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So the camera of choice (at this moment) is the Canon A40.
The printer is up for grabs. What are your thoughts?
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)
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
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!
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.
(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
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.
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