Quality Photographs Deserve Overqualified Printers
During the holidays I decided that it was time to print some of the photos I managed to capture during the holidays (girl friends wrestling New Year’s Eve, gorgeous holiday night New York skyline, a cohort with a classic devilish mug as he spiked the eggnog with rum).
The only challenge was my older Epson 980 photo printer no longer made the grade on several levels: it predated archivable inks (inks that won’t fade in time) you find in many of today’s photo printers, its inability to do anything beyond 8×10 photos limited anything of impressive caliber, and it printed at speeds even a Yugo would be proud of. [continued after the jump ]
This Man Needs A Printer
So began my quest for an overengineered product befitting of my needs. Of course, I immediately looked past anything at Best Buy, heading directly to the web where I eventually landed on HP’s specialty inkjet printers section, discovering the HP Photosmart Pro B9180. Eventually a decision was made that printing an archivable gallery-quality full 6-color photo in 90 seconds or a 4×6 photo in 10 seconds (28 ppm black/26ppm color @ draft quality, up to 4,800×1,200 dpi) was something I needed.
As a creative-type in a previous life, I’d always been impressed with Epson’s consumer grade products, but found myself a loyalist to HP when it came to professional grade gear (what man doesn’t want professional grade?). The Photosmart uses HP’s Vivera 6-color ink cartridge system reducing the need for replacement (~$25 each). Basically meaning your 4 prints of that overly blue & yellow photo of the beach vacation won’t exhaust your 3-color cartridge most inkjets are plagued with.
One week with the Photosmart Pro B9180 and I’m a believer. I’m printing enough to shame Ansel Adams, have four wonderful 13×19 photographs at the frame-shop – instantly upgrading the wall decor at home. To me, it’s been well worth the price of entry.
Editor’s Note: There are plenty of other well-priced photo printer options out there like the Epson Stylus C88+ Ink Jet Printer ($88). The Epson Stylus C88+’s output is outstanding for the price, but beware: new shiny printers = new shiny photographs and new shiny photographs = many trips to Office Depot for more ink cartridges making $88 suddenly look more like $288.