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Poor Print Quality

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by zebes, Jan 2, 2006.

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  1. zebes

    zebes Thread Starter

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    I have a Minolta magicolor 3100 (1200x1200dpi) laser printer that works just fine for everything except PHOTOS. I have downloaded and installed the latest driver from the Minolta website with no improvement. I am using Adobe Photo Shop 3.0. The test pictures that the printer produces are much sharper than anything I can print from Adobe. My jpeg files are 500K or greater and the pictures look great on the monitor. I have also tried printing from the Cannon software that came with the camera, but the results are the same. Minolta tech support is now saying that this may be the best I can expect. How can a 1200 x 1200 dpi be of such poor quality for photos? This seems incredible to me.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    zebes:confused:
     
  2. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    What camera are you using?

    What are the specs of the images you are trying to print?

    Laser printer are noted for being poor for color images...

    buck
     
  3. linskyjack

    linskyjack

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    Resolution is not the final determiner of color and print quality. A 300 dpi dye sublimation printer will give you better resolution then your laser. By the way, a cheap ink jet printer would probably do a better job then your laser.
     
  4. 911

    911

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    Have you checked that you are using the right paper ? The wrong type can make a world of difference in quality of image.
     
  5. slipe

    slipe

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    If the printer will print test photos that are acceptable to you I would guess you have a problem with the images you are sending to the printer.

    Many cameras send an image to the computer at a default 72PPI. That doesn’t affect the print resolution unless you resize and keep the 72PPI.

    I’m guessing you have Elements 3 since Photoshop 3 is over 10 years old. I think it works the same as Photoshop for size. Go Image>Image Size for one of the images you printed and give us the width and height in pixels, the print size in inches and the pixels/inch listed. Also tell us which Canon camera you have so we can see whether you are dumping pixels.
     
  6. zebes

    zebes Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your reply!
    Yes I have Adobe Elements 3.0.
    The picture file is 621 KB @ 2048x 1536.
    The print size is 4" x 6"
    I was not able to determine the pixels / inch.
     
  7. zebes

    zebes Thread Starter

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    I am using 5 Mega Pixel Cannon Shure Shot A95
     
  8. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    That's a minimum file size for a 4x6 and very small for a 5 mega pixel camera... My old and seldom used Sony 3.1 megapixel camera take a 1.22 MB file

    The small file size combined with the fact that color laser printers are noted to be terrible for photo printing should give you your answer... The camera you say you have "Cannon Shure Shot A95" should produce great prints at 4x6 on even an inexpensive inkjet photo print now-a-days...

    buck
     
  9. slipe

    slipe

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    It is not possible to have those pixel dimensions with that print size. You are not reading those numbers you gave from any single source in Elements. The image size dialog box is evidently under Image>Resize>Image Size in Elements.

    You can not resize that image to print a 4 X 6 in the image dialog box without unchecking “Constrain Proportions” and distorting the image. It has to be cropped to the right ratio for printing, and you have to do that without resampling to a low resolution. There are many resizing and cropping tutorials online for Elements.

    I would suggest you download and install this little program until you learn to use Elements. It will crop your images to 4 X 6 without dumping pixels and leaving you with too low a resolution: http://ekot.dk/programmer/JPEGCrops/

    I’m guessing you are using the 32Mb card that came with the camera and have your resolution set to a lower value to get more shots on the card. When you lower the resolution you also lower the quality it saves in. You should be getting images around 2.5Mb in super fine quality. But the resolution and quality you are shooting at should still be giving good 4 X 6 prints.

    There was a 512Mb CF card in last week’s paper for $20. If you look around online you can find good deals on CF cards. Those images are lifetime memories and it is worth a few bucks IMO to save them at the best quality possible rather than use the camera at a lower resolution and quality.
     
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