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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gadget Bag: Make Your Best Fall Prints

You can create rich, vivid prints of fall color when you have the right printer for the job

This Article Features Photo Zoom

The shadows have grown longer, the air is cooler, and there’s crispness in the air. Yes, warm summer days have made way for fall, and with fall comes the event so many landscape photographers look forward to every year. The spectacular color change of the season in many parts of North America is always a highly anticipated time, as outdoor photographers, from hobbyists to professionals, head to the hills, lakes, forests and streams to capture the brilliant color as Mother Earth dons her overcoat of reds, yellows, greens and gold.

Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II
Armed with the technology that affords today’s shooters with every advantage to capture that color in vibrant hues and tones, the outcome is sure to be spectacular images. Yet, nothing compares to seeing these fall scenes, in all their colorful glory, as a print, carefully crafted by the artist/photographer. While there are several reputable and reliable online printing services, there’s a great deal of satisfaction and control that comes from printing your own masterpieces right at your desktop.

Desktop photo printer technology has made significant strides in quality color reproduction. Capable of producing large, archival prints, these printers can accurately reproduce the brilliance and broad range of color in the autumn landscape. A number of desktop printers meet the demands of professional and enthusiast photographers alike. Let’s have a look at some of today’s top-end photo printers that are sure to turn the color output from your fall images into stunning prints.

Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II
Canon has long been a leader in digital imaging, and its current line of pro photo printers continues the tradition. The Pixma Pro series includes the Pixma Pro9000 Mark II and the Pixma Pro9500 Mark II. These printers both feature the capability to handle up to 19-inch paper and Canon’s unique FINE (Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering) printer-head technology, which ensures superior ink coverage, resulting in sharp, dense color prints. Both printers output sharp, realistic color prints with beautiful red, yellows, oranges and greens, perfect for those landscapes that capture the warm, bright colors of your autumn images.

The Pixma Pro9000 Mark II features 6,144 nozzles on the print head that distributes its dye-based colors from eight individual cartridges, resulting in breathtaking color prints that will render fall landscapes with dramatic detail. Print time for a borderless 8x10 is quick—just under one minute. Estimated Street Price: $499.

Epson Stylus Pro 4880
With 10 individual pigment-based ink tanks, the Pixma Pro9500 Mark II adds gray, matte and black inks that can produce dramatic black-and-white prints. For displaying high-resolution prints, whether they’re black-and-white or color, the Pro9500 Mark II features a print head with 7,800 nozzles. Print time for this high-res output is about four minutes for a borderless 8x10. Estimated Street Price: $849.

A favorite among many photographers, both pro and high-end enthusiast, is the Epson line of desktop image printers. While there are many models of printers from which to choose, outdoor shooters are most likely to be interested in three models—the Stylus Photo R2880, the Stylus Pro 3880 and the Stylus Pro 4880. Well known for its prowess in producing spectacular black-and-white prints, Epson’s Stylus xx80 series of printers also are known to produce consistent, accurate color prints with no color crossover or colorcast.


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