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Thread: 1st printer - need some help

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    1st printer - need some help

    I'm looking to get a printer but not sure what to look for or which printer is better, just looking at their specifications is a little confusing so i'm wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction.

    I'm after a printer for home under $300 that'll print reasonable quality photos and documents. I've read some prints only last a few years - that's fine with me because any ones I want to keep for a long time I'll get done properly. I dont need a multifunction printer.
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    Member GGR80's Avatar
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    I have a HP colour laser printer, this prints with a photo shop quality and is outstanding. HP did have a promotion cashback so I ended up with mine pretty cheap.
    Cheers Retta

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfys Kingdom View Post
    I'm after a printer for home under $300 that'll print reasonable quality photos and documents.
    IMO the only printer to get is the Canon IP4700. http://www.canon.com.au/products/pri...rs/iP4700.aspx

    At $159RRP it leaves you plenty of change for papers and the like.

    I own the IP4500 and my parents the IP4200 (it was mine until I moved out of home and they decided I wasn't taking that, haha). The print quality is exceptional and it is fast! The packaged software makes printing to a specific size simple.

    My only comment would be the inks don't 'take' well to any papers other than genuine Canon. I've used Kodak, HP and various generic papers and none perform anywhere near as well as the Canon.
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    Whatever printer you look at, check the number and size of ink tanks, as it can affect the cost of printing. (As I found out with the thimble sized tanks on my Canon MP980) Nice printer and scanner, but $$$$ prints.

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    I have had 2 canon printers and they both chewed ink like mad and would not print in black on a page of text.
    Epson Stylus Photo TX710W is only $299 (you could probably get it cheaper as this is recommended retail) and their inks are much cheaper as you can get a small cartridge or a large one. http://www.epson.com.au/products/photo/
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    Member Calxoddity's Avatar
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    Hi,
    For your money, a photo inkjet printer will give you the photo quality you want. In the standalone range your best choices are the Epson Photo R290 ($169) or the previously mentioned Canon Pixma IP4700 ($159). The Epson is six colour, the Canon uses 4 but has 2 blacks. Both are dye-based ink for photo printing, which pretty much means no clogging.

    The photo inkjets can be thirsty to feed compared to lasers, but they have far better colour accuracy and tonality on photo paper. Once you get the bug for printing, you can discover the joys of trying out different papers and the death spiral into A3+ pigment printing on fine art papers commences....

    Regards,
    Calx
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    Ausphotography Addict Richard Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLWNHR View Post
    IMO the only printer to get is the Canon IP4700. http://www.canon.com.au/products/pri...rs/iP4700.aspx

    At $159RRP it leaves you plenty of change for papers and the like.

    I own the IP4500 and my parents the IP4200 (it was mine until I moved out of home and they decided I wasn't taking that, haha). The print quality is exceptional and it is fast! The packaged software makes printing to a specific size simple.

    My only comment would be the inks don't 'take' well to any papers other than genuine Canon. I've used Kodak, HP and various generic papers and none perform anywhere near as well as the Canon.
    Yeah I reckon the iP4700 would be a good bet too. I also own the iP4500 and the print quality for anything up to A4 size is exceptional, especially considering the relative cheapness of the printer. I can only imagine the iP4700 would be much the same.
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    Member GGR80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calxoddity View Post
    Hi,
    For your money, a photo inkjet printer will give you the photo quality you want. In the standalone range your best choices are the Epson Photo R290 ($169) or the previously mentioned Canon Pixma IP4700 ($159). The Epson is six colour, the Canon uses 4 but has 2 blacks. Both are dye-based ink for photo printing, which pretty much means no clogging.

    The photo inkjets can be thirsty to feed compared to lasers, but they have far better colour accuracy and tonality on photo paper. Once you get the bug for printing, you can discover the joys of trying out different papers and the death spiral into A3+ pigment printing on fine art papers commences....

    Regards,
    Calx
    I tend to disagree, my HP Colour Laser is amazing print quality and god knows Ive had qute a few printers over the years. The accuracy of the colour laser is spot on.

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    I've had issues with my Canon bubblejet(iP4200) not using the black cartridge for black text only! It's preference was to use up the colour tanks first, even though my printing is 99.9999% black text only.
    I went to print two photos for my mum and the colour tanks were empty!(stupid thing )

    I subsequently got a HP colour laser printer too, and for black text it's far cheaper to run, prints photos very well on specialised gloss paper(using a few sample papers supplied with the printer). It's not as good as a bubblejet printer, but can work well for certain photo types.

    If the majority of the printers workload is to be text, a laser is best, and if you want the occasional photo from it then a colour laser works 'OK'. If the priority is for high-excellent quality photos, then a bubblejet is the way to go. My Ethernet enabled HP colour laser cost just $400, and is much easier to set up on a network than Windows' silly printer sharing. I'm sure you could get it closer to $300 now, or get the non Ethernet enabled version for closer to $200 or less.

    From my experience tho, I'd never get a Canon printer ever again for printing black text!
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I agree with all the above, even those I don't agree with. There are lots of hidden costs in printing. At least with the Epson printers - and for serious photos get a "Photo" class - you get the inkjet head in the cartridge. I don't know about other brands. As an aside, I haven't had a physical printer for over 18 months. I use a virtual printer called Nova PDF Lite, freeware upon registration, and which produces very good detail from anything at all. Between that and a 24-inch widescreen monitor I have eliminated much of the fading paperwork that used to litter my area. But good luck in your quest. Am...

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    Thanks everyone for the help. It looks like I have a good idea where to start and what to look for after reading the above replies.... I certainly didnt consider the size of the cartridge - so that pointer will definitely help me too. It's certainly helped me alot more than just staring at the specifications on a website or in the shop (or at the pricetag lol).

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    Good luck! I recently supplemented my 4 year old HP Photosmart 8230 with an Epson Stylus Photo R1900. A4 text and mixed printing goes to the HP, with photos going to the Epson.

    If I was starting from scratch or if the HP dies, I'd probably replace it with a small laser instead for the grunt and mixed printing. Having 2 photo printers is a luxury I don't really need, but hey... all is good!

    Regards,
    Calx

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    From my experience tho, I'd never get a Canon printer ever again for printing black text!
    Sorry to say it, but I think this is user error. I own/ed the aforementioned IP4200 and 4500, I also have a MP430 as a multi-function centre in my office, have a friend with an IP4000 and another Canon photo printer with multiple ink-tanks (can't remember the model). Every one of these uses only the black ink for printing black text. I did have an HP in the past that you had to tick a specic box in the printer settings to make it use black and I would say this is the cause of your problems.

    The 5 cartridges in the Canon IP4x00 series are as follows:
    Black (small) - For text only, is not used as part of the photo printing process.
    Black (large) - Used for photo printing only. Getting good depth of colour in printed photos is all about strong blacks.
    Cyan, Yellow, Magenta (small) - Used for printing all colour including photos and plain-paper.

    My previous employer had an extremely high quality colour laser printer (over $8k of A3 Oki). Whist its results on plain paper were exceptional, and the speed unreal the quality, for photo printing on proper laser photo paper the results weren't as good as inkjet. Because the laser printers use a powder which sits on top of the paper and is then heated to embed it onto the paper it always seems to lack the depth of a lab or inkjet print.

    The other thing with colour laser printers is you MUST use photo paper suitable for a laser printer. Because of the heat roller used to embed the toner inkjet paper sticks to it with disasterous (and more often expensive) results.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLWNHR View Post
    Sorry to say it, but I think this is user error. ....
    I'd like to think so too, but the fact remains despite every effort to use only the black only tank... it stubbornly refused to do so, unless the colour tanks were empty first.
    And then it was hit and miss!
    With the colour tanks empty it started to use up the black photo tank first up, then for some silly reason I noted it then started to use the black text tank(finally .. success) but it continually gave an error that the colour tanks are empty and to replace them.. even though the print job was black text from a pdf file.

    having just completed a masters degree in marriage separation and the complicated process of the legal system.. I've used up way too many batches of ink tanks printing all the pdf files my lawyer sent me via email(it was simply quicker to read them form the hard copy, and the security of having a hard copy too.. not just the pdf) all filed away for safe keeping...etc. many hundreds if not over a thousand pages of legal documents(now clogging my filing cabinet) but still the problem remained.. without ever printing a single colour page.. the colour tanks always depleted first.. drivers reinstalled.... settings confirmed to print only in greyscale/black and white/whatever!..... and print quality way down to 20% or less.. to save on ink. If not for the paper feed jamming I'd still be struggling with it, instead of dumping it and getting the laser.
    I've never seen laser print quality that approaches the ability of even a basic bubblejet(of recent vintage).. so I miss that, but as I'd basically printed about 5 photos in my life, I'm not missing out on much and saving a bundle now with the laser.

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