What's the best printer for photos?

vbimport

#1

I currently have an Epson Stylus CX4600 and it prints photos like crap. Just ask my wife. She’s totally frustrated about printing photos of our daughter for her scrapbooking.

What I’d like to find out is: what is the best All-In-One printer for the best price that you are aware of? I need a printer that prints great photo quality up to 8" X 10". My wife would be very happy.

I’ve seen great photos printed off of HP’s, but I have no idea what price range is the threshold for that great printing qualities. I guess I’m looking for models and model numbers that people have had success with… and maybe even a thumbs up from somebody’s wife. :slight_smile: If mama’s happy, everybody’s happy! :smiley:


#2

“Best” is a dubious term, and means different things to different people. Canon printers are my personal favorite because of a low cost to operate.

More often than not, poor quality print results are due to the printer driver, not the printer. Use of default photo print settings is the cause of your woes. Try different paper too, papers can vary hugely and often a given printer needs specific paper for best results. Likewise, your driver offers different paper settings when you print. I have a Canon that gets best photo results by using the “transparency” paper setting, but even with that it takes some adjustment.

In order to get top quality photo prints, you need to take a number of steps to calibrate your setup. Start with properly calibrating your monitor, so that what you see on screen is more or less correct to start with. Next, you need to match your printer’s output to accurately reflect what you see on the screen. This will be different for the different papers, and you should set up “profiles” in your print driver for the paper you use. Lastly, look at the images themselves, and use image software (Photoshop) to get the best image you can.

Getting good quality prints with default printer settings is purely a matter of luck, and rarely works out well. There a number of sites that offer calibration images (color bars) that you can download for viewing and printing that will help you get close to optimal settings. But you can also create your own in any publishing program, save them as image files and print them, adjusting your print setting till the output matches the image on your screen. Like this. There’s a wealth of info available online, suggest you do some reading and dive in. Be prepared to waste a lot of paper and ink in the process, but the results will be worth it and you will impress the wife with your magic powers. I also recommend that you not skimp on paper/ink in this process, make just one or 2 small adjustments, then print.


#3

BestBuy has the Canon MP460 on sale right now at $99. An excellent value for an entry-level all-in-one.

Personally, I would go with the MP510 or MP600, as they have individual ink tanks and better printer engines. The MP600 would be my 1st choice, as it uses a slighter better printer engine for photos. CNet review I see online prices under $150

I looking onto your Epson a bit, it does appear to be a bit of a pooch, user ratings are pretty low.


#4

I have a Cannon ip 5000 and find it prints excellent photo’s however I have found that the quality of the paper can make an enormous difference.
The cannon paper gives a much better print than other makes. You can also download printer profiles for other papers (Ilford, Kodak) to get a better match with your particular printer.


#5

I’m going with the HP Photosmart 3210. I’ve seen great photos come from my inlaws’ exact same printers without having to mess with any settings… strictly using the default settings. I want something that doesn’t need to be massaged in order to produce great output. Thanks for your opinions.


#6

I´m with weedougie and plug for the Canon iP5000
It´s a kind of “are we there yet?” technology (another thread here started by fellow-freak samlar)…mine is 2 years old already but I´ve yet to see a printer that can do a better job.

I think all printers are probably able to produce acceptable quality if set up right…

e.g…It does make a big difference what paper you use…messing around with inks to save a few bucks can also screw things up!


#7

I have both the Epson R300, and a Canon MP500. Both do an equally good job of printing photos. The Canon ink seems to dry a little quicker (which is good), and the ink is a bit cheaper. The biggest thing is using quality photo paper. Don’t try to get by with the cheap stuff.


#8

If you want the best quality then look for something like an epson R800 as it is an 8 ink printer and gives fantastic results for photo’s. Of course it is more expensive because of this and will cost around £200 to get a new one.


#9

I believe you should use the paper that is intended for your printer. Usually that would be the paper from the printer manufacturer. Different printers use different ink, and it needs to be matched with the paper. That’s my belief anyway.

I don’t think you can go wrong with an HP. My HP photosmart 7350 has been printing good photos for several years with no tinkering.

The ideal printer hasn’t been invented yet though.


#10

I have a Epson 320 and a HP 932C. Both are excellent at printing photos but with the price of ink and quality photo paper, I find it better to burn the photos to disk. Then take the disk to Walgreens, Walmart or wearever to have them printed.


#11

:iagree:


#12

And if you have a high speed internet connection, you can just upload the jpg files to their web site.


#13

Epson R340 here, I think this printer is great for photos personaly. I’d stay away from canon unless you go for the top od the range tbh but thats just me. I bought a cheapish $120 canon IP2000 printer and it was dog poo. Then got the R340 for about $220 and its been a great printer.


#14

I don’t know what to make of the Epson R300/R200 printers. I got a new R220 cheap on Ebay for printing on CDs. The ink nozzles dry up and plug up all the time. Maybe I got a lemon. Many others have complained of this but others don’t seem to have the problem.

Anyway I’m gonna trash mine when it runs out of ink. I guess I’ll buy the HP that prints CDs.


#15

My 200 did the plugged bad thing only once when I accidently turned it off for a long time. Took a lot of cleaning cycles and ink to clear it. When I just leave it on all the time it was fine. My new refurbed r800 allready needed a quick nozzle cleaning after only a few prints but who knows how it will do once I get it dialed in the way I want. Didn’t seem to be using a lot of ink till that point and photos looked clean, just trying to get the contrast level where I want it now.


#16

Yo-

Just got another Canon ip6000d - new - off of eBay for under $120 shipped-

Uses the cheap BI6 individual carts and puts out great looking 4 x 6 and 8 x 10 - and really sips the ink-

They are all over eBay-eh!