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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:53 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default 24" and 44" Z Series Printers by HP!

Watch out Epson! Now I respect Michael Reichman. He obsesses about paper like a sommelier goes off about the bouquet of fine wines.

Michael went to Photokina 2006 to have his brain stunned into submission by 20,000 products competing for attention. However, he stops off at Barcelona to scoop the latest on the new Hewlett Packard pigment printers. Epson, a suggestion, times they’re a changing. Michael thinks the new HP pigment printers are second to none! To me that’s pretty good.

This is for the celebration and frustration of HP and the others, respectively!

Now Michael is taken to making videos of everything that interests him. He did it again: His video review at HP in Barcelona:

HP is really making a great deal out of its Z line of printers on their website.
“HP Designjet Z Photo Printers incorporates the industry's first embedded spectrophotometer on printing devices of its class. Mounted on the printer carriage, the spectrophotometer intuitively acts like a human eye, measuring the color of each page and making adjustments so color output matches the original, print after print. And it's all done automatically and within milliseconds, like the blink of an eye.

Using Eye-One Color Technology from GretagMacbeth/X-rite, the spectrophotometer helps make color matching simple and accurate throughout the printing process. Regardless of the paper you choose to use, this precision tool enables automatic color calibration and easy ICC profiling, letting you create color profiles in minutes, not hours.
New inks and media preserve your creative vision
The HP Designjet Z Photo Printers let you produce exquisite color and black and white prints that not only stand out, they stand the test of time. HP 70 Vivera pigment inks, designed specifically for this HP Designjet series, combine outstanding image quality with exceptional fade resistance. In fact, prints can resist fading for as long as 200 years!

With large format printing on HP Designjet Z Photo Printers, you can easily manage output on media that spans up to 24- to 44-inches wide. You can also push beyond the limits of traditional papers, choosing from the widest range of media options on the market. This includes 11 new offerings that round out more than 30 options in the HP media portfolio.

To further increase media choice and flexibility, HP is now working with Hahnemuhle Fine Art — a pioneer in the industry for 400 years — to make Hahnemuhle's entire portfolio of digital fine art media types compatible with HP Designjet Z Photo Printer series. Profiles of Hahnemuhle's 21 fine art papers are available at
Two new ways to color your world
The HP Designjet Z2100 features an eight-ink HP Vivera pigment ink system, including both matte black and photo black inks. It also provides a broad color gamut on matte fine art papers and glossy photo papers for photographic and creative design applications.

The HP Designjet Z3100 uses a 12-ink system, including HP Vivera pigment inks and the HP 70 Gloss Enhancer. HP Quad-Black Inks help you create beautiful black and white prints and achieve truly neutral grays under different lighting conditions.

It also provides you with continuous tones, uniform gloss and rich blacks. The HP Designjet Z3100 is simply stellar for high-quality art reproduction, photography and proofing applications.

Whichever you decide to use, both of these new printers in the HP Designjet Z Photo Printer series deliver museum-quality prints with pop-off-the-paper color to bring your creative visions to life.”

So what about Epson?

Well, I still believe that the sheer brand loyalty and sterling reputation of Epson is going to keep sales energized, but I wouldn’t be surprised if HP doesn’t capture a good share of the wide format printer market for fine art, photography and graphic design.

According to Michael gloss differential and the appearance of bronzing has pretty well gone. The printers calibrate themselves to any paper you choose.

If you have Lightroom or Aperture software, the color calibration is hooked up with one or two clicks. There’s Gretag Macbeth technology built in to scan prints for the paper calibration and besides that there are RIPS ready for you that already know the printers and papers.

However, Epson might very well still have the edge in fine printing. We are just going to have to separate the euphoria of being there from the cold comparison of prints of various challenging and routine image files. Epson have a proven track record and HP and Canon are both new to the high end wide format graphic design photoprinting arena where Epson has had its own provate show for many years.

Sight unseen? No question I’d buy the Epson, there’s much less risk. The calibrations aside, with Epson's own profiles out of the box, most would think the printer is perfect. The RIPS by ImagePrint and others deliver production and packages off pictures and all the sizing you could imagine in a reliable way. If you are super fussy, there's no end to online services for profiling your own rare papers to perfection.

Still if you wait, not long at all, some practical experience will be out and we'll know a little more.

It's a hard choice, except if you need a 60" printer, then there's only one and that monstor has the name Canon on it!


Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 27th, 2006 at 10:12 AM.
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