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Steve's Digicams


PhotoShuttle




Driver Software


HiTi PhotoShuttle

Page one of the print driver has options for selecting the media type, setting the orientation, printing 2-inch ID photos, number of copies, enabling the Preview function and adding a visible watermark or applying a matte finish.


HiTi PhotoShuttle

Clicking on the "Magic coating" box on the first page will bring you to this screen. From here you can apply a Magic Pattern logo, your own custom logo or enable the Matte Effect for your prints.


HiTi PhotoShuttle

Page two lets you calibrate the printer, set a specific skin tone (Yellow, White or Black), enable Windows color management or disable color preferences altogether.


HiTi PhotoShuttle

Page three displays the printer's firmware version, serial number and release date. It also has a hyperlink for visiting HiTi's web site for newer firmware or printer drivers.


HiTi PhotoShuttle

This is the Preview screen, if you check the "Run Preview" box on the first page of the driver then this screen comes up before each picture is printed. From here you see "visually" exactly how your picture is going to look when printed. You can alter the brightness, contrast or sharpness as well as change the scaling and then re-center the picture.

Most digital cameras create images that use a 4:3 aspect ratio so when printing them at 4x6" you will always be cropping some of the picture to fill the entire print area. Now you know why some cameras have a special (3:2) resolution setting, this yields perfect 4x6" prints with no cropping.


HiTi PhotoShuttle

Clicking on the "Mirabella" button from the Prevew screen will bring up this quick selection window. You are shown 9 variations of your picture, each has a slightly different color or contrast - just pick the one that looks best and that's how your print will come out. Doesn't get any easier than that.




Application Programs



HiTi PhotoShuttle

PhotoDésirée   delivers professional quality results with an easy to use User Interface. It allows you to create personalized calendars, poster and greeting cards. With creative color toning buttons; options for adjusting saturation, contrast, sharpness, brightness, hues. PhotoDésirée gives you studio quality results right at home.

Using PhotoDésirée is as simple as: (1) Select desired image file, (2) layout the image, adjust colors, drag to Print Queue and print.

Full TWAIN support for cameras, scanners or whatever. DPOF direct printing support. Templates for the HiTi 4x6" photo, 4x2x4 sticker and 4x4 sticker media. You can easily view, organize, print and save your image collections as albums for quick recall and future printing.



HiTi PhotoShuttle

These are the 4x4 and 4x2x4 sticker sheet prints. All of these small photos peel off and have a self-adhesive backing to let you stick them wherever you want. Kids love them for school notebooks and such. They're also perfect for ID badges too.



HiTi PhotoShuttle

Image Enhancer   lets you adjust the image's color, brightness, contrast, sharpness and gamma.   You can scale the image up or down as desired and even color tone the entire image with the preset buttons. And as you can see from this frame, it's easy to add one of the pre-defined photo borders.


HiTi PhotoShuttle

You can insert a transparent or opaque calendar into your images and size it to fit anywhere you want it in the image.



HiTi PhotoShuttle

Here's the drop-down list of predefined image sizes that can be applied to print multiple pictures or specific size pictures, like 2-inch ID photos for passports and etc.



HiTi PhotoShuttle

It's easy to add any amount of text anywhere in the image desired. Shown here is the text entry window with all of its size, font and color options.



HiTi PhotoShuttle

This is an actual 4x6" borderless print, the two end tabs are ready to be easily removed, just bend them twice and they seperate cleanly. Even though this is a good scan it still doesn't do it full justice, the pictures are just as colorful as the best film print you ever had made. The paper is thick not flimsy, it feels like a "photo" and it can be finished with either a glossy or matte surface.





Steve's Conclusion

Hi-Touch has another excellent printer here. The HiTi 630PS that we reviewed earlier this year has been a top seller and I am sure that the new PhotoShuttle printer is going to be just as popular. These printers are great for making "jumbo" color prints right on your desk that rival what you get from your local film lab. The 4x6" size prints satisfy the needs of most digicam users because they rarely make prints larger than 4x6" anyway. Other dye sub printers cost from $349 to $500 and have a consumable cost of about 75¢ to 85¢ per print. The HiTi PhotoShuttle is 35-50% faster than the competition, costs about $240 and brings the per print cost down to a low 40¢ each.

We've reviewed numerous other 4x6" dye sub printers and the PhotoShuttle's print quality rivals the best of them. If you've used inkjet photo printers then I'm sure you've been frustrated by results that don't often match your computer screen. Dye sub printers have a fixed output resolution that's equal to a 4800dpi inkjet and the continuous-tone process eliminates the "dots" and gives you 16-million colors. Print after print comes out with the right color balance and looks just like a regular photo lab print. These prints are waterproof, smearproof and overcoated to protect them against UV fading.

"At home" printing doesn't get any easier than this. At least for Windows PC users anyway, there are no Macintosh drivers available for the HiTi printers. That's about the only negative thing I can say about it, fortunately for me I am a Windows user. The PhotoShuttle will make a great holiday gift for your spouse or anyone that wants an easier and more reliable way to print their digital camera images. It's stylish looking and doesn't require much desktop space either.








HiTi PhotoShuttle







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