New Gear For 2007: PMA Report; Photo-Quality Printers Page 2

All-In-Ones
Kodak, long a manufacturer of some of the best dye sub--they prefer "thermal transfer"--printers announced a range of new All-In-Ones using pigment-based inks and special paper that they promise works out to 10 cents per 4x6" print. The printers range from $150-$300 with the top of the line EasyShare 5500 featuring a scanner, document feeder, fax, and LCD display. Inks cost $15 for the color cartridge (for just over 100 4x6 prints) and $10 for the black cartridge (for over 300 pages). The EasyShare 5100 ($149.99) offers scan and copy capabilities and can print and copy up to 32 ppm in black and 22 ppm in color, as well as from PictBridge-enabled cameras without a computer. The sweet spot EasyShare 5300 ($199.99) offers a 3" color LCD display that enables photo viewing and cropping directly from the printer. Its built-in memory card slots let you print pictures without a computer. The EasyShare 5500 ($299.99) is aimed at home-office users and has fax functionality, a 2.4" color LCD, automatic document feeder, and a duplexer for two-sided printing.

Kodak EasyShare 5300

Snapshot Printers
Sony showed two lightweight photo printers with built-in carrying handles and the ability to print snapshots in less than a minute--the Picture Station DPP-FP70 and DPP-FP90. The printers' built-in displays let you preview and edit photos before printing. Using Sony's BIONZ (ya gotta love these names) image processor it takes 45 seconds to create a 4x6" print from a Memory Stick. The DPP-FP90 has a built-in 3.6" LCD screen that tilts and adjusts and the DPP-FP70 features a 2.5" screen. Both photo printers offer Auto Touch-Up that corrects common problems like exposure, focus, and redeye. Either printer can correct the exposure of a face if it is over or underexposed without affecting the background. This same button also gives users the ability to sharpen out-of-focus images by creating simulations of camera lens movement, checking the contrast of each simulation and then selecting the best simulated image to improve the original photo. Superimpose helps personalize photos by adding a special message and you can select from phrases, such as "happy birthday," "thank you," and "congratulations." You can also customize the color and placement of the superimposed text by using the cursor buttons on the printers.

The filter feature on both new printers offers options for modifying digital photos before printing. The cross filter can make the lights in a photo more dramatic, while the partial color filter lets you highlight the subject of a photo in full color and remove color in other areas of the print. The paint filter adjusts the image to appear as if it were printed on canvas and the monochrome and sepia filters let you create a black and white image. The fisheye filter adds a new perspective to a portrait or landscape picture. Each printer can access the MakerNotes in picture files created from Sony digital cameras and use this data to create the best print based on the settings when the photo was taken.

All Picture Station photo printers use dye sublimation technology and are sealed with a laminate coating that protects photos from fading and makes them resistant to water, heat, and fingerprints. Printing with the DPP-FP90 and DPP-FP70 photo printers costs as little as 29 cents per print. The DPP-FP90 and DPP-FP70 printers cost $200 and $150, respectively.

Joining HP's popular line of photo printers, HP announced the HP Photosmart A440 Printer Dock, a compact photo printer that uses HP Advanced Photo Paper and Vivera inks to print photos for as low as 24 cents per 4x6" photo.

HP Photosmart A440 Printer Dock

Best Of The Photo Books
Photo books are the best answer to the following question: "What are we going to do with all those pictures we made at (fill in the blank)?" They are not wedding albums, although there were plenty of those on display at PMA 2007. They are definitely not scrapbooks, although the show had an entire Scrapbook Pavilion. Nope, photo books are hardbound single-topic books containing your photographs that can be made via your favorite in-store or online vendor or--my favorite--at home. Photo books are the perfect project to do-it-yourself with a photo-quality printer, and PMA 2007 showed several interesting solutions.

Hands-down winner in the cute department is ZoomAlbum, a combination of software and printing materials that lets you create small books, including a full-bleed photographic cover! The cover includes a protective cover to guard against wear and tear and you can even print text on the edge just like a "real book." The Windows-based software is easy to use and you can insert text, add captions, rotate, flip, zoom, and crop each photo page in these cute (as a golden retriever puppy) photo books. You supply the printer; ZoomAlbum supplies everything, including software, photo sheets, and album covers.

ZoomAlbum

The most versatile for the money award goes to the Unibind PhotoBook. For around $100, PhotoBook Creator lets you make beautiful portrait or landscape oriented books in just 90 seconds, right in your own home or office. The black paper on the inside of stylish cover materials guarantees a perfect presentation. Four different window cuts allow you to personalize your PhotoBooks and each book can hold 10-30 pages, depending on the paper thickness. When you're ready, insert the unbound book into the Photo Book Creator device and wait for the light to turn green. When it does, the book is finished and ready!

Unibind PhotoBook

The easiest to use photo book system is from Peleman Industries. Their MyBook PhotoBook Kit easy photo album creation kit lets anyone with a digital camera and a printer create professional-quality photo books at home. MyBook PhotoBook Kit makes landscape-oriented hardcover 81/2x11" personalized photo albums. There is no need to upload photos to an external website and wait weeks for delivery. The easy binding method does not require any special equipment or glue. You start by printing the pages, attaching the included cover sheets, and removing some adhesive strips. For less than $20 MyBook PhotoBook Kit includes one book with a window cut, two end sheets, and photo book layout software. It takes less time to bind the book than to read this paragraph.

Peleman Industries MyBook PhotoBook Kit

Manufacturers/Distributors' addresses can be found by visiting the Instant Links section of our website at: www.shutterbug.com/currentissuelinks/.

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