Last year it took us days to crank out the 1000+ proofs we print every week
during the summer camp season. In desperate need of a truly fast and reliable
digital photo printer, the Sony UP-DR150 caught our attention. This dye sublimation
printer is extremely user friendly, portable, and designed for fast on-location
printing of 3.5x5, 4x6, 5x7, and 6x8" prints. After test driving its sibling
the Sony UP-CR10L SnapLab, we opted to purchase the UP-DR150, and we could not
be more pleased with the results. This summer, we expect to print all our proofs
in just one day per week and to be finished by lunchtime.
Sony's UP-DR150 Digital Photo Printer
Although the media is not inexpensive, profit margins are easily calculated
because the ink and paper are purchased together. The high-volume roll capacity
minimizes maintenance by producing 550 4x6" or 335 5x7" prints at
a cost of .25 and .69 cents, respectively. According to Sony, prints are expected
to last 100 years under proper conditions, and the 300dpi print quality is great
for our applications.
The unit is the fastest in its class, printing a 4x6" in only 8 seconds--that's
420 4x6 prints an hour, while a 5x7" print requires only 15 seconds. This
is significantly faster than any quality inkjet printer currently on the market.
This was good news for us, because although we sell event images via our online
shopping cart service, sales are an average of 300 percent higher on location--a
truly good incentive to provide the customer instant access to quality prints.
We used the UP-DR150 at a Zion Farms Mother-Daughter event immediately after
it arrived, and it was a solid success. We downloaded the images directly to
our PC laptop on-site, and then used the consumer Epson imaging software Film
Factory to automatically add an image number in the margin of each print for
future customer orders. Although we were aware of the specs, we were amazed
at how quickly proofs were available for our customers. Within minutes, we were
able to put proofs into folios and present them to our customers for ordering
or immediate take-home purchase. With the exception of the media being a bit
pricey, we had no other complaints.
Images printed on location at a Zion Farms event with Sony's
UP-DR150 Digital Photo Printer and Epson's Film Factory
Photos © 2006, Ingrid S. Krampe, All Rights Reserved
The UP-DR150 unit is available in stand-alone configuration for the studio/event
photography market; it can also be integrated in Sony's PictureStation
digital photofinishing kiosks. At 141/8" high, the unit is very portable
with a footprint of 111/8x181/4", and a weight of approximately 40 lbs.
Sony's UP-CR10L SnapLab
The Sony UP-CR10L SnapLab is primarily designed to be used as a small kiosk,
with an 8" touch LCD screen that allows inexperienced users to easily
edit and print images from most digital media. Editing and image correction
capabilities are quite adequate, including redeye reduction, zoom and crop,
black and white and sepia options, borders and captions, as well as text. Print
speed is fast, printing a 3.5x5" print in approximately 13 seconds, a
4x6" print in approximately 16 seconds, and a 5x7" print in approximately
17 seconds. The SnapLab is very portable at 117/8" high, with a footprint
of only 107/8x1415/16". It weighs just over 24 lbs.
While the SnapLab lives up to its claim of quick and easy on-location use
and portability, its designed use is limited in our operation because the printer
lacks a method of printing image numbers on the print itself. Although we loved
the idea of barely visible "order numbers" on the corner of the
print, for most of our applications, we need the "image number"
on the front or back of each print for customer reorder information.
Sony suggests a retail price of $1995 for the SnapLab, but we found it online
for as little as $1695.
Sony's suggested retail price for the UP-DR150 is $2595, but we were able
to purchase the unit online from Imaging Spectrum (www.imagingspectrum.com)
for only $1795.
For more information, contact Sony Electronics Inc., 16530 Via Esprillo, Ste.
MZ 7104, San Diego, CA 92127; (877) 865-7669; www.sonystyle.com.