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  • Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

    I've parted company with my old Epson Stylus 2100, and I'm looking to get a new A4 inkjet for proofing. Can anyone advise me which printer is best for this purpose?

  • #2
    Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

    Oh man that thing is old. 2001 called..... ah nevermind. I'm not sure at the moment, but Epson has released proofing bundles with their medium and larger printers. They are quite a bit more efficient on ink, even though a set of inks will run you several hundred dollars. As long as you use them regularly, they tend to be a much better option. If you were getting by with a 2100 before, I am skeptical how much printing you're doing. If you were doing a lot, you would have run into ink sticker shock long ago as I did with a 2400. One of the printing bundles with EFI is probably a good idea, given that some of the other more basic RIPs are annoying. I'm not a huge fan of colorburst or imageprint. GMG is windows only. I don't know if it works through bootcamp. Bear in mind that the more powerful systems are designed around you measuring your output and having appropriate lighting for the viewing of these prints. Even without it they're a step up from the basic print drivers. I just suggest the bundles due to cost effectiveness. I haven't personally used the EFI bundles. Others I've known seemed pretty happy though. Just make sure to look into the current version and if any features are disabled.

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    • #3
      Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

      I'm only really wanting an inexpensive A4 printer to run off quick proofs without spending a fortune on ink and paper. I'm not looking for anything fancy.

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      • #4
        Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

        Yeah the larger ones are actually cheaper if you run a lot of prints. The cartridge units used in the smaller variants cost a fortune per mL.

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        • #5
          Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

          So what do you advise?

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          • #6
            Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

            Originally posted by AKMac View Post
            So what do you advise?
            Get a 3880.

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            • #7
              Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

              And try Cone inks when you run out.

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              • #8
                Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                I dont want to buy a big expensive A3 printer. I only want to make around twenty prints a week to proof colour. I was hoping I could get an A4 printer that would give me accurate colours.

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                • #9
                  Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                  Originally posted by AKMac View Post
                  I dont want to buy a big expensive A3 printer.
                  Have you ever computed your ink costs? I'm just wondering because it adds up quite fast, although the suggested 3880 is still kind of expensive on inks. The 4000 in the biggest ink sizes are much more cost effective, but they are probably not appropriate for your uses. Out of curiosity are you sending these off as reference prints? If they're just for viewing and you aren't using a light table of appropriate color temperature, aren't applying any means of validation, etc, you might see little advantage over just the use of a good display. Prints are useful when there is some validation in place or you need to send something on for reference. The A3 and larger printers tend to be favored more for these things because of typically higher ink consistency. Aside from that changing them less often makes things like profiling a printer much more effective with the right hardware and software (also expensive). If you're just looking for something inexpensive, it will likely come down to a choice between smaller inkjets from Epson and perhaps HP and Canon. There isn't much else.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                    They're just for viewing while I work. To get a feel for how an image is going to look in print. I regularly soft proof on an Eizo and a Nec, but I want to see the images in paper and ink.

                    I just wanted to know if there is an A4 inkjet which will give me a fairly accurate idea of how the final image is going to print in a magazine.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                      I do not see any reason why you would not be able to get prints fit for purpose from one of the cheaper Canon printers e.g. the PIXMA MG7150. Six inks with optional high yield cartridges and a price of around £130.

                      No personal experience of this particular model but do have two Canon from lower down in the food chain and they are capable of producing pretty good match to what I get on screen. Downside ink costs (of course!) as to replace all cartridges at the same time is near to the cost of buying a new printer!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                        I've been through this too. I just don't really care for the lower end solutions. If you make enough off it, it's worth setting it up correctly and sending off reference prints with a job. I've had good luck with Eizo in terms of consistency.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                          Originally posted by AKMac View Post
                          They're just for viewing while I work. To get a feel for how an image is going to look in print. I regularly soft proof on an Eizo and a Nec, but I want to see the images in paper and ink.

                          I just wanted to know if there is an A4 inkjet which will give me a fairly accurate idea of how the final image is going to print in a magazine.
                          How do you prep your files? An inket is capable of many more colors than is usually possible on a CMYK offset press. Paper types used can also add to the visual differences from one to the other.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                            Originally posted by AKMac View Post
                            To get a feel for how an image is going to look in print. I regularly soft proof on an Eizo and a Nec, but I want to see the images in paper and ink.

                            I just wanted to know if there is an A4 inkjet which will give me a fairly accurate idea of how the final image is going to print in a magazine.
                            If you don't have a target for the final color, like a good CMYK profile for the print process to cross render, how can you 'proof' the images "accurately"? When you soft proof using the NEC/EIZO, you soft proof to what output?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best A4 Inkjet for Proofing

                              I think I might be getting in deeper than I bargained for I'm not a pre-press expert or a professional printer, so perhaps when I say I "proof" the images, I'm using that term far too loosely. What I mean is I view the image in the requested cmyk profile and at a brightness that is close to paper white. I'm only checking to see if there are any issues re. colour gamut and blacks/whites, and trying to get an aesthetic feel for how the image will come across.

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