SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Feb 28, 2002
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
I just swiped my daughter's digital camera and am getting pretty excited about the possiblities for myself - work wise. Right now I take before and after slides, but I'm thinking of switching to digital.

I would store the files on CD I guess, but for easy reference and giving to the client, prints would be handy. Any words of wisdom here? Good and bad experiences appreciated. I'm hoping to get away with something in the $400 - $500 range?

Rebecca -
I don't know how long you've been documenting your work on slide film - but, pull one of your oldest slides and I'll bet my two cents worth that it looks just as good as the slides that you took last week!
The problem w/ inkjet printers (consumer and office models) is that the image WILL NOT last - Unless you invest in a photo dye-sub printer (which can run several thousand dollars) can you expect lasting photo quality.
I would recommend that you use the digital camera and format your photos on your computer to about 4x6 at 300 dpi and burn your images to a CD. Take your CD (or even the camera card) to your local photo shop for printing. You will find that 4x6 prints from digital run about .29 (Wally-World) to .49 (Target, Ritz Camera) or maybe a little higher at your local camera shop. With the cost of paper, ink, and don't forget your time, it's pretty hard to beat those prices and you will be getting a long lasting "real" photograph.
The neat thing about digital is you can add text, put both the "Before" & "After" on the same photo and make some really nice professional looking handouts for your clients. Good luck!

If you're determined to spend $400, buy two HP Photosmart 7760s and send one of them to me.

If you want to primarily print photos, the HP photos printers will serve very nicely. Most have a memory card slot so you can print directly form the card without connecting it to your computer. (You have a computer, right?)

Or you can connect it to use photo editing software, like Photoshop Elements.

You could get one that uses pigmented inks if you want your prints to last 150 years.

You could spend more than $200 if you want to print bigger than 81/2 x 14. Otherwise, I wouldn't.

Canon and others also make some very nice photo printers, but most of my recent experience is with the HPs.
And I cannot let my favorite company go un-mentioned…….Dell have some new developments under their belt…….more news later this week.


Dermot :rolleyes:

Press Release Source: Dell Inc.

ADVISORY/Dell to Announce Developments in Imaging & Printing Business at 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Monday January 5, 11:02 am ET


Thursday, Jan. 8, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. PDT North Hall N258, Las Vegas Convention Center: Immediately following CEO Michael Dell's CES Industry Insider speech, please join senior-level Dell executives for an important announcement regarding Dell's Imaging & Printing line of business. This announcement will allow Dell (Nasdaq:DELL - News) to satisfy an increasing number of customers in 2004 and beyond. Please arrive early to ensure seating.
To RSVP, please contact Anne-Marie Devine at 415-974-7285 or
For more information on Dell printers, please visit
Rebecca - this is an area that you'll get a different answer from everyone:

My reccomendation would be to go for a Canon or Epson. I personally use Epson and have had no problems.

What do you want? If it's just record-keeping 4x6s, you can get a nice Canon dye-sub for less than $300 (

If you want to print things larger than 4x6, Epson offers great printers at a good value ( Many are bundled with PSElements to get you started.

Good luck!

Thank you all -food for thought. The general picture I'm getting is that I can get a dye ink printer of good quality for a fairly reasonable price and a pigmented ink printer for lots and lots of money? And I can take the CD version into the pros and get pigmented ink prints?

Nope, wrong impression.

You can get a dye-ink photo printer that will make dazzling prints that won't last forever for under $200 US.

You can get a pigmented ink printer that will make prints that will last a very long time. It still won't cost a fortune, unless you need a wide-carriage printer to make prints larger than 8-1/2x14, (in which case you need about a 5-megapixel camera.) If you make a lot of prints, the inks and papers get expensive, and some of the printers are agonizingly slow. My Epson 2000P guzzles ink and might spend 20 minutes making an 8x10. That's just the test print, and it might take a few tries to get the color, contrast and density right. (The prints are supposed to last 150 years, but it takes 75 years to make one.)

If you take your files to a photofinisher - either on a CD OR on the memory card from the camera - you're likely to get good, economical prints on a traditional photographic paper. They'll have good longevity and be less prone to water damage than inkjet prints. In fact, resin-coated prints are essentially waterproof.

You have lots of good options. A few years ago, you had very few.
Rebecca. Hi I am going through the same conundrum myself wrt what printer... Have found a good informative site to look at.. although UK based, I am sure that they have a similiar site in the states. The Epson Photo 2100 (over here) seems to be the best budget priced printer. Pigmented Ink.... Have actually seen the results and they are impressive..
Good Luck
I just got this Canon dye-sublimation printer for Christmas, CLICK HERE

I have a Canon camera but the printer is supposed to work with other digital cameras. It makes really nice 4x6 postcard prints. Works with or without a computer. Connects to either the camera or a computer. Very easy to operate.

Another good site to check out for information is

[ 01-06-2004, 05:00 PM: Message edited by: Dancinbaer ]
Am am so spoiled with b&w laser printing quickly that I think I would go bonkers waiting 20 minutes for a print. These are for reference, I don't need them to last forever ((that's what the CD copy is for(and I know, I know, I'll need to reformat every 10 yrs or so)). As for fiddling with color - oh gee, I hope I don't need to!

So the parts of the question I didn't know I needed to ask but will now - forget price for a minute - are there any printers out there that are quick (and I don't know what I mean by that except faster than 20 min!) and don't need too much color adustment?

Dye is generally much faster than pigment and less fussy with the color adjustment. The prints will look great and aren't going to fade before your eyes.

In this class, I still say the HP photoprinters are tough to beat. Buy one that has readily-available ink cartridges and convenient paper-handling. Then find a paper you like and stick with it. You'll do a lot less color-tweaking. I like HP Premium Plus Matte Photo Paper. It looks and feels like an RC lab paper.

Just don't get it wet or frame it against glass.
Rebecca-I've got a variety of Epson printers. All do an excellent job. Problem with inkjets, however, is if you don't use them for a while the heads can clog.

I use two Olympus dye sub printers--p400 for prints up to 8x10 and p330 for small 3.5x5 prints. Both do a good job. Dye sub media is fairly expensive.

If you are not looking for glossy, sellable prints, consider getting a Minolta color laser printer. Picked one up at Staples not long ago for about $500 (new). Makes a decent reference photo print and is built like a tank.
Just to let you all know (sure you were dying for the update!) I got an Epson Photo R 300 and finally worked up the courage to use it (got a friend to hold my hand for the first time). I love it! It can make thumnails of my CD stored photos, and print 4 work copies of the stuff I'm currently working on. And it only cost $250 Canadian! Thanks for your help!

As a matter-of-fact, I HAVE been wondering.

I bought a new printer a few days ago to use at home - an HP all-in-one psc 1350, so I can scan, copy and print.

The most interesting feature, and it's available on quite a few HP printers, has to do with photo printing. There are memory card slots for six kinds of cards (I didn't know there WERE six kinds.) When you insert a card and push a single button, you get a proof sheet of every image on the card.

On the proof sheet, you indicate (by filling in little ovals) which ones you'd like printed, what size prints you'd like and whether you're printing on photo or standard paper. Then you scan the proof sheet (again, one button) and it prints according to your specifications.

And it does all that without being connected to the computer.

If it IS connected to the computer, and you insert a memory card, a window pops up and asks if you'd like to download the images to the computer or print directly from the card.

Six-color photo printing on a good paper gives very good-looking photos that don't take 20 minutes to print, though, if I need them to last several generations, I'll still use the Epson 2000P.

Oh, it cost under $150.

On the down-side, I think I might go back and get the extended warranty, since it sounds like an old truck on a very cold morning when it starts printing.
If speed is important, the most important feature is separate ink cartridges for each color. My HP Business Inkjet 2230 with 4 cartridges is much faster with color than my HP PhotoSmart with 2. It's all in the number of passes the print head has to make.

Oops! Too late - I wasn't paying to the dates.