Nowadays, most people seem perfectly happy taking photos and leaving them on their memory cards, keeping them on an external hard drive, or sharing them on the internet. The beauty of digital photography, after all, is how easy it is to snap, upload, share, swap, edit, and save many, many photos without much effort. The downside to this, however, is that the value we place on our photos declines when the end product is a 1000 pixel by 1000 pixel digital file.
It’s important to remember that photography is an art form. Think about painting. There’s a major difference between seeing a digital image of a painting online and seeing the original full-sized artwork hanging up on a wall in a museum, a gallery, or even someone’s home.
You should think about your photography the same way. Printing your images is a rewarding experience. Viewing your larger-than-life images makes you feel, well, larger than life. You are creating a product, and your photography deserves to be a product. It deserves to be a physical object. What are you saying about your photos when all you do with them is post them online? The time, effort, and artfulness required to print says a lot about how you feel about your images.
It will also help you think about your photography differently when you’re snapping photos. If you knew you were going to be printing the photos you took, wouldn’t you want to take the best photos possible? Wouldn’t it be a total motivator in expanding your skills?
We’re pretty big on printing here. We wanted to give you a rundown of some of the printers we have in stock, so you can decide what tool will help you get the effect you desire with your prints. We enlisted the expertise of our imaging specialist Tim to show you what your options are when you decide to start printing.
For the Enthusiast . . .
Enthusiasts want to share your photos with your friends and family. You want to frame your photos and hang them in your home or give them to loved ones as gifts.
We recommend: Epson Artisan 1430 or Canon Pixma Pro-100
The Epson Artisan 1430 can print borderless photos up to 13″ x 19″. It uses a 6-ink set that creates prints of good photographic quality and comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements to help you edit and retouch photos. Its low cost applies also to its color gamut, which will use less inks than more expensive printers. Photos you print with the Epson Artisan 1430 are smudge-, scratch-, water-, and fade-resistant, and it’s equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, making transfers easier than ever.
Like the Epson Artisan 1430, the Canon Pixma Pro-100 can print 13″ x 19″ prints. Additionally, the Canon Pixma Pro-100 will print on most media surfaces and provides ICC profiles for third-party media, making it easier to use and less time consuming, since you won’t have to search for and download profiles, and its 8-ink set give you a wider and more luscious color gamut.
For the Artist . . .
Artists aspire for greatness . . . especially when it comes to selling prints at festivals, gallery hops, and expos. You want print quality that’s good enough to sell.
We recommend: Epson Stylus R3000, Canon Pixma Pro-10, or Epson Stylus Pro 3880
The Epson Stylus R3000, like the Epson Artisan 1430, is a 13″ printer. However, the Epson Stylus R3000 can print on any media, including poster board and roll media, meaning you can print out those long panoramas for the back of your booth at the next gallery hop. It utilizes a 9-ink color gamut, including three blacks. This gives you a wider grayscale that’s exactly what you’ll need for B&W prints. The ink tanks are larger and therefore at a lower cost per milliliter, and its archival quality guarantees that your prints will last for a long time.
The Canon Pixma Pro-10 is a 13″ sheet printer. It takes advantage of many of the same features as the Canon Pixma Pro-100, but adds more light blacks to the 10-ink LUCIA system for higher-quality B&W prints and uses pigment-based ink, guaranteeing a longer archival quality. The Canon Pixma Pro-10 features a two-way paper feed and a variety of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and USB, that lets you print right from your camera if you’d like.
The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is like the Epson Stylus R3000 on steroids. This sheet-media 17″ printer is still compact enough to fit on your desk, and its 8-ink set and AccuPhoto HD2 technology provides smoother color transitions and better contrast detail for your art prints. Fine-tune your color and B&W images with custom slider bars and a color tone wheel for precise artistic control.
For the Merchant . . .
Merchants understand the value of high-quality prints from experience. They’re selling enough prints, or they want to start selling enough prints, that they don’t even bother posting their photos online.
We recommend: Epson Stylus Pro 4900, Epson Stylus Pro 7900, or Epson Stylus Pro 9900
The Epson Stylus Pro 4900 is a roll media, 11-ink printer that takes advantage of a huge color gamut that will bring your HDR prints to life. Printing on 100 ft. rolls will reduce your cost of print media per square feet significantly, but the Epson Stylus Pro 4900 is flexible enough to print on sheets or canvas as well. This is a great printer for smaller photo and design studios because these prints make clients happy and the auto nozzle verification guarantees clogged nozzles will no longer plague your print queue.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 is a 24″ printer that’s ideal for banners, signs, and huge prints that will last over 100 years if properly framed. The intuitive front control panel and built-in rotary cutter makes printing larger prints and panoramas easier than ever. The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 prints with a 10-color ink set, including all new orange and green inks, making it an ideal printer for HDR photographers and B&W photographers.
Sharing every feature of the Epson Stylus Pro 7900, the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 is a 44″ extra-large format printer. This HDR-capable roll or sheet printer will guarantee that you stick out at art shows.
For the Printing Professional . . .
Printing Professionals need the best, biggest printers on the market to create banners and signage that will get people in the store, or wherever else you want them to be.
We recommend: Epson Stylus Pro 11880, Epson SureColor T3000, Epson SureColor T5000, or Epson SureColor T7000
The Epson Stylus Pro 11880 is the ultimate design printer for larger companies with a large output. The 64″ prints and 8-color UltraChrome K3 ink technology guarantee eye-catching prints on signs, banners, and layouts. Photographers who really want to impress can print extra-large scratch-resistant fine art reproductions with amazing color fidelity.
Inspired by engineering, the Epson SureColor T-Series printers have been designed from the ground up to be the most precise high performance engineering scientific printers in their class. A 1″-wide print head utilizes 720 nozzles per color and can print full color D-sized plots in as little as 25 seconds. These printers are perfect for signs, blueprints, floor plans, and line drawings, and are less expensive in ink usage.
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