nicole and i bought ourselves a “big-ass photo printer” for christmas. i spent some time looking for one that met our requiremnts.
- printer manufacturer must produce acid-free ink and photo paper for said printer. (nicole scrapbooks and this is important for “lasting memories” or something)
- printer must print b&w; text on letter sized paper pretty quickly.
- printer must accept different ink tanks for each color (no “oh shit, this one’s almost out of red, we should use it for swimming pool pics only”).
- printer must do usb and firewire; usb 2.0 optional.
- printer must be produced by major name manufacturer (i once had a tektronix phazer something or other SCSI printer that i couldn’t get drivers for without a $14K/year contract. i can only imagine trying to find a longhorn driver for ‘billy joe jim bob’s pretty good photo printer’).
- printer paper and ink must be comperable in price to other major manufacturers’ paper and ink. ($.29 to $.34/page)
the canon i9900 came close to meeting all of these. canon doesn’t sell acid-free ink in all 8 colors required for photo printing, but 3rd parties do.
it’s a big ass printer. i was immediately suprised by it’s size when i opened the box. the picture above shows it printing an A3+ sized photo. A3+ is 13×19 inches and i must have visually scaled the image to match an 8.5×11 inch letter paper.
i’m impressed with the quality of the photo printing. it produced solid vibrant colors that are true to the image; my laptop screen isn’t. the paper is realllly nice. i got some 9.6mil “pro” glossy 4×6 photo paper and it’s easily the heaviest paper i’ve ever had any of my pictures on (including some pretty pricey 35mm kodachrome negative slide-to-print work i had done). i printed on the back of some 8×10 pro matte paper and it looked like shit; same image, same paper, other side? looked great.
i printed a couple calendars for celeste on 12×18 construction paper, mostly for the novelty of printing big. looked amazing.
i hate canon’s driver packaging, but that’s an infrequent pain. “Easy PhotoPrint” is an app that was bundled. it has rudimentary red eye/crop/resize type editting functions, but largely is useful for it’s knowledge of the printer’s geometry. the driver does include a really cool visualization of the amount of ink left in each tank.
overall i’m really happy. amazon has it for $409 with free shipping, right now.