« Posts tagged Print

From Digital to Print

Artisan 810

Artisan 810

Artisan 810 ink

Artisan 810 ink

Recently picked up the Epson Artisan 810 to take care of some basic home document printing, copying and photo printing. However what I didn’t expect was just how good the photo printing would be. Not only is the quality outstanding but the speed at which it prints is also impressive. The Epson Artisan 810 uses Claria Hi-Definition Ink thats dye-based for high quality prints and immediate handling (no smudging).

Along with great photos you also get get all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from today’s all-in-one print, like Scanning, Copying, Document feeder, Fax, Duel tray photo feeder, CD/DVD print feeder, Touch screen, memory card reader , two sided document printing and Wi-Fi/Ethernet connectivity. One of my favorite is the dual-tray photo feeder, a very useful feature indeed. This means you don’t have to stop in the middle of printing to switch photo sizes. Nice. So if you’re in the market for a new photo/everything printer check out the Artisan line up of Epson printers. To find a full breakdown of what this printer can do visit epson.com

Speed test.

For my home speed test I printed a full color 8×10 Photo over WI-FI using Aperture 3. From the final “Click Print” it took the Printer 32.2 seconds  over WI-FI to receive and begin printing. From there the print was done and ready to show 66.1 seconds later. My total time from “click” to print over WI-FI 98.4 seconds. My iPod touch was used as the stop watch. By the way, realize this is by no stretch a proper and fair test. This is simply my real world time for my particular setup.

On a side note. If you use this printer as a photo printer turn the “Fix Photo” option off . You’ll find it under the Photo adjustments menu. Let your photo program do this for you, just my opinion.

iPhoto ’09 Review and What I’d Like to See Updated.

Apple’s well known photo editing and management application called iPhoto has been around for some time now and it’s part of Apple’s iLife software suite. Along with its intuitively laid out management and edit tools iPhoto has a integrated feature that makes it convenient to order Prints, Cards, Books and Calendars. You can even have your orders sent to different addresses, which actually came in handy this year while we were traveling.
Because of its integration with iPhoto’s well laid out themes and templates this system works out great especially for the books which are hardback and can include up to 100 pages. The books are our favorite thing to order and kid-you-not they really do look professional with the new iPhoto ’09 layout. All services have worked out great for us during the Christmas holidays except for the prints. This was the first year we chose to do prints with Apple and it’s not that the prints turned out bad because they didn’t. My trouble with this part of Apple’s ordering service is that you cannot select what type of paper the prints will be on. I suppose in an effort to simplify the process the type of paper is selected for you. You get Basic Glossy for all print except 16×20 and 20×30 which are done with a matte paper. I don’t mind the basic glossy for the 4×6 prints especially at $0.12 Each, however I would like to have the option to pay extra for better paper. A small complaint in the eyes of many I suppose, but never-the-less I’d like the option to choose the type of paper my prints will be on.

Here is a link for the up to date pricing from Apple print products.

As for everything else, iPhoto stands out in the iLife line up. You get all your standard editing adjustments as well as straighten and touch-up.

iPhoto Adjust

iPhoto Adjust

The touch-up tool works surpassingly well and having the level adjustment for tightening up the color casts is also nice to have. Also if you shot in RAW ( Yes, iPhoto ’09 does indeed edit RAW ), the RAW format is automatically recognized and you are able to edit in RAW as if you were using JPG, just plug in your camera. The only difference you see will be in the lower corner of the edit window were RAW will be indicated. After importing into iPhoto, If you need to use the RAW file for other programs go to the “originals” folder of your iPhoto’s Library or use the “export command” to pull the RAW file. I’d like to be able to do this inside iPhoto by just dragging the file to the desktop. iPhoto gives you the drag and drop option for tiff and jpeg but RAW is left out. I imagine this is because RAW is not a printable file format so iPhoto simplifies things by just converting the RAW to jpeg for you if dragged it to the desktop. On the other hand, if your going to be using RAW a lot you may want to consider Aperture (in a way, the pro work flow version of iPhoto) or Photoshop Lightroom. Each have free, full-featured 30 day demo option you can download. However, for simple edits and touch-ups iPhoto, 09 will get the job done with surprisingly good results.

Face Book and Flickr
One of my favorite features is iPhoto will link to your Facebook or Flickr account. You can set up a folder to one or both of those accounts and simply drag and drop the photos you want to into them, iPhoto will do the rest. Seriously, this makes it so easy to add photos to Facebook it’s not even funny.

There are a few somewhat questionable features in iPhoto that I’d to see changed. The first is “Faces”. Faces is a built in face detection software that automatically goes through your entire photo library and will “attempt” to assign names with faces. Sounds cool and in a way it is. However in practice it’s a different story. The problem is family, families have this crazy thing going on called DNA that makes us look similar, go figure. Faces has a difficult time with this. Namely Babies, kids and siblings. Friends, cousins, aunts and uncles do however work well in faces. Parents can be hit or miss especially if you look a lot like mom or dad. This feature is definitely something of value, but unless you have spent a lot of time cleaning up the preliminary sort of Faces, then the feature can seem somewhat impractical.

Next is “Places”
Places takes GEO tagging to the next level by incorporating a GPS tagging feature more and more cameras will start having. Cameras that have this feature will imbed GPS data along with the rest of the meta information hidden within your image. Places in iPhoto works one of two ways. It will automatically read the GPS coordinates for you or you can manually tell iPhoto where the photo was taken.
Now someone like wild life photographers and land developers this could easily be a must have feature. I personally have just not found a use for it. Don’t get me wrong this is COOL tech but for me this is a novelty feature. I guess you could say, “have it and not need it than need it and not have it”. I would on the other hand defiantly use this feature more if I had a camera that imbedded GPS information, as I don’t, I have the task of tagging all of the information manually. So for now I’ll pass.

As for the new iPhoto here are a few things I’d like to see added:

1) Ability to add text to you pictures.
2)A basic clone tool.
3)Expanded RAW editing

Wishful thinking would be for…
Layers and HDR

As for what I’d like to see changed:

1) Improved Faces.
2) Ability to select the type of paper to use for ordering prints.

Over all iPhoto is a solid peace of software and one Im very happy to keep using.

One more thing. Other than iTunes I think Apple should make iPhoto available for purchase separately from the other iLife products. I mean why not give the option? For example you could have each for $25 or all 4 for $80. Anyway, just a thought.