Worth Ungrading Printer

  Dark Knight 00:41 05 Apr 2003

I am currently printing many photographic prints (10x8 inches) from my Epson 680 (with resolution cranked right up). When compared to some I sent off to be printed there is quite a difference.

Am I likely to get better quality with a newer printer? (I realise the quality will never be that of a professional printers) or is there very little difference between inkjet colour printers?

  Djohn 01:58 05 Apr 2003

Yes, you will see a major difference with a new printer. For two years I was using an Epson 600, and this was excellent, I thought it would take some beating.

Approximately six weeks ago I purchased a HP 7350, and was amazed at the difference both in quality and speed. Printers have moved on quite a bit this last 12-18 months.

If you are looking for true photo. quality, then there are several printers in the £250-00 to £300-00 price range for you to look at, and I will even go as far as saying, *You can achieve better quality prints yourself*, than any that are produced by the in-house photo. developing/printing firms.

This does not of course apply to high quality negative film used in a large format camera, and developed by a specialist company.

  Dark Knight 13:50 05 Apr 2003

Many thankS

Any reccomendations of printers within this range.

  pj123 15:41 05 Apr 2003

Try the Epson 915 around £110 plus VAT from ebuyer at click here this printer has Print Image Matching. You can also plug most Digital Camera Cards direct in to the printer.

I have the Epson 895 which is the previous version and I get really good prints without using photo editing suites like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop.

  Djohn 16:59 05 Apr 2003

click here and do a search for printer test/comparison.

Although an American site, the reviews will still apply. For mainly photo reproduction, then I think you need to look at the models that have separate ink tanks, some have up to 7 separate ones.

This gives you more choice of accurate colour selection, and also if one colour runs out, then just replace that one, instead of a cartridge that has still a lot of ink left but one of the colours has run dry and will no longer work.

  Djohn 17:06 05 Apr 2003

PS. If you can wait, then a phone call to the major printer company's with a request for a print from the actual printer you are interested in will provide you with a guide as to the quality of print.

Then you can weigh this up against running cost and speed of operation to suit.

Remember though, the initial cost of the printer is a one off expense, the running cost can determine how much you will use the printer. J.

  Diemmess 18:18 05 Apr 2003

It's the law of diminishing returns...... Your 680 is a very good printer.

In order to have better prints you need a more dedicated Photo Printer + the best quality paper you can find.

Each "improvement" will impress you with the better quality and impoverish you with the cost.......Its your choice.

Even if your colour prints are superb, there is a trade off - in black text which is not all that special, so you start thinking of Laser printers for all but colour....now there is an idea!

  Dark Knight 12:39 06 Apr 2003

THanks again for the responses I have received so far. I will ceratinly be looking over the reccomendations and links over the coming weeks.

slightly different question but with the same aim.

would a "cheaper" colour laser printer produce better quality prints than a very good inkjet printer? What is the general rule of thumb as i realise it will vary from printer to printer?

I am not too worried about overall running costs. I find my Epson 680 to be pretty good for running costs and can therefore continue using this. What I am looking for is a printer that can reel off high quality photo prints for less than what they are when I send them off to the in-house photo developers.

  AragornUK 12:43 06 Apr 2003

Just got a Hewlett Packard 5550 (without photo cartridge for now)

THe differenc is huge, and it's not even a top-range photo printer. Normal Black & Tri-Colour carts on gloss paper came out great. Not bad for under £120

  mikef™ 12:45 06 Apr 2003

Answer to your latest question is no, I have read somewhere recently that colour laser printers can not match the new photo quality printers for quality.

  Djohn 13:13 06 Apr 2003

I also assure you that the high quality ink-jets, that I pointed you to, will give text output that is almost as good as the *best* laser printers.

I have done a comparison of two printouts, One from a good quality ink-jet, and the other from a medium price laser. (Brother) and the ink-jet is actually better at all, but the smallest text size, and even then you need to look very close under a good light.

I use the laser for printing newsletters and mono posters for our Housing scheme, where I need fast and inexpensive output, but for personal letters, I use my HP 7350 on quality setting, It looks much better.

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