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Large Format Printers?
Old 03-10-2007, 12:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am looking at the posibility of purchasing a (44")Large Format Printer. I am looking at the Epson Stylus Pro 9800 at $4995.00, the Canon Image Prograf W8400 at $5899.95, and the HP Designjet Z3100 44" at 6295.00 - $1000 rebate and $500 in media. What is your opinion on these printers.

The Epson Stylus Pro 9800 also comes in a Professional edition with Custom-designed PostScript Language Level 3 Compatible RIP by ColorBurst at $5995.00. Is the only difference the RIP? How would it benefit me? Is it worth an extra $1000?

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Re: Large Format Printers?
Old 03-10-2007, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Both the Canon and HP printers are 12 ink printers, the Epson is an 8 ink printer. With the Epson, you have to swap the blackest black cartridge when you switch from matte paper to glossy paper. This will cost you ~$75 in ink.

From an image quality standpoint, there isn't much difference between the three printers. Differences are very slight. RIP stands for Raster Image Processor. It is a piece of software that optimizes image output. Colorbyte's is very good. While not absolutely necessary, if you want the very best image quality possible, you'll most likely end up purchasing a RIP.

Here's a link to an article that evaluates the 24" version of the HP. The author has also evaluated the comparable Epson and Canon offerings and references them here: http://luminous-landscape.com/review...0-review.shtml. Technologically, the printers are identical to their larger brethren except for the maximum print size.

If I were in the market today, I'd be purchasing either the Canon or HP. As the article mentions, the HP has some really nice features built into it.

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