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I agree with everyone stressing individual ink cartridges. My Epson R1800
has seven cartridges plus a Gloss Optimizer which eliminates the different
reflective values of each ink, making the output look like a true photograph
rather than an ink jet print. (This, obviously, works with photo paper and
not with standard ink jet paper.) The output from my R1800 is 5700+ dpi
which is good because my Nikon Coolscan's resolution is 4000 dpi and I
always scan at maximum resolution. I can also print on printable CDs. While
my printer is awesome for color images, the Epson 2400 is better for
printing black and white prints because it uses slightly different ink
My wife's Epson RX595 also uses individual cartridges, and offers scanning,
copying and faxing. It's more of an office type system, but it does have
true 1200 x 2400 optical resolution. (I never use interpolated resolution
because they are based on algorithms and are often not as sharp or as
accurate as straight hardware (optical) resolution.) It doesn't scan slides,
but after fumbling around with an old HP Scanjet that had slide scanning
capabilities, I can say without a doubt that a flatbed scanner just can't do
One thing the RX595 does not have is networking; although, that is not a
problem, because we have all of our computers working during the day.
Someone suggested looking at a color laser printer. The problem with color
laser printers is you are limited to the weight of the paper you use. We
print high quality art prints, note cards, draft manuals, stories....you
name it and it probably has gone through one of our printers. You can't run
good card stack or anything other than 8x10 (or 8x10 up 11x17) paper through
a laser printer. I may be wrong, but I don't think they like 4x6 photo card
stock, or envelopes.
So, which one is best? HP, Epson, Canon, Brother.... I suggest getting an
idea of what you are looking for in output and your price range. Put a few
samples of what you print on a CD and head over to Circuit City, Best Buy or
a local computer store and see if they will print them out for you. I'm
happy with Epson. Others swear by HP or some other brand. What you need is
the one that suits your needs best for the price you can afford.
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