Picture Snob

Photo Printers

December 31, 2008

Epson Artisan 700: Hands On Review

epsonartisan700_boygenius.jpgTake a cyber-stroll over to Boy Genius Report to get a hands-on look at the Epson Artisan 700. We've touted its merits already but think this is a great review if you want more nitty gritty. And if you are one of those folks who loathes actually going to a store to touch the precious object before you buy it online. It's on sale at Amazon for $143. Happy printing!

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 4, 2008

Review: Printstick PS910 Mobile Printer from PlanOn

planon_printstik910.jpgOkay, so the Printstick PS910 from PlanOn is a pretty interesting device. While not a photo printer by any means, we thought it was worth checking out since we are a little fascinated by mobile printing. Printstick only supports PC and Blackberry smartphones, so MAC and iPhone folks are out of luck here.

The point of this device is to allow you to print on the go--more for business travelers than personal use. So you're stuck in an airport and need a document right away--an email, a proposal, directions, concert tickets, the latest photo of your new puppy, etc. This is especially ideal if you rely on your Blackberry on the road--that screen is tiny when it comes to reading a PDF or other documents!

Quality is good for the purpose, but think of it like a fax output--grayscale only and plenty of dots. This is printing for the here and now, not to archive or put in albums. The paper straightens nicely after printing (some roll paper remains incessantly curly) and it prints about a page per minute. The sound of the Printstick is a little odd. Imagine a half dozen 6-inch high horses galloping across your desk in stilettos. It's more a humorous noise than anything, so don't worry about it. planon_printstik910_2.jpgComes with a carrying case, battery, AC adapter/charger, retractable USB cable and one paper cartridge (20 pages). There's also a user guide and software CD. You connect to your laptop of Blackberry via Bluetooth or USB 2.0. Streamlined padded case makes it easy to stow in a briefcase or laptop bag and use on your lap. As always Amazon has the best price--Printstick PS910 for $285and PlanOn PS 901 Paper Refills for $21.

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 3, 2008

A Print of Your Own: With 3 Great Ink Jet Printers from Epson and HP

We'd like to highlight a recent article by MacWorld on three ink jet printers worth consideration this holiday season. (These printers are of course compatible with PCs.) Remember that you'll need to keep investing on quality ink and photo paper to get the best quality results. That's how they get ya.
hp_deskjetD2545.jpgHP Deskjet D2545 Green Printer ($35)
A basic and affordable desktop ink jet printer that will satisfy your typical household needs, from printing term papers to party invitations to family photos. In addition, this printer is made up of 83% recycled plastic. Features are basic, but for many folks, all you need. No LCDs, memory card slots or functions like faxing or scanning.
epson_PMzoom290.jpgEpson PictureMate Zoom PM 290 ($230)
A great pick for a portable printer, PictureMate spits out 4x6 photos (and smaller) in 60 seconds for about 25 cents a print--all at lab-quality. The built-in CD burner is what really sets this apart from the other portable printers, though, so you can immediately dump your shots onto a CD, or collect other people's shots. Paper and ink packs ($35)make for one of the more budget friendly ink jet situations.
epson_stylusR1900.jpgEpson Stylus R1900 ($450)
When you're serious about archival quality (85 to 200 years) and large format (up to 13x19) you can print some beautiful 7-ink, pigment-based photos with gloss optimizer. This printer isn't great for much regular document printing (term papers, etc.) -- it'll do it, but you'll be wasting fancy ink and tiring out your printer.

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 5, 2008

Wasteful Printers: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ink Cartridges

wastefulink.jpgIf you were raised on leftovers and clean plates, you may be dismayed by the wastefulness of your desktop printer. Have you ever gotten a low ink warning sooner than you thought possible? PC World has done some investigative reporting on our behalf, to examine just how much ink is left in an "empty" ink cartridge. The results? While all ink cartridges are hideously wasteful--up to 50% of ink still in an "empty" cartridge--third-party ink cartridges (Staples brand, for example) tend to require replacement sooner than the branded cartridges (Epson, HP). So while you may save a few bucks at checkout, you may find yourself checking out more often. So how can you save yourself? You can refill ink cartridges yourself--there are a variety of companies (try 123refills) that offer refill solutions for half the price of a new cartridge. Keep in mind that this is best for average home printing--if you're making nice glossy photo prints, stick with the new cartridge. There's also a bunch of simple tips you can use to cut down on the amount of pages you print, especially when printing web pages that tend to print oddly. (via LifeHacker)

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October 29, 2008

Hello Kitty, It's Me, Selphy.

canonselphyCP770.jpgKonnichiwa! Only available in Japan for now, where the folks give Hello Kitty the respect she deserves. It's that same bizarre bucket design the Canon Selphy CP770 is famous for, but in pink, with that bow-bedazzled, mouthless kitty staring at you, her eyes unsettlingly far apart. While the CP770 is a trusted friend to the Portable Printing Population (PPP), we urge you to take a look at the recently released Canon Selphy ES3 and ES30. These guys are a little more advanced in features... the design is still frightening, but looks aren't everything.

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 30, 2008

A New Digital Photo Duo: The HP Photo Printer B8550 & Scanjet G3110

Every digital photographer needs a quality printer and scanner to craft their wares. Among the products HP unveiled at Photokina 2008 this year, we thought this was a great combination for home use--all the features you need at a reasonable price. hp_printerb8550.jpgThe HP B8550 Photo Printer ($305) has got a five-ink system (individual cartridges) and an extra-large feed tray that will print photos up to 13x9 with a maximum print resolution of 1200x1200. Other highlights include the multi-card reader and 2.4-inch LCD screen you can use for PC-free printing and editing of images.hp_scanjetG3110.jpgAs for the Scanjet G3110 ($100), you've got a 48-bit color 4800x9600dpi scan resolution for high-quality scans of photos, slides, negatives and even 3D objects. The included software is handy, including editing tools (red-eye, dust, fading) and ability to scan directly to printer or email.

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September 15, 2008

Epson's All-in-One Printers Under $100: Epson Stylus NX400, NX300, NX200 and NX100

We'll be covering the best all-in-ones on the market this fall. So Epson has recently rounded out its line, first with the Stylus NX400 in June, and now with the recent launch of the Stylus NX300, Stylus NX200 and Stylus100. While we focus on photographic needs at PictureSnob, we find that many people are better served with an economical all-in-one printer for home use. While it's no photo printer, most of us are printing photos less and less these days, opting for web sharing and digital picture frames, and when we do want a photo printed, it's often easier to use a printing service like Shutterfly or myphotopipe.

Below are the specs on the four models. Our recommendation? If faxing is important to you, go with the NX300. If PC-free photo printing is important to you, consider the NX400--the LCD screen will be handy in that situation.

epson_stylusNX100.jpgEpson Stylus NX100 ($69.99)
- 3-in-1: print, copy, scan
- 4-color DURABrite Ultra Ink (individual cartridges)
- Maximum paper size: 8.5"x44"
- 48-bit color, 600 x 1200 dpi scanning
- 5760 x 1400 dpi print resolution

epson_stylusNX200.jpgEpson Stylus NX200 ($79.99)
- 4-in-1: print, copy, scan, photo
- Memory card slots for PC-free printing
- Auto Photo Correction
- 4-color DURABrite Ultra Ink (individual cartridges)
- Maximum paper size: 8.5"x44"
- 48-bit color, 1200 x 2400 dpi scanning
- 5760 x 1400 dpi print resolution

epson_stylusNX300.jpgEpson Stylus NX300 ($89.99)
- 4-in-1: print, copy, scan, fax
- 4-color DURABrite Ultra Ink (individual cartridges)
- Maximum paper size: 8.5"x44"
- 48-bit color, 1200 x 2400 dpi scanning
- 5760 x 1400 dpi print resolution

epson_stylusNX400.jpgEpson Stylus NX400 ($99.99)
- 4-in-1: print, copy, scan, photo
- Memory card slots and 2.5-inch LCD for PC-free printing
- Auto Photo Correction
- 4-color DURABrite Ultra Ink (individual cartridges)
- Maximum paper size: 8.5"x44"
- 48-bit color, 1200 x 2400 dpi scanning
- 5760 x 1400 dpi print resolution

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August 28, 2008

All-in-one Wireless Printers: Epson Artisan Series

epson_artisan_700_800.jpgOkay, we are jazzed about these printers--get one! Epson recently launched two new all-in-one printers that are looking very snazzy... say hello to the Artisan 700 ($200) and the Artisan 800 ($300). What do these hunks of vivid love do? Well, they of course scan, fax and print (up to 38 pages per minute), including the ability to print directly on CD/DVD. Photo printing quality is great, featuring the six-color Ultra Hi-Definition Claria ink. They read memory cards for direct camera-to-printer printing. There's a fabulous LCD touch screen control panel. And best of all, the Artisans come with wi-fi. And the units are petite--just 6 inches tall! The main difference between the models is that the Artisan 800 sports a higher scanning resolution (4800 dpi), larger LCD panel with more controls and the ability to fax. For $100 more, we think the Artisan 800 is your best bet. (via Gizmodo)

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August 27, 2008

Portable Photo Printers: Canon Selphy ES3 and ES30

canon_selphy_ES3_ES30.jpgWe're not sure why these printers look like cassette players circa 1983 but if the handle doesn't scream portability, we don't know what does. It's rumored that scrapbook fanatics tote around photo printers. Otherwise, we're not sure who does. Teens? Perverts? At any rate, whether you're dragging this printer down the block or just into the kitchen, Canon is providing you with an LCD control panel, internal memory, PictBridge technology and a bunch of clip art so you can get creative. The Selphy line uses special integrated paper and ink cartridges that deliver good quality but expect curling when the photos first come out. The Selphy ES3 ($200) has more internal memory and a larger LCD but otherwise is identical to the Selphy ES30 ($150). (via Engadget)

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August 25, 2008

New Touchscreen Photo Printers from Casio: PCP-1200 and PCP-250

casio_PCP1200.jpgWhile the Casio brand isn't big in the United States, it does quiet well in Japan with a variety of consumer-and-wallet-friendly electronics. Right now, these new printers are being released in Japan only, but we hope they fare well and make the leap over the pond so we can get some options over here. Stay tuned.

The PCP-1200 rocks a 7-inch LCD display, the PCP-250 has a more standard 3.5-inch LCD display. Otherwise both models share the following features (girl not included):

- Foldout keyboard (captions, invitations, announcements, etc.)
- Stylus for drawing on the images (thought bubbles, moustaches, etc.)
- High-resolution printouts (1200 x 2400) up to 4" x 6"
- Compatible with most memory cards
- Can print directly from camera or mobile phone
- Includes programmed themes for cards and such

(via Technopress)

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August 12, 2008

Tat Time: How to Make Your Own Temporary Tattoos with Your Photo Printer

inkjettattoos.jpgWhether you're practicing for the real ink or just trying to freak out your mother, spend a rainy day making your own tattoos! You can design your tattoo with anything--snag clip art from Microsoft, scan and manipulate photos in Photoshop, draw original artwork in Illustrator... you get the idea. Just remember, you need to print a mirror image--this is especially important for "Sally 4 Eva" and other text--so if your printer doesn't support mirror image printing you will have to reverse your art in the software. We'll describe the process below but also check out Crafty Computer Paper's demo.

You'll need ink jet tattoo paper--make sure to store it in a plastic bag, safe from humidity. Set your ink jet to "plain paper" setting. Do yourself a favor and run a few test prints on plain paper so you're sure you like the color and have the mirror image thing under control. Once you've printed onto the tattoo paper, let it dry thoroughly (five minutes). Then you place the adhesive paper over the printed images--be sure to squish out any air bubbles on a hard surface. Then you can cut out the tattoo to a more manageable size, peel off the adhesive layer (this leaves a sticky film over your image), apply to your skin (clean and dry skin of course) and press down, rubbing with a damp paper towel for about a minute. Wah-lah! Now send us a photo of your new tat! (via Databazaar)

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August 11, 2008

Canon's New Babies: Affordable All-In-One Photo Printers Pixma MP190 and Pixma MP480

canon_pixma_MP190_MP480.jpgThe Canon Pixma line is a popular one for personal ink jet photo printing, and for good reason. Affordable, compact and user-friendly, Canon has offered continual improvements in image and archival quality. Both printers include scanning and copying abilities, scanning documents as large as 8.5x11 at up to 2400x4800 dpi. Even better, these newbies support the ChromaLife 100 System, which increases prints' resistance to fading, heat and humidity for up to 30 years. Available to buy in September.

Canon Pixma MP190
- 19 ppm (pages per minute) in black ink and 15 ppm in color
- Borderless 4x6 prints in 70 seconds

Canon Pixma MP480 ($99.99)
- 20 ppm in black ink and 16 ppm in color
- Borderless 4x6 prints in 45 seconds
- Auto-scan mode
- Supports ChromaLife 100+ ink, which claims a lifespan for prints ,of 300 years when archived properly

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 9, 2008

Photo Printers: Inkjet vs. Dye Sub

inkjetdyesub.jpgSo what exactly differentiates a photo printer from a regular printer? Most notably, good photographic printers have a broader gamut of colors that will produce more vibrant and color-accurate prints. Another way photo printers are defined is by their ability to operate without a computer through wireless technologies like PictBridge or memory card slots that allow you to print directly from camera-to-printer. There are two major types of photo printers on the market today -- inkjet and dye-sublimation (dye sub). Inkjet is definitely the most popular option, but it's worth understanding them both and figuring out what suits your needs best.

Inkjet: When Versatility Matters Most

The good thing about inkjets is that you can print on a variety of sizes and paper finishes, often including DVDs and other non-paper printable media. The sore point on inkjets is that even with an 8-ink inkjet printer, it's hard to get the color quality of a dye sub because of the inkjet process. Like most printing, inkjet uses a process called dithering, which is simply thousands of different colored dots printed next to each other to simulate a solid color. You can see these dots with a magnifying glass. Here are a couple inkjets to take a gander at:

Epson PictureMate Express Printer ($89.95 at Amazon)
The portable printers can be a lot of fun. If you scrapbook or like to print "live" when on family gatherings and such, this can be a perfect solution. Epson's PictureMate will print up to 4" x 6" borderless prints and is compatible with memory card and USB.

Epson R1900 Large Format Photo Printer
($511.25 at Amazon)
This is a great printer for options and quality. Maybe you want to print a poster this week, holiday card prints the next and an iron-on t-shirt pattern later. Get to it! Features Epson's UltraChrome Hi-Gloss two pigment ink for excellent glossy prints.

Dye Sub: When Quality is Your End Game

A dye sub printer uses a ribbon containing CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) which is heated over a piece of photo paper (go here for detailed information on this process) which makes for a 16 million color gamut (woah) and transparent inking that gives you solid colors. Dye sub is also dry instantly and colors will not fade over time. Unfortunately, there is little flexibility in print size or material with dye sub -- if you want to print 4x6 photos, you purchase a 4x6 printer and 4x6 ink ribbons. Paper and ink are usually sold together and you will find that the per-print cost is higher than inkjet, but that's to be expected with quality. Check out this dye sub printer as a place to start:

Canon Selphy CP760 Compact Photo Printer ($99.99 at Amazon)
This portable dye sub printer will print on paper up to 4" x 8" and features onscreen editing. Works with PictBridge, Bluetooth, memory card and USB.

(via Hyperphocal)

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 18, 2008

Zink Strikes Again: The Polaroid PoGo Wireless Mobile Printer

polaroidpogo.jpgWe've talked about Zink a few times -- it's a company founded by former Polaroid executives and dare we say they are keeping the Polaroid spirit alive in the digital age. Earlier this year they released a camera and printer in one but this time it's the Polaroid PoGo, a wireless mobile printer. It uses this inkless technology to produce 2"x 3" sticker photos. You can connect your digital camera directly to it with USB or even connect your cell phone via Bluetooth. We like this product mostly for the latter purpose: printing cell phone pictures. It's one of those underserved markets... what to do with the cell phone photos and how to expand your usage of them. Be sure to visit Gizmodo for a great review of the Pogo. Amazon is out of stock of the PoGo at the moment, but you can check it out anyway -- PoGo goes for $150 and paper is $10 for 30 sheets. (via gizmodo)

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