Yet Another New Photo Printer

Epson Stylus Photo R2000I’ve been waiting a while to tell you about this.

In my defense, I wanted to test this new machine before writing about it.  In reality, I was too scarred from dealing with another photo printer mishap and didn’t feel like writing about it.

Brace yourself for some printer drama.

Earlier this year, I told you about my new photo printer, an HP 5510, and the issues I had with it.  I was able to get a warranty replacement, but I did not recommend the product.

So I had the replacement machine.  I leave the house and the printer goes unused for a couple of weeks.  What happens when I return?  The same freaking problem that it had last time.  LINES all over the photos and everything turned orange.

I was pretty pissed.

I got a warranty replacement again.  It did not set my mind to rest.  How long would I have to wait before it broke again?  If it keeps breaking, how good are these photos?  I became convinced that if the machine was that flimsy, I’d probably find a couple of years down the road that the photos were crap.

That was it.  HP was dead to me and I decided to invest in a higher quality machine.  Mr. P agreed so he wouldn’t have to hear me complain since it would put my mind at ease.

Lots and LOTS of research later and after a chat with the lovely Ali Edwards, I bought an Epson Stylus R2000.  Yes, I spent a bit more money than on the last printer, but I was tired of second guessing the longevity of my pictures.  I do all my photo printing at home, so the machine matters.

I’ve been mostly pleased with it so far – still working out a couple of kinks, but the photo quality and speed are really good!

One thing though – it is a huge machine.  I didn’t need a wide format printer (it can print up to 13 inches wide), just one that was good quality.  Unfortunately getting that quality means a bigger machine with more bells and whistles.  I had to have a coworker carry it to my car for me and it almost didn’t fit on my printer stand!

So that’s it – so far.  I’m hoping I can keep this machine without incident for a few years!

Photo Printer Fiasco

Photo PrinterYou all know by now that I use a photo printer to print all of my photos at home.  Here are the reasons why I use a photo printer.

If this reads like a long, whiny rant I apologize.  I’m still pretty upset about it.

Around Thanksgiving, my beloved HP Photosmart 7350 conked out.  It was ten years old and always printed gorgeous photos.  It’s really a long life for a printer, I know.

Off I went to scout Black Friday deals on printers.  I decided to stick with HP Photosmart because I liked the quality of photos I got from the last printer.  Note, I do not like HP printers for regular printing because I think they eat too much ink too quickly.  I have a different everyday printer by Canon.

I ended up with the HP 5510.  There were more expensive versions of it, but they did things I didn’t need.  Seriously, I don’t need a photo printer that can also scan, fax and make french fries.  I just want to print photos!

Initial Reaction to the HP 5510

Speed – I’ve been used to a slow ten-year-old printer.  The 5510 prints fast!

Quality – Impressive.  I was absolutely satisfied with the quality and it matched what I had before.  It also does a better job of edge-to-edge printing than my old model, which means I can squeeze an absurd amount of pictures on a page and save paper.

Setup – Pretty darn easy.  It’s wireless to boot so if I kept photo paper loaded at all times, I could print scrapbook photos from anywhere in the house.

Photo PrinterOverall I was very pleased and planned to test it for a couple more months before writing a post about it.

Then Things Went Terribly Wrong

One evening I was on a scrapbooking roll and had 4 pages of photos .  I had a set deadline to finish these layouts because we were going away for the weekend.

Errr-orrrr.  What happened to the photo quality?  When I printed the pictures, I got these organge-ish lines on them.  I wasted a few more pieces of photo paper trying to diagnose the problem.  I opened a set of new printer cartridges to see if that would fix it.  Nope.  Nada.

Photo PrinterMy printer was under warranty (thank goodness).  I had to spend at least 30 minutes on the phone with HP, running every little test they wanted me to do to see if it fixed it.

Tip: if you’re in for a long call with customer service, put on a headset.  That way you can craft while they put you on hold.  It’ll make you less testy.

Photo PrinterFinally, they agreed to replace the machine and I had to wait several days for it to arrive, since they charge $17 if you want it shipped more quickly.

You know that feeling when you’re on a crafty roll with projects and some unforeseen circumstance prevents you from finishing?  Yeah, that was me.

It Wasn’t Over Yet

Several days later, I ran home with the new machine.  Setup was pretty easy . . . until I had to put the cartridges in.  You see, this printer comes with special “setup” cartridges so you have to use the ones that come in the box to install the printer.

After I installed the cartridges, the printer decided to pretend like the pink one wasn’t there.  Great.  After trying everything I could think of, it was back on the phone with HP.

After running all kinds of tests again (I think this took at least another 30 minutes), they decide it’s a bad cartridge.  I was beyond upset at this point.

Photo PrinterThey offered to send me a new setup cartridge, but of course I would have to wait for a few days or I could pay $17 to have it sent overnight.

At list point, I lost my cookies.  I’m paraphrasing here, but I essentially told the guy on the phone, ahem, firmly, that HP had no idea how much productivity they had cost me during this situation, the situation was getting beyond ridiculous and they would send me the cartridge overnight free of charge.  They put me on hold for a while but eventually agreed.

All Better, for Now

The new cartridge arrived and all was well.  The new machine is back up and running and I printed the 4 pages of photos out immediately.

Where to from here?  Not sure.  After this fiasco, I’m pretty sure this is the last HP machine I will own.  Although I’m happy with the quality, I can’t recommend this product.

I still firmly stand behind my method of printing all the photos at home for all the reasons mentioned in my original post.

Why I Use a Photo Printer

As a scrapbooker, there are few things more important than photos. How you choose and print your photos is just as personal as picking a color scheme for a layout.

I’ll take a step back and show you how I print my pictures at home and why it gives me more tools as a scrapbooker.

But first, meet my photo printer. Continue reading