Shutterbug’s Exclusive photokina Coverage; New Photo Printers: From Desktop To Fine Art Studio

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As the price of D-SLRs and high-resolution digicams drops to more affordable levels, an increasing number of families and serious photo enthusiasts want a better photo printer. We found lots of new machines at the photokina show, some with high-tech features such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet compatibility. Lack of space precludes coverage of every new product, but the following printers are worth considering. I’ll also cover some of the higher-end printers for the fine art photo market.

Letter-Size Printers
Because of consumer demand, an increasing number of photo printers now include a built-in scanner (also providing a photocopying feature). While a dedicated photo scanner offers greater versatility and image quality, a flat-bed does not add much to the price of a printer and it can be useful for family projects.

Kodak: The latest Kodak photo printer ($200) with built-in (2400dpi) scanner, the ESP 7 All-in-One (AiO) is equipped with slots for memory cards and a 3” LCD plus image-enhancing software. It’s enabled for Wi-Fi and Ethernet-connected printing, and accepts a Bluetooth adapter. Employing four pigment-based inks (in two tanks), the ESP 7 AiO can make fade-resistant prints (on premium papers) with a 100-year on-display rating by Wilhelm Imaging Research. Kodak also promises the “lowest ink replacement cost in the industry” so this model should be economical to operate.

Kodak ESP 7 All-in-One

Hewlett-Packard: Designed for easy, intuitive, and reliable printing, the Photosmart D7560 is a 9600x2400dpi (optimized) resolution machine ($150) that employs five Vivera inks (in individual high-capacity tanks) to make prints that should last for “generations”; it can also print onto inkjet-printable CDs/DVDs. It’s great for direct printing with the huge 3.5” LCD monitor—with touch screen controls—and built-in image-enhancing functions. Other benefits include slots for memory cards (for direct printing), a Smart Web Printing feature that automatically adjusts web pages to prevent cutoff edges plus new software for easier sharing, saving, editing, and photo printing.

HP Photosmart D7560

Epson: The new Artisan 700 and 800 are prosumer-grade 5760x1440dpi photo printers with built-in flat-bed scanners (2400dpi and 4800dpi, respectively). These handsome machines also provide Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity as well as Bluetooth compatibility with an optional adapter. Features include slots for memory cards, LCD screens for use in direct printing, great versatility in layouts on a single sheet of paper, and Auto Photo Correction. The Artisan 800 also boasts a massive 7.8” smart-touch control panel. Using Ultra Hi-Definition Claria dyes in individual tanks, with droplets as small as 1.5 picoliters, the Artisan models ($200 and $300, respectively) make gorgeous prints with an on-display life of 98 years.

Epson Artisan 700

Epson Artisan 800
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