Printer reviews

Got a great photo printer or in the market for one? Using an online photo printing service? Discuss them here!

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Printer reviews

Postby Gordon Laing » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:20 pm

Hi everyone, we're planning some printer reviews and wondered what sort of information you'd like to see in them?

In particular what results would you like to see, and how would you like them presented? Bearing in mind, any print samples would be scanned for reproduction, so you're also testing the scanner...

I can't promise we can include all your suggestions, but it would be great to hear your thoughts...
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Postby Bob Andersson » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:38 pm

Hi Gordon,

It might be useful to know how easy or difficult it is to calibrate a photo printer's output. I hardly ever print photos because the results look so different from those on my (still uncalibrated) screen. Maybe that's because my printer is currently an office type rather than a specialised photo printer?

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Postby Defiance » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:42 am

Hi Gordon, yes I would also like to know how best to setup my Canon MP600 Printer so that the output was the same as I see on the screen of my laptop. My laptop is an Acer Aspire 9302 featuring their "CrystalBrite LCD Screens so with it running at high performance and LCD Brightness at 100%.
I have just done a check on my screen resolution and it is 1440x960 which is it's native resolution, also found my way round to finding the ICC Profile for the color space. The ICC Profile for mine is sRGB IEC601966-2.1 with the file name sRGB color space profile.icm would I be correct in thinking that if I set the output ICC Profile in CS3 to the above that my photos would come out better when printed.
Hope this all makes sense.
Defiance
 

Postby Big Pix » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:03 am

The color calibration of both the printer and screen would be a good place to start....... along with correct work flows, difference printing from an Adobe RGB file. and sRGB file....... and the correct colour balance setup for your camera, and image software


and Colour Management would also be good....... it is very easy...... and covers most of the above....... most of it is ticking the right squares, then sorting out the screen and printer, easy........

BTW I use Epson printers, along with Epson and Ilford Stock
Big Pix
 

Postby Big Pix » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:04 am

Defiance wrote:Hi Gordon, yes I would also like to know how best to setup my Canon MP600 Printer so that the output was the same as I see on the screen of my laptop. My laptop is an Acer Aspire 9302 featuring their "CrystalBrite LCD Screens so with it running at high performance and LCD Brightness at 100%.
I have just done a check on my screen resolution and it is 1440x960 which is it's native resolution, also found my way round to finding the ICC Profile for the color space. The ICC Profile for mine is sRGB IEC601966-2.1 with the file name sRGB color space profile.icm would I be correct in thinking that if I set the output ICC Profile in CS3 to the above that my photos would come out better when printed.
Hope this all makes sense.


....... NO

need to go and do a few things back soon with a lot more info
Big Pix
 

Postby Big Pix » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:27 am

this will answer lots of questions...... it is worth printing out and referring to...... and I am sure gordon will also have lots of information.....

http://www.colourmanagement.co.nz/
Big Pix
 

Postby Kenneth Skou » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:43 am

I'd like to see info relating to the economics of printing yourself.

I'd also be interested in seeing comparisons between the output from a professional lab printer held against whichever model being tested.

Just as you are eminently consistent with your test shots it would be great to have consistency with the scanned printouts.

A bit tough though as camera, lens, printout, scan and PC monitor all get in between what you see and what we see.

As such, it would also be great to hear/see you describe how you perceive the differences and the quality - building some evaluative commentary on top of whichever test results and other findings you may have. You do this too for the other gear here - but maybe this particular topic can encourage more of it.

Looking forward to read your critical mind and eyes applied to photo printers :-)

Cheers!
Kenneth Skou
 

Postby Gordon Laing » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:36 am

Thanks everyone so far!

The first few suggestions relate less to a product review and more to a how-to workshop though... I could look into calibration in a future workshop, but it wouldn't be covered in a printer review unless the device came with specific software or hardware to do it...

Sorry!
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Postby marzy » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:12 am

How much ink costs, performance out of the box ahh, ill try and come up with more.
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Postby grahamnp » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:09 am

I'd like to see the print yields of the cartridges printed under everyday conditions, I'm not sure how accurate the manufacturer's figures are. Prints speeds under normal or high quality would be nice. The manufacturer's figures' seem to suggest that everyone prints in draft mode. :evil:
grahamnp
 

Postby Bob Andersson » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:45 am

Gordon Laing wrote:The first few suggestions relate less to a product review and more to a how-to workshop though... I could look into calibration in a future workshop, but it wouldn't be covered in a printer review unless the device came with specific software or hardware to do it...

No problem. I wasn't really thinking of a "how to" (though that's a great idea for a workshop!).

To use my HP PSC 2200 "All-In-One" printer as an example. The driver provides a "Color Management" tab where different colour profiles can be selected. In a separate dialog it also provides a "Color" tab with very coarsely grained sliders for "Saturation", "Brightness" and "Color Tone". I imagine that changing the colour space would need specialist software to generate a profile and the latter provides such coarse controls that I have never considered it worthwhile playing with them.

Possibly dedicated photo printers have much better controls to allow users to tweak the settings. The trouble is that I can't ever remember a review where the usefulness of such controls was mentioned.

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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HP C8180

Postby JasonKaye » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:15 pm

Hi Gordon.
It would be nice to see something on some of the new Multi-Function units like the HP C8180. Wireless printing, scanning and the ability to write to a DVD/CD with Light Scribe.
Is it to good to be true?
JasonKaye
 

Postby DavidL » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:25 pm

Yeah
Print quality !
Dye and ink-jets printers comparisons and which is better , home wise.
Compare normal photo printers against the newest dedicate photo-printer like Canon ES.

Thanks Gordon.
DavidL
 

Postby Gregory.Rotter » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:32 pm

well the usual stuff i guess, how fast they print, quality of prints, features (card reader, wireless?, direct print from usb memory stick, etc), how long the ink lasts (i had a cheapo canon that would chew ink only a black and colour one mind). Cost of ink.
Gregory.Rotter
 

Postby joseluissc » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:43 pm

Hi Gordon,

I found this topic right now... and I wonder, this idea still up?

I started to think two things.

- Workshops material
- Reviews material

On workshops material, I'd like you be more a chemist than a physicist man. (the physics also important too much, though)
But I think it will be important for us to know a little about technologies. I mean, continuous colour, inkjet, thermal sublimation, offset, and immersion. (I don't know how to refer in english the old labs colour print method, so I called immersion, but I guess still in use with the more recent amplicopys that have digital heads)
This no means to be exhaustive, though.
Other thing I think really important on workshops considering print, despite also valuable for screen/web is how to handle sharpness/blur and other artefacts that I think the most important is moire/mosaic/demosaic, and get really under the concept of terms like threshold/radius/amount and resizing methods.

On the review's side, I'm wondering what the price range you think to cover? (since you review a range from cheap to serious pro cameras)
So here I make a simply proposal. Can we make a pool that clarifies the type of target audience?
I don't know if it'll be fair, since I guess the reviews CL site it's not visited only by the forum community audience. On the other point, it will be fair to give some preference for the forum community.

well... guess I say before something to "no means exhaustive"... that's what I'm being right now :P

summarised:
- Workshops on technology (principles knowledge)
- Workshops on techniques (how to do/get)

- Reviews printers/categories
- Reviews on third party papers/other media

- Pool on "price range"; "profilable/non profilable"; to use as a "complement/all work" on photography prints.

bottom this I'll give you my example:
today I print on dye inkjet, last work was about 150 10x15cm prints plus 20 A4's.
My current printer on regular photo use its a canon ip4200, despite my early printers... the early was a model that have 8 inks (on a A4!!!)
Even so, I have a cheap multifunction brother for office use, and prints 10x15 quite good. although don't have profiling.

I'm intend to buy on a3/a2 in about 1 or 2 years... but I don't know if i'll invest on the pricey, or buy the cheaper plus a colour calibration system.

regards from,
joseluissc
 

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