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Digital Photo Printers go back to the future
Dennis Hissink : November 17th 2004 - 07:46 CET
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KodakIt's a digital photographer's brain-teaser: If you have a high-megapixel camera and need to print pro-quality photos and proofs, do you spend time calibrating and re-adjusting your printer to get consistent photos? Or just buy a gift basket for your photo lab manager? This month's Kodak Tech Brief focuses on the growing use of dye-sublimation printers in home- and small-office photo applications. Pro photographers and advanced amateurs love producing their own high-quality prints, but such high-end printers, which use a continuous-tone ribbon and thermal print head instead of multiple inkjet tanks, were priced above $1,000. Kodak designers, who pioneered thermal dye-sub printers for commercial uses a decade ago, stepped back to the future.
They revisited how thermal printers handled different paper coatings, starting with the breakthrough thermal printers Kodak launched in the early 1990s. They developed firmware and hardware improvements that increased print quality and printing speed. The resulting KODAK PROFESSIONAL 1400 Digital Photo Printer - introduced at Photokina in October 2004 - is faster than earlier thermal printers, provides higher-quality prints in a wider variety of sizes and formats, and does so at a list price ($549) less than half that of its commercial predecessor, the KODAK PROFESSIONAL 8500 printer.
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