The Olympus P-330 Photo Printer features true photographic output with
continuous-tone, 306 dpi dye-sublimation printing in 24-bit color.
It accepts input from SmartMedia flash cards, a Windows 95/98 PC through
the parallel port, a Macintosh PC through the serial port or a video device.
The output is printed on 4 x 6" (A6) glossy paper or sticker sheets.
The P-330 accepts either 3.3v or 5 SmartMedia cards up to 32MB in capacity.
As an added bonus the printer becomes a parallel port card reader when attached
to a Windows/PC. Software is included that installs the printer as a removeable
drive resource under Windows.
Inkjet printers squirt water-based inks onto the surface of the paper. A dye sublimation printer uses heat to transfer dyes from a ribbon into the emulsion of the paper. This gives them the same permanence as conventional photos unlike inkjet prints that fade when exposed to the light.
The film ribbon contains the three primary colors; yellow, magenta and cyan.
The video input/output ports are on the side. There are S-Video
and regular RCA video input connectors for connection to camcorders, DVDs, VCRs
and other video devices. The Video Out connector goes to your TV set.
On the back are the printer output ports. Centronics parallel for Windows PCs and
a serial port for Macintosh computers.
This is the top control panel, using these buttons you select the desired printing
options or display modes and select the images you want to print when connected to
a TV set.
This is the Index screen displayed on the TV after you insert a SmartMedia card
with your pictures on it. You now use the 4-way jog switch to select the pictures
you want to print.
Using the options buttons on the control panel you can enable date printing on
your finished photos.
You can also select multiple image mode and print 4, 9 or 16 per page.
There is also a crop option to zoom-in on a smaller portion of the picture.
The Olympus P-330 is an excellent photo printer. When used with a PC it can produce prints from any Windows application in 2 minutes or less depending on the speed of the PC. When used standalone, the processing time depends on the size of the input images. The higher the resolution, the longer the processing time.
The P-330 may not have as many standalone print options as the Panasonic PV-PD2100 but it does offer the ability to be a parallel port card reader on Windows PC machines. Parallel port data transfers are much faster than using the serial port and it saves your camera batteries too.
Olympus has a newer version (P-330N) of this printer out now that can read in the larger 64MB SmartMedia cards and is also compatible with Windows NT.
The average cost per print is about $.50 to $.65 depending on where you get the ribbon and paper kits ($25-30). The kits consist of 50 sheets of paper in two seperate packs and a ribbon cassette. The smaller pack sizes keep the paper fresher for those that don't make that many prints at a time.
If you want to do your own photo printing at home -- this is the way to go.
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