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Author Topic: 16 bit printing on Z3100  (Read 3823 times)
domsemaca
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« on: June 10, 2007, 06:24:07 PM »
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I am considering purchasing this printer. However, having stumbled upon a "CanonDays" weekend event here at Glazer's camera store in Seattle,i had a chance to talk to one of their reps about the new 24" Prograf 6100.
There was no working model inside the store but they were running test prints on an older 5000.
As i have never went higher than 13X19 on my old Epson 1280,i don't know much about these 24" beasts in real life.
I was intrigued by the print from Photoshop plug-in on the new Canon 6100,which specifies that it is possible to print images straight from the 16 Bit mode,which should help with smoother tonalities and shades.
I know that the new HP Z3100 should make use of a similar plug in however i am not sure it is mentioned anywere in the literature about images requirements being in the 8Bit or 16 Bit.
Can anyone here dispel my ignorance on these issues?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I iam inclined towards purchasing the HP brand rather than the Canon,but i still have to see what other user have to say.
Thanks
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2007, 07:47:55 PM »
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There have been rumors about a 16-bit direct printing plug-in or driver for HP's Z3100 to bypass Photoshop, but I haven't seen it yet. Near as I can tell, HP's printer downsamples 16-bit images to 8 bit at the printing stage, just like Epsons do. Canon's high end printers do have a 16 bit plug-in, but even the most enthusiastic reviews seem to indicate that the results are barely noticeable.

To my mind the greater print longevity of HP over Canon (>250 years versus >100) is a huge advantage, given the genuine uncertainties involved in accelerated fade testing. The built-in spectrophotometer sealed the deal for me, and it's worked like a charm. This would be less of an issue if you already own an i-one set up. The HP does a beautiful job with black & white; the toning options in the driver really work well. Canon does still seem to have a slight advantage in absolute color saturation and their printers are faster. You pays your money...

If your biggest printer has been a 13x19" desktop model, be prepared for a shock when a 24" wide format printer is delivered. They come in a box the size of a small coffin mounted on a wooden pallet, and you'll need two (strong) people to carry the bare printer upstairs if that's where you print.
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domsemaca
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 02:44:39 AM »
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Thanks a million for the answer.
This is what came from HP following my inquiry in this matter:

Quote
Dear Chris Chisu:

Thank you for contacting Hewlett-Packard.

There is no reason the HP DesignJet Z3100 will not be able to print in
16-bit Mode using this "HP PrintPro Plug-In For Photoshop".  With
software support, it will print up to 24-bit.

Once again, thank you for your interest in Hewlett-Packard products.  We
value your business and support.  Our goal is to continue bringing you
quality products and solutions.

Sincerely,

Angela Keene
Representative
Hewlett-Packard
« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 02:46:16 AM by domsemaca » Logged
Harry Carpenter
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2007, 03:53:52 AM »
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Quote
Thanks a million for the answer.
This is what came from HP following my inquiry in this matter:
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122160\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
However as far as I know there is no plugin available for windows versions yet. Please correct me if I am wrong as the standard HP driver is an inflexible pain.
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rdonson
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2007, 05:46:58 AM »
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Quote
Dear Chris Chisu:

Thank you for contacting Hewlett-Packard.

There is no reason the HP DesignJet Z3100 will not be able to print in
16-bit Mode using this "HP PrintPro Plug-In For Photoshop".  With
software support, it will print up to 24-bit.

Once again, thank you for your interest in Hewlett-Packard products.  We
value your business and support.  Our goal is to continue bringing you
quality products and solutions.

Sincerely,

Angela Keene
Representative
Hewlett-Packard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122160\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've never heard of an "HP PrintPro Plug-in For Photoshop".  You need to get her to be specific about this.  What does it look like, where is it?
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2007, 07:22:51 AM »
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Her answer shows that Angela didn't get the question.

You were asking whether there was support for a 3x16=48 bits, and she answered you that it was OK "up to 24 bits".

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Avalan
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 12:43:37 PM »
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There is HP pro plug-in  for Mac ( CS and CS2). Not tried it myself so I don't know  what it does and how it will handle the 16 bit files. This is the link :

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechS...Item=pl-48965-1

Seems the pro plug in is not available for windows yet. This is the link for other available upgrades :

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechS...4970&taskId=135
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kers
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2007, 02:39:44 PM »
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Quote
I know that the new HP Z3100 should make use of a similar plug in however i am not sure it is mentioned anywere in the literature about images requirements being in the 8Bit or 16 Bit.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122120\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As far as I know HP suggest that that if you print a 16 bit image- you first convert it to the appropriate printer(paper)-profile space and then print it with -  no color management.

In reality i did not find differences , but maybe it might happen  with extreme coloured images.
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Pieter Kers
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domsemaca
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 07:17:42 PM »
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I have forwarded another e-mail to HP's support and i am waiting for their answer.
I also talked to some reps here in the States but their answer was mostly ignorance in this matter.
However the review on the LL site also makes mention of this plug -in specifying that details are still sketchy.
i will post HP's answer upon receipt.
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neil snape
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2007, 04:55:59 AM »
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I have forwarded another e-mail to HP's support and i am waiting for their answer.
I also talked to some reps here in the States but their answer was mostly ignorance in this matter.
However the review on the LL site also makes mention of this plug -in specifying that details are still sketchy.
i will post HP's answer upon receipt.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122287\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It's a bit confusing questions about bit depth.
Now there are two distinct topics around 16 bit images. The images are sent from Photoshop in 15 bit plus 1 padded to an expanse of 16 bit data per channel.
The printer driver or printer itself in Epson's case has to screen the pixel data through masking. The levels and scalability in the masking is where the magic will probably do more magic than the actual number of color levels per pixel.
You can send 8 or 16 bit to the Z without a hiccup, but it's not going to use the data at that bit depth, it's going to scale the data downwards.
So the difference you see with the 16 bit Canon plug in is sending the image pixel data at 16 bit (padded) yet the screens are in the best case 10-12 bits. This does make a advantageous  difference for transitions nonetheless.
On the humble 9180 it is indeed 16 bit screening ( the first in any OEM driver I know of) at 4800 dpi.
The Z is not with the driver, and not with the plug in. It accepts 16 bit images but scales. The screens are 8 bit. The plug in codeveloped by HP and Adobe is a convenience tool that doesn't change the driver data stream architecture.
I didn't know the Windows plug-in was not yet available.
It is for Mac but I can't use it with the current 9180 plug-in due to an incompatibility ( that has been fixed BTW but is not public).

Your best option for the Z printer will be to use Colorbyte's ImagePrint. The program runs full 16 bit image depth and high bit screens ( I'd have to check with John at Colorbyte if it is still 12 bit or more).
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domsemaca
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2007, 11:34:50 PM »
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Ok,thanks a lot.
The guys at HP's technical support have answered but it looks they don't know too
much about this plug-in.
I also found out about it after reading the Z3100's review on LL.
We'll see what the future will bring.
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