Seeking advice on a suitable Canon printer for home photo printing

stratman

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The XP-900 uses four Dye-based ink cartridges (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, K = Black) for image prints and has an additional one Pigment Black ink cartridge used just for text.

The XP-960 has six color cartridges that are all Dye-based inks. Black text made from Dye-based ink may be less black, less sharp, and will not be water resistant when compared to using Pigment Black ink.

If sharp text or water resistance, such as for highlighting, is important than the XP-900 offers the best compromise. If the text output from the XP-960 is acceptable to you then it offers potentially better image output.
 

maximilian59

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So it is all on you now. If I were you at the moment, I would go for XP-900 and start with refilling with 105/106 inks. I wouldn't consider a A4 printer as a hobby photographer. You miss some possibilities without the A3+ format, but you start with a smaller investment. Take the money for reasonable good paper and begin printing. The quality of the 106 inks for photo printing is really very good. Epson itself provides identical profiles for XP-7100 (A4 printer) and ET-7750.
I had the chance to make same prints on the XP-55 with 6 inks and the XP-7100 with 4 photo inks. As this was only A4, it might be little different on A3 in areas with subtle color changes, where the additional two inks have there advantage. The paper I used was EPSON Ultra Glossy 300g.The bigger the print, the more you see, whether larger areas with slight color changes suffer from less ink colors. On large formats you need additional colors, otherwise you see more paper white and no ink.
Even with viewing from only 10 cm I could not see any difference. Maybe under the microscope, but that is no normal viewing distance.
By the way, I know the shortest viewing distance of a photographer for a print is the length of his nose. That is pixel peeping where no pixels are.
The only real annoying thing is the terrible paper handling with the rear feed. You will need some patience. But as a photographer, for you the real print is the goal and not how many prints in hour you can put in the paper tray.
You will learn that printing is money and time consuming. But it as the same as it was in the darkroom: One really good print next day with daylight was worth the time. The same here: Take much time for preparation, take the adequate paper for the job, wait a few hours till the print is really dry and have look at diffuse daylight. If then everything is fine for you, go for the beer.
 

techblink

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I would go for XP-900 and start with refilling with 105/106 inks.
That's great! I thought I could only use Epson 33 ink cartridges with XP-900 and 105/106 were to be used with a tank model. So, does that mean that we can generally switch inks between printers from the same manufacturer as long as dye is mapped to dye and pigment is mapped to a pigment ink.

I can't find any place selling XP-960 in the UK. XP-970 is available though. Features offered on both the models are similar. But based on reviews, I understand that XP-970's running costs are higher than XP-960.
 

stratman

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I can't find any place selling XP-960 in the UK.
Discontinued.

XP-970 is available though.
Either regional version of the XP-860 or replacement model of the XP-860 with minor changes.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Epson_XP-970_vs_Epson_XP-960/BHitems/1495570-REG_1180265-REG

Apparently a 2 dB increase with the XP-970 despite same print speed. May be some construction, firmware or software difference. You can examine what each printer offers software-wise on the Epson web site.

I noted the potential higher costs in this review. It seems that printers with "Light" or "Photo" Magenta, Cyan, whatever in addition to the regular Magenta, Cyan whatever do have increased costs as the printers love to guzzle these "light"/"Photo" inks. You may also find Standard image quality instead of High image quality acceptable for photo images in certain situations and save some money. Also, there are cost cutting aftermarket inks and maybe quality bulk inks for refilling. @Ink stained Fingers may advise on this.

Like many people, you are looking for a unicorn: Cheap, Fast, Quality prints. As the liked article above states, if you are not printing multiple pages or images at a setting, the threshold being your limits of patience, then the XP-970 produces excellent output and may be the closest you get in the Epson world at that price point and feature set.

If possible, go to a brick and mortar store and see print output for yourself.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Either regional version of the XP-860 or replacement model of the XP-860 with minor changes.
The XP-970 is a real new successor for the XP-960, I'm reading that there are some changes to the display menu, and more importantly - a replaceable - by the user - waste ink tank got added.
Just be aware that the models in discussion - XP900 - ET7750 - XP960/970 use the same base print mechanism - all with a printhead, for 6 colors - the XP900/ET7750 uses 2 rows for the pigment black ink which gives you a speed advantage , and the other 4 rows handle the dye CMYK inks. The firmware makes the difference and some changes to the body, the display etc .
I must admit that I don't like the way you have to feed the A3 sheets into the XP models - the printer should be close to the computer - you first select the manual bypass, start the print and insert the sheet manually so that the printer picks it up directly to start printing. The ET7750 has a rear paper bin, for about 10 sheets, it's rather flimsy but it works like a normal paper bin, you can load the paper at any time. These are handling issues, some don't care, some don't like it like me and others when you read printer reviews. And that's details which don't relate to print quality. I switched from the ET7750 to an L1800 which is a different generation of hardware - that's the generation of heavy duty A3+ printers in a large family starting with the R1800, 2100 from more than 10 years ago ranging to the current P400, 700 models - comparable to the Canon Pro100s. I'm not trying to change your mind - the discussed XP and ET- models will deliver all very good printing quality .


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Ink stained Fingers

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What is it all about - model policy of the printer manufacturers - they don't want to give you all nice features together in one printer model - they rather want you to upgrade to a more expensive model. Just to give you some examples - the age old WF2010W 4 color printer can print borderless A4 - a range of ET Ecotank printers with the same printing mechanism did not do that borderless. What was the difference - a piece of foam for 50 cts in the print path to absorb the overspray. And it's even trickier - there are some models which do borderless just for 4x6" prints , not for A4....You had to take a higher priced model to get borderless printing. Canon is using since a long time a 5 ink inkset with a dye and a pigment black to make the printers pretty universal , but none of the G-series Canon tank system printers come with 5 inks yet - you rather should use and buy expensive cartridges if you want to use 5 inks, you are not getting those configuration options which would make the most sense for the user - since it creates less profit for the manufacturer. And there are many more examples for this situation, you as a user have to find that hardware combination which still fits your needs.
 
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The Hat

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I have decided to go the Epson way. However, I still need a bit of your help to finalise between the three models - Epson L805, Epson XP-900, Epson XP-960.
With the many Epson printers you have to choose from, your actually spoiled for choice and yet none of them are the golden fleece, as @stratman and @Ink stained Fingers have said you can’t have everything because there is no such animal.

Inkjet printers are a bit of a hit or miss, you either like a printer or you don’t, and if you don’t then you buy another one !, and that way in time you’ll have a collection of printers that will do everything for you.

If you’re not going to be printing on a regular basics then I’d stay away from Epson printers, because they can clog just because they want too, I wouldn’t touch a Epson but then I’m Bios (Ignorance) maybe…

I moved away from Epson a long time ago and have not looked back.. my count of inkjet printers are now down to 7 and none of them are Epson.. I’ve now moved on to 3D printers, much more fascinating altogether.. I got tired of printing in straight lines…:lol:
 

techblink

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If you’re not going to be printing on a regular basics then I’d stay away from Epson printers, because they can clog just because they want too, I wouldn’t touch a Epson but then I’m Bios (Ignorance) maybe…
Just when I was starting to think I had some theoretical grasp of the subject.... :th:D.

What is it all about - model policy of the printer manufacturers - they don't want to give you all nice features together in one printer model - they rather want you to upgrade to a more expensive model.
So true! How I wish Canon Pro-100s had similar kind of promotions in the UK as they do in the US? And that they had a scanner, and other this and that features!

Having said that, I have spent a lot of time behind one printer. I think I am going to take a plunge now and actually get one (Epson or :weeeCanon, what's it going to be? )


Inspired by the enthusiasm of all the experts here, can't wait to get started on the printing process itself!
 
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The Hat

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Having said that, I have spent a lot of time behind one printer. I think I am going to take a plunge now and actually get one (Epson or :weeeCanon, what's it going to be? )
That’s the way to tackle the problem… Head on… :hugs...:lol:
 
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