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The Printer Purchase Part Two

So now that I'm comfortable with the value of owning a printer it was time to decide what printer to buy. I've always owned Epson printers so I thought that I would continue with Epson. The question then was do I get a 13 inch printer or a 17 inch? To answer that question I had to reflect on what size prints I liked, why did I like that size and would printing 16x20 prints be of use to me? The majority of prints that I make are 8.5 by 11. There are several reasons that I like this size. I'll get into why in a future blog. I also print to 11x14 and 13x19 pretty regularly. They make great exhibition prints and some images are just better printed larger. Would I make 16x20 prints if I could? Maybe, maybe not. There are many practical issues the come with larger prints such as storage, framing costs and the added costs of the prints. On the rare occasion that I'd want a really big print I think it would be more practical to get a lab print. So I don't need a 17 inch printer to make the prints I need to make.

Are 17 inch printers better than 13 inch printers? In terms of print quality it's debatable. Frame the prints and view at a normal distance and I doubt the print from the 17 inch printer would look any better. the one advantage to the bigger printer is that the ink is cheaper. A set of 50ml cartridges for 17 inch printer is $579 and cartridges for the 13 inch printer is $495 but the cartridges are only 25ml. Since ink is a major cost of printing it's something to consider That's a plus for the bigger printer. Another major consideration is the size of the printer. Space in our condo is limited and we are using every inch. The 17 inch printer wouldn't fit where my current printer is. Working out a new printer stand that is 4 inches longer was possible but required a major reorganization of my office space. Then of comes the sheer cost difference. If there was no doubt that the bigger printer was the better choice I'd spend the money but I just wasn't convinced. So I'm all set to buy an Epson p700. Just one more thing to consider. What does Canon have to offer?

I've never owned a Canon product. I've always been skeptical of their printers because I've always used Epson. So to be fair I had a look. From reading reviews it seemed the Canon printers were well made and the cost of ink was comparable. Paper also seemed ok. What really impressed me in terms of value was that the Canon came with a full set of inks. The Epson required the purchase of a set of inks at almost $500.

So my Epson R3000 has become so frustrating to use I'm ready to make the purchase. I work out a time that I can make a trip into Toronto, it's all set. Here in Waterloo, Ontario we have a camera shop that I really like but their inventory is limited and I didn't even consider them as a source. Just after Christmas I went in for something small and to my surprise they had a Canon Pro 300 in stock. So I bought it. I had to put an end to this printer purchase before it drove me crazy.

In my next post I'll give my initial impressions. Stay turned!


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