! Guess I know where I am going tomorrow!!!


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3/25/2005 4:35:24 PM

 
Kathy D. Wilson   I was unhappy with local processing, so did my research and wound up with the Canon Pixma ip8500 ($349) and it's FABULOUS. The only thing it doesn't do well (and from what I've seen, no consumer printer does) is print b&w, and even there it's not *bad* just not as good as it could be. But other than that? It's flawless. Color is superb, easy to use, it has 8 separate ink tanks so you never "waste" ink in replacing colors. Photo cyan and photo magenta will run out first, but I printed nearly 300 images before this happened. (mainly 4x6, but also a dozen 8x10's, and about the same 5x7) It's also as quiet as you can possibly want. I *still* look over at it to make sure it's working! It doesn't take memory cards though - if you want the same print head/ink tanks etc, then go for the Pixma ip9900 for 150 more.


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3/26/2005 12:43:37 AM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thanks Kathy!! I am getting so much input that I am almost back to where I started!! :) I like the idea of having separate ink tanks and I have been told that photo printers have more colors which is a good thing as well. I guess what it will boil down to is what is the best one I can get at a reasonable price. Since I just purchased the Digital Canon Rebel, price will be one of my main concerns for right now - at least until I can find out if my shots are worth displaying somewhere other than on my living room walls! :)


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3/26/2005 6:35:08 AM

 
Kathy D. Wilson   Tammy -- I should mention I'm also a Canon user (A95 for now, but that Rebel XT is tempting!) and use the Canon paper with the printer. The results - imo - are *better* than standard processing elsewhere, and not only because of the cropping issue. I think the colors are better, and the image as crisp/clear as when I took it. The ip8500 prints up to legal size - the 9900 prints larger than that. I tried Epson, HP, and Lexmark (*garbage* avoid Lexmark at all cost!) with my own pictures (don't trust what's in the machine!) and Canon -- *any* Canon - won hands down. Results were best using Canon paper, but quite good on some others as well. I don't see why everyone raves about Epson - I was unimpressed, and *hate* their paper.


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3/26/2005 10:25:29 AM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  That was something I had thought about as well - wondering if it would be better to stick with Canon since that is the camera I have! Thanks for letting me know!


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3/26/2005 11:59:12 AM

 
GARY FESPERMAN   Hi Tammy
It doesn't make any difference what your camera is - it's the printer -
GO EPSON - YOU want be sorry!!!
Gary


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3/26/2005 12:23:50 PM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  I wish I could afford to just buy two printers then no matter what, I would have the right printer for the job! :) Maybe I will see if any of my friends here have both and see if they will let me do some printing.


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3/26/2005 12:33:42 PM

 
Rob Martin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Ok Tammy Listen Here:
I was in your situation back in christmas, Trying to find that perfect printer. EPSON AND CANON are great, now, I took a picture and went to Best Buy and had it printed out on an epson Printer and a Canon Printer. It was a tough choice to make. Tney Both Look awesome.
Now Epson's Ink cartridges are a little pricier than Canon. That's a good difference there. I bought The Canon Pixma IP6000D. For $149.99 after mail in rebate or...$179.99 depending who sells it cheaper you will get an excellent printer that can give you excellent pictures and not put a hole in your wallet. the Epsons are pricier and their inks cost more. With the canon pixma ip6000d, it has an LCD display, memory card reader for CF and SD cards and is pictbridge capable.
So basically you can take this printer away from your computer and still be able to crop,enhance,and print wonderful pictures without a computer and even from your camera. I took it to Christmas eve party at my grandparent's and hey, I gave them all some awesome christmas pictures, not a single complain from anybody, They just loved the picture quality. So you get a printer that has amazing quality, actually prints 8.5x11 (Borderless...oh yeah.)5x7 and 4x6 . did I mention borderless? oh yeah. I bought the New Canon Rebel XT, and believe me, My god. you just have to see how wonderful the pictures look. I saw the Epsons. They are not bad, but you know.. for much less money you get a whole lot more.Money is tight with you right? it was with me, and I made a wise choice. Go for the Canon Pixmas..you won't regret it trust me, just go and print some demos and see for yourself.Remember the Model # IP6000D from Canon.
Hope this helps and doesn't get you back to square one in making a decision.
sincerely
Rafael


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3/29/2005 6:43:54 AM

 
Tammy Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/10/2004
  Thank you so much, Rafael!!!! I think my decision has been made. Money is an issue and I guess I really to want to stick with Canon - at least for right now!! Thank you so much for your help!


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3/29/2005 6:58:23 AM

 
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