I worked the HP meetings in Orlando at this year's PMA show as an av tech. I heard the announcements, saw the products, listened to Douglas Kirkland, and viewed the prints. All good and seemingly an alternative to some other pigment ink printers on the market. But difficult to get user information about. In cruising the various forums here and there on the net, not all epson customers are happy with the results of even some of the higher end (R1800, R2400) printers. Difficulty in setup, excessive ink usage, and uneven quality are not uncommon complaints. The HP9180, according to some, seems to have a handle on some of these issues, particularly those related to ink costs and user friendliness. While this product is relatively new, there are others entering the market. Comments, please?
Jon Canfield recently reviewed this printer for us. And while David I am sure has things to say about this vis a vis Epson you might want to copy and paste this into Jon's in-box on this forum as well.
This post is begging a question about the recently added forums for Shutterbug contributors. For instance, are we now going to have two or three different places where we discuss printing issues - the Jon Canfield, David Brooks and Inkjet Printing forums? The list of forums is already way too long and confusing and activity for each individual forum dangerously low.
Oops. Make that 5 forums: Jon Canfield, David Brooks, Inkjet Printing, Digital Darkroom and Feedback on Manufacturers.
Here are the remarks I posted in the Digital Darkroom section:
One reason you may not get much in user feedback on the HP B9180 Photosmart Pro Printer is that its delivery was delayed after the announcement and it has not been available until recently.
I agree with Bill Kahn, what you say you are hearing about the Epson R1800 and R2400 is not consistent with the feedback I have received. That is not to say some users do not have problems which as Bill Kahn mentioned can be relative to many factors beside just the printer including the quality of the image file, whether color management is used and if correctly etc. As for ink use and its cost, it is a significant factor because of the expense, but that one printer would use more or less ink to a significant amount to reproduce a particular image to a similar density and saturation is not a physical possibility, and if it were the resulting prints would not be comparable.
Canon has also moved into the pigment ink inkjet printer field and announced a 13" inch Pixma 9500 Pro, but that printer has yet to be delivered to the market. However Canon's larger pigment ink printers using the same inkset the Image ProGraf printers like the 17" iPF5000 are available, and I have just finished testing this printer and will report on it shortly in Shutterbug magazine.