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View Full Version : Who wants to see a printer review site?



Jeff Keller
06-06-2005, 09:01 PM
For many years I've wanted to do a DCRP-style site covering printers. Probabably just photo and multifunction printers at first, then perhaps expanding to laser printers. The site layout would be similar, but reviews will be shorter and to the point.

Do you, faithful DCRP readers, think such a site is needed? What would you like to see on a printer site? What kinds of tests? What should we look for in a printer?

Note that I will NOT be doing the majority of the work on this site -- I will be continuing to focus on camera reviews.

Suggestions, comments, complaints are welcome!

Thanks!

Rex914
06-06-2005, 09:19 PM
I haven't seen that many printer review sites around. I think that this would be a great idea!

Chucko
06-06-2005, 11:36 PM
I agree, I think it would be a great idea. After all, we have to print these photos if we ever want anyone to see them in all their glory!

Chucko
06-06-2005, 11:39 PM
Oh yeah... what to include in the reviews? Ease of setup, connection options, cost of consumables, desk space monopolized, noise levels, any unusual features like duplex printing, etc. You know, all the practical considerations that get lost in the sea of specs.

I presume you'll already have print quality and speed handled.

Cold Snail
06-07-2005, 04:04 AM
It sounds a good idea Jeff.
One day I plan to replace my Epson R800 with something a little cheaper to run :D , but for pano printing, this thing is excellent.

g0tr00t
06-07-2005, 07:10 AM
Yes, that would be fantastic. I get so tired of searching through trash at "other" forums to see what users think of their printers.

D70FAN
06-07-2005, 07:13 AM
Absolutely. Great idea.

Robert
06-07-2005, 07:21 AM
Printer reviews sound like a great idea. Among the more obvious, direct comparison with photolab prints would be very useful. As much as I enjoy printing my own photos I've found that at 17 cents per print, Sam's Club is tough to beat for every day snapshops.

Fred
06-07-2005, 01:07 PM
Agree with everyone else so far. Great idea! Would like to be able to read an unbiased review of features w/summary of "pros" and "cons".

Rhys
06-08-2005, 09:14 AM
I'm not so struck on the printer review site. I don't really feel it would be worth the time and effort to design and build/maintain the site.

There might be a thousand printers out there but if Best Buy, Circuit City, K-Mart, WalMart or Sams Club don't carry them then they're out of the picture.

My wife buys her printers based on whatever's cheapest. I'm afraid I tend to do that as well - as long as they'll print good colour photos.

We don't buy photo printers purely because we fail to see the point. Standard ink-jets produce colours that are adequate for all purposes. Photo-printers might produce images of a technically higher quality that might be a bit longer lasting due to their use of pigmented ink but 99% of the buying public won't know or care about that.

I see a great many printers out there that are 100% capable of producing phenomenal results. All the ink seems to cost about the same - an arm and a leg (or two). The quality output seems the same. Once you get over 1200 dpi, nobody can really tell printers apart. The big difference in colour etc is caused by mismanagement of the printer by the O/S and drivers.

I'm sorry, Jeff, I just feel a printer site is redundant.

On the other hand, a photo accessories (bags, tripods, memory, filters, lenses) site would be useful as indeed would be a laptop comparison site.

aparmley
06-08-2005, 12:58 PM
I think a printer review site would be awesome. I think it would be worth while considering all the photo enthusiasts out here that could careless about going to best buy or target and buying the mainstream el cheapo mom and pops desktop ink jet. We want to know not only how certain high quality, won't find it in your local bestbuy photo printers do, but what our options are, who has what coming out when, what to really look for in a wide format printer, what new technologies coming around the corner are worth the wait, which aren't, do those claimed long lasting inks really last longer than your standard ink, how does the glossy ink cartridge in the higher end epsons perform? These are the types of questions that would be answered and more with a printer review site. I think it would be worth while and highly anticipated.

But I may have to sort of agree with Rhys, only in that he may have a point about certain other photographic accessories review page may be the next logical step? How about a site that reviews lenses, other pages are ok but I haven't found any that I really like, fred miranda is the best by far but lets face it they are far from covering it all, they have at best a small selection of lenses, mostly a hand full of the most expensive lenses from the big lens manufactures, which is nice in a way, but when the average reader can't afford half of the lenses reviewed on that site, I would say it can be done better. throw in filters, bags, those cardreader/flash-memory-dump-to mini hard drive devices... etc etc... That would be very nice as well. But I think a lense/filter/bag review site would be more than enough to keep one busy for a while... just my opinion...

shamanictea
06-10-2005, 05:19 PM
Printers! Yes printers!

Steve Cifra
06-10-2005, 05:43 PM
Sounds like a good idea. Only suggestion I have, and many may not care....test some different papers (non-oem).

Steve

camerafreak707
06-16-2005, 01:51 PM
I dont think it sounds like too good of an idea. I think most people would rather that you focus on cameras than printers. I don't know if you would be covering as many cameras with your dvspot, and the comming printer review site. I think you should just focus on covering as many cameras each month as possible and not worry about the printer site

dklassen
06-16-2005, 02:30 PM
Printer reviews would be great. I have been looking for a good source of printer comparisons. The style of your camers reviews would be prefect. Information about available papers would be helpful.

jessie25
06-16-2005, 02:51 PM
I just get prints at Costco or WalMart, so a printer review site is a bit redundant for me. Hell, I don't even own a printer at home of any kind, let alone a photo printer.

Then again, for people wanting to make prints at home, it might be nice.

Karc
06-16-2005, 02:57 PM
I'm searching the web for reliable printer reviews for quite some time. So I'm glad to read that you consider reviewing printers in the (near) future. Keep up the good work ! Greetz, Karc

eastcoastjoe
06-16-2005, 03:23 PM
Jeff's printer reviews? Wow; yes; you bet printer reviews would be great and most welcome. Printers and print technologies change and get updated all the time and a resource like this that followed printers would be very usefull.

Jeff's been doing a great job since his PowerWatch days and any tests or reviews he does are going to be honest, straightforward and right on the money. Any reporting he might do on the topic will, I'm sure, help any of us who might be shopping for a printer.

Go for it! I'm looking forward to reading the first review.

docnesh
06-16-2005, 04:34 PM
Hello,

FIrst of all I wanted to say I've been a reader of this site since year 1... I registered specifically to reply to your inquiry. I credit this site with teaching me about barrel disortion, noise, and a myriad of other parameters we use to make decisions about digital cameras. Similarly I would love to see a separate section devoted to printer reviews that visits all of the key issues... some of which include; cost of ownership per print 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 etc? color/resolution, quality of the driver in the OS (such as getting data about ink cartridge depletion etc), noise, number of nozzles, input methods, ie usb, cardreader etc, printer UI such as lcd panel, blinky lights etc? as much as all this stuff I think it would bbe great if you had some basic data on different printer types... dye sub, ink jets, etc

I don't know if a separate site is necessary for this, I suspect just having a "printshop" section of this site may be sufficient :) again keep up the good work and thanks for all your insight over the years...

raven15
06-16-2005, 04:46 PM
I agree it would be a great idea, but not if it detracts from the rest of the site. The main reason I come here is that it has so many in-depth reviews of so many cameras (as opposed to, say, dpreview, where the reviews are great but do not cover all the cameras I have considered). Perhaps get a person whose job is to review only printers and accessories, though I admit I don't know enough about the circumstances...

nooner
06-16-2005, 05:32 PM
Good idea :cool:

Mike in Michigan
06-16-2005, 05:43 PM
Hi Jeff :)

Consumer reports does an ok job of that, and some other sites as well, HOWEVER, I fear consumer reports just won't be able to spend the time and attention to detail that you will. People have come to trust you Jeff, so with that said, iam looking foward to your new web site, now for a name........

udo019
06-16-2005, 05:46 PM
I tend to agree with Raven15. If it would detract from the camera reviews I would rather not have it. I also agree with docnesh that if it is done I don't think it deserves a separate site. It could be incorporated into this site.
However, if it could be done without detracting from the camera reviews, I would read them.

One thought is that along with reviews of printers, also include reviews of the different websites that are available to order prints through.
I know more people that print pictures using online print services than I do that print their pictures at home due to the quality issues.

My favorite idea, so far, for a new review site is for digital camera accessories.

Thanks for a great site and for all the hard work you do.

junji98
06-16-2005, 06:05 PM
i think a printer review section is a great idea. i have spent weeks researching for a good budget printer but there dont seem to be comprehensive reviews around.

Robert Besen
06-16-2005, 06:24 PM
How many more positive responses would you like to see? I'd like to vote two or three times for a printer review site. Keep in mind that you probably won't get as much response as you get here, since the subject is not as deep, but if you can live with that it's a great idea.

Jeff Keller
06-16-2005, 06:29 PM
I agree it would be a great idea, but not if it detracts from the rest of the site. The main reason I come here is that it has so many in-depth reviews of so many cameras (as opposed to, say, dpreview, where the reviews are great but do not cover all the cameras I have considered). Perhaps get a person whose job is to review only printers and accessories, though I admit I don't know enough about the circumstances...

Actually there will be someone else doing most of the work... but I'll still involved in it quite a bit.

lockwoodfe
06-16-2005, 06:45 PM
Unlike digital cameras, there are very few sites that do printer reviews. The biggest challenge when shopping for a printer is getting familiar with the current models as they are replaced rapidly. Therefore the most important feature (and a non-precedented one to my knowledge) is an up to date database of existing printers similiar to your "Review and Info" list of digital cameras. One piece of data I would like to see included in this list is the product release date to help distinguish the new from the old. (This would be a nice addition to the cameras list also). Finally, I think the review content should mimic your camera reviews. (Features, what's in the box, bundled software, color accuracy, etc.) Finally, I would like to see the review include a cost/print estimate. In the end, the consumables become the most expensive part of any printer purchase and good data on this is sorely lacking on existing printer review sites.

margoman
06-16-2005, 06:47 PM
I purchased may most recent printer after culling printer reviews on the web. I was looking for an inkjet printer that was inexpensive to operate, and I found data to help me choose. Price per page! (A sort of unit pricing) was the information that I locked onto. (Yes, print quality, ease of use, etc. were also important, but my previous printer had been driving me to the poor house with it's skimpy, finicky and expensive cartridges. Now I'm a happy camper.)

I think you have done an outstanding job with your site, and expecially with your reviews of cameras. You privide a valuable service to your readership and to the digital camera industry. I am looking forward to reading your printer reviews in the near future!

margoman
06-16-2005, 07:15 PM
I guess I must disagree with a couple of rhys' points. I owned a Lexmark Z23 inkjet printer, which came free when I bought my computer. From day one, the printer would feed the paper in at an angle which was obvious in about half of the prints. Furthermore, I was spending over $240 per year on ink cartridges. I sometimes tried ink filler kits which only clogged the print heads. I hated my printer!
I replaced it with the Canon i850 because it seemed to be one of the most "ink-friendly" printers at the time. (My ink costs, with Canon ink, are about $100.) I love my printer!
I suppose I do agree with Rhys that print quality from printer to printer may not differ in any major way. But there are other, very significant and meaningful differences among printers. Quantifying these differences will help us avoid the "dogs", save us money, and help all of us lead more productive and fulfilling lives.

lisnter
06-16-2005, 07:58 PM
The printer review sites I've seen concentrate too much on print speed and text handling. When I buy a color printer it is purely for photo printing. I don't care if it's slow or prints terrible text. . .I have a laser printer for that.

Go for it!

Thanks for the great site.

Terry

wilson389
06-16-2005, 08:21 PM
i think this idea is quite good, but no so if it slow down the reviewing of dc (which should be the main target). Moreover, which knid of printers are you going to review? Photo-printers? Entry-level printers or All-In-One printers?
I think the review should inlcude the comment on the quality of print out, such as satuation, contrast and so on.

carrida
06-16-2005, 08:28 PM
I'm interested less in the run of the mill printers, although its nice to know which ones are best in the price/performance area, but I am absolutely interested in printer reviews for $200 - $600 dollar printers, especially in how good they are in color, how good they are in black and white (which doesn't get enough coverage on any reviews I find), and what their cost per print is.

Erwin
06-16-2005, 10:22 PM
Sure, why not? If it's going to be associated with this site, then it definitely has to be based on how well it prints out photos.

I've been interested in the low cost laser printers(Canon, Minolta and HP), but there hasn't been any in-depth reviews regarding photo quality. The majority of time, they give photo output 2 stars out of 5 - but what does that mean to me? A sample picture would be nice.

Getting into what type of paper produces the best quality for the printer too - as far as color accuracy - longevity. I have just discovered that the type of paper can make a huge difference.

Obviously, it should include the typical performance stats and cost of ownership, number of 4x6 or 8x10 it can output before changing ink cartridges.

emily
06-16-2005, 11:01 PM
When I was looking for a photo printer a year or two ago, I tried to find reviews of the different printers, and didn't have much luck. Buying a printer is almost as an important decision as purchasing a camera, because most want at least equal quality of what they would get if they sent their images in to be printed from their local drugstore, etc. Just like in camera,s there are many brands to choose from, with different ink and paper options.

I think an occasional printer review would be a good addition to your website. Would they be similar to your camera reviews, with the list of likes and dislikes at the end? That would be beneficial for people looking for a printer to buy. As long as reviewing cameras is still the main priority, I am all for it!

Maeee
06-17-2005, 02:08 AM
I think it would be great. There are plenty for cameras, but printers seem to be an afterthought, even though they have such a major impact on final print quality.
The best camera in the world would produce the worst prints if you use a bad printer.
I will be a regular visitor if you do launch the site.

pixelator
06-17-2005, 02:34 AM
For many years I've wanted to do a DCRP-style site covering printers. Probabably just photo and multifunction printers at first, then perhaps expanding to laser printers. The site layout would be similar, but reviews will be shorter and to the point.

Do you, faithful DCRP readers, think such a site is needed? What would you like to see on a printer site? What kinds of tests? What should we look for in a printer?

Suggestions, comments, complaints are welcome!

Thanks!
Because printers are the future of digital photography. With a printer we can control all the process, just as new way of photographic laboratory.
Thanks Jeff

islandchild82
06-17-2005, 02:37 AM
Personally, I think a printer review site/section is a great idea! For many, purchasing a photo printer goes hand in hand with purchasing a digital camera. And it has been stated in a number of posts, searching for reliable printer reviews and actual quality is next to impossible (which is where i currently find myself). I would hope that if a site/section for printers comes to fruition the reviews would be written in the same format as the reviews for the cameras. Cost per print, photo sizes each printer prints, droplet size, and number of ink tanks are the first things that come to mind when considering a printer that I think would be helpful in reviews. Either way, this is an excellent site and hopefully a printer review site/section will be a complement to it.

blackwhite
06-17-2005, 02:39 AM
Even though Digital Cameras are getting smaller all the time very few of us carry one wherever we go, but almost all of us carry a cell phone and sometimes those picture opportunities just come up unexpectedly. Even though a camera phone can't replace a dedicated camera it would be nice to know which one's are best so that we could have a somewhat decent camera in a pinch. With many many camera phones at 1.3 mega pixels now and some even 2 megpaixels or higher ( sold in the states, they are up to five megpaixels elsewhere) Camera phones are not just novelties anymore, some are even made by the same companies making Digital cameras, like Sony. I would love to get reviews from an accredited source such as this. What do you guys think?

PeterB666
06-17-2005, 03:04 AM
Only if it does not take away from digital camera reviews.

Digital Camera Resource provides amongst the most helpful reviews available and they are consistent from review to review making it easy to use the reviews as a decision making tool.

While the same review philosophy applied to printers would be great, as most people use a printer for multiple uses, I think the non-photo orientated printer reviews currently available are fine.

There is always a few cameras coming up on the soon to be reviewed list. I don't want to see that list getting bigger.

Cheers and keep up the good work.

MatH
06-17-2005, 03:35 AM
I'm not really interested in printers as I believe that no matter the printer quality, photo studios will produce better results, but then again I'll probably read reviews as people some times ask me for recommendations.
There is also a distinction betwen digital camera and printer reviews - you can download camera outputs while I can't imagine how you could do that with printer output. We would very much depend on reviewers opinion.
Once again I don't mind printer reviews as long as cameras are top priority.

dudlew
06-17-2005, 04:20 AM
:D

This is an excellent idea once it can be handled properly.

Steves does it, but not in such great detail

and Photo-i does it as well, in great detail, but in some cases the printers are UK Specific.

It would be great to see such reviews here, especially if aspects such as longevity, and water fastness are discussed, topics I never see discussed about canon printers at all!!!

androo4519
06-17-2005, 05:03 AM
Yes, I think a printer test site that's up to the standard of this site would be a great idea.

Androo

viztyger
06-17-2005, 05:10 AM
A printer review site sounds very ambitious. I seem to remember a comment about there only being one chimp, a little while back.

Although a site reviewing printers could be very valuable, I tend to agree with some others who think that printer reviews shouldn’t be at the expense of reviews of accessories for cameras. By this I mean accessories like wide angle converters and tele converter lenses for some of the more popular cameras. Perhaps an indication of which major brand of memory performs best with a particular camera. Someone also made the suggestion of reviewing less expensive, consumer grade DSLR lenses (the kind that some of us can actually afford).

As to your questions regarding printer reviews, I feel it would be best to concentrate on printers capable of producing photo quality prints (however you define that). A lot of ideas have been mentioned about what kind of tests a printer review should contain (colour accuracy, ability to render fine detail and contrast, speed of operation, compatibility, user interface, ease of installation, etc.).

Most of all, I would value precise and standardised tests of the actual printing costs. Many photo printers these days are quite good, and the differences in their print quality is (arguably) quite small. So printing costs become an important factor when deciding which printer to purchase. I spent 700 Euros in cartridges over the 2 ½ year life span of my previous printer! Another interesting aspect is photo quality on ordinary paper or on photo paper other than that from the printer manufacturer. I know there are a lot of papers, but perhaps you could narrow it down to a few major international brands.

Thanks for providing a very valuable site.

Caer
06-17-2005, 05:28 AM
...I can see some potential pitfalls. I've read a number of reviews in magazines and a lot of them judge the printers on their "out of the box" results. This isn't fair imo as to a degree all printers require some fiddling in order to get optimal quality. A printer that can be tweaked to give fantastic results should not be placed lower than one that just gives merely good results from the outset.

Then to further complicate things there are issues like profiles and (lots of) different papers. Colour management is a major part of printing and profiles make a big difference to the final print.

I don't want to sound too negative as I think this is a great idea. Printer models are announced far less frequently than digital cameras so I don't see this section of the site having as much of an impact as some here seem to fear. And like others have said, good printer reviews are few and far between so this would be a major new resource for the keen digital photographer.

Night Fire
06-17-2005, 05:53 AM
I think it could be a good idea, but I would like to see it part of the current DCRP site and not a seperate site. Pages that interest me, such as this, I go to at least once a day, and the others tend to get forgotten very easily, until I browse through my favourite and 'rediscover' a page.
I do think things like printers and camcorders should be added, but like others have said, things like lenses, filters?, bags, could also be done. I understand this is basically a personal site with everything done by yourself in your own time ( ie, its not your main job, or is it?), so with extra reviews, I think you would (or could) need sub editors or sub reviewers to give you a much needed hand!

El_Ucca
06-17-2005, 06:40 AM
If it takes too much time from digital camera reviews, don't do it. I mean dcrecource seems to review nearly every camera and i like it that way. But if you really think you have enough time for both, then go for it.

By the way, do you get to keep the cameras you review?

Orion2005
06-17-2005, 07:27 AM
From time to time camera owners need to print out their photos. I work at a school and we have printed fifteen thousand photos or more over the last 6 or 7 years using different printers and types of paper.

In most printer reviews, we see things like quality, speed, cost, noise levels but there is little about colour fastness, paper feed accuracy and reliability, durability and matching papers to different colour profiles. Our experience shows that even with original manufacturer paper, the results may not actually be that reliable. Big name brands do not guarantee quality.

Sometimes, choosing the photo paper profile does not give the best results on photo paper. Also, with certain printer-paper combinations, no amount of tweaking will give the desired results. One or two brands of paper also give water-proof qualities with no matter what type of ink or printer you use. Some brands of paper change tone and gamma as the ink dries so that what you see right after and a few hours later is different. This happens to be a big name brand and this has not been remedied over the last few years.

From printer reviews, users can carry on the testing process over months and even years as some printers maintain a high quality throughout their life. There are some hidden costs too. The Epson R210 for example has parts that will definitely wear out after a certain number of prints. At our output volume, the printer would have to go in for parts replacement once each year. So, it is economically best for us to buy an extended warranty over 3 or 4 years as these parts are included. Other than this, we have no complaints about the printer's performance or output.

So, with a printer review and subsequent user forum discussions and experience sharing, we will be able to get a much more accurate picture of a printer's quality not just out of the box but over an extended period under differing conditions in different locations.

Go for it. It will mean more work but a good camera-printer-paper combination is the next best thing for camera owners. After many hours of tweaking and experimentation, I find myself inspecting the final product and then looking for ways to make it even better. It's frustrating at times, but it also gives a great sense of satisfaction.

One brand of photo paper also has an ink-jet paper backing so that if you want to print logos, graphics, titles at the back, the output would be more brilliant and sharper than ordinary paper backing. Also, there are little tips and tricks to save ink and paper. These are some things that I have not seen in printer reviews but can be shared in forums. Without a review, however, I don't think a forum will ever get started.

Small prints are cheaper done at photo shops but for 5" x 7" or larger prints, it's a lot cheaper to do it ourselves in our region. Also, there are so many little things that the user can do in preparation for the final print-out, which makes it all fun. It would be sad to have the printer spoil it all at the end.

So, yes, it would be nice to have printer reviews and then forum discussions so that camera owners can add another dimension to their photo-taking experience because it is really nice when you can make a specially designed print-out for someone at some special occasion, like baking a great cake with your own hands.

yodo1
06-17-2005, 07:27 AM
Sure we would like to get review for printers as we have to replace them every few months ...

Kansas Ron
06-17-2005, 08:02 AM
Limit reviews to printers that photographers would use to tie into DCResource site.
Do out of box and with latest profiles, so we can see difference-if any.
Compare OEM inks with inks from other suppliers (usually will favor the OEM).
As mentioned by another forum poster give things like setup difficulty/ease, cost of consumables, etc.
Test continuous ink systems.
Test other brands of paper. This would be great using a standard picture to test all printers with. Use the same set of "other" brand papers for each printer.
Show pictures from same catagory printers within each test for ease of comparing.

Jeff Keller
06-17-2005, 11:03 AM
If it takes too much time from digital camera reviews, don't do it. I mean dcrecource seems to review nearly every camera and i like it that way. But if you really think you have enough time for both, then go for it.

By the way, do you get to keep the cameras you review?

As I said earlier in the thread, most of the work will be done by the guy who helps me with camcorder reviews. I will continue to concentrate on the camera reviews.

No, I don't keep any of the cameras I review, they all get sent back.

Thanks for the feedback thus far everyone!

Charlie Young
06-17-2005, 11:18 AM
Jefff,
I think printer reviews is a great idea for your site.
I'm sure you would be as impartial and honest with printer reviews as you are wit digicams. Too many other sites "never saw a printer they didn't like"...
This just isn't the way to go.
I can hardly wait to see your printer reviews up and running.
Charlie

008
06-17-2005, 12:14 PM
Printer review is good idea but do you really have time to do all that? You already busy with all those new camera and occasional mini-DV. I think unless you have have more resources, I rather DCRP keeps its focus on digital camera and mini-DV reviews which I enjoy very in past few years. :)

gstafleu
06-17-2005, 12:21 PM
A printer review site would be a good idea (although a lens review site would be even better :)). However, I don't think you can review printers by themselves, you always have to review a printer+paper combination.

For example, my Canon ip4000 prints sort of OK pictures with <generic brand X> photo paper (<$0.10/sheet). With Canon Photo Paper Matte (~$0.20-0.25/sheet) it prints excellent pictures. With Canon Photo Paper Pro ($1.00-$1.25/sheet) it prints stunning pictures.

Inkjet printers are these days similar to DSLRs, in that all of them (except the very cheap ones) tend to print good pictures. That means other considerations become important. Like the issue of printing costs.

For example, both HP and Canon produce excellent prints. But (last time I looked) HP paper was a bit more expensive than Canon. Again, you cannot review a printer without reviewing its paper.

Nunyabis
06-17-2005, 12:42 PM
yeah It would be a good Idea!

what I would like to see...

Picture quality is a must ofcourse but I think you should test all the printers with the same photo paper to make things fair maybe like the cheapest stuff out that way we can see wich printers can print with the least amount of money ofcourse Matte and coated for each test...

Also another main concern is how many pictures they can print before needing to buy more Ink.. and when you do buy more ink how much is it going to cost...

for instance my HP 7550 prints some beautiful pictures but Ink runs out FAST! and ink for this thing is pricy... so Im not complety happy with it cause of that..

uncleskull
06-17-2005, 01:32 PM
Printer reviews would be a great addition to DCRP!

Sections for ink jet, laser and thermak transfer would be logical. Then you could group them by size.

Print quality and color accuracy would be my chief interests, followed by speed, per print cost and printer selling price. A test print from a McBeth color checker card would be most revealing.

How well a printer would handle different brands and/or surface finish papers would be of interest. Preferably a universal, non-manufacturer specific, widely available paper would be a good choice.

I'll watch with great interest to see if the printers make their way onto the website.

Good way to increase traffic as well.

Big Blue
06-17-2005, 02:19 PM
Excellent Idea Jeff! Your the best! You can never beat a Mac guy to come up with the best idea's! :)

pemorris
06-17-2005, 02:52 PM
I'd really like a printer review site. At this point, I'm particularly interested in the All-In-Ones.

LoopBack
06-17-2005, 03:06 PM
It would be a great idea to have printer reviews on your site. I was looking for a printer lately and could not find decent reviews anywhere. Every once in a while you can find a serious review but it will usually NOT be on the model you were interested in.
The main issue I think is if you have the resources to add this to your site. There are so many camera models and new ones keep coming out almost on a daily basis...

jjmead
06-17-2005, 04:55 PM
Yes, there are few reviews on the net, and most are for the more pro/business oriented (i.e 1280 9900 etc).

besides the usual I would like to see -- number & cost of cartages, and the paper feed system reliability
--------
adder

greythound
06-17-2005, 06:32 PM
Like everyone else, I think a printer review section would be a great addition to your site.
I would appreciate reviews on some of the dye-subs out there and how they compare to the best injets.
I couldn't believe it when Consumer Reports picked an ink jet as their #1.

bunnylove
06-17-2005, 10:19 PM
As I believe Jeff is performing the reviews by himself, I would find that performing camera & printer reviews to be a significant effort. Digital cameras are appearing at an unprecedented rate, and any other diversions could task Jeff significantly. As Jeff is well aware, his visitors are constantly begging for reviews on many new exciting cameras - case in point Canon's Powershot S2 IS.

Printers are also prolificating, and many details are involved in their review - take a look at Vincent Oliver's excellent site www.photo-i.co.uk - and you may begin to respect the intense labour involved in the review of printers, scanners & software.

Unless Jeff can clone himself, I would prefer continued focus on his core business, and search for contributing (high quality individuals) editors to undertake printer reviews.

Just trying to extend Jeff's life (and family time) a tad longer ... :)

2150-bye
06-17-2005, 11:12 PM
it would be a +

Xcom_Cheetah
06-18-2005, 06:45 AM
I think that adding lenses reviews will be more worthwhile an effort rather than the printer reviews. This is a very great sites for only cameras and it should stick to its core reviews. Adding printer review will not only destract the reviewer but also the public which comes to this site. All the people here are those who want to buy a quality camera and they are helping each other. Adding more and more different types of reviews will only make it like a cnet where i go just to check the specs, not for a recommendation and suggestion. I believe becoming Jack of all trade and master of none is not the way to move forward.

Bringing in accessories of the cameras will be a nice add on to this review site... But i will still prefer lots of cameras review. There are so many coming up these days that its hard to keep up with them.

Anyway its just my view

The Bear
06-18-2005, 03:02 PM
Yes, definitely a good idea . I think all of us are delighted with your camera revues,and there are so few saying anything about printers. and most of the others do not have the depth that you have.
The idea of which paper works well with each printer would also be useful, some manufactureres seem willing to rip of the customer with the cost of their paper, as they do with the cost of inks.

RoanJohn
06-18-2005, 09:51 PM
Yes Yes Yes!!!!! :d

kimnicho
06-19-2005, 05:07 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with the above poster:

"As I believe Jeff is performing the reviews by himself, I would find that performing camera & printer reviews to be a significant effort. Digital cameras are appearing at an unprecedented rate, and any other diversions could task Jeff significantly. As Jeff is well aware, his visitors are constantly begging for reviews on many new exciting cameras - case in point Canon's Powershot S2 IS".

I think your energy should be "focused" on the ever-growing and ever-changing world of digital cameras.

wingsley
06-19-2005, 01:40 PM
The concept of a printer review site, like that of DCRP or DP Review, is an interesting one. It is probably long overdue.

A few things such a site would have to do to be of use:

1: show the rate of consumption of ink/toner (How fast does a given printer consume its "consumables"? Is Printer X an ink guzzler?)

2: rate technical support (How well does the printer's manufacturer's tech support department respond to your questions?)

3: rate the utility of printer mobility (How easy is it to move Printer X from one location to another? For mobile printers, how well do they transport, and how easy it is to set them up once one arrives at the destination?)

4: rate the diagnostic software (How well does the printer's software work in giving the user meaningful info on the printer's status? Is it available for MacOS and Windows? This is a good question, becuase I recently bought a printer whose diagnostic software works fine on a Mac when connected via USB port, but not at all when connected via WiFi Airport. Which leads to...)

5: Rate the units connectivity to a network, especially WiFi such as Airport Extreme

I'm sure there are other issues if I can set down and think about it...

--The Wing Man

blackwhite
06-19-2005, 02:29 PM
Camera Phone Reviews

Even though Digital Cameras are getting smaller all the time very few of us carry one wherever we go, but almost all of us carry a cell phone and sometimes those picture opportunities just come up unexpectedly. Even though a camera phone can't replace a dedicated camera it would be nice to know which one's are best so that we could have a somewhat decent camera in a pinch. With many many camera phones at 1.3 mega pixels now and some even 2 megpaixels or higher ( sold in the states, they are up to five megpaixels elsewhere) Camera phones are not just novelties anymore, some are even made by the same companies making Digital cameras, like Sony. I would love to get reviews from an accredited source such as this. What do you guys think?

kwerner
06-19-2005, 06:13 PM
With most printer reviewing being done by PC and IT types, it would be very useful to have photo printers being reviewed by photographers for photographers. Topics? Image quality, archival issues, cost of consumables, printing speed, special features and abilities. Great idea.

Ken

vvcougar71
06-19-2005, 07:48 PM
I think it would be a great idea to do printer reviews. I use an Epson R200, prints beautiful pictures but is bit slow. I would like to read about other printers and how they compare to each other.

wilepi
06-19-2005, 10:42 PM
I would love to see a printer review page, there are so many differences that making decisions would be easier if those differences were somewhat scientifically pointed out. I would like to see:

Quality of prints, at all sizes, and all types of photos (people, landscape, dark vs bright photos)

Which media is compatible with which printers, (i.e. I have noticed different brands of photo paper/styles of paper change the quality drastically)

How printers work with different major software packages

Ink longevity, and ink prices vs prices of new printers!

How the ink holds up in sunlight (framed photos)

dcastigl
06-20-2005, 02:34 AM
I think its really a good idea! Printers seem to be the poor child of photography - its difficult to find reviews, even more difficult to find reviews of new printers. It would be good to rate not only the overall quality, but also the ability to print in B/W, cost of cartridges, what paper works good with a certain printer etc.

I hope you're able to achieve this!

Dan Castiglia,
Luxembourg

Todds
06-20-2005, 09:20 AM
I would like to see a printer review site.

It should cover:
quality & speed of color print
quality & speed of b & w print
quality & speed of text print
print output size
panorama prints(what are max size limits, does it print them at full quality)
cost to buy
cost to use
physical size
can it print CD's
what paper can it use
does it cut roll paper

built in screen
built in memory card slots

Todds
06-20-2005, 09:27 AM
I would also like to see reviews of online printing sites

Issues to cover
print quality
print size
do they print panoramas
photo sharing
print cost
shipping costs. Some sites like adorama have cheap printing costs but charge a lot for shipping.
specialty prints (mugs, mouse pads, puzzles, etc...)

some sites specialize in bound photo books.

wmussatto
06-20-2005, 02:05 PM
While its too late for me, just bought a Canon IP5000, I agree that there is a real need. As with camera's there are different audiences. It might also be useful to include actual print results back in the camera section.

Bill

AndreaGeorgia
06-21-2005, 12:54 AM
Jeff, this sounds like a great idea, I'd certainly appreciate a printer review site very much! I have to say that the differences in print quality are very much discernable, certainly (not only) to a photographer's eye. In addition to the image quality (most important to me), ink and paper costs, supported paper choices and quality, archival quality (probably hard to test), print speed, printer size, noise etc. are certainly also of interest.

Andrea

ChiyoDad
06-21-2005, 06:21 PM
Do you, faithful DCRP readers, think such a site is needed? What would you like to see on a printer site? What kinds of tests? What should we look for in a printer?

With regards to reviewing camcorders, I think you're already doing part of that work when you review cameras that have movie-modes. I wouldn't mind seeing you expand to camcorders that take digital photos at a minimum resolution of 3MP.

As for printers, that's not a really big thing for me. I'm sure there are many of us who love printing out our own photos on a photo-quality printer. But my impression is that the cost per page is less favorable when compared to the alternative of just taking my memory card to a kiosk (or online service) and printing it there.

I wouldn't mind seeing you do a comparison of printing services.

camerafox
06-22-2005, 11:35 PM
Jeff, I sincerely hope you decide to add a printer review feature. Most of the existing printer review sites are little more than advertisement opportunities, unlike your site, which provides detailed, unbiased and UNPAID recommendations on digital cameras and accessories. While you are thinking about expansion, you might also consider adding or increasing the quantity of reviews of other key camera accessories such as lenses, flashes, tripods, etc. I realize that saying and doing are two different things, but I wanted to at least give you my $0.02. BTW, thanks for all your hard work-I have used your site as a reference for the last three digicam purchases I have made, and I was happily unsurprised with the result because of the info you provided.

bob1xxx
06-23-2005, 02:29 AM
As long you reveiw printers of all different price points(ie not just the high end insano priced models but nice bargin prints in the 50.00 to 150.00 range) and all types inkjet, sub dye, laser, etc... .

cooli
06-26-2005, 12:00 AM
Hi Jeff,

If as you said above, someone is to do the main task for that new printer review site, I am definitely not against the idea. It won't be of big use on my side, as I print most of my pictures via internet professional printer services.

I would like to back Blackwhite's idea to extend your camera review activity to camera phone with real camera functionality (e.g. >=2 mega pixel with at least auto-focus and flash e.g. Ericsson K750i and Nokia N90). Of course reviewwing a camera-phone is huge task (considering the number of new models and the wide range of functionalities), but what is really missing in the internet phone review world is a review site focusing only on the camera performance of camera-phone (you can easily find review of other functionalities in the phone on many other good sites).

It might not so far away that people look for a mobile phone with the intention to use it as a good everyday life camera (my mother just asked me about it ;), so a review site with good analysis of the camera performance and quality would be more than useful.

Just my two cents...

Anyway keep up the good work (I am going very soon to buy the Powershop S2 :-)

- Cooli.

badzman
06-26-2005, 12:35 AM
Yeah will be good I support too.

Action
06-26-2005, 09:14 PM
I believe that there is more than enough room in the market for really good printer reviews. To be honest, camera reviews are easy to find, really fine printer reviews are not so easy... I'm going to not support many of the others that have posted so far and recommend that the site NOT focus on the cheap printers, but instead focus on the best printers in the $300-$5K range. This way you can capture the professional stuff and stuff available to the prosumer.

The best site that I have found for printer reviews is this one, the main problem is that it is UK based so the stuff in the US can often be quite different...

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/

Groves
06-27-2005, 10:55 PM
Ok, here's the reason why this site rocks and why a printer site would rock as well.

BOTH cameras and printers fall into this category of technology....RAPIDLY CHANGING.

When a person is getting ready to buy a camera, this site is the best because you can take a look at the current market offerings and compare them to each other. If you take a month off, you'll miss several cameras that have come to market in the meantime and miss some announcements of cameras that are going to come out.

Mere mortals like us don't have the time to keep 100% current on these things, but we want to be 100% current when it comes time to buy. Joe blow doesn't know the difference between the many Sony DSC cameras or the Canon lines. All they see is model numbers.

This rapid development of models is also prevalent in printers. Again, joe blow doesn't know that printer A is just printer B with a few new features, or that printer C2 looks just like a plain jane upgrade from printer C1, but in reality, it's a completely new beast.

It's these kinds of changes that a printer site would keep track of. There are LOTS of printers out there, and who has time to test them all? I think a printer site would be of much help.

Let's face it, although there are some who read this site everyday, there are tons of others that just read it for 2 months (every day) leading up to a buying decision. After the purchase, the urge to keep up with cameras becomes diminished. The same would hold true for printers, I'm sure.

Matthew Groves

fiveportions
07-02-2005, 05:53 AM
There is a need for impartial printer reviews and comparisons.

DC Resource is such an excellently explicit information provider for cameras that I think they are perfectly qualified to cover printers as well.

Photo Labs, both high-street and web-based are also top review fodder, IMHO.

There are less variables with printers so it shouldn't be such a big task.

Other limited reviews seem to be half-hearted and often leave out blindingly obvious factors, like running costs.

GO FOR IT !!

miguelito
07-03-2005, 03:07 PM
It would be fun... printers are so common these days and there is a least one in almost every house with a computer….!

..so far , for printers review, I usually go to
http://www.steves-digicams.com/printers.html

..now…with more and more people buying DSLR cameras, with sales that are only going to get much stronger with the years, with more models coming up, what I would really like to see are lenses review and even perhaps suggested lenses for a particular DSLR Camera.

I guess that a part of the camera review is based in image quality, and lenses are a valuable part of it. These quotations are from two popular reviewed cameras, and point out that it would be interesting to get more info about lenses

Canon Digital Rebel XT review”
“…Remember that the quality of the lens matters a lot when judging image quality”

“Overall the photo quality on the Digital Rebel is excellent -- especially if you're using that kit lens at smaller apertures.”

Nikon D50 review”
“The minimum focus distance will depend on the lens you can use. Nikon makes lenses specifically for macro shooting, which you'll probably want to look into if you're serious about close-up shots”

I know that the vast majority of cameras on the market today are “Digicams” with no interchangeable lenses, but I really think DSLR camera lenses is a rapidly growing subject as well...it would really help…

my opinion, nevertheless..

have a good vacation...!

JABilello
07-06-2005, 09:57 AM
I'm a newbie here, so hello everyone.

Definitely set that up. I am in the market for a printer, and the information out there is not that great as it is with other products.

I want to see reviews of the hopefully upcoming new Canon Pixma line in later 2005.

Thanks, and great job on the site.

JB

Kenyada
07-07-2005, 09:31 AM
When I purchased my Canon i9900 about six months ago, I had to depend on the editors' reviews in magazines, many of which may have been influenced by advertising dollars. So I would have welcomed a chance to read more objective viewpoints before making that important purchase.

FJAM
07-13-2005, 02:34 AM
I've been reading camera reviews on your site for many years. I have no doubt printer reviews would be most useful. I would be interested in cost per page, quality & speed of print amongst other things.

Keep up the good work!!
FJAM

keadog
07-23-2005, 08:36 PM
I am not even 24hrs new to this forum, yet I can say I'd be relieved to see a forum on printers! One of the reasons I have avoided digital for so long is fear (and naivete about the digital world) that my digital images will never print as well, last as long, and in general be as good as my trusty photo-lab 35mm prints with archived negatives. I have come around to accept that a digital photo projected show is accetable and easier than a true slide show, but the artist in me still wants tangable objects to hold onto instead of a computer file.

Since this site is helping me learn about my next camera purchase (probably a DSLR) my next question will be about respectable printers which will produce high quality, long lasting prints.

There may be a majority of people who live life on the disposable edge, but some of us who graduated from art school before the technology age bombarded the arts, still desire informative resources in order to learn. Help me make the connection between the dark room at school, the photo lab at the pharamacy, and my desk top photo printer!

Good Luck!

Kenyada
08-02-2005, 04:36 AM
As we all know, the essential issue with printers, particularly photo printers, is print quality. And there are several factors that will determine print quality - paper, ink, fade resistance, etc. While I agree that we could benefit from a printer review, I would suggest that we look at printers merely in the context of a digital camera accessory, rather than an entitity unto itself. In other words, how well does a printer work as a tool for the digital photographer, as opposed to its overall capabilities. My guess is that this group owns some of the best photo printers on the market today, which should give us a pretty decent barometer of service, repair history, manufacturer customer service. etc.

kimbrough
12-10-2005, 08:56 PM
I am specifically replying because I just read one of the original responses to your query about establishing a printer review site. The member Rhys commented it was not necessary because basically all are the same and no one can tell the difference anyway. I wholeheartedly disagree.

If you want to create nice prints that are worthy of both appreciation, longevity, and quality printers deserve the same consideration as a camera.

There are many printers, papers, inks, profiles and processes and there is no place that I can find that can give in depth reviews. Occassionally you can find a thorough review in a magazine (such as Shutterbugs recent review of the Epson R2400).

I am here now because I was looking for comparitive reviews. I think it an excellent idea and well worth the effort. I certainly appreciate the camera reviews on this site it helped me make a final decision between a Nikon D70 and a Canon EOS D20. I chose the Canon and I am ecstatic with its performance. Now I am deciding on a printer to match its quality.

so Help.....

Kimbrough

Rex914
12-11-2005, 04:24 PM
I am specifically replying because I just read one of the original responses to your query about establishing a printer review site. The member Rhys commented it was not necessary because basically all are the same and no one can tell the difference anyway. I wholeheartedly disagree.

If you want to create nice prints that are worthy of both appreciation, longevity, and quality printers deserve the same consideration as a camera.

There are many printers, papers, inks, profiles and processes and there is no place that I can find that can give in depth reviews. Occassionally you can find a thorough review in a magazine (such as Shutterbugs recent review of the Epson R2400).

I am here now because I was looking for comparitive reviews. I think it an excellent idea and well worth the effort. I certainly appreciate the camera reviews on this site it helped me make a final decision between a Nikon D70 and a Canon EOS D20. I chose the Canon and I am ecstatic with its performance. Now I am deciding on a printer to match its quality.

so Help.....

Kimbrough
I can help you get started on that as I'm also in the market for a printer.

First of all, what's your budget and what are you intending to do with the printers? There are 2 classes of inkjet printers, budget and non-budget.

If you're going for higher end (above $200), you'll be looking at the Canon iP8500, Canon i9900, Epson R800, and R1800.

For the midrange, there's the Canon iP4200, Canon iP5200, and Epson R340. And some HP printers like the 8250. I wouldn't buy a printer below $100 (and preferably not below $150 before rebates) because cheaper printers hit you in the back in ink costs that are higher than those for better printers.

If you intend ot use the printer almost exclusively for photos, go for a higher end Epson like the R800 or R1800 (for larger format photos). If you want to do a good mix of documents and photos, the iP8500 is good. If you do more documents than photos, the iP5200 or iP4200 are probably the best. They do a nice job and do it very, very quickly and have a low maintenance cost.

snapper
12-15-2005, 03:01 PM
Jeff, I have been reading your camera reviews for the past few months and have recommended your site to many of my friends who are in a quandry about which camera to buy. Now I need a printer and have spent the better part of today trying to figure which one is best for my needs. Please Please start a printer review site!!!! thanks

Rex914
12-15-2005, 03:31 PM
Please Please start a printer review site!!!! thanks
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Look for more printer reviews on our upcoming printer review companion site, which launches early next year.