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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Buying a Printer
I want some perdy pictures

 5:04 pm on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ive decided to buy a new printer to be able to print out some of my digital camea pix, and other regular pictures.
I want to get one of those all-in-one printer, scanner, copiers.

Now, when they say it can 4800x1200, is that better than 5720x760? or is 1200x1200 fine? Isnt 600 dpi already super good quality? Please tell me what I am missing here, I want to a have some knowledge going into the store.



 5:51 pm on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you want photo output for your own personal use, anything above 1200 should look great.

But most stores that sell a selection of printers will have laminated sample prints from each one sitting next to the display unit, so you can take a look and pick whichever one you like best. (I've even seen some stores that let you print sample images, but that's not too common anymore...)

Also, consider the ink each printer uses. The new Epson C series come with standard archival/waterproof ink now, which I think is very nice... but really doesn't make a difference unless you buy the super expensive archival photo paper to go with it... but if you want durable prints, water and fade resistance is something to look at.


 7:20 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, ive been looking at an epson and a cool looking HP printer/scanner/copier, both at the same price.

The epson prints at 48bit, compared to 36 bit. But it uses 4 printer heads, instead of 2. This good? More money?

Here's a comparison between the 2 [futureshop.ca] im thinking about.

[edited by: mivox at 7:39 pm (utc) on April 10, 2003]
[edit reason] edited long url into link [/edit]


 7:38 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Four ink cartridges (like the Epson) means that if you run out of one color ink (say, yellow) you only have to replace that one color. With only two cartridges (one for black and one for all three colors) if you run out of one color, you have to replace the whole color cartridge, even if the other two colors are still half full.

One problem with Epsons is that the print head is actually in the printer, not the cartridge... so if the print head gets messed up, you have to repair the actual printer. On a lot of other brands the print heads are in the cartridges, so if they get messed up, you just pop in a new cartridge.

So each one has its plusses and minuses. I like Epsons, but other people swear by HP... ;)


 4:19 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

hmm, i too prefer epson or cannon...

But is 4800x1200 worse than 5760x720? What exactly does that mean?


 4:50 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)


Over a year ago I asked the same question in a technical forum for a relative wanting to buy a printer for his digital photos.

There are a lot of knowledgeable folks over in the "Ars open forum / other hardware" forum at Arstechnica.com. Suggest you do a search there (printer digial photo) or post a question for current suggestions. Just go to the Arstechnica.com home page, click on the Ars open forum link, then select search or "other hardware" and I think you'll find the info you're looking for.

Take care,



 4:55 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Check out the HP 7350 or the HP 7550. I sell a lot of those ;) These two models are targeted for high quality color printing. For Epsons, check out the 825 model. Any of these three are awesome. The ink cartridge is something to consider as was noted above.

For all-in-one printers, yes, there is the CX3200. You also might want to have a look at the CX5200 (the 5200 has individual ink cartridges - the 3200 does not).... The Epson models are NOT stand along fax machines - you have to fax through the computer. If you are looking for a stand alone consumer fax machine, check out the HP 2210.


 5:02 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank you bradley (are you the kid from the dell commercials?)

Ive checked out the high end epson, and its jsut not really needed for me.. Already have a fax, and can jsut use fax software from my comp.

My mom gets free ink cartridges from work since they think she prints stuff out. will check out that 'other' ofrum..


 5:09 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can't know if 4800x1200 is lower resolution than 5760x720 without knowing additional information about the printer. A 300dpi laser printer might actually produce better quality than a 600dpi inkjet, because the dots are smaller and because the ink dries faster and is less likely to smudge.

IIRC Epson printers squirt four independent jets, whereas HP printers mix the ink before squirting it onto the paper. I suppose arguments could be made either way as to the superior method.

Printing photos takes a *lot* of ink on my machine (HP), though things may have improved in the three years since I bought it.

A combination printer/scanner/copier/fax is fine for home use, but let me be the first to warn you away from them for business use. If the fax part of it breaks down and you need to take it into the shop, you've lost the productivity of the three other devices and gained extra facetime with the manager of the local Kinko's.


 5:33 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

But is 4800x1200 worse than 5760x720? What exactly does that mean?

The resolution numbers given for inkjet printers don't quite match up with any standardized system like dpi or ppi. Ink droplet size is more important IMO, and as was mentioned, whether the printer mixes the inks or sprays it separately would also affect the output...

Like I said before, the best way to tell which printer you want is to go to a big store like OfficeMax or something, where they have a bunch of printers on display alongside sample prints from each. Then you can see the actual output of each one, and decide which you prefer.

Everyone's got a different preference. I've got two printers right now... an Epson C80 for everyday stuff, and an ALPS dye-sub/wax thermal for transfers and photos.

With printers, you can never tell exactly what you're getting -- quality-wise -- from a website description... see if you can find store display models and sample prints to compare.


 3:46 am on Apr 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well its official, i ran from work (soaking wet) to futureshop across the street and carried home my new epson all-in-one! Its sooooooooooooooo coool!

The people at futureshop are idiots, so i played with the outlets by the display printers and got a few to photocopy my wallet.... i was impressed by the epson, and bought it right away! It even came with a USB cable (which the guy said it didnt come with, so he made me buy one!).

Thanks for the info folks!


 1:59 pm on Apr 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have 2 epsons that have held up pretty well over the years. Have fun breakin it in :)


 5:38 pm on Apr 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yours came with a USB cable? Man... when I bought my C80, the guy at the store didn't say anything about needing a cable, so I drove home (about 40min. drive) and realized I needed to drive all the way back into town to get one. *grumble*

Maybe they finally decided that the cost of including cables was worth the goodwill they'd get from it...


 5:50 pm on Apr 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I purchased the Canon S9000 last Dec. and love it. Beautiful full color photos and the ink cartridges last a reasonably long time. At $12/each they're cheap to replace too.

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