Calumet Printer Shootout

Saturday, 15 Mar 2008 | Computers, Photography

calumet_hp_photo.jpg

Today, I drove to the San Diego Calumet in Escondido to check out their Printer Shootout. They had representatives from Epson, Canon and Hewlett-Packard on hand with their photo printers. If you brought in your own digital files, they would print samples on their respective printers to compare.

I brought a CD with a number of my photographs to print. The one pictured above is my parrot photograph printed out on a Canon Pixma Pro9500. Epson had their Stylus Photo R2400 and Stylus Pro 3800, Canon, their Pixma Pro9000 and Pixma Pro9500 and HP, their Photosmart Pro B9180.

I had my parrot photo printed on four printers on 13" x 19" paper. I didn't print it with the Epson Photo R2400 beacause the quality is supposed to be nearly identical to the 3800. Honestly, it looked good on all of the printers. Both Canons printed it with more contrast and a bit more saturated, but the Epson looked the most natural and pleasing to me. The HP did a good job, but there was very evident banding if held so light reflected off the photo. The HP representative said he would send me my photo printed with a different computer. Apparently the speed of the computer affects banding. Faster printers print it without banding. I'm curious to see how the reprint looks.

I have to say, I was quite impressed with the Epson Pro 3800. The images looked stunning printed on this machine. I am so tempted to pick one of these up so I can easily print photos up to 17" x 22" at home while precisely tuning the image, but I'm not sure I can justify the cost versus having my photos printed professionally on photographic paper.


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