Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: The future of printing  (Read 10030 times)
Mosccol
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


« on: February 06, 2008, 10:15:51 AM »
ReplyReply

As challenged by Michael's 'review' of the PMA, here are so thoughts and questions about printing. What are yours?...

1) Speed of evolution

Printing is a medium speed industry: somewhere between cameras and game consoles. It is rare to have more than one significant innovation per year. This will continue; so what will it be in 2008?...

2) Absolute performance

We must be getting near the point where some paper/ink combinations are approaching 'full gamut'. I do not have technical knowledge to argue that is possible or likely but it looks like the next frontier. A Printer that would do even 'only' true sRGB would revolutionise both home printing and print-booth processing.

3) Migration from pro to prosumer to consumer

I was somewhat disappointed that HP's 'Dreamcolor' technology (i.e. closed loop calibration) did not make it down the food chain more quickly but then it is understandable: it is largely a mechanical system, so more prone to going wrong and harder to compress in terms of costs.

The wholly grail for consumer printing is to do away with two major headaches that consumers are basically not interested in: colour calibration and print sharpening. So which solution will get us there? Obviously, self-downloading of ICC profiles for web connected printers is a cheap and easy solution. It could be done at the same time as regular printer driver checks for example. I am not sure about sharpening (I am not sure I understand what can be standardised either).

So here are my predictions for 2008...

- Yet another generation of inks
- Printers that systematically 'talk to the web'
- First claims of '100% gamut coverage'
Logged
DarkPenguin
Guest
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 10:46:56 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm betting on better paper from cheaper sources.
Logged
Geoff Wittig
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1017


« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 10:53:05 AM »
ReplyReply

I may be wrong on this, but I believe that current inkjets already handily exceed the gamut of sRGB in most directions, and a few can actually reach beyond some edges of Adobe RGB. The difference in perceived gamut between reflective paper and transmissive monitor is a separate issue.
Logged
Satch
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54


« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 01:47:37 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I may be wrong on this, but I believe that current inkjets already handily exceed the gamut of sRGB in most directions, and a few can actually reach beyond some edges of Adobe RGB. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172745\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This touches on something I've been thinking about recently.  Seems like there's a need for a "reverse" gamut warning in PS.  When there's a discrepancy between print and monitor, it would be nice to know if the print didn't match the monitor or the monitor didn't match the print, so to speak.
Logged
rdonson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1420


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 02:10:19 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm not sure that printers themselves need to evolve very quickly to satisfy the "fine art" market niche that most here represent.  Canon, HP and Epson all provide printers quite capable of producing work that can hang in any gallery today.  Will we see refinements?  Sure. Epson has to eventually respond to ink swapping and clogging or lose business.  The 11880 represents some of this.

Those who print for a living will probably be clamoring for more speed and better sheet feeders.

I think the real valuable evolution will come from making color management ubiquitous and easy.  That requires Apple and MS to address it at the OS level to some degree and applications like Photoshop and Lightroom to make it more intuitive.  Lightroom may lead the way at some point in offering a softproofing facility that won't be referred to as "make my photo look like crap".

Those of us who don't print for a living and have only one large format printer will continue to find value in printers like the HP Z with the built-in spectro that's easy to use.

We'll probably see more papers with coatings optimized for specific inksets.  Either that or we'll accept compromises in papers so they'll print on every inkset (less likely).  I think we'll see more papers from the printer manufacturers optimized for their inkset.  HP and Epson are already thinking and delivering that way I believe.  That may put pressure on the smaller paper brands.

I think that Ernst Dinkla made a very interesting comment in another thread that we may see printers evolve into a platform.  The platform can then evolve and upgrade or add features without buying a whole new printer every couple of years.  This would be very welcome from my perspective.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 02:12:11 PM by rdonson » Logged

[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]
deanwork
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 646


« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 03:41:13 PM »
ReplyReply

A significant for Epson will be the re-engineered heads for the other large format machines that we see on the 11880. The auto k switching will have to be part of the package too or people will completely give up on Epson altogether in these smaller formats. The other big improvement of the 11880 inks is the neutralized black and gray inks that are not brown. To me this is huge. This means much more practical black and white output without having to add so much color ink to the mix that can end up in the wrong places of the tonal scale. As to clogging and perpetual ink waste, who knows what the score will be on that.

I think we are already seeing improvement in the Z3100 with firmware updates that support more 3rd party media and the new roller/starwheel assembly that is on its way to us shortly. I look for them to continue refining this first generation of the Z without buying a completely new printer as is always the case with Epson. We'll see about that.


John







Quote
As challenged by Michael's 'review' of the PMA, here are so thoughts and questions about printing. What are yours?...

1) Speed of evolution

Printing is a medium speed industry: somewhere between cameras and game consoles. It is rare to have more than one significant innovation per year. This will continue; so what will it be in 2008?...

2) Absolute performance

We must be getting near the point where some paper/ink combinations are approaching 'full gamut'. I do not have technical knowledge to argue that is possible or likely but it looks like the next frontier. A Printer that would do even 'only' true sRGB would revolutionise both home printing and print-booth processing.

3) Migration from pro to prosumer to consumer

I was somewhat disappointed that HP's 'Dreamcolor' technology (i.e. closed loop calibration) did not make it down the food chain more quickly but then it is understandable: it is largely a mechanical system, so more prone to going wrong and harder to compress in terms of costs.

The wholly grail for consumer printing is to do away with two major headaches that consumers are basically not interested in: colour calibration and print sharpening. So which solution will get us there? Obviously, self-downloading of ICC profiles for web connected printers is a cheap and easy solution. It could be done at the same time as regular printer driver checks for example. I am not sure about sharpening (I am not sure I understand what can be standardised either).

So here are my predictions for 2008...

- Yet another generation of inks
- Printers that systematically 'talk to the web'
- First claims of '100% gamut coverage'
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172733\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
AaronPhotog
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 128


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 11:34:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Here's my wish list:

1. Papers and/or inksets that eliminate gloss differential and bronzing all the way from dMax black to blank paper (just like silver based prints).
2. Bright stocks that don't use excessive brighteners to get there and have excellent archival qualities (whatever that means).
3. A matte coated paper that a) doesn't shed fibers and b) gets great blacks and c) is nice and white (as above) and d) is nice and sharp with smooth tonalities.
4. A truely FB type of surface on a glossy paper (not too glossy, not too lumpy...but juuuust right).

They aren't there yet, but they are a lot closer than they were even a year ago.

Aloha,
Aaron
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 11:39:20 PM by AaronPhotog » Logged

Aaron Dygart,
Honolulu
Peter Frahm
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 11:51:14 PM »
ReplyReply

I would appreciate it if, every time a print was finished printing, Shakira would would come into the room and hit a large gong.

After all the money I've spent on color management and printing gear I'd hate to see them simplify things.

At this point I'd be thrilled with the once and for all elmination of gloss differential and the spilling of brake fluid on my control panel.
Logged
Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2730


« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 06:19:52 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I think that Ernst Dinkla made a very interesting comment in another thread that we may see printers evolve into a platform.  The platform can then evolve and upgrade or add features without buying a whole new printer every couple of years.  This would be very welcome from my perspective.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I can not recall that I wrote that but I think John Dean did write something like that.

I wish that a concept like that is used (to a degree) but I doubt that it will be a reality, not in hardware and not by more printer manufacturers. Epson very much had a mass market approach where a product is made in a batch or some batches and any new development means a new printer and no upgrade on an existing range but some bug removals when it is still for sale. If one considers that even drivers are not updated to new OS systems in some cases, it looks more like their intention is to wipe out competition of their older systems in the market (often their only competition). This could change with the new competition though, if you can still sell inks to the old systems around and your competitor not, then it may be better to update those older systems than making the old system obsolete as your customer then has a choice for a new printer from two other manufacturers too. Service, parts, inks and media are bringing in more money than selling the hardware.  A customer will accept that his printer gets too slow or is behind in image quality to newer models but will find it hard to accept that his printer isn't updated on driver support with every OS upgrade. To him it looks like little work for the manufacturer and he only thinks that it is an arbitrary decision by the company to make his printer obsolete. The launch dates of new printers and new OS systems do not correlate and the user expects fast action nevertheless.

HP so far has a slightly different approach but I do not think it will sustain that in length of days. Some developments can not be applied to old hardware like wider heads to increase speed of printing which is the thing that will get most attention in the future. As I have written before thermohead nozzles are way cheaper than piŽzohead nozzles and the two manufacturers that use thermoheads already challenged Epson on speed. Anyway the competition in the wide format water based inkjet art repro and photography market is changed in the last 18 months and other marketing schemes apply now. The (deliberate slow) evolution path Epson could dictate to the market is gone now, they will have to add anything they can get from R&D into any next model if they want to survive. One may question whether this specific market is even big enough to allow three companies on it. Wonder what companies like Roland will do with their water based inkjet printers, that may tell something about the market.

For 2008 Photokina I do not expect much more than Epson announcing the 44" 24" 17" equivalents of the 11880. HP closing the model range with a 17" model ? I hope an affordable 10 channel hybrid between the B9180 and a Z3100 that will make dual sided sheet printing easier, calibration aboard but no profiling. Direct competition with the Canon iPF5100 and better than the Epson 3800. I think HP could surprise us with a Z6100 at 60" with 10 or 12 channels as the top end model on speed, color, gloss and matte printing. Canon is harder to predict with the upgrade to the iPFx100 models so recently. Maybe a first sign of an even faster 60" model.

After 2008 I expect more diversification in models as the trend next to speed increase. Niches of the market explored like bookprinting. There must be a market between inkjet and Indigo printers with lower investment and speed but a another, higher quality than Indigo delivers. Static page wide inkjet heads appearing on fast smaller pro models like already will be seen on the Drupa in real production machines. More internet applications to speed up the customer's original to print cycle. Slower progress in ink and paper coating technology than what we have seen in the last ten years but printing speed will ask for some improvements in drying time. Some gamut increase while the fade properties remain the same, the last must be sufficient for most tasks with HP Vivera. Maybe extra coatings on top of the print but integrated in the printer will be a good step. I think Epson needs faster evolution steps in piŽzohead technology like the last one to compete with the simple multiplying of nozzles the other companies can rely on. The minimum droplet size in wide format is reached already I think, 3-4 Picoliter is sufficient for all cases down to A3 size. The new algorithms to lay them down + head and ink characteristics allow that and it looks like the variable droplet size already lost its importance in relation to the speed / image quality compromise if one checks the enlarged print samples of recent piŽzo models. So speed while keeping quality at the same level is number one.

All IMHO.

P.S. A bit off topic. Never thought the local university had such interesting inkjet R&D for everyone to read. I knew they were busy with it though.

[a href=\"http://www.schubert-group.de/PDF/IJWorkshop/IJ_Wijshoff.pdf]http://www.schubert-group.de/PDF/IJWorkshop/IJ_Wijshoff.pdf[/url]


Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 06:24:21 AM by Ernst Dinkla » Logged
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2662


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2008, 12:55:46 PM »
ReplyReply

In the Future I want a big printer with little tank treads that will roll itself up the stairs to my studio.  I also want the main printer body to have Jet Assisted Takeoff Rockets so it can lift itself up onto the stand completely without the use of my back.

I also want it to have a built in sprayer to perfectly apply protective coatings, and a highly effective suction system to exhaust fumes out the window via a hose.
Logged
elauq
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 19


« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2008, 07:17:04 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks Mr. t. for opening this up...

In the future I want a printer that takes any ink, including sparkly glow-in-the-dark ink, not limited to 12 at a time, that I plug in (sort of like artists choosing tubes of paint) and goes through an automated profiling process to graph the color gamut and preview in Photoshop my image with selected inks.  I then want the printer rip to select the proper inks and micro-mix them for each pixel before application to the paper--in other words, no color dots except what the pixel calls for.  I want the printer to be one with the paper, to know when not to apply, when to apply how much.   I want an ungodly amount of resolution.  Virtually continuous tone.   I don't want to have to read a user's manual--I want a printer that learns, adjusts on-the-fly, and makes better prints that the next guy.  I want B&W, color, alt, everything.  Everything.
Logged
rdonson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1420


WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 08:24:47 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
In the Future I want a big printer with little tank treads that will roll itself up the stairs to my studio.  I also want the main printer body to have Jet Assisted Takeoff Rockets so it can lift itself up onto the stand completely without the use of my back.

I also want it to have a built in sprayer to perfectly apply protective coatings, and a highly effective suction system to exhaust fumes out the window via a hose.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173061\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


 
Logged

[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]
rdonson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1420


WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 08:26:15 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Thanks Mr. t. for opening this up...

In the future I want a printer that takes any ink, including sparkly glow-in-the-dark ink, not limited to 12 at a time, that I plug in (sort of like artists choosing tubes of paint) and goes through an automated profiling process to graph the color gamut and preview in Photoshop my image with selected inks.  I then want the printer rip to select the proper inks and micro-mix them for each pixel before application to the paper--in other words, no color dots except what the pixel calls for.  I want the printer to be one with the paper, to know when not to apply, when to apply how much.   I want an ungodly amount of resolution.  Virtually continuous tone.   I don't want to have to read a user's manual--I want a printer that learns, adjusts on-the-fly, and makes better prints that the next guy.  I want B&W, color, alt, everything.  Everything.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173159\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Must be open mike night at the comedy zone.    
Logged

[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]
Mosccol
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2008, 03:24:55 AM »
ReplyReply

Very insightful Ernst. Thank you.

Now amateurs like me need a reading at the other end: when will things really go down the food chain? I assume I am not unusual among home users with restricted space. A4 seems to be my natural print size, although I would enjoy printing the odd panorama. I have been looking for a printer with the following characteristics:

- Reasonable gamut coverage (8 ink?)
- Roll feed in 21cm width approx
- Self-profiling a la 9180
- Card reader (for those times when you are doing a friend a quick favour and want to spit out 4x6s without any intervention)

At present this does not exist. Not even in A3+ (I don't think the HP takes rolls). My 'beef' is that manufacturers seem to think that 'serious' printers are only for those using A3 and above. Among pros it is certainly true; among the rest of us...

So who, if anyone will go down the food chain?
Logged
papa v2.0
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 186


« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2008, 05:33:48 AM »
ReplyReply

Might be a bit away

Use of white ink and print onto black substrate to increase dynamic range
Or when the substrate is coloured.

The printer will lay down white under the colour inks first and use the backing as the 'black ink'.
Increases dynamic range.

Its definitely being looked at for printing onto packaging ie cardboard, coloured plastics etc.
Once the colour separation algorithms and gamut mapping are sorted!
Logged
Sven W
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514


« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2008, 02:28:30 PM »
ReplyReply

Ok, I'll give it a try:
1. True standard color management. That is:
An easy and accurate way to profile your paper/printer/ink/ combo.
As using Atkinson/ProfileMaker/EyeOne solution.
The HP Z APS is the right way to go, but, a to "weak" solution.

2. OS Print Drivers!
They really sucks compared to thirdparty RIP's when coming to
production. I tried today to print a 110x400 cm banner on my brand new Ep11880, with Ep Driver+ MacOSX, and everything just died. Moved the whole package to my old 9600 with ImagePrint,
and it just came out smooth an nice as usual. The drivers + OS work always with your RAM, but
an external RIP "just" send a text-file together with your stored disk-file in small packages to your printer, without using a room full of RAM.

3. Historically I saw that papers where better than the printers. Now I see the opposite.

/Sven
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 02:54:43 PM by Sven W » Logged

Stockholm, Sweden
Brian Gilkes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 431


WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2008, 03:14:09 PM »
ReplyReply

Sven,
Thanks. Your practical experience is appreciated.
Re the problem with the banner print- is this a 11880 driver problem?
I'm currently using a 9800 and have printed 7m long. The only limitation is in Photoshop (30,000pxs), so this can be avoided by using a RIP or  software other than photoshop.
What length  is the 11880 limited to and why?
If it's in the driver , it needs to be solved quickly. For that sort of money I want to wrap prints around buildings.
It would be great if the Epson technical people (and Canon and HP when appropriate) would come in on these forums
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
Logged
dkeyes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 259


WWW
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2008, 06:56:54 PM »
ReplyReply

I think the future of printing will be replaced partially by video display. For the price of framing a 30x40 print, one will be able to get a 40" hi-def video monitor. The image is different but equally compelling. I would love to just sell digital images (not prints). Of course, protecting your copyright will be another issue to deal with.
- Doug
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:57:38 PM by dkeyes » Logged

Sven W
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514


« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2008, 03:59:15 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Sven,
Thanks. Your practical experience is appreciated.
Re the problem with the banner print- is this a 11880 driver problem?
I'm currently using a 9800 and have printed 7m long. The only limitation is in Photoshop (30,000pxs), so this can be avoided by using a RIP or  software other than photoshop.
What length  is the 11880 limited to and why?
If it's in the driver , it needs to be solved quickly. For that sort of money I want to wrap prints around buildings.
It would be great if the Epson technical people (and Canon and HP when appropriate) would come in on these forums
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173382\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, been out of the studio for a while.
I really don't know where the problem is. The file was 535 Mb and about 13K pixels long.
And I think PS CS3 allow for up to 100K pixels. The file "drops" nicely from PS, but never shows up in the PrintQueue. So it must be a driver RAM mess. Sometimes with other huge files, I have to restart my computer to empty all buffer that PS always builds. And I have 4.5 Gb RAM in my Mac G5 Dual 2x2.5 Ghz.
But maybe this an issue for another topic?

/Sven
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 04:06:50 PM by Sven W » Logged

Stockholm, Sweden
rdonson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1420


WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2008, 07:51:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I think the future of printing will be replaced partially by video display. For the price of framing a 30x40 print, one will be able to get a 40" hi-def video monitor. The image is different but equally compelling. I would love to just sell digital images (not prints). Of course, protecting your copyright will be another issue to deal with.
- Doug
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Doug,

The current high def monitor standard is 1920 x 1080 pixels (2 MP).  If this is the way things are going we can throw away our current crop of DSLRs and go back to point & shoots.
Logged

[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]
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad