In July, we shared some of the findings from an in-depth survey of professional photographers conducted in May 2010 by I.T. Strategies, a digital-printing market research firm that has been surveying photographers since 2005. In that post, we highlighted some of the reasons why professional photographers have purchased inkjet printers. In this post, we’ll review some of the data from a Market Pulse Report issued in July that shows how satisfied photographers are with the inkjet printers they use.
In general, the 2010 survey of professional photographers who own inkjet printers showed that overall satisfaction with inkjet photo printers is higher today than it was in 2005. According to industry analyst Patti Williams, the percentage of respondents who said they were “Very Satisfied” with inkjet photo printers rose from 58% in 2005 to 60% in 2007 and to 72% in 2010.
The percentage of respondents who were somewhat satisfied was 22% in 2010. Only 4% were neutral, and 2% were somewhat dissatisfied. Less than 1% were very dissatisfied with their printers.
More than 1,000 of the survey respondents answered open-ended questions about why they were or weren’t satisified with their printers.
“The primary reason for a high level of satisfaction is the quality of the inkjet printers for photographic output,” reports Williams. “Over time these inkjet printers have become better and better at producing high-quality durable images rivaling, and in many cases surpassing, silver-halide technology.” Many respondents also liked being able to print on a wide variety of substrates and in larger sizes.
Respondents who were somewhat or very dissatisfied cited the high cost of ink, ink waste due to head clogging and/or maintenance, difficulty with media handling, problems with non-current drivers, and lack of customer support.
“Many times, respondents are dissatisfied with their printers not because of the printers per se, but rather because they have an older model that they need/want to upgrade,” observes Williams.
In her full report, Williams provided details of satisfaction levels with the three major brands of printers: Canon, Epson, and HP and listed some of the comments about each brand of printer. She also mentioned whether the comments were made by pro photographers, semi-pros, or amateurs.
What Photographers Like About Canon Printers
Here’s what some of the comments made by pro photographers who were very satisfied with Canon printers:
- It is precisely “on” with the color, and doesn’t skip or streak. It is somewhat fast in printing, and never has had a clogged head. I also do not need a RIP program to print with it. The images I get with it are wonderful.
- The tonal range is the most extensive I have experienced on a self-owned printer. It also puts out monochromatic images exactly to my specifications.
- Few problems, good tech support, easy-to-use Canon print interface.
- Outstanding quality. No need to change from matte to gloss black, never clogs, good support.
- Low maintenance, frugal ink consumption, high-quality prints.
What Photographers Like About Epson Printers
- Always produces beautiful, high-quality images. It is a sophisticated machine that does its own troubleshooting.
- Brilliant color and exceptional black and white.
- It is a real workhorse. I’ve had great luck with printing everything, but especially using the fine-art papers. I have recently started putting in hand-made paper into the machine, and it works great!
- My workflow is very tight, everything is calibrated and profiled. For the most part, when I go to make a print on my Epson printers, the results are consistent and predictable. Very little waste.
- Higher quality (color and dynamic range) than most labs. Immediate turnaround means total control.
What Photographers Like About HP Designjets
- HP Z3100 integral paper profiling system is valuable, if not essential. Produces excellent prints, particularly for B&W with quad-black pigment inks, plus best archival life available.
- Good dynamic range, built-in profiling, long print life.
- Great color and consistent results when used with the right ink and paper.
- The HP Z series printers are exceptionally easy to use, reliable, and have great output.
- The output is extremely consistent, it is compatible with a variety of media, it consumes little ink, it creates great profiles, it never clogs.
LexJet sells all three brands of pro-model photo printers—Canon imagePROGRAF iPF, Epson Stylus Pro, and HP Designjet—as well as an extensive range of photo and art papers that can be used with whichever brand printer you choose.
A LexJet account specialist would be happy to help you decide which brand and/or model would make the most sense for your type of printing environment. We can send you print samples that show how one of your images would look when printed on the three different brands of printers. Or, we can provide you with additional details about operating costs, special promotions, and other factors that can help you make the best choice! Call us a 800-453-9538.
For more information about this I.T. Strategies Market Pulse report and future reports that will be developed from their 2010 Survey of Photographers and Inkjet Printers, visit: www.it-strategies.com