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As a professional photographer, you have many options for printing the photos you shoot. The kind of printer you choose is based not only on the type of photos you make and who your clients are, but on how you want to present your work and what style of personal promotion interests you. As a wedding photographer, you might want to present acceptable work prints to your clients and have a lab handle the final prints, or you might want to invest in your own high-end printer and print your images.
Possibly, you’d like to bring a portable dye-sublimation printer with you to the reception and make sure all guests go home with a photo of themselves with the bride (with your website stamped on the back, of course). With the availability of affordable professional-quality printers, many with increasingly portable features, it is now easier than ever to print your own work, whether it be work prints, exhibition prints or high volume on-location printing. At B&H, there is a printer available to fit every need.
The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8400S 44" Large Format Printer is a high-quality printer with an array of professional features that is able to print on paper rolls and cut-sheet media as wide as 44". It is an eight-color inkjet printer with a maximum resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi. Printing is possible on media as thick as 0.8mm. A new multi-sensor with built-in densitometer calibrates the printer, and the Color Calibration Management System can link the calibration targets for every printer in a system. The iPF8400 utilizes the LUCIA EX ink set, which offers pigment-based ink of vibrant, stable colors with smooth gradations, superb blacks and fine details.
It is also scratch resistant. Ink droplets have a minimum size of 4.0 pl, there are 2,560 nozzles per color and in highest print mode, the order of ink application and layering is optimized for high quality with fewer passes—meaning that overall printing time is reduced significantly. A Sub Ink Tank System keeps ink in reserve, so printing need not stop to change ink cartridges. With Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, 384MB of internal memory and a hard-disk capacity of 250GB, the iPF8400s can accommodate high-volume printing, and for further versatility, plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and Digital Photo Professional are bundled with the printer.
Also designed to print up to 44” wide, the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer offers a high level of performance and nuance for fine art applications. With a MicroPiezo TFP print head and an ink droplet size of 3.5 picoliters, fine art photos are produced with rich, detailed and accurate colors by Epson’s High Dynamic range pigment ink. The maximum resolution is 2880 x 1440 dpi. Ideal for black-and-white printing, the 9900 simultaneously utilizes Black, Light Black and Light Light Black inks to produce prints with smooth tonal gradations and contrast. Eleven ink cartridges are available in capacities of 150, 350 and 700 ml, and sizes can be mixed as well, to save money and minimize waste. Color prints on Epson Professional Media are rated stable for up to 200 years (black-and-white prints last even longer). Two- or three-inch core rolls of paper can be switched easily because no spindle is used. This increases flexibility and, again, eliminates waste.
For the professional photographer who needs a tabletop printer that can provide the sharpest details and most accurate colors and often on large pieces of paper, we have numerous options. For example, the Epson SureColor P800 Inkjet Printer offers a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi, and with its advanced MicroPiezo AMC print head, produces gallery-quality color and black-and-white prints up to 17 x 22". The printer’s nine-ink set delivers a bold range of colors, and its print head will automatically switch between photo and matte black ink to improve black ink density for various media types. An Advanced Black & White Mode is also available for neutral and custom toning of your monochrome imagery. The minimum ink droplet size is 3.5 picoliters.
The Epson P800 accepts cut-sheet media up to 17" wide and features three ways to load paper as well as an optional roll media adapter for canvas and paper rolls from 13 to 17". In addition to USB 2.0 and Ethernet, the printer offers Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless printing from mobile devices.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-1 Color Inkjet Photo Printer features a maximum resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi and accepts media from 4 x 6" to 13 x 19". It's specially designed for professional photographers who need high-quality output. A rear paper input tray accepts up to 20 sheets of photo paper, and thicker papers can be manually fed. The print head on the PIXMA PRO-1 has 12,288 nozzles which improves color gamut and overall print speed. And because the inks are housed on the side of the print head, their tanks are larger and hold more ink. The 12 pigment-based ink system from the LUCIA family includes five monochrome inks for expanding the dynamic range in dark areas: Matte Black, Photo Black, Dark Gray, Gray and Light Gray. In addition to these monochromes, the printer utilizes Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow, Red, and the special Chroma Optimizer, which provides a clear coat, enhancing the uniform glossiness of the paper and maintaining true color fidelity. It is also capable of printing directly to CDs or DVDs and via an Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 port, or PictBridge port, the PIXMA PRO-1 is compatible with a wide variety of devices.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Color Inkjet Wireless Photo Printer offers Wi-Fi, Ethernet and PictBridge connectivity and 4800 x 2400 dpi resolution for its max output of 13 x 19" media. Of its eight ink cartridges, three are monochrome (black, gray and light gray) for professional-quality prints. An 8 x 10" print can be completed in approximately 51 seconds and, utilizing the Optimum Image Generating (OIG) system from the PIXMA PRO-1 model, the printer analyzes various image attributes—including color reproduction, tonal gradations, black density, low graininess, glossiness, anti-bronzing and anti-metamerism—to produce the best results for each print mode and paper type.
The Epson PM225 PictureMate Charm Compact Photo Printer offers computer-free printing of 4 x 6” borderless photos. It can print a photo with a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi in 37 seconds. Slots for most types of memory cards are available and PictBridge interface allows you to print directly from compatible digital cameras. Onboard photo editing allows you to edit your images in the printer as well as crop, enhance and remove red-eye. A 2.5” LCD displays the photos as they will be printed. Various templates, including proof sheet and wallet prints, offer versatility, and a built-in handle and optional battery pack make the PictureMate Charm the ideal printer for event photographers.
Dye-sublimation printers are the kind we are familiar with from most standard photo labs that print up our pack of 4 x 6" prints. They work by applying a ribbon of colored dye to a medium, usually a roll of photo paper. By heating a panel of color on the ribbon, the dye is vaporized and diffuses on the paper. Varying the temperature of the heating process will allow more or less dye to transfer to the paper, thus creating your image. This process is repeated for three colors and then a lamination is heated on the top to stabilize the colors and protect the final print. Even though we are used to seeing giant printers in photo labs do this, dye-sublimation printers can be portable as well.
The DNP DS-RX1 Dye-Sub Color Photo Printer is a portable event-photography printer that can produce 700 4 x 6" photos in a single run at just 14.9 seconds per print. It’s able to print either matte or glossy photos from 2 x 6" up to 6 x 8" at a maximum of 300 dpi. An efficient, fast machine, it is ideal for photo booths as well as events.
For those looking to print a bit larger, DNP's DS80 Digital Photo Printer can output prints up to 8 x 12" in just 35 seconds, as well as smaller print sizes down to 4 x 8". While not quite as portable as the DS-RX1, this bigger brother weighs about 30 lb and measures 14.4" on its longest side, so it would not be unheard of to use as a printing station at the wedding reception.
For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone, at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.