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Are High-End Ink Jet Printers Worth Your Money?

Photo Quality: Blue Shades

OriginalCanon Pixma IP8500
Epson Stylus Photo R800HP Photosmart 8450

If you consider only the results these eight-color printers produced for blues, you'd get the impression that the Photosmart 8450 and Pixma IP8500 are far ahead of the Stylus Photo R800. The blues are intense yet still appear natural. But when you compare them to the original source photo used to make the prints, you see that the opposite is true. Only the Stylus Photo R800 was able to correctly reproduce the very light blue of the water. That's even more surprising when you consider that it's the only printer that doesn't have light-cyan ink. The blue cartridge is what seems very effective here, the Stylus being the only printer to use that color.

Photo Quality: Red-Orange

OriginalCanon Pixma IP8500
Epson Stylus Photo R800HP Photosmart 8450

This photo strongly emphasizes the possibilities offered by the red-ink cartridges used in the Pixma IP8500 and the Stylus Photo R800. Note, however, that the Photosmart 8450 did quite well, its only fault being a very slight lack of saturation. As might have been expected in the light of preceding tests, the Pixma IP8500 was strong on color saturation, whereas once again the Stylus Photo R800 was closest to the original.