OP Home > Gear > More Gear > Gadget Bag > Next-Gen Photo Printers
Monday, November 16, 2009

Next-Gen Photo Printers

Despite the proliferation of photo-sharing sites online, the print remains the ultimate expression of a photograph. New printer technology and models will have your prints looking better than ever.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Epson Stylus Photo R2880
The Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II printer produces professional, borderless, large-format photos up to 14 inches wide (on media up to 13 inches wide). It features a high-density, 6,144-nozzle, FINE print head that deposits ink droplets as small as 2 picoliters, which translates to a mind-boggling 11 million ink droplets per square inch. Canon’s 100-year ChromaLife100 ink is stored in eight separate tanks that can be individually replaced. The combination of Canon’s Easy Photo Print Pro software application and the printer’s built-in firmware assures the highest-quality output and can automatically optimize your prints in one of five categories, including hard-to-adjust situations using Night Scenery. Max resolution is 4800x2400, and performance is fast. The PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II cranks out an 11x14-inch print in less than a minute-and-a-half and an 8x10 in 47 seconds.

HP Photosmart Pro B8850
The Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II printer also produces large-format photos up to 14 inches wide. Like the Pro9000, it offers two separate paper trays to allow you to switch media without interrupting your workflow. The PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II improves on the features of its Pro9000 sibling by offering a high-performance, high-density, FINE print head with 25 percent more nozzles—7,680 instead of 6,144—for finer gradations. The max print resolution is 4800x2400. The PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II also uses Canon’s Lucia-branded pigment-based inks, which are stored in 10 individual ink tanks, including Matte Black, Photo Black and Gray inks, to produce outstanding color, as well as superior black-and-white prints. The addition of Gray ink means that the printer doesn’t have to try to reproduce gray tones by blending other colors. Gray ink also helps counteract metamerism, a phenomenon where certain colors look different under different lighting conditions, while at the same time, other colors in the print appear exactly the same.

HP Photosmart Pro B9180
The Epson Stylus Photo R2880 inkjet printer is built for serious photographers who want to produce high-quality prints that match their vision. In addition to the highly visible high-end specifications, the R2880 possesses a myriad of features that assure the best results from input through output. For example, the permanent print head is treated with a special ink-repellent coating to minimize nozzle clogging, which is something that you can’t see but will most certainly appreciate when it doesn’t clog. Automatic Nozzle Check technology working in conjunction with Epson’s proprietary mist collection system keeps the inside of the printer clean and reduces jamming.

The new step-up Epson Stylus Pro 3880 large-format printer shares these characteristics and adds several features. The 17-inch-wide printer produces gallery-quality color and black-and-white output up to 17x22 inches. The advanced paper-handling mechanism can handle just about everything, from 4x6 up to 17x22 inches. The Stylus Pro 3880 also features one high-speed USB 2.0 port and one 10/100 Ethernet port, and offers a 2.5-inch, backlit LCD control panel for easy, direct printer control and status monitoring.

Both Epson printers use the UltraChrome K3 inks, which are legendary and reputed to create prints that can last for 200 years or more. The Stylus Photo R2880 provides a unique three-level black ink process that produces black-and-white prints with exceptional grayscale reproduction and outstanding tonal range, and the Advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode ensures precision control for neutral or toned black-and-white prints. You can even select from four preset options: neutral, warm, cool or sepia.

Professionals and serious amateurs alike appreciate the way the Stylus Pro 3880 renders black-and-white prints. The Auto-Sharing Photo and Matte Black Ink feature automatically utilizes two different black ink modes—Photo Black and Matte Black—which optimizes black ink density for various types of media.

Popular OP Articles