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Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer

Review posted 8/10/2005


Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer



The Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer is an affordable 8 x 10-inch, color printer that's perfect for advanced amateurs, professional users and small labs. Priced at $499, the Kodak 1400 is the least expensive of Kodak's professional grade printers and within the budget of us "normal" folks. The Kodak 1400 produces consistent results using dry imaging technology so there's no worries of clogged heads or spilled ink.

Whether in a studio or on location for proofing or at home for final printing and displaying, the robust desktop printer produces one 8x12, one 8x10, two 6x8, two5x7 or four 4x6-inch photos per sheet, and the water-resistant photos last a lifetime. The Kodak Professional paper and ribbon consumables are bundled in matched volumes to provide optimum color density for every print, eliminating worries associated with low ink levels. Consumables—including paper available in 50- and 25-sheet packs—are priced competitively to similar offerings on the market.

Kodak Professional 1400 features include:

  • 90 seconds per print

  • Gloss and matte finish output available for professional portrait applications

  • 50-sheet paper capacity in / out

  • Accepts A4, 8.5 x 14" and 8.5 x 12" paper sizes (full size A4 30 x 20 cm)

  • Maximum Image size - 8.27 x 12 inches

  • USB 2.0 interface

  • Windows and Macintosh printer drivers

The Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer carries a suggested U.S. list price of $499 and is available now from authorized dealers of Kodak Professional Thermal Printer products.



Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer

Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer
"Best 8x10-inch Dye Sub printer $2499 or less"






Mechanics

Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer


The dry film ribbon is installed in a carrier, which is inserted into the top of the printer. No threading is required. The paper is installed into a universal paper tray, which is inserted into the front of the machine.

Setup is simple: Press the big button to open the top, insert the ink ribbon cartridge, close top, load paper in the tray, insert paper tray into front of printer, attach the rear dust cover, connect power cord, plug in the USB cable to the computer, load the software and away you go!



Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer


Printers controls are few as the printer is controlled from the host computer via the software driver. There are indicator lights on top for Power, Media (paper in tray) and Error. The large button opens the top for changing ribbons or cleaning the print head assembly. The smaller button is for canceling a print job. Shown below is the rear-mounted Power button.



Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer


The Kodak 1400 has a single, high-speed USB 2.0 interface connector on the back that is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. As with almost all printers sold today, it does not come with a USB cable. Driver software and Kodak EasyShare software is included for both operating systems.



Kodak 1400 Consumables

Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer


With the Kodak 1400, photographers get the same number of prints from a print kit, which bundles the ribbon cartridge and a 50- or 25-sheet EKTATHERM paper pack. Because the media and ribbon are color-matched, users can anticipate consistent print quality from their first print to the last. In addition, the coated paper stock is water-resistant from the moment it leaves the printer; no drying time is required.

Earlier Kodak thermal printers limited the single sheet size to 8.5 x 12 inches. By switching to a larger, universal paper tray for the 1400, photographers can print from either 12 or 14-inch media, consistent with the A4 size used internationally. Users can print four 4 x 6-inch prints per sheet, a true A4 image, or two 6 x 8-inch prints - the size offered in some wedding album formats.

The "street price" for these Print Kits is around $50 for the glossy or matte 25-sheet print packs, $90 for 50-sheet and $316 for a case (4 kits). So the cost per print excluding the price of the printer is as low as $1.58 per sheet.


CAT No. KODAK PROFESSIONAL
EKTATHERM 1400 Print Kit
Sheets
Per Kit
Photos Per Kit
8 x 12 8 x 10 6 x 8 5 x 7 4 x 6
885 6841 Glossy / 8.5x14-25 Pack 25 25 25 50 50 100
884 7527 Glossy / 8.5x14-50 Pack 50 50 50 100 100 200
817 2041 Glossy / 8.5x12-25 Pack 25 N/A 25 25 50 75
166 6031 Glossy / 8.5x12-50 Pack 50 N/A 50 50 100 150
895 7185 Matte / 8.5x12 -50 Pack 50 N/A 50 50 100 150
860 2898 Glossy / A4 -50 Pack 50 N/A 50 50 100 150
833 5788 Matte / A4 -50 Pack 50 N/A 50 50 100 150




Driver Software


Driver software is supplied for Windows ME, 2000, and XP and Macintosh OS 10.X including Tiger. Shown here are the Windows XP screens:


Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer

If you've used an inkjet photo printer then I'm sure that you've been overwhelmed by the driver software choices. The Kodak 1400 like most dye-sub printers has a relatively simple set of driver options. If you use the same ribbon type then you probably won't even need to go into the driver.

The first page of driver options lets you specify the paper size, ribbon type and whether or not to apply the Xtralife coating. Beats me why anyone would choose not to apply the Xtralife coating, this is the UV resistant coating that makes the print last like a real photograph. If you select the matte ribbon you can also vary the "effect" with the slider control. Other options are for paper orientation, rotation and mirroring, number of copies and scaling percentage. The image sharpness is settable for High, Normal or Off.



Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer


The second page of driver settings let you "fine tune" the color, gamma, contrast and brightness. For many users these can all be left at the default "0" settings.

Kodak includes a Calibration Utility with the printer that allows you to visually calibrate the color output by printing a test sheet with numerous gray target squares to compare. I found no need to fiddle with it as the printer was totally color correct right out of the box.



Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer

Also included in the software bundle is Kodak EasyShare 4.0 for Windows or Mac OS X including Tiger. EASYSHARE Software gives you full control of your digital pictures. It makes organizing, printing, sharing, and enhancing pictures simple and fun. It also allows you to organize multiple images for printing on a single sheet.






Steve's Conclusion

It's been almost three years since we reviewed the Kodak Professional 8500 printer and given the time and competition from the Olympus P-440, the price has dropped from $999 to an affordable $499. Both printers will make an 8x10-inch print for less than $2, the P-440 is around $1.86 and the Kodak 1400 is about $1.58. The P-440 is limited to a maximum size of 8x10-inches whereas the Kodak 1400 can print up to 8x12-inches but lacks the P-440's standalone printing capability. The Kodak 1400 cranks out a print in less than 90 seconds, the P-440 is a little faster at 75 seconds. Both printers are dye diffusion thermal transfer process type and will make professional quality prints with the same permanence of traditional, wet-processed photo prints.

The Kodak 1400 is fairly large, measuring 9.4" x 30" x 17" (HxDxW) including the front paper tray and the rear dust cover. There's no worry of it sliding off your table, it weighs in at about 28 pounds and doesn't even shake when printing. As with all dye-sub printers, the Kodak 1400 runs the paper in and out four times during the printing process. The first three passes apply the color dyes and the fourth pass is when the ExtraLife coating (glossy or matte) is applied. Because of all of the mechanical paper transporting, the thermal head and cooling fan, the printer is far from quiet, Kodak rates it at <60dB.


Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer

8x12" print showing the unprintable border areas (Photo credit NASA)


The only drawback to these types of printers is that they are page printers, you can't print out just a 4x6-inch print, you must print an entire 8x12" or 8x14" sheet. Using the supplied software you can place four 4x6-inch prints per sheet though. And no matter what size print you make you'll need to do some trimming as there is an unprintable area on both ends of the sheet. This is best done with a rotary photo trimmer that is specially designed to make very clean cuts on photo media. If you need a borderless print then you'll be trimming all four sides of the picture. Most photographers that do their own printing already have a good trimmer, if not then you need to figure it into the purchase price - it's a required item.

If you have a studio portrait business or you photograph weddings then I believe that this is what you're looking for in a cost-effective printer. It's fast and very consistent, the latter being more important than the first to most pros. Inkjet printers are OK for quick prints or proofs - when you're ready to step up to a "real" printer there's no alternative to a dye sub - unless of course you have a spare $25 grand for a Fuji Pictography!   The Kodak 1400 is a great choice for anyone that seeks digital prints with the permanence of silver halide prints. With a price of around $500, it's very affordable and it says "Kodak Professional Paper" on the back of every print...





US visitors Ektatherm Print Kit Glossy for Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer - 50 8.5x14" Paper and Ribbon

$ 71.41 at Amazon Marketplace
$ 76.49 at Amazon.com
$ 78.34 at NextWarehouse.com
$ 82.80 at DATAVAS












Kodak Professional 1400 Digital Photo Printer


Kodak 1400 Specifications
Printing technology Thermal dye sublimation
Printing Resolution Printing Resolution 301 dpi (continuous tone)
Maximum Image Size Up to 8.27x12 inches
Print Speed <90 seconds per sheet
Computer / Printer Interface USB 1.1 and 2.0
Printer Drivers Windows 2000/ XP OS, MAC OSX 10.2 or later
Media
Receiver Format / Sizes Cut Sheet: 8.5x12, 8.5x14 and A4
Ribbon Format YMC+L
Overcoat Options Glossy and Matte (user selected ribbon type)
8.5x14 - Glossy only
Media Capacity 50 Sheets Paper, 50 Picture Units Ribbon
Printer Physical
Printer Size (with paper tray and dust cover) H 9.4" x L 30" x W 17"
H 24cm x L 76.8cm x W 43cm
Routine Maintenance None
Printer Weight 28 lbs (12.7 kg)
Dust Prevention Rear Tray
Maximum Sound Levels, Printing and Idle Less than 60dB, 50dB
Operating Conditions
Operating Temperature 15°C - 30°C (59°F - 86°F)
Relative Humidity 10% - 85%
Power Universal 100v - 240v
+/- 10% and 50/60 Hz
Regulatory and Compliance
Emissions FCC class B and worldwide equivalents
Safety UL, CSA, TUV, CE, and worldwide equivalents

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)







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