Advice on buying A4 photo printer please...

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Gordon
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I've just scanned the search results for new printers and don't think the answer to my needs is there; so here goes.

I have had no end of problems with the print head on a Kodak printer that I bought 2 years ago. It has now failed for the 4th time and I don't even use the printer that much. Kodak replaced it the last 3 times for free, but now they want me to pay and I not inclined to put good money into a substandard product.

I tend to print test photos on 6"x4" and sometimes A4, tweak and re-print before sending of to the likes of Loxley for the best quality. I also supply some customers with 6"x4" photos from the printer (typically dog or horse events).

What I would like is a good, sensibly priced A4 printer that will also do 6"x4" photos and standard document printing tasks too... Portability would be nice so I could take to events one day. Any suggestions?
 
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TheBigYin

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Mark
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I've got the Canon iP4600, excellent print quality on original ink cartridges, reasonably quick at A4 full-page images. Does the normal stuff as well - plain paper, duplex printing, DVD/CD printing. I think there are CIS systems available for it, but I personally don't print enough to make it worthwhile. I think it's now been superseded by the iP4700, which is the same printer in a new frock!
 
OP
Gordon Scott
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Gordon
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I've got the Canon iP4600, excellent print quality on original ink cartridges, reasonably quick at A4 full-page images. Does the normal stuff as well - plain paper, duplex printing, DVD/CD printing. I think there are CIS systems available for it, but I personally don't print enough to make it worthwhile. I think it's now been superseded by the iP4700, which is the same printer in a new frock!
Thanks for the feedback; very useful. Does print to the edge of the A4 page and can it do 6"x4" prints to the edge of the page?
 
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Weiran Zhang
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I have a Canon MP630 which has a similar print engine to iP4600 and its an excellent printer. It does do edge-to-edge with any size, although I wouldn't really call them portable unless you have access to mains power at the event.
 
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Dave Pickett
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pleased with my Epson P50 does edge to edge and all you want, inks are dirt cheap which is a big advantage, and CISS systems and refillable cartridges are easily available on ebay....about the same price as the canon
 

AliB

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I'm considering getting rid of a Canon MP190 for an Epson of some description. My Canon prints grass luminous green, makes people glow and is generally carp at anything other than printing a letter, but then it was £50 in Tesco. Like anything in life you get what you pay for. I do also have a beast of an HP A3+ that prints like a dream.

One other thing to watch out for though. Some will give you the facility to print direct onto a white CD which can be useful, especially if you are at an event or want to sell the images afterwards. Also nice for labelling backups :)
 
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Alan
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Just a word about Epson...

I and others seem to get dark prints from the R2440 (and other Epson's) and this is something that has been commented on in some reviews. Surfing the net and reading about how others have overcome this issue (or attempted to...) there doesn't seem to be any definite explanation or easy fix in some cases.

My previous set up of PC running XP and HP printer produced prints which matched my expectations but my new set up of PC running Vista and Epson R2440 gives prints which are darker than I'd expect and darker than prints of the same shot made with my previous set up.

This is the sort of thing that can have you reinstalling drivers, trying different paper and fiddling with profiles until the early hours so I'd suggest that anyone thinking of buying a new printer should spend a few minutes Googling for common issues before they buy.
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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A word of warning on the portability of inkjets...


LEAKAGE!


A little ink can go a LONG way. It's bad enough getting a drop or 2 on your fingers but imagine a whole cart full in the boot of the car (or even worse, on the back seat, dog, children...)


My main printer now (for personal amateur use) is a Canon iX 4000 A3+ inkjet. Produces great prints from 6x4 (edge to edge) up to A3+ with many sizes being borderless. It uses the CLI-8 inkset and the prints from it (on Ilford Galerie smooth gloss paper) are lasting very well behind glass (2 years and counting, so far). It's only a 4 ink printer (CMYK, no light C and M or red/green/blue) but the output compares very well with results from my older 6 ink s820 (also Canon).

If possible, get some sample prints done from a shortlist of printers and see which you like best. One thing I will add is that the best results come from genuine inks - cheap ones can block nozzles, give dodgy colours and fade faster (other downsides also exist but have slipped my mind).
 
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Gareth
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I have a cheap and cheerful (£85) Canon MP550. I reckon it's superb and prints edge to edge, although it is my first Canon printer so have nothing to compare it to.
 

MARK AMIES

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The Kodak printer you bought ( to OP) , was that a dye sublimation printer, perhaps a 1400?
 
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dark prints is down to print management -the printer will only print what it is told to do.

Just a word about Epson...

I and others seem to get dark prints from the R2440 (and other Epson's) and this is something that has been commented on in some reviews. Surfing the net and reading about how others have overcome this issue (or attempted to...) there doesn't seem to be any definite explanation or easy fix in some cases.

My previous set up of PC running XP and HP printer produced prints which matched my expectations but my new set up of PC running Vista and Epson R2440 gives prints which are darker than I'd expect and darker than prints of the same shot made with my previous set up.

This is the sort of thing that can have you reinstalling drivers, trying different paper and fiddling with profiles until the early hours so I'd suggest that anyone thinking of buying a new printer should spend a few minutes Googling for common issues before they buy.
 
OP
Gordon Scott
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Gordon
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The Kodak printer you bought ( to OP) , was that a dye sublimation printer, perhaps a 1400?
My original Kodak printer was an EASYSHARE 5500, it mucked me around a lot and was very fussy with papers. I basically had to use 5 star paper or it would print with bands. I have dumped it (literally) now because of the continual failures of the print head.

I bought the Canon ip4700 http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Printers/Inkjet/PIXMA_iP4700/

The Canon is much more tolerant of paper types and produces good prints. It is a more juicy on the ink costing about 60p per A4 print whereas the Kodak cost about 40p per A4 print. Not a major problem, but worth noting. The Canon is also not as good on black and white prints with more of a colour cast than the Kodak.
 
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Jonathan
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I have a Kodak ESP7 all in one for home use, i have no basis for comparison other than large prints done on a Epson Stylus Pro 11880 at uni, but for small prints 6x4 its fine, it does upto 8.5x11 borderless i believe. It is also incredibly cheap at the moment, around £59 from Comet i got mine, with cheap ink and Kodak premium print paper for around £4 for 20 sheets from tescos atm.

I have had no problems with it, for wireless document printing, small photo printing for personal use, and document scanning. Its also survived two house moves and is quite robust.
 

excalibur2

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If you are skint then something like an Epson 880 go for as little as £1 at boot sales and the compatible ink cartridges can be as low as 75p each for b/w and colour.....I'm still using the Epson 600 plus the 880 and the quality is quite good but of course not as good as a modern printer.
 
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John
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When you are looking at a printer see what sort of cartridges it uses. Don't opt for one that has two carts a colour one and a black one. Opt for one with individual colour carts. This way when one runs out, you only replace that one. Can save you a lot of money. Also look at the cost of replacement cartridges. That's where most of the running costs go.

If you short list some printers you might want to check out the reviews at this site

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/
 
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Richard
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I've got the Canon iP4600, excellent print quality on original ink cartridges, reasonably quick at A4 full-page images. Does the normal stuff as well - plain paper, duplex printing, DVD/CD printing. I think there are CIS systems available for it, but I personally don't print enough to make it worthwhile. I think it's now been superseded by the iP4700, which is the same printer in a new frock!
The IP4600 is a brilliant printer and cheap, giving amazing prints.. no fancy screens or card readers (y)
 
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