Buying a decent photo printer around the £600.00 mark - any tips?

Claudio

Member
Hi everyone,

I am looking to buy a decent printer that will consistently produce good results with a paper size going up to A3 - maybe larger. I am looking to print my own proofs on quality photo paper so I can learn more about my work rather than just judging by a computer scree.

Could anyone advise what a good printer costs, what they could recommend in terms of quality and usability?

I've set myself a budget around £600.00 - can go higher if absolutely necessary. I know there's ton's of stuff out the so I am not looking for the definitive choice, just people's personal preference will be very useful to hear.

Many thanks and all the best

Claudio
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Claudio,

I still have an old Epson printer 2400. I do not think that printer technolgy advanced very much since then. Even if they made improvements with the newest sort of inks by i.e. 20%, the main problem is the paper. I do not know how the current Epson printers are called. but I definetely would recommend an Epson printer, because these are longterm supported also from third parties with drivers etc.

Here is a link to their product line of photo printers:

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No matter which one you choose, they will be all good. I would look at a bargain offer of either the newest model or a sale of the former model. Check the size of the ink-tanks. This is the most expensive parts. If you print often, bigger tankls make sense. But the ink dries also, so big tanks and only prints twice a year will harm your printer. The good ones have around 6 different tanks or more for the different colours. Epson has in its top models normally also additionally two different kind of blacks.

And make the calculation whether printer plus ink plus paper will be economical compared to go to a lab with a good Epson printer (or better printer) and pay per print.
 

UdoS

Member
Hi Claudio,

I second what Dirk said regarding Epson Printers. After a long lasting 'printer-journey' I settled on Epson. First with an Epson 4000 which was able to print on 17" roll paper and now with an Epson 7890. My choice here on the local market was and still is limited to few brands and models. I would still print on the 4000, but there has never been a proper supply for ink and other bits essential for maintenance. And when B&H stopped shipping all those mentioned bits to Jeddah I had to switch to a new printer and ended with the 7890.

Economics was mentioned, if it is a hobby and your wish to do your own prints, go for it, but be warned. In the end you might spend more money than planned. The printer is just the beginning. You need ink, maintenance tank(s), paper and you should run the printer regularly to keep the nozzles from clogging. And I am convinced you need a RIP in order to avoid metamersim and to be able to make proper B&W prints if desired. And of course the proper color profiles to print what you see on the monitor. The latter requires proper monitor profiling as well. So, if you want to avoid to make your own profiles, then go for well known papers in combination with the dedicated profiles.

I know, that are quite some pre requisitions, but once you have done all that you'll be rewarded and that's good feeling ;-)

Kind regards,
Udo
 

dirk

CI-Founder
It seems there are many useful tips. But now there are very non-standard solutions, for example, recently I read relonch camera review
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and was very interested!
I am not a fan of that solution.

"...The Relonch uploads all captured to the server, where they have retouched automatically...."

I do think this is a solution nobody really needs. If people are not interested in very high IQ, they use their smartphone. This is good enough and you do not need to upload anything to someone elses server. Or you buy real cameras and do the PP yourself instead of depending on algorythms which you can not influence.
 
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