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Making the Case for Home Printers at Photo Specialty



Canon

Canon CP-100

Canon's powerful duo of dye-sublimation printers, the CP-10 and CP-100, both with a list price of $299 offer high quality in a small package. Both of these printers can connect to a range of Canon PowerShot digital cameras through USB, printing directly while bypassing the computer. Canon offers an optional dedicated battery and because of the small size of the printers, they can be slipped into a camera bag and prints made anywhere. Both printers feature sleek designs with translucent blue and stainless steel exteriors. Consumables are sold in sets of ink/paper or ink/sticker paper.

The CP-10 Card Printer produces card sized prints with rounded edges, with or without borders, in only 56 seconds. The Canon CP-100 can print up to postcard size, approximately 4x6-inches, with or without borders, in 81 seconds. The CP-100 can print credit card sized prints and labels as well as mini-labels or stickers. Both printers apply a UV overcoat to extend the life of the prints.

Epson

A pair of printers from Epson making waves at photo specialty are the sleek but powerful Stylus Photo 960; and the Epson Stylus Photo 2200, the industry's first seven-color archival desktop photo printer.

The 960, released this summer at the MacWorld Expo, is the successor to the popular Epson Stylus Photo 890 and is targeted at a variety of customers including advanced amateur photographers, photography enthusiasts and hobbyists. While the 960 is priced toward the higher end for inkjets at $349, it offers impressive image quality, making it suited for photo competitions, personal portfolios, professional illustrations and photographic presentations. The 960 is also quickthree times faster than the 890and utilizes Epson's Advanced Micro Piezo ink jet technology which renders the industry's smallest 2-picoliter ink droplet for precise detail, more accurate skin tones and an ultra-wide color range designed for digital photography. The six-color system actually contains seven individual ink cartridgestwo black cartridges for faster text printingwhich makes the 960 Epson's first dye-based model to use a separate ink cartridge system.

On an even higher-end scale, Epson also released the awesome 2200 inkjet printer earlier this year. The 2200, which retails for $699, is designed for a range of serious photographers, from advanced amateurs to professional portrait, commercial and fine art shooters. It replaces the award-winning Epson Stylus Photo 2000P and is loaded with features, positioning it as a potential new standard for desktop photo printing.

By using Epson's new seven-color UltraChrome inks, the 2200 can print images at fast speeds with a larger color gamut than the previous generation. These pigment-based archival inks reproduce the color range, density and saturation of dye-based inks closer than before, making this printer score high marks for photo and color quality, and good fade-resistance. And perhaps even more important to consumers, the 2200 is priced at $200 less than its predecessor.

Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett Packard photosmart 230

Hewlett-Packard offers the HP photosmart 230 photo printer, a 4x6-inch photo printer with a list price of $249.99. The photosmart 230 prints borderless 4x6-inch photos with up to 4800 optimized dpi. No computer is needed, the printer features memory card slots for CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick and SD/MMC media. Simply preview photos on the built-in color LCD and select the images for printing. The printer also offers a USB connection and is compatible with Windows-based PC and Macintosh computers. The photosmart 230 utilizes HP Thermal Inkjet and prints to plain or photo papers.

Perfect for a Soccer Mom, the HP photosmart 7550 photo printer also utilizes HP Thermal Inkjet technology and has an MSRP of $399.99. The photosmart 7550 uses three ink cartridges for seven color printing (1-black, 1-tri-color, and 1-light tri-color). Users can connect this printer to a Mac or PC computer or directly to an HP digital camera with direct printing capability through the USB camera port. Images can be previewed using the built-in color LCD and printed onto a variety of media including plain paper, photo, glossy, transparencies, labels, cards, iron-on transfers and banner paper in letter and legal sizes as well as envelopes and index cards.

Olympus

Olympus offers a trio of dye-sublimation printers ranging from the small P-200 and P-330N to the P-400. When it was introduced, the P-400 had an MSRP over a thousand dollars but Olympus has since reduced it to $599 with a street price of $499.

Olympus P-330N

The P-400 dye-sub printer offers resolution of 314 dpi. The printer offers a speed of about 90-seconds per print and can print up to 50 copies of the same image at a time. Although the printer features Parallel and USB connectivity, it also features slots for SmartMedia and PC Card adapters. A built-in LCD lets users preview images before printing, bypassing the computer. The P-400 offers a variety of printing modes from full 7.64x10-inches to postcard, photo-album and index prints. The printer is compatible with both Macintosh and Windows-based PCs.

The P-330N Instant Photo Printer offers 306 dpi resolution, dye-sub prints from a variety of sources including SmartMedia, TV or Mac and PC computers. The P-330N can also print video stills from camcorders, DVD or VCR players or any other NTSC device. Print size is 4.5x3 3/8 inches. Media options include plain, adhesive-backed or UV coated papers. The printer can produce single or multiple prints per sheet as well as index prints and mirror images for photo transfer (tee shirts). Consumables are packaged as paper and the transfer ribbon sufficient for printing the entire package of paper. The Olympus P-330N has a list price of $449.

Sony

For the more family-oriented digital photographer, Sony has introduced two new easy-to-use photo printers, the DPP-EX5 and DPP-EX7. Like Sony's other printers, the new models use dye-sublimation technology, a process that creates durable lab-quality prints in color, monochrome, sepia or paint tone.

Released in September, the DPP-EX5 is priced at only $200 but offers a strong feature set and a compact design allowing it to fit easily next to a computer or television. The DPP-EX7, which debuted in October and lists for $450, has a large 3.8-inch color touch-screen liquid crystal display for viewing, editing and customizing images prior to printing, bypassing the need for a computer. Both printers come with a variety of built-in editing and creative tools to adjust image sharpness, contrast, brightness and size. The tools also allow users to select and merge images and incorporate personalized messages into prints.

Along with being PC and Mac compatible via a USB connection and Sony supplied software drivers, the DPP-EX5 can connect to a television for larger viewing and editing of photos. Each printer has one dedicated slot for Memory Stick media and the DPP-EX7 has an additional slot for Type II PC cards to insert other types of flash media via a card adaptor, including SmartMedia and CompactFlash. Each print from both models is laminated with Super Coat 2 laminate to seal and protect the photos which helps them withstand fading, spills, moisture and fingerprints. ptn


   







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