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The Best Color Printer under $400
for printing home photographs

 6:03 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

My wife and I are seriously considering a digital camera/printer combination. Too much frustration with our old film cameras. Plus she wants to make Christmas cards and hates the fact that she has to wait to see if a picture came out ok.

So the camera of choice (at this moment) is the Canon A40.

The printer is up for grabs. What are your thoughts?



 6:16 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Epson 1290 or Canon S900
- +A3 size prints
- Good quality and value
The Canon is also ultra quick.

There is also a 1290s replacing the 1290 but the cost will obviously be more.


 8:45 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is it reasonable to hope that I might find a dye sub that can handle A4 in this price range?


 9:10 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with the Canon.

I deal with Canon in the UK. When this range of printers was released over here, the ink cartridges went into short supply (Canon underestimated). In fact, the printer itself went into short supply (Canon even underestimated that - the printer was so good that people flocked to buy them and Canon could not import them fast enough)


 10:21 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> Is it reasonable to hope that I might find a dye sub that can handle A4 in this price range?

I wish it was - I would have one myself :).
Second-hand you might be able to find one.

Kodak has a new A4 dye sub (8500) starting at around $1000.


 6:28 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

in my opinion it depends what your expertise is

Canon and Kodak make great printers and scanners and rather iffy software to support them...Epson aren't quite as classy with the hardware, but they are better at the computing side...HP are better still at the computing side though I would contend are getting a little too cheap and nasty with the hardware

so if you can handle difficulties with software compatibility, or if you NEED absolutely top of teh range print quality then Canon/Kodak at al are the way to go...if you want it to be easy to set up and use then Epson are ideal...if you need it to be on a network then it may be necessary to settle for HP


 6:36 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Can we stray for just a minute?

How is the computer side software for Epson and Canon these days?

(I'm not overly thrilled with HP's - it's too bloated and slows the machine down too much and uses too many resources)


 7:09 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)


Regarding your desire for an all-in-one unit - I work for a computer manufacturer, so I have a little experience with this. We also sell Epson and HP printers. If you are fond of brand names, the HP 2210 [h10010.www1.hp.com] is a great, compact all-in-one printer. It has memory card readers, good copying, scanning and printing capabilities. If you fax more than 3 documents at a time, this is not the printer for you (that is its major limitation because it is not a form-feed machine.

A bulkier all-in-one HP is the G85 [h10010.www1.hp.com]. The advantage of the G85 is that is has a form feed fax. This unit definitely has a "small business" look to it (its kinda bulky).

Epson has a few multi-functions but I am not a great fan of epson's multifunctions. You can't fax right from the printer. Instead you have to use software and fax from the computer, so I'm told. How or if this works on a cable modem - i don't know. :)

Our company doesn't carry Canons so I can't speak to those.

BTW, my computer here at my desk is connected to an HP 500. Its so old it doesn't even have color - but it runs like a champ!


 9:05 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

...very happy with my HP 5550. The photo ink is a little pricey, but it's so much better than my old HP 722c that I don't complain...


 1:19 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Canon S900 - amazing printer.


 2:17 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

It seems that most of you have opted for the inkjet color.

How long have your photos lasted once you printed them out? Did you just reprint the image? By lasted I mean, faded, changed hue, etc. It's the only reason I'm considering a dye sub printer. I'm currently wrestling with springing for an Olympus P-400 as it seems to be the lowest cost dye sub out there with the ability to handle 8.5 x 11 paper/card stock. Yeah, it's a bit more than I was hoping to spend.


 2:27 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Brett: How is the computer side software for Epson and Canon these days?

(I'm not overly thrilled with HP's - it's too bloated and slows the machine down too much and uses too many resources)"

we recently had major problems with our HP scanner...drivers were not available for download when we had a slightly different substitute scanner sent for the one that failed completely...when I got the replacement CD a week later I found out why...that's an enormous amount of software simply to lock the user out of all the decisions involved in the process of setting up a scan...unfortunately we only had one workstation capable of using the scanner software and actually having enough spare RAM to make a scan larger than a postage stamp...we sold it

I don't know Canon...but on the software side Epson isn't trying to be as clever as HP and that makes it a little leaner and a little more reliable, though I'm told there are still problems sometimes with Epson over networks


 5:37 pm on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Don't forget to check the prices of the cartridges BEFORE you buy.

The Kodak printers mentioned above are very good. In the UK you can pay between 40-50 for a single cartridge for some of their unique machines (non-uniques machines are identical to Lexmark - made in the same factory - you can get Lexmark cartridges for these, but you could also get the Lexmark printer which would be identical!).

As a comparison, you can get Epson and Canon cartridges for 10-20. HP and Lexmark are about 25-35.


 6:14 am on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

gsx: "Don't forget to check the prices of the cartridges BEFORE you buy."

a colleague and I were looking at printer and cartridge prices a while back and reckoned that at one company's prices for lower range HP printers, if you paid for one of the IT staff to change the ink cartridge it was actually cheaper to order a new printer

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