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Digital Press for PhotoBooks and Image cards

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  • Digital Press for PhotoBooks and Image cards


    I'm looking to expand our high end photo book (mainly wedding) business with a bit cheaper and "faster" books. Right now we are printing on Canon IPF wide format inkjet and the quality is astonishing.

    We want to invest in digital press that we could use to print parent books like these:

    And maybe some instagram prints (4x4" cards with white border)

    Nothing beats 12 inkjet in terms of color gamut but I would love to at least have something pleasing to the eye

    ** Budget: around $30k
    ** Paper stock: semi matte, lightly textured. We'd love to print on 100% cotton stock.
    ** Size: banner mode up to 24"
    ** Workload : not very much
    ** Painless operation (heard that it's a myth in digital presses)

    We aim at something like Canon ImagePress c600, Xerox Versant 80, Konika Minolta (don't know the model).

    What would you suggest?


  • #2
    I'm pretty sure if you want 24" banner prints your limited to just a few options. I don't think the Versant is allowed to do banner outside of Asia. I'm not sure but I don't believe Konica has banner printing available.

    You should be looking into Ricoh and Canon. They allow banner prints on some of their machines but I think they're on their new machines so I don't think your 30k budget would allow it. The iGens do go up to 26" but. It anywhere close to your budget.

    With a low workload I think youll have trouble finding something that meets your requirements in that budget range. Not to mention the headache of printing lol.


    • #3
      Bigger headache would be to oursource printing at this point.
      Banner printing would be great for layflat albums but we could live without it.

      Image quality is most important factor here. Is there a huge difference in this technology and price point between manufacturers? I just want to spend my money well.


      • #4
        I approve Canon, have been using it for many years.


        • #5
          Being picky about the image quality I would take a job you would want to print and run some tests on the machines you are looking at. Bring in your own files, bring in your own stock and run them. The big guys always have great looking samples but I never trust those for regular day to day printing. I am a fan of the Versant, we have a 2100 and it has been a solid workhorse for us with pleasing colour and images. We are not printing photo books though and honestly I have not been a huge fan of most digital presses for high quality photos.


          • #6
            Konica Minolta just released a new press called the C83hc. The hc stands for high chroma. They modified the usual CMYK toner to achieve a different range of colors that achieve better skin tones, vibrant neon-like colors, and even RGB type prints that more closely match the saturation you see on your monitor. That press can do banner prints from the bypass tray up to 50" long. Lightly textured media is not a problem. It can handle up to 350gsm media.

            Full disclosure that I used to sell equipment for KM, but that really was a cool press. They had an older version, the C71hc that fit into some really niche markets. Even if you don't get the hc version, the C3070 prints photographic quality. I sold the predecessor of the C3070 to a photo book studio (they specialized in wedding and quinceaƱera albums). I was always amazed at the books they produced off the KM. They originally got it for the same intent that you're describing (doing 'lower' quality, quicker production books) but they started doing more and more off of it due to the great quality.

            Since you're doing light production and don't seem to need in-line finishing, you can get the light version of the C3070 called the C3070L. It's the same print engine with the same quality as the C3070, you just can't add the more advanced finishing or paper feeding options. You can also avoid the Fiery controller as the built-in KM controller has color control capabilities on its own. This should keep your budget close to $30k.


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