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Mark Peters : September 20th 2004 - 14:13 CET

HP Announces Photosmart 8450 Photo Printer

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HPHP today announced the launch of its new, top of the range photo printer, the HP Photosmart 8450. A high performance device developed for serious amateur and professional photographers, this advanced printer provides a complete digital darkroom solution with a range of advanced features and all the convenience of personal digital processing. In addition, a new printhead architecture with double the previous nozzle density significantly improves photo print speed in high quality modes. The HP Photosmart 8450 therefore offers an unrivalled combination of no-compromise quality, fade resistance and speed. The 8-ink HP Photosmart 8450 enables studio-quality printing in both colour and black and white.
HP Announces Photosmart 8450 Photo PrinterThe use of dye-based light grey, medium grey and photo-optimised black inks - developed to reduce metamerism and thereby provide neutral tones regardless of lighting conditions - results in black & white photos comparable with the best studio-developed prints. In addition, they combine with the five colour inks (cyan, magenta, yellow , light cyan and light magenta ) to build luminance, dramatically reduce hue shifts and produce far more accurate colours. Such is the quality of output that professional photographers can use the HP Photosmart 8450 to print photos for press books or galleries. These results are produced through a combination of the HP No. 344 tri-colour inkjet print cartridge, the HP No. 348 photo inkjet print cartridge and the HP No. 100 grey photo inkjet print cartridge, which come with the HP Photosmart 8450.

As a purpose-designed photo printer, its built-in card slots ensure compatibility with all major memory cards – Compact Flash I and II, SecureDigital, MultiMedia, SmartMedia, xD and Sony Memory Stick – and it can also be connected directly to any PictBridge-enabled camera. The built-in, large colour display and intuitive in-printer menu enables easy photo selection, editing and choice of layout. Among the tools and controls provided are red-eye removal, brightness adjustment, colour effects (5 new ones including solarise and metallic), zoom, rotate, crop, index or proofsheet print, passport mode, video playback, video freeze and print, automatic paper-type detection and dual format photo tray. Preset output options include borderless printing in, 13 x 18 cm large snapshot size, 10 x 30 cm panorama (launching 1 September), A4 and 10 x 15 cm.

Serious amateur and professional photographers often use advanced photo software such as Adobe Photoshop so, in addition to automatic sRGB and Adobe RGB colour calibration, the HP Photosmart 8450 driver allows easy management of ICC profiles, with several already provided for key HP media types. This enables better control of colour workflow for advanced users. A new 4800-optimised dpi mode is also available in the driver, with advanced colour mapping for extreme detail rendering and more accurate colour. For standard use, HP Image Zone software offers a complete suite for organising, correcting, applying creative effects and laying out photos, including a new and easy-to-use Panorama creator which allows printing on pre-cut Panorama-size paper (10 x 30 cm) and which HP introduces in the HP Premium Plus Photo Paper range in packs of 20 sheets.

The versatility of the HP Photosmart 8450 is reflected in advanced connectivity options including USB and PictBridge ports plus a built-in network port to enable sharing by multiple users across a LAN such as a photo studio with multiple workstations and central archival. It can also be connected to a wireless router for wireless access. When connected to the network, all functions are supported, including upload from memory card. Also available are a Bluetooth adapter (separate purchase) for camera phones and other Bluetooth enabled devices, as well as wireless print servers from the HP JetDirect range.

The HP Photosmart 8450 also uses HP’s next generation inkjet print cartridges to deliver levels of fade resistance even greater than HP’s current best (as indicated by preliminary HP tests). These optimum results are achieved using the specially designed HP Premium Plus Photo Paper, a 280g/m2 stock with the look and feel of traditional photos, available in high-gloss and satin-matt finishes and a range of sizes.

The optional high capacity HP No. 339 black inkjet print cartridge can be installed in place of the included HP No. 100 grey photo inkjet print cartridge to temporarily turn the HP Photosmart 8450 into a high speed, high productivity everyday printer capable of printing at up to 30 pages per minute. Further optional accessories include an automatic two-sided printing module with small paper tray (100-sheet capacity), and a second paper tray for 250 sheets of plain paper.

The HP Photosmart 8450 will be available from November 2004 at a recommended street price of £299.

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