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Best $200 Printer?

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  • Best $200 Printer?

    Hiya all!

    The ink on my dusty old Lexmark 3200 has run out and instead of spending $70 on cartridges I've decided to spend a couple of hundred for fully filled cartridges that come with a printer attached. I've read many reviews and am more confused by the moment. What I want is THE best photo output from a printer that I can get. Well, a printer for around 200 bucks anyway. Speed doesn't matter. text quality doesn't matter. Looks and noise level, for sure, don't matter. Just PHOTO QUALITY!

    I'm leaning toward the Canon I850. I wonder if anyone has experience with this printer, or possibly, has an alternate suggestion?

    Any and all input is appreciated.

    P.S. Hello to all my old friends on this board. Wish I still had the time I used to have to spend here. Its the best board, with the best people, on the net. And that's the truth, too!

  • #2
    Hi Hank,

    My recommendation for a inexpensive but good quality printer is the Epson C82. it prints at up to 5760 x 1440 dpi and from what I've seen of test prints, I'm quite impressed with the print quality. also, it uses Pigment based inks (the ones which don't run when exposed to water - they've tested it by running prints under a tap and it still doesn't run) the one thing I'm not sure about though, is if there's the metamerism problems usually associated with pigment inks. here's a link to a PC mag review on the C82,4149,582219,00.asp

    - David


    • #3

      I have a very inexpensive lexmark, a z52, you cannot beat this printer, I will match anybodys prints anytime, anywhere, even an epson dealer could not believe the quality, I think at Costco it was $69.95 the price of refilling the 2 ink cartridges. It consistently works perfect everytime and I use primarily thick art papers so it gets alot of abuse.
      At a adobe workshoop I just went to they highly recommend the epson printers but not the top of the line the 2 below the top one.


      • #4
        printer paper

        Epson makes great papers, regardless of which printer you use them in.


        • #5
          If you can afford another $19, Epson has 890s available refurbished for $219
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning


          • #6
            Hi Tim,

            I bought a HP 6122 for $199.99 at Compusa. I purchased this printer just for an overall good printer and was really impressed by its photo quality.



            • #7

              How long do you want the ink to last? I.e., how soon before the prints start to fade? I have had terrible luck with the HP printers and noticeable fading after just a year or two. Test results I've seen put the Epson dye-based inks way ahead of the HP in terms of longevity of the prints. Also, the HP ink will run when exposed to water of any sort. (Can you tell I haven't been happy with my HP?)

              The other thing you might want to consider is whether the printer comes with any ICC profiles or not. I was never able to get a printer to match my monitor until I started using ICC profiles. So, that's another thing to consider. (I have no idea if less expensive printers come with ICC profiles or not, but just throwing it out there as a possible thing to think about when making your decision.)



              • #8
                MUCH thanks for all the input. I've considered all that's been said and I'll probably go with either a Canon I850 or S820. I'll know tomorrow when I actually buy the thing. I've been so happy with my Canon camera, an S30, that I sort of lean in that direction.

                One thing I've learned is that buying a printer is a much more complicated decision than I first expected. I'd take less time buying a new car. (Goes from A to B? Gets 28 mpg? I'll take it.) Or even getting married. (You cook? I luv ya, baby.)

                Of course, Jeaniesa has now complicated things even further by bringing up ICC profiles! That's a very good point and something that I had totally not thought of. I gotta do some more research here.

                I'll let you all know what I end up with and how it works out.

                Thanks again for all the input. This board is the greatest.


                • #9
                  Hey Tim,

                  Didn't mean to complicate things. But you're right - purchasing anything having to do with a computer takes way more thought than buying a car!

                  As for the ICC profiles, you might also want to consider a profiling software such as MonacoEZcolor. Not particularly cheap, but I found one for $100 on eBay a few months ago. It has made my life much easier! (I only purchased it after having major problems getting my prints to match what I saw on my monitor.)



                  • #10
                    OK, I ended up with the Canon I850 and so far I couldn't be happier. Still doing much experimentation, tweaking, etc., but my first impressions have all been very positive.

                    Beautiful, accurate color and very fine detail. As a bonus, its fast and is so quiet I can hardly hear it printing. Setup was easy.

                    So far I've only printed on Canon paper (outstanding output) and CompUSA paper. (Yuck! Absolutely awful on this printer!)

                    At the same time I'm learning how to get the best results from this printer I'm also learning PS 7. Once I get it all balanced out then I'll really be happy. Of course by then I'll be unbalanced.

                    Thanks again for all the input.


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