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Thursday, 28 August 2008

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The prices on the Sandisk are TERRIBLE. Just a few weeks ago you could get a 4 GB Extreme III SDHC, considerably better than those two, for $7 after rebate. Better yet, it came with a USB/SD adapter and a neat neoprene pouch.

"maybe I do know how they do that and still make money"

Yeah, Mike, you do know. Just yesterday I was looking at the prices of printers. Found cartridges, too. Half a litre cartridge of black ink was 1600 kunas. That means a litre is 3200 kunas or around $700. One litre of petrol is nine kunas. About _80_ times less.

Why do you think printer manufacturers are not so keen on no-name refills?

OTOH, we're lucky that printers don't use bull sperm. I heard a litre of that costs 25000 pounds. :-)

"My sister-in-law, Barbara, is a really, really good shopper".

My brother is good at this too, except with secondhand items. He will regularly take half the asking price in cash with him, offer it and usually get the item.

Me? I end up paying full price!

David Pogue of the Times once estimated that the ink inside a cartridge costs around $65/once. That's over $3,000/gallon!

And I wish it applied in Japan to the extent it does in the US.

The 3 shipments is because you may actually have bought ink from three different people but placed the order through Amazon.

If Amazon actually had them in stock they were in stock at three different locations. That will really make you wonder how anyone makes any $.

Add to that the amazing amount of plastic packaging "needed" to send a small piece of plastic the size of a deck of cards and it gets even crazier.

I don't understand the printer ink cabal what so ever. Given the pricing and how they make you buy it at the store, you would guess it was ingestible and containing narcotics.


Amazon loves, loves, loves to take orders for things they don't stock or own. That is real easy money but you have to take a lot of orders.

The last card (CF) I bought was a 2 GB Kingston for $89

Moore's Law doesn't apply to printer ink, but it may very well apply to the printers. They keep getting better and cheaper. Many of them (at least the low-end ones) are sold below cost and it is on the consumables that the manufacturers recoup their investment.

I knew the apocalype was nigh when I bought a 4 gig CF card at Costco for less than 30 bucks.

I know a few people who, when the printer ink runs out, simply buy a new printer. The cost of the new printer, which comes with ink, is cheaper than replacing the ink in the old printer.

I just wrote a post for my own blog on a similar topic, which is whether an ink jet printer is really worth the cost. Given that even consumer-level digital photo labs can produce excellent 11x14-inch prints for less than $6.00 apiece, the cost of a printer + ink + paper doesn't make much economic sense.

I suspect that for most people, myself included, it's not about saving money; it's about the convenience and fun of being able to print at home, on exotic papers if we so choose. That's fine. I'm willing to pay a premium for fun and convenience. However, when the price of digital electronic consumables is dropping while the cost of inks remains exorbitantly high, I start getting resentful. Only a small percentage of people who take pictures print them at home. High ink costs certainly won't make their customer base any larger.

I just purchased an Epson 1400 from Amazon for $199 - $50 rebate. $149 for a 13x19" print maker is amazing. Just as the cigarette makers once said they make a "nicotine delivery system", the printer makers are selling "ink delivery systems". The first thing I'm doing with the printer is buying refillable carts, and some MIS Ultratone B&W inks.

Ink prices are outrageous, but I would actually tolerate the prices if my printer actually used the ink for printing. Instead, my HP9180 has sucked down almost a full set of inks just running its daily maintenance schedule for the past few months. One of these days I'm just going to throw it out and start printing through online services. Not as convenient, but certainly much much cheaper.

Mike, Ink maybe off the wall expensive if your doing this as a hobby. If you are selling prints it just another added expense that you charge for. All in all it's way better then the old dark room days--wouldn't trade it for anything.

Peter is on to something there, but if everyone tried it might put the printer makers out of business unless they got smart and raised the printer prices.

Do people still use 2GB cards anymore?

I have a 128MB card sitting on my desk, that came with a Canon Powershot G5 that I bought on craigslist to convert to infrared. Not sure why I haven't just thrown it out yet, it only holds about 25 shots on the G5. When I load it into my D300, I can put 7 shots on it.

Come to think of it, I'm still using my old 2GB cards in the G5.

The first CF card I ever owned was 128MB. At the time, one could expect to pay roughly $1. a MB. To think that I almost blew $500. on a 512MB. card!
The last CF card I bought (about 3months ago) was 4Gigs. It's a Lexar Professional. I paid almost $40. for it. Did I get robbed?!?! ;-)

Just thought I'd point out you can pick up 1 TB external drives from Newegg for no more than $200. I paid at least that much to upgrade from 500 MB to 1 GB in my first computer almost 15years ago. And now I can by 1000x that for the same price....

"Do people still use 2GB cards anymore?"

I still use exclusively 2GB cards. They offer better compatibility with pretty much any reader/device (including non-cameras like PDA, MP3, and older cardreaders), and still hold over 100 RAW images from my 10mp Pentax K10D. That's more than enough for most shooting days--I'll usually bring one spare but usually don't need it. The cards are cheap and I have enough of them so I can switch cards when I need more capacity on an extended trip.

If something goes wrong with one card, the images on all the other cards are still safe.

I will probably only switch to larger cards if switching to a body with even higher resolution or if the newer, high-capacity cards offer a significant throughput performance advantage.

No doubt that cards <= 1GB have become much less useful but they're still great for JPEG-only P&S.

When I bought my current HP laptop, the store bundled it with a Canon printer whose rebate equalled its cost. Its sitting unopened in my attic. Obviously the profit it makes on ink refills enables Canon to give its printers away.

Mike,

These SD cards are the standard class 2 line from Sandisk, and you can expect a noticeable slowdown in read and write speeds using them (2 Mb/s). I wouldn't recommend them for cameras.

The Ultra II's are the ones to get (10Mb/s), or the Extreme III's (20Mb/s). Great deals can still be had on these if you keep looking.

There is no reason not to use Amazon's free delivery service unless you are in a really, really big hurry. Though Amazon doesn't promise to ship items as fast for free delivery as for standard delivery, I've noticed that free delivery is usually no slower.

I bought a 250 GB Passport drive recently for backing up my notebook computer. I haven't used it yet, but at those prices it makes sense to buy two more and rotate them between onsite and offsite storage. Time to throw out my old tape drives.

One of the things I enjoy about digital photography when I'm on a multi-day wilderness kayak camping trip is how little space the media takes up compared to film. However, now that space is taken up by spare batteries (three spare EN-EL3e's for a two-week trip), so I don't know how much I've gained.

FWIW, I didn't buy the ink from Amazon, but from a specialty supplier that got a good rating. I had never dealt with them before. Shipping wasn't free.

Mike J.

King Gilette lives on!!

Poor Gordon Moore! His law gets applied to just about everything, most of which he never intended.

His original postulation related to transistor density, which has, of course, much to do with the price of flash memory, but little to do with the price of disks, let alone printers.

He's now a philanthropist, and I rather liked this exchange from the IEEE's Spectrum magazine:

“What would you like your legacy to the world to be?” I finally ask. “Anything,” he says, shaking his head ruefully, “but Moore’s Law.”

Sure, it would cost almost $400,000 to fill up the gas tank inkjet printer ink. But your mileage would suck. Likewise, I wouldn't expect a great print if you filled your Epson with Unleaded. (Althrough I hear Super Premium gives you better magentas).

Relative to what this ink allows us to do, I do not consider it expensive. It was not too long ago that the idea of creating work of this level of beauty and quality in our chemical-free studios was just a dream.

I've been pretty happy with this deal recently: http://www.adorama.com/IDSU2SDP1BOG.html The price per megabyte is higher than that of the cards you've mentioned, but the number of occasions where I've been glad of the ability to use the USB side of the cards has been surprisingly high.

"I've been pretty happy with this deal recently: http://www.adorama.com/IDSU2SDP1BOG.html The price per megabyte is higher than that of the cards you've mentioned, but the number of occasions where I've been glad of the ability to use the USB side of the cards has been surprisingly high."

OMG! I bought two of these, a year ago for $40 each. Talk about Moore's Law...

BTW, the USB connector is great! It takes 4 minutes to download 2 gigs.

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