We use the Shinko s2145 and the s1245 for both on-location and in-studio printing. The Shinko printers are the complete package for on-location work. The speed and cost per print are incredible. Most of the time the printers are waiting for us rather than us waiting on them. In the studio, we just keep feeding the jobs to the printer and they work flawlessly—we have never had a print jam in either printer.
Borderless printing saves us lots of production time. The ability to print 4x8 holiday cards with no trimming on 8x12 paper just made our turnaround time so much quicker during the holidays. Once we received the printers we were up and running within 30 minutes. They are very user-friendly.
The quality of the printers is fantastic. The only two things I can think of to make these printers better would be to lower the noise level during printing (both printers are a little noisy). The other would be to make it a little lighter weight. But I would not sacrifice of the printers' qualities to achieve either issue.
We use both printers in our studio everyday to proof pages for seniors and families and for our sports photography sales. The purchase of both of these printers has saved us lots of money each year. With such a low cost entry into professional printers, they pay for themselves in no time. Our turnaround to our customers is almost instant. They have changed my business dramatically over the last few years.
—Bruce Haskell, Bruce Haskell Photography (www.brucehaskellphotography.com)
We are now using Shinko, Kodak, and Epson printers on-site. The features that are important to us, in preferred order, are quality, speed, media cost and size, image number printing on the media for distribution, and ID. We use these printers for conventions, exhibit promotions, corporate and special events, and reunions.
What can printer manufacturers do to satisfy the needs of today's pro photographer interested in doing printing on-site at an event? Well, number one is software capabilities and print drivers. Professional photographers and graphic artists that work in a Mac environment must also purchase additional desktops/laptops and software in order to use the new printers that run on PC environments only. It seems that the manufacturers are forgetting about the Mac pros and making their printers more PC-/consumer-friendly. In my opinion, the prosumer is the one that pays the hefty price tag on these workhorses.
For instance, I wanted to update our on-site dye-sub printers last quarter. We were using the Mitsubishi 8000, which runs only on PC and OS 9 drivers—go figure. Why, when OS X had been out on the market for years? Who still uses OS 9? I looked at Kodak, Mitsubishi, and Shinko. Although the Kodak and Mitsubishi models ran on OS X, we chose the Shinko once we read the specs. We purchased the Shinko and a PC laptop to go with it, since no Mac drivers were available.
Why the Shinko ? Its speed and quality—it's the fastest printer on the market. We had events where we had to turn hundreds of photos around in extremely short periods. The Shinko was our only choice after doing the math with the other choices in the field. Even though we had to buy a PC laptop, we saved money in the long run with less time spent on the job.
Another suggestion for the manufacturers: Try offering a durable shipping case that custom-fits the printers. These printers travel frequently, since most are used on location, and they need good protection. We purchased some Pelican Cases that seem to work well.
—Martin Allred, Nationwide Photographers (www.martinallred.com)
We use a Kodak Professional 9810 digital photo printer and also the Kodak Photo Printer 6850. Our Kodak 9810 is portable and robust enough for use at sports tournaments to make action prints, and for on-site holiday setups. It's also a great feeling to shoot and deliver within a few minutes and not have to send anything to a lab. We use the Kodak 6850 mainly for corporate and political functions because it's fast, versatile, and very high-quality.
Printer manufacturers should offer on-screen, touch-and-go print setups that can be tethered to a camera, which would make a photographer self-sufficient and require less technical issues. That would be a great advantage over the current hassles of tethering to a laptop and then to a printer.