Digital Help
Q&A For Digital Photography Page 2

More On The Epson R2400, And Whether To Purchase
Q. I read your recent review on the R2400 and it was very informative. I have an Epson 2200 and an R1800 printer. I use the R1800 for gloss and satin only and the 2200 for matte and fine art. I am trying to decide whether or not to buy the R2400 to replace my 2200. The obvious incentive would be faster print times and better shadow detail. In all the reviews I can get my hands on I see the R2400 being compared to the 2200 in terms of luster, satin, and glossy prints and of course black and white prints. My question for you is: In your personal judgment is the difference in matte and fine art prints done on the R2400 that much superior to those done on the 2200? Does the extra resolution and K3 prints on the R2400 really stand out compared to the 2200 prints? I do not want to shell out $850 on a replacement printer if the improvements can only be seen with a loupe or under the right lighting. I print portraits and florals from images taken on my Nikon D2X. A lot of reviewers claim that anyone owning a 2200 may not want to rush out and buy the R2400 but in your review you claim the opposite. I would welcome your comments. I thought your review was very good.
Lee Reichel

A. I base most of my testing on using the best 100 percent rag fiber-matte papers I can lay my hands on. If it helps at all I never bought a 2200 for my own use, but I have committed to and am purchasing the R2400 as soon as I receive an invoice.
My criteria, relative to printing on high-performance fine art paper, includes the measured D-max the printer will reproduce without over-inking and bronzing. I also test to see if it reproduces the entire color palette in photographic images with rich depth, and does it do so accurately in relation to the image on screen.
However, I must admit that part of my justification for purchasing the R2400 is the fact it will print very high-quality black and white images.
Overall, as to color quality, the R2400 is even a shade better than the R1800, as far as I am concerned. In terms of color intensity and accuracy, the R1800 is much better than the 2200, particularly in reproducing skin tones and the greens in foliage. And finally, I found that even when reproducing more intense color, the R2400 uses less ink than both the R1800 and 2200.

The Perennial Controversy, PC Or Mac
Q. I am contemplating buying a new computer. Besides using Photoshop CS2, I do not use the computer for anything special (I do word processing and use the web, but I do not download music and I am not making videos). Could you advise on the need to buy a computer with a dual-core microprocessor and/or Hyper-Threading (advertised as useful for some software)? The only mention I read is that dual core might become necessary for the forthcoming Windows versions. DVD LightScribe is another mystery.
Sergiu Luculescu

A. For anyone seriously interested in using a computer for photography I do not recommend purchasing a Windows PC. Although off-the-shelf PCs for home/office use have gotten very inexpensive, a PC, even a Dell Precision 470 or M20 that is suitable for digital photography computing, is $1700-$1900 without monitor.
So, in today's market you can do better in terms of graphic performance with a basic G5 Apple Mac, or even an iMac or Mac mini, for that matter. Apple has 80-85 percent of the professional graphic market, and for good reason. It works much better and easier.
For my work I use three Apple Macs and have one IBM graphic workstation with Windows XP Pro. The PC is rarely used, only when I have to work with Windows-only software.