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Friday, 08 October 2010


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Anyone have much experience with the Canon printers? I was considering buying a new T2I and my 4th HP B9180 is pretty much on it's last legs (it was terminally ill at birth). So...it's tempting.

Links to good reviews would be awesome.

Anyone have much experience with the Canon printers? I was considering buying a new T2I and my 4th HP B9180 is pretty much on it's last legs (it was terminally ill at birth). So...it's tempting.

Links to good reviews would be awesome.

Right now the Canon 9500 and Epson 2880 are around $500.
Either looks like it would suit me fine for 90% of my printing.
But which one? I would love to hear the thoughts of the TOP regulars on this.
I reckon a 3880 is too big and pricey for my needs.

"I reckon a 3880 is too big and pricey for my needs."

Depends on how much printing you do. From what I hear, the 3880 is considerably more economical on ink. I haven't researched the specifics myself, though, so take that with a grain o' saline.


Epson is also offering great rebates on it's printers and you need not buy something else with the printer to get these deals.

A R1900 after rebate is $270.
A R2880 after rebate is $520.
A R3880 after rebate is $819.

Go to B&H and search on Epson printers.

From what I hear, the 3880 is considerably more economical on ink.

Last spring, a photo store guy explained to me that, with the included ink, the 3880 is actually cheaper than the 2880.

Does anyone know of a website which compares the ink capacities of the cartridges for a variety of printers? The numbers can be surprisingly fugitive on the manufacturers' own websites.


I recently bought the Pro9000 when there was a rebate a couple of months ago. I like it. Excellent software, easy to use, can load heavier paper flat from the front. Seems to use a lot of the PM color, moderate of PC,M and Y, not so much of BK and C, and none of the G or R.


Mike Pasini at Imaging Resource has reviewed both printers, and is a big fan.


Don't know in general, but for the larger printers Epson identifies the capacities of the cartridges. The 3880 cartridges hold 80ml. The 4880 and larger printers can take either 110ml or 220ml cartridges -- but for some appalling reason (as I understand the web sites) the 4880 uses different 110 and 220ml cartridges from the even larger printers.

(Incidentally, there's an even bigger rebate on the 4880 just now. It's a roll-paper printer like the bigger ones, the 3880 is a cut-paper printer like the smaller ones, they have the same carriage width.)

I have the Canon PRO9000 MarkI - dye based ink - yields great images up to 13x19 - and has been way easier to deal with ink wise than the pigment based Epsons from my past, due my occassiona use. The pigment based printers really expect to be used frequently and when not, do clog. Down side to Dye based ink is the images will not last as long as the pigment inks - but will last longer than me.
It has been a great printer.

Gosh! I'm about to buy a 2880 and it costs 799 euros (about 1,000$) here in Spain!

I needed an additional 7D camera, so for about $150 extra I just went ahead and bought the printer. I had been looking for a "wide" printer anyway. It uses ten cartridges, costing $110 for the set, but they are reasonably sized, and since there are many of them it tends to use less of each cartridge except for black (but that happens on all printers). They are $13 individually, which is pretty cheap for 'real' cartridges.
Is there a real difference between printers these days? There is as much difference as with Nikon and Canon cameras, in other words, no there is no difference. If it has the features that you need (print size, paper thickness), then just get it and start printing rather than banging your head against the wall trying to decide.

I would also like to add that there's another very important question to consider before buying a printer, especially when deep discounts are involved: how long has it been in the market for?

After four years of using my HP8450, finding new cartridges (mainly the photographic grey one) is becoming nearly impossible. When found, buying them in the 'net is very risky, since the shelf life of that cartridge seems to be very short as it's incredibly common to find them outdated. Conclusion? I must start thinking about getting a new one, even if it works faultlessly. It only costed me 295 euros, but bigger models could imply a more severe loss.

Epson is offering a similar deal right now: $450 rebate if you purchase a 2880 with any DSLR over $550.

As John Krill mentioned, there's also a $200 rebate if you buy the printer alone.

The bottom line, whether you like Canon or Epson, now's a great time to buy a printer.

Two things to note about ink capacity:

Yes, assuming you pay full price, the 3880 is a better deal given the size and cost of the ink cartridges. A full set of 2880 cartridges costs $107, where as a set of 3880 cartridge costs $540.

That's great if you can use all the ink. The thing to keep in mind is that Epson cartridges only have a 6 month shelf life once you open them (according to Epson). So if you print in high volume, go with the 3880. If you print occasionally, the 2880 is likely the better purchase.

The Canon's are either 11 or 14Ml; the Epson 3880's are 70Ml. I bought one of the 9500 MkII printers a month ago, have printed over 70-13 X 19" color and B & W prints with it on various papers and the quality will knock your socks off!
I have used 2 each of Photo Black and Gray and am currently sitting with around half a tank of each left, plus roughly half a tank of three other colors. The rest are no more than 1/3 gone after that many prints! So you decide if that is frugal enough.
A full set of 10 colors will set you back around $114 at Amazon (Hint: Mike, provide a link here through your site!) and speed is relatively impressive, taking plus/minus 5 minutes to complete a 13 X 19" print from when I click on the button.
Setup is ridiculously easy and as long as I use the correct ICC profile from the paper manufacturers site, the prints are very accurate!
I chose this over the Epson due to continued issues with both head clogging (not so much these days) and wasted ink switching between types of black that ARE a continuing problem with the 3880.

Canon seems to be preparing a new A4 dye-sub printer!!!



I bought a 2880 about two years ago at a similar pre-Christmas rebate price. Still loving it.

Dear Oronet,

For the Epsons, inks are readily available for the 2000, which is a full three generations before the current model. Even if the x880 series is about to be replaced, I am truly not worried about ink becoming unavailable in the near future.


Dear Andy,

Epson's cart lives are absurdly conservative. Opened cartridges will be good for at least a year, and very probably for two-plus. If you're not running through a set of carts in two or three years, then indeed you probably overbought.

What's bad for the printer is not running it at least weekly. Which odds increase markedly if one is in a situation where it takes years to use a set of carts. I have learned, the hard way, to print each week, whether I need to or not.

Pax / Ctein

I wish Canon would do these rebates in the UK. My i9950 is long in the tooth and I would like to replace with the Pro9500 Mark II but those are over £500 in the UK !!

Following up on Ctein's comment about printing weekly...

With the newest printers, if you simply leave them powered on 24/7, they'll automatically run a little bit of ink through the system as needed to keep the heads from clogging. This is the approach we take in the office, since it means that the printer is always ready to go when someone needs it. Yes, it wastes some ink and some electricity, but the cartridges will still expire before you empty them unless you're actually printing, and my impression is that it wastes less ink than shutting the printer off for a month, and then needing to do multiple power-clean cycles to get it unclogged again (though I haven't actually done the science).

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