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08/19/2006 01:20:20 PM · #1
OK. So it's time to go back to school for me and that means printing documents and handing them in.

Time for a PRINTER!

Now it just so happens that I'm also more than a little interested in photography... :) So I've been checking out printers that have really strong abilities with photo printing.

Right now, I'm tossing up the Canon iP4200, iP5200 and the Epson R200.

I was quite confused by the role of the different colors and how they all work. And having a little bit better than a rough understanding of DPI and PPI (see this thread if you are confused by the terms DPI and PPI or if you wish to discuss/argue my usage of those terms), I also realized that the 9600DPI resolution claim both sounded a little bogus AND had to make sense in some way or they wouldn't be allowed to claim it...

Thus began a new learning project.

But with any new learning project, it pays to start at the beginning.

So I did a forum search and came up with this incredibly informative and useful webpage.

It really helped me to understand a lot better what the issues are.

Being as I try to be a helpful guy, and I'm not afraid to air things out in public where I can be publicly mocked and shamed for being blatantly wrong (amongst a group of peers who have never met me face to face ;), I decided to share my learning journey in a forum thread.

Just as I will likely learn a lot, things might work out that others will learn a thing or two too... :)

Please note that I am currently doing research on a specific type of printer which mixes color on the paper rather than in the printhead (apparently HP printers use the latter method so do not follow the same principles).

Here are some definitions according to my interpretation of what I have read so far (I will try to edit these later as I'm sure that I will be corrected before long):

#1 9600DPI does not mean DPI in the same sense as a digital photo. see below.

#2 AAAADPI x BBBBDPI (example 9600DPIx2400DPI) refer to linear resolution, not diagonal resolution as is common on computer screens and in general images.

#3 AAAADPI x BBBBDPI do not refer to the same METHOD OF MEASURING DPI.

#4 AAAADPI generally refers to GRADATIONS across an inch of travel of the print head as it moves across.

#5 BBBBDPI generally refers to the density of the nozzles as they are placed across the linear printhead.

#6 Higher densities (larger DPI numbers) would seem to indicate that smaller droplet sizes are required.

#7 The numbers don't really match up with typical digital DPI/PPI characteristics because A) they refer to droplets which are LARGER than the gradients and B) the colors don't match either.

#8 The colors don't match because (get the extra long wet noodle whip ready for appropriate corrections on this one) of the gradients. 24 bit images use 8 bits per RGB channel which yields 255 levels of a color. A printer does not appear to have 255 levels of quantity. A printer appears to have a smallest minimum droplet size which can be added to other droplets to combine to make colors or to make a color darker. Additionally, RGB generally refers to colors used in light which is 'additive' but CMYK are 'subtractive' colors which work by absorbing colors in light and reflecting the leftovers. So computer screens work because they put out light. Prints don't put out light, so you need to put light on them so they can reflect what you want to see. This shift in color spaces is done for you by the printer with complicated algorithms. But, more complicated than this is the gradations of QUANTITY of each color. The difficulty involved in precisely controlling both LUMINANCE and SATURATION of colors means that the slack has to be taken up by the DOTS on the print. To prevent pixelization, channel clipping, banding and weird colors, the printer uses some fancy math tricks (see the note on error correction in the first link) and smudges it around a bit so we see smooth gradients and beautiful rich colors. Therefore....

#9 Not only do the DPI numbers not really match up, they don't even really matter because you DON'T really want pixelization in your images anyhow. As mentioned before, a bit of 'slop' works great to generate smooth clean images. see the first link for more in-depth info.

#10 The numbers do have a relevance though because logic would say that smaller droplets would give the printer more control and more precision, both in fineness of detail, but more importantly in graduation of luminance and color.

If the smallest droplet is 1 picoliter (most typical 9600 DPI Canons)with one printer and 3 picoliters with another printer (typical of more expensive printers, especially Epsons and the Canon 9000 series), one would assume that the first printer would use three drops to represent the same information. That means that there is effectively 3 times more control over the gradients. Is that a big deal? Yeah I think it is.

3 times 255 would be 768 levels of control.
1/3 times 255 would be 80 levels of control.

So if Printer A (3PicoL) had 255 levels for each color channel (which I am pretty sure they don't have anywhere near), Printer B (1PicoL) would have 768 levels (a ludicrous assumption).

Alternately, if Printer A (as above) had 80 levels of control per channel, Printer B would be at 255 levels of control.

The effects of this could be likened to .JPG compression which most of us are familiar with. Three times more than enough information isn't definitively 3 times better, but three times less than enough information is probably a big deal. But can you cut down 1/3 of the actual information in a file and still have a picture that looks fantastic? Absolutely.

Where do these printers fit in? I haven't got a clue. What's important to understand is that there's more to this issue than just DPI and number of colors. Higher DPI with smaller droplets can make up for having less colors and having more colors can make up for having less control. These are sophisticated devices. More on the additional colors below.

#11 Just as smaller droplets would give more control, more nozzles would allow more information to be put to page more quickly. It would APPEAR to my eyes at this point that having more nozzles will allow the printer to print more quickly. Their pitch should be standardized by the second number in AAAADPI x BBBBDPI, so the number of nozzles should NOT affect quality. It will affect speed. This might be a bit of a stretch for me to say.

#12 As mentioned above, gradients of luminance and saturation are difficult for the print head to control, so inflated DPI numbers pick up the slack. Because colors on paper are subtractive, it seems that white areas are the equivalent of shadows in an RGB color space (such as most of us are used to in using Photoshop or PSP). In digital images, shadows are often afflicted by noise which shows up because there is less real information to mask the errors made by the digital sensor. So printing on paper, the same sorts of issues would start to show up in the light colored areas, where there is little ink to mask the deficiencies of the printer to display subtle variations in color and luminance. The answer to this is additional colors!

#13 Additional colors are extant for three common purposes (and maybe others?):

A) To add a lower cost black for volume and text/line art documents (Canon often states an extra color as a black used for text, but it's actually not used in photos, so it's still a 4 color printer)

B) To increase the control over subtle color gradients especially in areas of a print where there is little color to work with (Most brands use a light cyan and light magenta primarily, with higher end models possibly adding a light yellow - Epson adds this to their BLACKS with their K3 line with a Black, Light Black and Light Light Black for genuinely superior performance in B&W, Mono and Duotone.... prints) This should NOT impact the vibrancy of the colors in the image, rather it will reduce graininess in the highlights.

C) to represent more accurately a color that is not really well served by CMYK such as Red or Green (Canon 8 and 10 color printers). This page from Steve's Digicams Printer Reviews showed that this usage is questionable as a 4 color printer can come pretty danged close. (Please note that I'm not endorsing Steve here, I found his printer reviews fairly helpful but not entirely thorough enough) Epson's approach of having 3 blacks and a pair of each CMY appears to be a great way to do things. Canon's high precision 9600 DPI printers may have enough more control to really close up the gap quickly and at a lower price.

OK, so that ends my babbling observations. Now on to the questions:

#1 Can anyone tell me if my understanding of the role of the number of nozzles is accurate? (see above where I state that it's not really relevant to quality of the image - but has more to do with the speed of the image - this seems to be borne out by the fact that the Epson printers generally only have 90 nozzles per channel (90x6=540 compared to 1800ish on the Canon 4200, 3500ish on the 5200 and more than 6000 on their 9000 series) and tend to be a bit slower, but easily a match for Canon's print quality.

#2 Can anyone tell me if my understanding of droplet size is accurate?

#3 Ok, just in general, can anyone tell me anything further here or show me where I'm making obvious errors in judgement?

FWIW, I'm leaning quite strongly at this point towards the Canon due to cost of initial purchase, the Smart LED system Cartridge handling system with clear ink cartridges, the lack of extraneous features for my needs (CD covers? Done by an inkjet photo printer? come on! - note that they are not waterproof), and generally excellent quality of images, as well as versatility to make good results happen with cheap materials.

If one of the BareNakedLadies had a million dollars and decided to give it all to me, I would probably go for a big honkin' Epson because of their photo quality. I don't think I would wory about the Canon's additional Red and Green inks.

The place I am moving to this weekend is a bit lower on security, so I'm a bit concerned and having a printer worth 100 bucks sitting on my desk is probably better than having a printer worth 2-300 bucks... especially if I come home one day and notice that my doorknob/window is missing some vital components and my desk is missing a computer and a printer.
08/19/2006 01:43:52 PM · #2
We have the Epson R800 here. Absolutely no complaints about the print quality, which is fantastic.

The one downside, as always, is the cartridges. It has eight cartridges. Wow, you might think, that's fantastic for ink replacment, you'd only have to replace the one cartridge for that very specific colour. Well, yes, that's true, except -

a) When one cartridge runs out, you can't use the printer. Even if the cartridge is colour and you only want to print black.

b) When you replace *any* cartridge, the printer does "ink charging" where it loads the nozzels. But this uses up ink from *all* the cartridges, which means, say, if three go in quick succession (but not quick enough that you can replace them all at once) then you do ink charging three times over and use up loads on ink on nothing.

So, whilst the general in use ink usage is not bad, I do think that a fair bit is lost in "wastage". You might get this in every printer these days, though.
08/19/2006 01:50:14 PM · #3
Originally posted by mist:

We have the Epson R800 here. Absolutely no complaints about the print quality, which is fantastic.

The one downside, as always, is the cartridges. It has eight cartridges. Wow, you might think, that's fantastic for ink replacment, you'd only have to replace the one cartridge for that very specific colour. Well, yes, that's true, except -

a) When one cartridge runs out, you can't use the printer. Even if the cartridge is colour and you only want to print black.

b) When you replace *any* cartridge, the printer does "ink charging" where it loads the nozzels. But this uses up ink from *all* the cartridges, which means, say, if three go in quick succession (but not quick enough that you can replace them all at once) then you do ink charging three times over and use up loads on ink on nothing.

So, whilst the general in use ink usage is not bad, I do think that a fair bit is lost in "wastage". You might get this in every printer these days, though.


Does the R800 have cartridges with chips on them? If so, invest the $10 or so on a chip resetter. That allows you to squeeze an extra ten 8x10s (YMMV) out of a cartridge. I do quite a bit of printing, and its saved me a lot with my 1270.
08/19/2006 01:51:35 PM · #4
Originally posted by jemison:


Does the R800 have cartridges with chips on them? If so, invest the $10 or so on a chip resetter. That allows you to squeeze an extra ten 8x10s (YMMV) out of a cartridge. I do quite a bit of printing, and its saved me a lot with my 1270.


It does indeed. I didn't realise that there was such a thing. Nice to know.
08/19/2006 10:22:35 PM · #5
Thanks guys.

Any comments on the technical content of the Original Post?

I spent so long reading these internet 'reviews' that said things like 'fantastic' 'excellent' etc with regard to print quality, but said little about the technical specs.

Considering that many printers have their technical specs prominently displayed as part of their sales, I'm hoping that at least some of the information in this thread can help people to understand these cryptic bits of information.

From the examples I saw in the shop, the Canon 9600 dpi printers were EASILY able to produce extremely high quality prints. I looked VERY closely at the light areas (the sample I scrutinized had some very light colored stucco as well as some curved areas of flat white).

There was some pixelization when I put it a few mm from my eye, but the quality was easily better than the quality I get from my local shop.

There are so many variables though that even print samples are not exactly 100% definitive of the quality you will get. The Canon sample was on photo paper and I assume that they shot the pic on something like a 1D or a 5D because it was unbelievably high quality.

The Epson prints I saw at another shop were pretty similar in quality.

Many of the more technical sites also say that the overal results will be quite similar, which contrasts sharply with the tone of the marketing websites which claim things like 'dramatically increase quality' and 'astounding vibrance' all over the place with virtually every different type of technology. In reality, many of these technological 'advances' are just different ways of accomplishing the same thing.

The above post ATTEMPTS to highlight the actual details of how things work in the printers so people can make educated decisions rather than feeling (as I did) tossed about on waves of marketing BS.

The Epson technology circle at the point does not appear to have a significant advantage in color vibrance, but I cannot say for sure. I haven't seen a SINGLE bit of information that uses top end results to compare Epson tech to Canon Tech from anyone that is educated on how things actually work.

On the other hand, the Epson DOES have a significant advantage in low color saturation and B&W, mono, duotone and other similar low chromatic range pictures.

I was told by several sales people that one brand had richer colors than another in no uncertain terms. Most of them linked color vibrance to the number of different color cartridges (see above). They also said that the higher DPI printers would provide better results, but when I asked, THEY HAD NO IDEA WHY!

Droplet size was NEVER mentioned.

Indeed, photo printing basics such as the blackness of the full blacks was also not mentioned once.

I would venture an 'educated' guess that color vibrance has nothing to do with the printer itself, but the quality of the inks that you put into it. All of the printers can mix colors just fine. Doing it while preserving detail and keeping that quality as the quantity of ink/intensity of color decreases appears to be the real issue.

Regarding the recommendation, the Epson R800 is a fine printer, but it's also a fair bit more expensive. I have no doubt that it will produce excellent results, just as I have no doubt that any current printer can produce excellent results. I would really like to know how and why though.

Message edited by author 2006-08-19 22:25:12.
08/20/2006 03:47:16 AM · #6
Originally posted by eschelar:



Regarding the recommendation, the Epson R800 is a fine printer, but it's also a fair bit more expensive. I have no doubt that it will produce excellent results, just as I have no doubt that any current printer can produce excellent results. I would really like to know how and why though.


Good question. I shyed away from the sort of really technical analysis that you've mentioned in your post and just compared the normal set of reviews. http://www.photo-i.co.uk/ for example. I also sent one of my own photos to Epson for them to print it out on the printer. The quality spoke for itself, so I decided not to worry too much about how small the dots were.
08/20/2006 06:54:50 AM · #7
:)

I like to know what I'm buying.

I think it's strange that with all the info going around about printers, nobody seems to have anything to say about what the info actually means and how the info can actually apply to real life comparisons...

anyone out there care to add anything?
08/21/2006 10:23:44 AM · #8
Hrm. I am getting suspicious that nobody is correcting me on this one. It's not like me to get things right the first time.

Don't be afraid, step right up.

Any tech guys out there care to either correct or corroborate?
08/21/2006 10:55:06 PM · #9
Ok. Just as a further note regarding the Canon iP4200 vs iP5200.

Both printers claim a DPI of 9600 (which as you read above is a horizontal pitch sensitivity).

However on the Canon website, it was claimed that it was 1/4800 inch horizontal pitch sensitivity on the 4200 compared to 1/9600 inch on the 5200.

I queried Canon on this one.

They sent a reply that the response was too complicated and I needed to call their question hotline.

I told them that I was not interested in doing this as I live in Taiwan, not America or Canada my home country and for goodness' sakes, I just spent a few grand US equiv. on Canon camera gear, it wouldn't be too much to forward the question to a tech and get a simple answer...

They responded with an answer. :)

A techie checked the specs and the website was in error, so if anyone else was confused, the correct specs are now listed on the Canon website. He also added that the only real difference between the two printers is the speed. This is supported by the fact that the 5200 has more than double the nozzles. The speed ratings aren't too far off though, so I would imagine that if speed isn't a major concern, the 4200 would be just fine. I will buy that one myself as it suits my needs and budget. Obviously, your needs will be different from mine.

The iP4200 actually does have a horizontal pitch sensitivity of 1/9600 inch and to complement that, has a suitably low 1 picoliter minimum drop size.

Compare that to the Epson which has approximately 1/5600 inch horizontal pitch, and 3 or 3.5 picoliter minimum drop size and you can start to see where the difference lies.

Remembering that the DPI of a printer is still being used to REPRESENT a document likely of 240-300DPI, its worthwhile to reiterate that this does not translate directly to fine detail as it does in digital images, but rather has a strong impact on the COLOR BLENDING and smoothness in low color areas, one can learn a fair bit about how the different printers compare.

The Canon will have a bit more fine detail control because the information is seen in really tiny gradients on the paper. This will only probably show up in the sharpness of edges in the picture because the information for the picture will contain about 30 times less detail. Detail within the pixels is undiscernable to the naked eye, so the only place that there will actually be a difference is likely to be at the edges where the Canon will be painting with a much finer brush. It's highly unlikely that anyone will notice any difference here.

However, regarding color control, the Canon is still using only 3 colors where the Epson is using 5 (two cyan, two magenta and one yellow).

The Canon's droplet size is 1/3 that of the Epson though, so a low value for the Canon will already be 1/3 less.

The Epson website states that in their previous incarnation where there are TWO blacks, the light black is 1/3 black.

This would give a roughly equivalent black response.

It doesn't say about the percentage of color in their light color cartridges but I would say that it would be pretty logical to assume that it is also 1/3.

So essentially, the Canon will use 1/3 of the ink to represent a low value, where the Epson will use the same ink with 1/3 the intensity. This suggest that both printers will have roughly the same range where color response is concerned. This also means that the Epson will use 3 times more ink in low intensity areas.

How does this affect a print? Well, I believe that it's possible that using more ink can actually have benefits. Regardless of whether the ink speeds up the deterioration of the print by aging OR if it slows it down, the Epson will likely have a more UNIFORM pattern of aging. This is unlikely to have any impact on the print within 50-100 years or more though, so is probably something of a minor issue.

Now, this is specific to COLORS. What about blacks?

Well, the same thing would apply to monochrome and duotone images right?

The Canon has 1/3 of the Epson's droplet size, giving it a minimum range of 1/3.

As mentioned above, the Epson printer in the 'Ultrachrome' series has a 1/3 black for Light Black.

Enter the new 'Ultrachrome K3' series. This series uses a Light Black of 1/2 and a Light Light Black of 1/6!!!

This gives it double the range of the Canon with a very low minimum range IN THE BLACKS.

Remember that the blacks are also used in combination with the colors to help control their luminosity. It's likely that this wouldn't lead to a significant difference in color response as black is used to REDUCE vibrance of colors, so you wouldn't notice any real difference here.

For those who have used a B&W layer of a picture as a layer in Luminosity mode in PS, you can get an idea of how Blacks are used in color mode. Would using a 1/6 Black make a difference? Probably. Would the difference be visible? Probably only to the most discerning eye looking VERY closely. And even then only in a few places in the image. White fabrics with folds and shadows such as wedding dresses would be one place that this might make a difference.

But considering monochrome or other low chroma type picture, the Epson WOULD have a visible edge particularly in the fine detail of LIGHT shadows. This would apply to all images where the B&W layer was the bulk of the visible print.

The control would apply to Sepia and other coloration variations, but probably ONLY in the black part. The colors used to make the Sepia will likely be quite similar.

Please note that these observations are ENTIRELY theoretical. There are quite a few other factors including which inks you are using and the ability of the paper itself to control the ink once it hits the paper. Not to mention the different algorithms applied by each different company (which to a certain extent from what I read might even be quite similar) to the image at the 'dot' level.

I hope someone learned something from my little learning journey. I have gone as far as I think I need to for this.

Cheers!

Message edited by author 2006-08-21 23:33:03.
08/22/2006 01:54:38 AM · #10
A bit of clarification on the relation between printer DPI and photo PPI might be useful. Starting with the simpler case of a grayscale photo with 8 bits/pixel, each pixel can be one of 256 shades of gray. But on a printer with just black ink, each dot is just black or white (the assumed paper color). The printer replicates grayscale by printing multiple dots for each pixel. To see how many, divide the DPI by the PPI. For example, to print a 300 PPI photo on a printer with 9600x2400 DPI, each pixel is represented by 32x8 dots, or 256 total, so it can replicate the shade of any pixel. Lower DPI's can achieve similar results if the printer can control the dot sizes or has gray inks. Gray inks tend to produce higher quality results because more ink can be spread over a larger area; although the eye can't perceive the individual dots, this tends to have a smoother appearance.

For the highest quality prints, you should know what PPI the printer driver uses and give it images with that PPI. Otherwise, the driver will interpolate your photo to its native resolution. It will generally do a good job, but interpolation always reduces quality a bit.

The mechanics of printing text are very different from printing photos. If you want to use one printer for both, make sure it does both well. Some printers are designed with this in mind.

Color is more complex mostly because photos use an RGB color space and printers use a CMY or CMYK color space, and the printer driver has to convert. But that's easy to do. Just like the case with gray ink, light cyan and light magenta inks can produce better results with less DPI.

A major determining factor with printers is whether they use black ink when printing photos (i.e., whether they use CMY or CMYK). Many dual use (photo and text) printers use black only for text. For example, the Epson Stylus C82 (I had one awhile ago) used a black ink optimized for use on plain paper, and did a great job of printing text on that medium. But that ink wouldn't work on photo paper (it wouldn't dry properly), so was never used when printing photos. And approximating black or gray with a combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow ink just isn't as rich as using black (or gray) ink.
08/22/2006 08:11:39 AM · #11
I said that I had done all the research that I thought I would do, but since when do I actually mean that I am finished talking when I say it... :)

Thank you Dr Rick!

I agree wholeheartedly with all you have just said.

Especially for the clarification between printer DPI. I had done the math as you had said but missed the significance and connection to the number of shades.

FWIW, from what I could see, the Canon has two blacks, one for photos and one for text.

The Epson R230 seems to be the most popular unit (also has that funky external reservoir thing which allows high volume printing... don't know how far I could trust those third party inks though).

It has a black and a light grey. I am not sure if the black is used in printing photos or not. I would guess that they are, but I don't know. I think that I read some comments on the net that said that Epson wasn't very good for text. I haven't been putting a lot of stock in 'comments on the net' lately.

Actually, I was doing some more looking because I could not previously find a good example from an Epson printer. A lot of shops were just using their own pictures which sucked.

I had actually suspected that using more ink would make smoother and nicer looking results. I didn't think that it would be a major difference though.

Looking closer today, I discovered that there was indeed a difference. The Epson photo example was very, very smooth.

I gave it some thought and realized that with the Epson, using droplets 3 times larger than the Canon, but with only a little more than half as much horizontal sensitivity, would end up with 50% more overlapping than the Canon.

Considering the size of the droplets that are being dealt with, this could be quite a significant difference, particularly where it comes to graininess vs smoothness. This would certainly help to explain why top end photo printers tend to use larger droplets with 3 picoliters, the same as the Epson.

This seems to be borne out in the print quality which has smoother dot-to-dot graduations, but very slightly less sharply defined edges.

The Canon did have a tiny bit more grain visible in the print. Only when I stared at it very, very closely and in good light.

On the other hand, looking extremely closely at the Epson, I could discern almost no graininess. Just the tiniest bit in a very light area of greenish cyan in an slightly out of focus area.

Further, I detected a tiny bit of muddyness in the dark hair texturing. I wonder if this might be an indicator that the R230 also doesn't use the black for photos... I wonder....

Nothing is perfect.

Thanks again Dr Rick!
08/22/2006 08:24:43 AM · #12
Not only all this tech dpi nozzle droplet size babble is important.

Also look at the papers, what paper do you prefer, do you want to be able to print on certain kind of specialist paper. Have you looked at the lifetime of the prints (color fade, paper color changes), influence of sunlight on the prints. How much of your print is cut off by each when you print edgeless? etc etc etc Do you need special paper or is the regular paper ok when you want your print to last 50 years (or longer) on the wall.

I have an Epson R300 and Epson Picturemate btw. But I have also found a very good pro online lab in Holland that delivers in 24 hours and lets me pay after seeing the prints and is more affordable than the inkjet printing. They also leave the files untouched and have color profiles so you can set your print up for their process and paper.

Message edited by author 2006-08-22 08:30:12.
08/22/2006 12:25:31 PM · #13
Thanks azrifel, I do actually understand this. In fact, if you look up, you will notice that I actually said this three posts up

Originally posted by eschelar:

Please note that these observations are ENTIRELY theoretical. There are quite a few other factors including which inks you are using and the ability of the paper itself to control the ink once it hits the paper. Not to mention the different algorithms applied by each different company (which to a certain extent from what I read might even be quite similar) to the image at the 'dot' level.


The DPI nozzle babble is important because almost nobody seems to understand what it means...

Every single store that I have been to so far has had a guy insist to me that having more colors of ink makes the colors more vibrant (there is a maximum theoretical 'vibrance' of color that would be attainable as a property of the inks themselves... most sub-pro level printers don't add extra colors, just lighter colors to deal with light areas better), and not one of them could explain to me anything about the DPI.

Not to mention the different papers... lots of different choices out there. I would guess that most people would only go for 2-3 types of paper stocked in their homes.

Please note that the purpose of this post is to get a bit of information out there regarding those funky numbers and specs that are so widely misunderstood.

I would feel fairly safe in saying that the difference between the longevity in Canon's 100 year prints and Epson's 100-200 year prints is something of a minor concern for most users.

I want to understand the issues clearly before I buy. But I DO understand that whatever I buy, it won't be super-high-end pro and won't be able to go bigger than 8.5x11 anyhow...

I think there's a fairly substantial number of users out there who have similar goals...

For me to print a 8.5x11 on Canon Photo paper will cost (paper and ink) approximately 1/3 what I would pay at a mediocre photo printery.

I'm still sort of tossing up the Epson/Canon thing...

I'd love to hear what kind of input you have to give on other technical issues you mentioned. What have you found regarding the edgeless printing? Is it simple and easy with Epson software? How well does it print on regular paper? Do you need special paper with your 300?

Message edited by author 2006-08-22 12:25:46.
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