Tired of wimpy 13x19"
prints? Find that 16x20" output is nice but just doesn't
have the impact of say, 18x24"? HP's Designjet 130 printer
produces larger sizes (up to 24") without unloading the standard
tray, and the rear path accommodates thick media, too. Using dye-based
inks, the Designjet 130 produces 2400dpi output with a wide gamut of
vivid colors, continuous tones, and smooth color transitions at up to
11 pages per minute (ppm) for letter size in Fast mode and 90 seconds
per page for 2x3 ft drawing in Fast mode.
With USB 2.0 connectivity and a price tag under $1000, I can't
wait to try printing posters that are as big as "real" posters.
If you have slightly smaller ambitions, size-wise, its little brother,
the Designjet 30, has a six-ink system, 2400dpi maximum resolution,
and a four-picoliter ink droplet size for less bread. Both awesome printers
support Mac OS or Windows computers but prices were not yet set at show
Kodak Thermal Dye Transfer
One printer I instantly fell in love with was Kodak's thermal dye
transfer (don't call it dye sub) Photo Printer 6800 that delivers
a high-quality 5x7" photo in just 20 seconds and as many as 375
5x7" prints before an operator has to wake up. The printer supports
Microsoft 2000 and XP operating systems, only because that's the
only computers that the "yellow box" company thinks you guys
use. (Please let them know if you disagree.) It connects to your computer
via a USB 2.0 or 1.1 interface, and comes with a power cable, dust covers,
ribbon carrier, print drivers, user documentation, and calibration utility
for less than $3000.
Epson America, Inc.'s latest printer, the Stylus Photo R200, has
an estimated street price of $99, uses six individual ink cartridges,
and not only prints on paper but offers direct CD/DVD printing. It achieves
resolutions up to 5760x1440 optimized dpi with three-picoliter ink droplets
and photo output as fast as 37 seconds for a 4x6" photo and 78 seconds
for an 8x10". The Stylus Photo R200 can print photos on Epson's
Borderless 4x6", 5x7", 8x10", and letter-size photo
papers with no borders to trim and no perforations to tear.
The Epson PictureMate looks a lot like a boombox; at least they used to
look like that until they got big. By just inserting a memory card, it
happily churns out 4x6" prints all day long without a computer.
PictureMate supports Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, CompactFlash
(Types I and II), Microdrive, and even the mostly useless xD card. It
supports direct printing from PictBridge-equipped cameras. Resolution
of the output is 5760x1440dpi and uses $29 Print Packs that contain ink
and paper for 100 prints. The printer is expected to sell for less than
$200 when it ships this summer.
Laser Printers, Too
Say what you want about color laser printers but they are fast and will
print on anything, including Glad Wrap--maybe they'll do that,
too. Konica Minolta's magicolor 2300W is small (just 14" wide)
and delivers 1200x600dpi resolution as fast as a Ferrari Enzo can spin
The four (count 'em) toner cartridges are pre-installed--that's
good, because I'm probably not smart enough to do it--and can
print up to 16 pages per minute in black and white and four pages per
minute in color. It has USB and one of those quaint little parallel interfaces,
but it lets you output on envelopes, transparencies, labels, card stock,
and even plain paper. If I have the choice between waiting for an ink
jet printer to make contact sheets from Photoshop CS or the magicolor
2300W, I'll pick the Konica Minolta because I've got better
things to do with my time.
Hi-Touch builds a family of dye sublimation printers that clearly march
to the beat of a different drummer. The HiTi 730PL delivers 6x8"
borderless prints at 300dpi in approximately 70 seconds; a 5x7"
in 60 seconds; and a 4x6" in 40 seconds. The machine uses variable
media that can be interchanged.
Their 730PS delivers 4x6", 5x7", and 6x8" borderless
prints and is equippe0d with a color LCD handheld controller and memory
card slots that accept CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMedia
Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, and Microdrive. The Photo Printer
640GALA is a special edition of the 640PS and is designed to create images
with a customized template without a computer connection.
Luminos has formed an alliance with Hahnemühle and I expect lots
of interesting products to result. In the meantime there are new Preservation
Series Enhanced fine art media that is optimized for pigmented inks including
Gallery Gloss, Soft Suede, Classic Velour, Flaxen Weave, Museum Parchment,
Radiant White, Woven Fibre, and Master's Canvas.
Strathmore Artist Paper, a division of International Paper, added three
new papers to their existing Satin Board, Matte, Ultra Gloss, Texture,
and Canvas ink jet paper line. The new papers are Fiber, Velour, and Weave
and are designed to accept dye-based or pigmented inks.
Everybody knows Hasselblad USA as a name synonymous with image quality,
so now the company is offering a range of 10 different photographic RC
and fine art papers from Media Street. These papers complement the new
Generations G-Chrome pigmented inks and Plug-N-Play dye-based inks and
create good-looking, long-lasting prints. All papers are available in
letter, 11x17", 13x19", and 17x22" (think Epson 4000)
papers as well as all roll paper sizes. Media Street has an extensive
library of color profiles and will provide free custom profiles for specific
ink, media, and printer combinations.
Ferrania Imaging Technologies' family of OptiJet ink jet ink cartridges
are compatible with a variety of Epson, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, and Lexmark
printers. They are designed to deliver bright colors, sharp images, and
smooth coverage. All with a claimed fraction of the cost of OEM cartridges.
Ferrania also offers new ink jet papers including professional glossy
and satin papers, double-sided glossy and matte papers, photo quality
paper, and business card stock, as well as CD labels and covers. Ferrania's
new ink jet photo papers feature PerDura anti-aging technology to stop
gas-fading and ensure long-term image permanence. Oh yeah, don't
miss Ferrania's Garfield OTU film cameras.
Moab Paper Company's Kayenta Photo Matte paper is designed for everyday
jobs and is available at affordable prices. The dual-sided, acid-free,
lignin-free paper is perfect for portfolios, scrapbooks, and general print
jobs. Kayenta Photo Matte has a brightness of "94," opacity
of "98," and a weight of 230gsm. The paper is available in
Bright White. A one-sided version will be available by summer. A low-price
point makes Kayenta Photo Matte a perfect proofing paper for Moab's
Entrada line of fine art papers, developed to please both the discerning
professional and the serious artist/photographer.
Paper From Rocks? And
Why not? ViaStone ink jet paper is made from natural stone products and
is tear-resistant, fade-resistant up to 50 years, and dries instantly.
ViaStone paper is also capable of producing up to 2880dpi resolution.
InteliCoat Technologies produces media for large format ink jet printers.
They now offer the Magiclée line of 15 specialty-coated substrates
for water-based thermal and piezo ink jet printers. In addition to 24-60"rolls,
sheets are available in letter, 11x17", 13x19", and 17x22"
sizes. Some of the choices include Presentation grade matte paper, Fine
art paper, Photo art paper, Photobase, and Canvas.
Ilford Imaging USA added three new products to its GALERIE Professional
Inkjet Photo paper line, including Smooth Fine Art, a 100 percent rag,
acid-free paper with a textured matte surface. Smooth Fine Art is available
in 8.5x11", 11x17", and 13x19" sizes, in 10-sheet boxes.
Smooth High Gloss is an ultrahigh glossy paper not unlike the company's
Ilfochrome darkroom paper, only it's for your ink jet printer! (Pssst,
Ilford, we've been waiting for this for a long time.) This fast-drying
media is available in 8.5x11" in 25-sheet boxes. Smooth Heavyweight
Matte is a double-sided paper with smooth matte surfaces on both sides
and is useful for fine art prints, flyers, presentations, or portfolios.
Smooth Heavyweight Matte is available in 8.5x11" size, in 50-sheet
boxes. All papers in the GALERIE Smooth range are compatible with dye-
and pigment-based printers.