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Author Topic: New firmware Z3100 available  (Read 48576 times)
Charlie B
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2007, 09:36:24 PM »
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I downloaded and read the linked HP Tech Paper.  Can anyone explain why the grammar in the HP Tech Paper is so poor?  Even if written by the team in Spain, wouldn't they have had an english-native language person proof read it?

I'm not paranoid, but it almost calls into question the validity of the document.

Brad
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Good question.
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Panascape
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2007, 01:57:03 AM »
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HP Bacrelona indicated to me, on the day the firmware became public, that it was still very much beta and must not be freely distributed. When I mentioned to them that it was publicly availible, they seem shocked.

I am guessing the webteam jumped the gun and posted it before the documentation was completed.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 01:57:40 AM by Panascape » Logged
ternst
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2007, 05:57:46 AM »
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I'm signed up for their special alerts too and never got anything on this or the zebra stripes - just the same old "how to read" BS, which never made any sense to me (I already knew how to read). HP has fallen well short of my expectations for this very expensive printer...
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2007, 05:58:18 AM »
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HP Bacrelona indicated to me, on the day the firmware became public, that it was still very much beta and must not be freely distributed. When I mentioned to them that it was publicly availible, they seem shocked.

I am guessing the webteam jumped the gun and posted it before the documentation was completed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104518\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The question remains whether the documentation is very much beta - or the firmware itself

At least it's working and the download of the Mac version seems to be fine so far. I have tested again and found that there is a slight difference when using PhotoRag (original paper 188 by Hahnemuehle) together with the profile on the HP website or with the one created using the internal software (which leaves the question open whether there is a difference between the "two" PhotoRag papers). The results are quite ok now - but not as "pleasing" as with Epson K3 printers.

This is valid for yellow colors mainly. If I compare the profiles - HP PhotoRag profile, my own profile and a Epson 4800 PhotoRag profile - using ColorThink Pro it becomes clearly visible that the bright/light yellows by Epson are much "clearer" than the ones from the Z3100. These yellows have quite an impact on the "brilliance" of the reds. On the other hand the blues of the Z3100 are much more natural than Epson blues which tend to be very violet after having seen the HP blues... On the whole, the deficiency of the bright yellows of the Z3100 on matte paper has an impact on many images resulting in out of gamut warnings where there were none with K3 printers.

Hopefully HP can bring the yellows better into play
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Panascape
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2007, 06:37:51 AM »
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While I can't say too much I can say that HP is going to be doing a lot of parallel testing against printers like Epsonís and will be looking to optimise the colour mixing for all medias so that they can equal or better the Epson in saturation while maintaining a larger gamut across all medias. Currently the new firmware only has a handful of media that have been improved.
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ricgal
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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2007, 08:36:15 AM »
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On Hahnemuhle Photo Rag --

I'd assume that it should work if the generic "fine art paper" is selected when creating the profile,  along with the correct thickness for those papers, since  the pdf "technical newsletter" lists that as one of the corrected papers.

However, one of the differences in the above postings is that one person got great results with the HP Hahn Photo Rag, and one person got bad results with the standard non-HP Photo Rag.

Those of you with the non-HP 308 Photo Rag -- how does it print with the new (or old) firmware if you print it using the HP Hahn Photo Rag setting?  To my eye, the HP paper is very similar to the non-HP Photo Rag except for the weight.  Even Hahnemuhle only provides one profile for both the 308 and the 460 papers. 

The HP branded paper is lighter, but is the same Photo Rag or not?

My guess is that it is.  So those of you using generic Photo Rag should try the HP Photo Rag setting with the new firmware and see if that works.

Does anyone have both the HP Photo Rag and the non-HP Photo Rag, so you can make a side-by-side comparison?  And make that comparison by printing both first on "fine art paper" and then both using the HP Photo Rag setting?
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Hi Marty M
Many of the points you made have been swimming round my skull whie I lie awake at night-  I shall be trying the HP branded photo rag setting to see how it compares.  A true test would be expensive in terms of time and materials and as I am also upgrading the firmware at the same time it will not isolate the cause.  
My previous examination shows that the HP pro Satin matches the gamut of the Premium ID Satin right down to lumnosity of 25 then the premium satin pulls away which is what you might expect since the Pro Satin has a more fibre based look

There is undoubtably a discrepency between the concept of a printer with an oboard spectro which allows easy acces to a diverse portfolio of papers and the reality which is that the printer is so carefully honed to to perform on OEM papers alone as to make this potential freedom of choice for the printer an illusion.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 08:38:06 AM by ricgal » Logged

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marty m
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« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2007, 01:01:51 PM »
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Hi Marty M
Many of the points you made have been swimming round my skull whie I lie awake at night-  I shall be trying the HP branded photo rag setting to see how it compares. 
There is undoubtably a discrepency between the concept of a printer with an oboard spectro which allows easy acces to a diverse portfolio of papers and the reality which is that the printer is so carefully honed to to perform on OEM papers alone as to make this potential freedom of choice for the printer an illusion.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104551\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks very much for your positive comments.  I'm glad to know that someone noticed the post, since yours was the only comment.  HP needs to fix the firmware and software so that the onboard spectro works with all papers -- that is the big advertised claim for this printer.  At the present time this printer FLUNKS with regards to HP's own advertised claims for it.  A good start would be to include the generic "Photo Paper" in the list of papers that work with the new firmware release.  (As well as to include their own top of the line photo paper, Pro Satin, since they didn't do that either.)  They need to turn out another firmware release ASAP for those two settings.  The generic Photo Paper, and Pro Satin.

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While I can't say too much I can say that HP is going to be doing a lot of parallel testing against printers like Epsonís and will be looking to optimise the colour mixing for all medias so that they can equal or better the Epson in saturation while maintaining a larger gamut across all medias. Currently the new firmware only has a handful of media that have been improved.
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I'm glad to hear it.  Let's face it, HP has dropped the ball on this printer and badly fumbled.  Why are they offering a $1000 rebate?  To reclaim market share from Epson.  20 years ago HP was the top dog in printers.  At the present time, in photographic printers, it is basically only Epson, and Canon as a distant second.  The goal of HP is clearly to technologically leap-frog over Epson with the Z3100 and offer a combined $1300 rebate (printer and paper) to knock Epson down a few notches.  That marketing approach is failing at the present time.  At least one of the participants on this site has posted that he has decided to not purchase the HP and instead buy from a different manufacturer -- and has requested info on what to buy in this forum.

The Z3100 FLUNKS the most basic test of all when it comes to a professional printer.  Photographers won't buy this printer, even with a $1300 rebate, if it isn't even printing correctly.  

This unit was not ready for prime time, and the release should have been delayed until the problems were fixed.  Some of you have gone through agony to fix the problems, at considerable expense in terms of your time and materials.  Panascape is one of those, and we all owe him, as well as others, a huge debt of gratitude.

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At least it's working and the download of the Mac version seems to be fine so far. I have tested again and found that there is a slight difference when using PhotoRag (original paper 188 by Hahnemuehle) together with the profile on the HP website or with the one created using the internal software (which leaves the question open whether there is a difference between the "two" PhotoRag papers). The results are quite ok now - but not as "pleasing" as with Epson K3 printers.
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(1)  One explanation for that is that Hahenmuhle itself provides two different profiles -- one for Photorag 188, and a different one for Photorag 308 and 460.  (I apologize if my previous post wasn't clear on that point.)  My guess is that the HP Photorag, with a weight of 265, is close to the profile for 308, so I was wondering if the standard non-HP branded 308 prints OK if you just use the profile for the HP-branded Photorag.  

That is distinction, based on weight, is also confirmed on the HP web site.  Click on any of the *names* of the ICC profiles, and you next see a list of the profiles.  On that list, HP and Hahnemuhle says that the "Photorag" profile is for papers less than 250, and the "Photorag 2" profile is for papers that are greater than 250.

The other issue is that *all* profiles for the Z3100 are now out of date.  The profiles on the Hahnemuhle web site for the Z3100 were based on the original firmware.  The profiles for Hahnemule on the HP web site were created in early January, so they are out of date as well.  

So the only way to get an accurate profile with the new firmware is to depend on the on-board spectro.  Forget the old profiles on the HP or Hahn sites -- they are DOA and too old.

(2) Which leads to another interesting question, that I posted but no one responded to.  Does the APS deliver better RGB profiles than the standard HP software for standard RGB printing, rather than for CMYK?

No one responded to that.  Maybe because those who bought the APS don't want to confess that it was a waste of $1000?  

(3) ONE FINAL REQUEST FOR PANASCAPE OR ANYONE ELSE WHO IS IN COMMUNICATION WITH HP SPAIN -- tell them to read this forum, if they aren't already doing so.  The main reason that none of us should make any excuses for HP is that they will be motivated to improve the printer if they are getting slammed in forums like this one.  There are plenty of photographers will will read this forum and decide not to buy the Z3100 with or without a rebate.  There have now been a number of threads reporting on serious problems.

The only hope for those who have invested in the printer is that HP will be concerned enough about lost sales in the future to fix the problems in the printer.  Let's face it, what motivates HP are future sales, even more than the few printers they already sold to the folks on this forum.

The latest firmware helped, but it has still not solved the problem of yellow and reds.

(4)  And a PS for Michael Reichmann.  Many of those who purchased the Z3100 did so based on your over-the-top and wildly enthusiastic endorsement of the printer.  Your comments to HP carry more clout than any of us.  You need to run your own tests, and post on your own forum with your results, and if negative, communicate that to HP.  And post it on your web site as a giant correction to your over-the-top review.  

It might be appropriate to do that right under the disclaimer that HP gave you a long term loaner for free.  

Michael owes his readers at least that.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 01:02:39 PM by marty m » Logged
Christopher
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2007, 01:21:36 PM »
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(4)  And a PS for Michael Reichmann.  Many of those who purchased the Z3100 did so based on your over-the-top and wildly enthusiastic endorsement of the printer.  Your comments to HP carry more clout than any of us.  You need to run your own tests, and post on your own forum with your results, and if negative, communicate that to HP.  And post it on your web site as a giant correction to your over-the-top review. 

It might be appropriate to do that right under the disclaimer that HP gave you a long term loaner for free.   

Michael owes his readers at least that.
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I don't want to say, that I bought it because of his review only, but it gave me the final confidence to buy it. Which was a mistake. Now I really think they will fix it and after that the printer will be gigantic. (Otherwise I would have already sold it) But right out of the box it was a disaster.
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marty m
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2007, 02:02:22 PM »
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I don't want to say, that I bought it because of his review only, but it gave me the final confidence to buy it. Which was a mistake. Now I really think they will fix it and after that the printer will be gigantic. (Otherwise I would have already sold it) But right out of the box it was a disaster.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104605\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And I would add the same comment for all of the over-the-top reviewers.  Some of who shilled their reviews on this forum.  I refuse to believe that they have not seen the same problems.

It is important to recognize that reviewers who who write for publications are paid to do so.  Many of those publications don't print critical reviews or they bite the hand that feeds them with advertising.  That means that reviewers who want to get paid know that they have to be propagandists for the manufacturers, or the their reviews don't get published, and they don't get paid.

Michael Reichmann, of course, doesn't have that excuse.  His web site is his alone.  And he doesn't accept advertising.  His site is, as I understand it, largely paid for by the sales of his outstanding DVDs.

So if advertising isn't the problem, what is?  I recall reading that Michael Reichmann is out of pocket and travelling.  I can only hope that is the case, and the reason for his prolonged silence on all of the problems with this printer.  

Because, in my view, Reichmann's credibility rests on whether he corrects his review, does so publicly, and adds to the pressure that is needed for HP to kick it into high gear to fix the problems with this printer.

It would be an understatement to say that he owes his loyal readers nothing less.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 02:12:54 PM by marty m » Logged
Panascape
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2007, 02:20:29 PM »
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I think HP can very grateful for all who have posted useful information here. The results and findings and the diversity of the results has really helped narrow down the variables which has helped get to the heart of the problem.

I do believe that we will get the issues sorted out by realistically there are quite a few different issues that need to be handled and this could take a bit of time. I know for a fact that HP is committed to getting this resolved.

I must agree with some sentiments that the printer is not ready to be in the market and I would expect to see changes on many fronts in the near future and it will be interesting to see how HP handles these especially given the number of machines in the field.

Not wanting to excuse HP but IMO the beta test sites let HP down badly on this one and the reviewers did HP even less of a favour. I would urge reviews and testers in future to follow a regiment testing procedure and to publish this when they write the articles as it will give us a far better idea of how much we can rely on those articles to make a decision.

In the next few weeks I will be doing a series of head to head tests between an Epson 4000 and the HP, with both devices being profiles on the same media using the same charts and the same profiling equipment. The equipment that will be used will be a Colorvision PrintFix and the HPís internal EyeOne.

The aim of these tests is to try get to a base comparison that can be used to optimise as many of the HPís media types in as short a period as possible.

I will continue to let you know as much information as I am able to.

Robert
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Panascape
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2007, 02:24:27 PM »
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If anyone would like a particular paper test, let me know offline.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 02:35:19 PM by Panascape » Logged
marty m
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2007, 02:30:44 PM »
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I think HP can very grateful for all who have posted useful information here. . .
I must agree with some sentiments that the printer is not ready to be in the market and I would expect to see changes on many fronts in the near future and it will be interesting to see how HP handles these especially given the number of machines in the field. . . .Not wanting to excuse HP but IMO the beta test sites let HP down badly on this one and the reviewers did HP even less of a favour. I would urge reviews and testers in future to follow a regiment testing procedure and to publish this when they write the articles as it will give us a far better idea of how much we can rely on those articles to make a decision.
Robert
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Robert, thanks very much.  Do you know for certain that this web site is being closely monitored by HP in Spain?

Can you send HP in Spain an email with an urgent request that they need to do so?

And SPECIFICALLY this thread, since it is this thread that is reporting on the latest firmware and making recommendations?

I have no idea how to communicate with HP in Spain.  You're the only one with direct access to them.

You would do all of us a great service if you could do that.

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In the next few weeks I will be doing a series of head to head tests between an Epson 4000 and the HP, with both devices being profiles on the same media using the same charts and the same profiling equipment. The equipment that will be used will be a Colorvision PrintFix and the HPís internal EyeOne.

The aim of these tests is to try get to a base comparison that can be used to optimise as many of the HPís media types in as short a period as possible.
Robert
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Robert's comment only underscores that YOU and THE POSTERS ON THIS FORUM who have become the GUINEA PIGS and beta testers for HP.  

HP has enormous resources.  They should have already done that.  Or should already be doing it. I greatly appreciate Robert's efforts, but if we must depend on ourselves to figure out what is wrong with this expensive door-stop, then we are dead meat.

So, again, it is important that Robert or anyone else with access to HP tells them to read this thread.  They have a huge team.  How many worked on this printer?  Several hundred engineers?  HP, get it together.  Run the tests that Robert is proposing, fix the printer, and issue new firmware.  

And this time -- ISSUE FIRMWARE THAT COVERS ALL PAPER TYPES IDENTIFIED IN YOUR OWN DRIVER AND STOP BEING A SELF-PROMOTING SHILL FOR YOUR OWN PAPERS.  

P.S.  The reason I keep using the words "Michael Reichmann" is the hope that he might google himself, if he isn't reading his own forum.

Michael Reichmann OWES us a response.  The only legitimate reason he has for not correcting his review is if he is prepared to tell us that he has not seen any of these problems.  (And as noted above, Michael Reichmann might be travelling, and that might be the reason for his silence for the last three weeks.)

Geez.  His review has the title "Absolutely Brilliant."  And his opening line on the opening page of his web site is that the Z3100 "may be the best photographic quality printers yet."

Let's call that for what it is -- false advertising.

This printer is anything but.  It is absolutely brilliant only with regards to its failures and undelivered promises at this point.

I look forward to reading Michael Reichmann's amended review in the near future.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 02:46:06 PM by marty m » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2007, 03:03:44 PM »
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While I can't say too much I can say that HP is going to be doing a lot of parallel testing against printers like Epsonís and will be looking to optimise the colour mixing for all medias so that they can equal or better the Epson in saturation while maintaining a larger gamut across all medias. Currently the new firmware only has a handful of media that have been improved.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104539\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


While responding to this post I have to mention that I have read the new posts as well.

Just to "translate" this post and others which I have just read it says to me: welcome to the guinea pigs of HP. Comparing an HP Z3100 with an Epson 4000 shows, where the state of the art of these HP printers may actually be...

I think that both HP and Canon have done a great job to improve Epson's position in the market. They just put new printers on the market that might be better because of some more inks. Both of them failed in the first round as the software/driver was not ready neither for the printer nor for the market. If they would be better after some later improvements - time and the users will tell...?! (just to mention that these printers are in the market now for at least 6 months). If not, they may put some new printers on the market. And you will never know if these printers are ok (for you) unless you buy and test them.

If Epson will come out with "two black (pk and mk) printers" such as the 3800 (but really improved and big ones) I guess that the situation gets somewhat narrow for the "newcomers". Look at the paper handling of both HP and Canon. That's not really designed for fineart printers using both rolls and sheets.

Just look at the dirty yellow (which is the base color) in the head check pattern of the Z3100 and you will have your doubts whether the yellow/red problem can ever be solved by the software/firmware/driver. Rumours are around that there will be new printers. With new colors? Why not put some new colors in old printers and change the situation - at least HP is still using the Vivera brand and no one would bother... However, as I know the market, if you want new inks you need a new printer.
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rdonson
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2007, 03:12:29 PM »
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This printer is anything but.  It is absolutely brilliant only with regards to its failures and undelivered promises at this point.
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Marty, that's pretty harsh.  I understand your anger but you bought the first release of a sophisticated, new device.  Did you think there wouldn't be any problems?  

Would you want HP to take their time and get it right before issuing the next firmware release or take a shotgun approach and release new firmware every few days until everyone is weary of firmware releases?

HP may have enormous resources but often fixes of this nature take some time for experimentation and evaluation to get right.
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« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2007, 03:32:44 PM »
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Marty, that's pretty harsh.  I understand your anger but you bought the first release of a sophisticated, new device.  Did you think there wouldn't be any problems? 

Would you want HP to take their time and get it right before issuing the next firmware release or take a shotgun approach and release new firmware every few days until everyone is weary of firmware releases?

HP may have enormous resources but often fixes of this nature take some time for experimentation and evaluation to get right.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104632\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

We'll have to agree to disagree.  These are pretty OBVIOUS problems.  Go back at look the test images posted by Christoper in another thread.  They show glaring problems in reds and yellow.  Even in images as basic as fall colors on trees, or red rocks in Utah.  My mother, or your mother, could see the difference.  Let alone a professional photographer.  Are the HP engineers blind?

This printer was not ready for prime time; should not have been released with these problems; and is certainly not brilliant in light of all of these problems.

The fact remains that HP only began to correct these problems after their guinea pig users identified them on this forum.  HP MUST have seen these problems prior to the release of the printer for sale.  They are simply too obvious.  That suggests that they rushed this printer to the market to make money -- and did so at our expense.

Again, go back and look at the tests posted by Christopher and others.  

I'll agree that HP should not be issuing firmware every couple of days.  But it also is the case that the printer should have corrected these issues before it was released and sold to the public.

I'm not an engineer.  But I recall reading that HP used hundreds of engineers on this project.  If they mobilize those resources, they can issue new firmware within two weeks that will address these issues, and do so for ALL OF THE PAPERS LISTED IN THE DRIVER.

Finally, if I am harsh, it is in direct response to the over-the-top and exaggerated reviews.  I recognize that Michael Reichmann may have not seen these problems in his initial review and experience with the printer.  Michael is not HP.  He is but one reviewer and only one man.

But now that these issues have been identified, and on his own forum, I'd like to see  a response rather than silence.  (Once he returns home from travelling, if that is the case.)

And I'd like to see an amended review, that should carry this headline:

"The new HP Z3100:  As of yet, undelivered brilliance."

And then Michael can make the case, and I'd agree, that the many innovations in the Z3100 carry the PROMISE of brilliance.  But that has not been delivered on yet.
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« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2007, 03:42:27 PM »
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I have just reprofiled HPR 308 using the new firmware and the 900 patch APS target then compared it in Gamut works to the one i did prior to the upgrade and it is identicle in every way which i found a little disappointing  I used the Generic FA setting as that is on the list as having been improved.
I am wondering wheter to bother going through the hastle of reprofiling all the other papers now.
Any one else tested the new firmware on the ground?
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« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2007, 03:45:27 PM »
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Just look at the dirty yellow (which is the base color) in the head check pattern of the Z3100 and you will have your doubts whether the yellow/red problem can ever be solved by the software/firmware/driver. Rumours are around that there will be new printers. With new colors? Why not put some new colors in old printers and change the situation - at least HP is still using the Vivera brand and no one would bother... However, as I know the market, if you want new inks you need a new printer.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104629\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you are correct, then all the engineering resources in the world won't fix the problem.  Not if the mistake was so basic, and so fundamental, as to include the wrong color of yellow in the ink set.  That might also explain why these issues weren't corrected prior to the release of the printer, and haven't been completely fixed since these issues were identified on this forum.  Because, if you are correct, there is no solution with the current yellow.

HP could, of course, issue a new yellow, recall all of the yellow cartridges that have been issued, and correct the firmware.

But they will do that when pigs fly.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 03:46:17 PM by marty m » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2007, 04:24:31 PM »
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If you are correct, then all the engineering resources in the world won't fix the problem.  Not if the mistake was so basic, and so fundamental, as to include the wrong color of yellow in the ink set.  That might also explain why these issues weren't corrected prior to the release of the printer, and haven't been completely fixed since these issues were identified on this forum.  Because, if you are correct, there is no solution with the current yellow.

HP could, of course, issue a new yellow, recall all of the yellow cartridges that have been issued, and correct the firmware.

But they will do that when pigs fly.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104642\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ok I really think some of you are going over the top. I don't think that there will be any new printer from HP in the next year except a 17" model. Secondly sorry I don't know what ink you are using, but my yellow looks way better than anything from my R2400...

Also there is a problem, but not as huge as some of you are telling. I printed over 100 really nice Fine Art Prints. YES only on Glossy so far, but they are still really good. A lot Black and White, which certainly is better than anything from Epson.

To the profiling test. Yes there is already a big difference between the old profiles on HP ID Glossy. Especially below and above a L value of 50. ( around 75 and 25 )
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2007, 05:31:38 PM »
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Christopher,

Thanks for your calming input. I have a 44" Z3100 coming later this week and I have a hard time believing that the printers are as bad as a few people are making them out to be. Disaster...I think not. Problems with certain papers that will be fixed by HP in the near future...I think so. I have seen spectacular prints coming out of these machines and I have a hard time believing that HP released a yellow ink that is brown.

Thanks again
Jim
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Jim Cole
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www.jimcolephoto.com
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2007, 06:01:26 PM »
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As a current Epson 4000 user potentially interested in buying into something larger in the coming months, I have been reading the Z3100 related posts with great interest. I have to say that I am very surprised by the widely diverging comments I have come accross.

For the sake of the credibility of this debate, I feel that it would be good at this stage if all the posters could publish their real names, credentials and fine art printing experience.

Some very harsh bashing of a printer is being done by some people I know nothing about. Nothing personal but frankly speaking, as an objective by-stander, nothing prevents me from thinking that the negative comments are being put up by Epson marketing.

Thank you in advance for the clarifications.

Cheers,
Bernard
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