This year’s PMA trade show in Las Vegas saw another edition of the annual DIMA awards. The DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out was designed to test digital output devices and the consumables used with these devices using standardized conditions and procedures. Each participating company was given 5 business days to produce a print for entry into the shoot-out. The photo prints were then evaluated by a panel of expert judges, under a controlled lighting environment, who rated each print based on the criteria of neutral grey balance, saturation, shadow detail and quality, highlights, flesh tones, hue shift, and text resolution.
The following are the winners in the printer category, listed in alphabetical order.
Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9100
The Canon iPF9100 12-colour printer powered by the Ergosoft RIP, won best inkjet printer in the 50” wide and over inkjet category. This next generation of Canon inkjet printers includes a built-in colour calibration system and a new Lucia pigmented inkset, which provides durable, light-fast colour images which resist scratching and fading. Production mode print speeds produce a 44” x 60” print in 12 minutes. The Canon iPF5100 17” printer also won in the media category. For more info see www.canon.ca/largeformat
DNP Photo Imaging America’s DS-80 Printer
The DNP DS-80 Printer won the best 8-inch roll dye-sublimation category. The DS-80 is part of the DS Series of printers, designed for use in photo labs or in other commercial applications. DS-80 uses a powerful printer control engine designed to maximize image quality while printing at high speed. High-resolution printing produces rich photos that display full colour details and smooth gradation. It takes only 35 seconds to output one borderless 8 x 12 inch print. For more info see www.dnp-photomarketing.com
Epson Stylus Pro 9880
The Epson Stylus Pro 9880 8 colour printer powered by the ColorBurst RIP, won best inkjet printer in the 36” to 49” wide inkjet category. The new Epson printers feature the UltraChrome K3‚–¢ Ink Technology, with vivid magenta. Production mode print speeds produce a 44” x 60” print in 42 minutes. The Epson Stylus 7880 and 4880 also won in their respective categories. For more info see www.epson.ca
HP Indigo Digital Press 5500
The HP Indigo Digital Press 5500 won the best digital press category. Printing up to seven colours, the Indigo 5500 is ideal for high-volume production markets such as marketing collateral, direct mail, and books and manuals. For added value in the photo merchandise market, the press also supports new light cyan and light magenta inks for six-colour photo imaging. Featuring a 68 ppm full colour and 272 ppm mono print speed regardless of media type, the Indigo 550 can print support up to 13” x 19” media size. For more info see www.hp.ca
Poli-Pro Laserlab 50
The Poli-Pro Laserlab 50 won the best RA4 digital printer (13” to 29”) category. The Poli-Pro Laserlab 50 is a photographic colour laser printer designed as an integrated laboratory linked to an RA4 paper processor. The machine offers high performance output: the lasers print a 20”x32” in only 10 seconds. The computer monitor is calibrated to match the print. Any image file loaded into the computer is displayed and if necessary, adjusted (in real time) in colour, density and contrast. This system allows high quality and high productivity without paper waste. For more info see www.poli-pro-usa.com
Sony UP-DR150 Digital Photo Printer
The Sony UP-DR150 Digital Photo Printer won the best Dye Sublimation 6” category. This dye sublimation printer is extremely user friendly, portable, and designed for fast on-location printing of 3.5×5, 4×6, 5×7, and 6×8” prints. The unit is the fastest in its class, printing a 4×6” in only 8 seconds—that’s 420 4×6 prints an hour, while a 5×7” print requires only 15 seconds. The UP-DR150 unit is available in a stand-alone configuration for the studio/event photography market; it can also be integrated into Sony’s PictureStation digital photofinishing kiosks. For more info see – www.sony.ca