Kodak Professional 1400

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. 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...