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Thread: Question about printers

  1. #1
    niel
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    Default Question about printers

    Okay, after lurking around here, reading posts for quite some time, finally decided to register myself.

    I have posted the same question in HWZ, but wishing to get more convincing opinions here. I am currently deciding between Canon s520 and hp920c. Both are in almost the same price range in M'sia.

    I like s520 because of its cheap cartridge. Prefer hp920c because of its consistent quality. I have read through every single user opinions for both of these printers in Cnet. Obviously, nobody complain about hp photo quality. hp has better photo print out than s520 based on many reviews from Cnet, PcWorld and PcMagazine.

    To make it simple, my main concern is about the running cost of these printers. A little high over each other is okay, but not too high. I am heavy on printing photos, how many A4 size photos could these printers print before the ink runs empty? I am tempted to get hp, but I worry the ink will be empty even just 25 prints. I have heard many Canon users able to print 30 A4 photo, but still have >70% of ink.

    Anyone with experience with Canon and hp printers please comment. I have been deciding between these two models for months. Hope my research will end here.

    I will be printing photos/graphics most of the time. Many of you here recommend Epson810/890. I just worry about Epson's printhead. Normally, how long does the printhead last? I am just planning to use this printer for at most three years. I can't afford to have several printheads change in these three years. How about the cost of the ink? Are all these printers have less than S$1 of ink cost per A4 full colour photo?

    Many thanks for your time.

  2. #2

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    1. The 520 and the 920, being 4 colour printers, are generally not regarded as 'photo' printers. Although they print photos well, I can still tell the difference between 4 and 6 colour printers - 4 colour printers have lots of 'dots' in areas of uniform colour because they dither more.

    2. I don't own a 520, but someone on the forum just bought one.. maybe he'll tell u how many A4 pages per catridge(s).

    3. In terms of choosing a photo printer, the choice seems to be between the Epson 810 and the Canon 820. The Canon 820 has lots of other advantages but a higher price tag - $250+ more. Even if Epson 810 has more expensive ink, will the ink cost difference be $250+ over the lifespan of the printer....? Depends on how much one prints I suppose. (especially if you print black borders because the tiny Epson black ink cartridge price is ridiculous)

    4. Canon photo paper pro is one of the nicest (and more expensive) inkjet papers around.

  3. #3
    niel
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    Canon is good enough to send me several sample prints of S520 and S820. Frankly, I am really impressed with the quality. Canon BJC series gave me bad impression, but this newer series of Canon printers really.. superb!

    I hardly can notice any quality difference for S520(4 colours) and S820(6 colours). Maybe I just don't know how. Can anyone enlighten me by letting me know how to find the difference? I have been using magnifier to observe both prints, really can't find any difference! I can hardly or I should say I can never find any dots too on human skin, the fruits and light colour areas. Yes, I am "finding" dots to convince myself the 6 colours printers are better.

  4. #4

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    I'm not sure how the samples are generated (all mfgs not only Canon)... i.e. whether by an actual 'production' s520/820 (unlikely) or some 'industrial' model with a 'similar' mechanism (but then, reviewers have found that Epson 810 and 890, though with 'similar' mechanisms, 890 produces better output...) Anyway, most printer manufacturers know what sort of pics their printers can printe well....

    6 colour printers have (obviously) a larger gamut (able to produce more colours or shades of colours...) - somewhere between sRGB and AdobeRGB.

    A 'torture' test could be to print a nice landscape with a huge blue sky (AdobeRGB).... the increased dithering of a 4 colour printer (trying to cope with the various shades of blue) will become more apparent.



    Originally posted by niel
    Canon is good enough to send me several sample prints of S520 and S820. Frankly, I am really impressed with the quality. Canon BJC series gave me bad impression, but this newer series of Canon printers really.. superb!

    I hardly can notice any quality difference for S520(4 colours) and S820(6 colours). Maybe I just don't know how. Can anyone enlighten me by letting me know how to find the difference? I have been using magnifier to observe both prints, really can't find any difference! I can hardly or I should say I can never find any dots too on human skin, the fruits and light colour areas. Yes, I am "finding" dots to convince myself the 6 colours printers are better.

  5. #5
    niel
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    Default

    I thought of that. Which is why I send my files for them to print. One of the file I sent is a beach, with large blue sky. Another one is a human face. I have heard of "posterization"(sorry, don't know the right spelling) from some other website especially in large blue sky. That's the reason why I sent them a landscape photo on the beach. Surprisingly though, the sky is very smooth. I will request for another test print, at the office to proof it.

    BTW, any printers reviews website? Sort of like DCresource and Dpreview for digicam... Cnet for hardware...

    Hope to get more views from others. I don't think there is only erwinx here??

    Thanks!!

  6. #6

    Default

    http://www.popphoto.com/pdfs/colormanagp2.pdf

    the gamut chart shows the weakness of a 4-colour printer in green and blue, which is why a blue sky pic is a good test.

  7. #7

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    I know this is off track but it bears some consideration.

    Just curious Niel if you would be printing mostly A4s or 4Rs. If its the latter it may be cheaper & easier to sent your pics to photo lab for printing. Of course there is the luxury of having a spiffy printer at your command at home, the fun of experimenting and getting it just the way you want it but have you considered the alternative?

    I am using the Canon S800 and only recently got around to printing out pics. Did my first photo paper pro and man it looked good!

  8. #8
    niel
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    The digital printing shops are not as common as in Singapore at this moment. In my place, digital printing especially larger than 4R size is very expensive. The cost of printing it out is about 50% cheaper. Since I am printing a lot of A4 photos, it is better to get a printer as I can do it myself and at the same time save a lot of money. I like the idea of creating 16 A4 size photo, merge them by 4rows X 4 column and make it a really huge photo

    I have read through reviews and user opinions. Canon S series printer can print up to 45++ before the 1st ink tank runs out of colour. So the cost is really just about S$1 per print. Plus the paper cost, about S$1 also. Added up also won't be more than S$3 for sure, but for printing it in shops, it costs about S$4(I assume RM2 > S$1). This price is for normal film printing, never ask about digital printing, I am sure it is gonna be more expensive.

    The printer cost shouldn't really be included to the cost of printing because I also need it for printing for my mom's business product label. I really like the idea of individual ink tank because the labels have 80% of same colour(Red).

    Thanks for your opinion anyway!
    Last edited by niel; 16th July 2002 at 08:34 PM.

  9. #9
    konei
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    Like what the rest says, it is always better to use a 6 colour printer for photos and graphics. That is why it is hard to put the HP printers into the league.

    Here is my personal experience with 2 Epson printers about ink and printheads.

    Epson EX - used for 2+ years, used 10 colour and 6 blacks cartidges before printhead degraded and required a change. Still in operation.

    Epson 1270 - used for 2 years, used 8 colur and 4 black cartidges and printhead is still good (brought it for checkup) In fact, for 6 months, I did not turn on this printer and it had no stuck nozzle after I did an extended printhead clean.

    Cost of colour ink about $26, number of A4 pages it prints at 90% coverage at 1440 dpi usually > 27 pages.

  10. #10
    konei
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    Originally posted by niel

    The printer cost shouldn't really be included to the cost of printing because I also need it for printing for my mom's business product label. I really like the idea of individual ink tank because the labels have 80% of same colour(Red).
    Since it is for business, cost is secondary issue. Make sure it can do the job.

    Have you ever seen a product label that will smudge ? You need a lightfast and water resistant inkjet printer. For about $1800 buy a Epson 2100/2200 which is A3 pigment based printer with the equivalent colour gamut of the 1270. Individual high volume ink bottles. Just what you need.

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