Hi-Touch Imaging 631PL
My friends and relatives still don't think that getting "MIME Encoded DSC10034.JPG" in their email inbox is an appropriate response to "Send me a copy of that picture." With that attitude, I was ready to go back to my mantra from film days: "I'm shooting slides, sorry. Can't make prints, you know."
It's all better now. I took advantage of the plunging prices for dye sublimation printers and purchased a HiTi 631PL printer.
"Dye sub"printers use a roller to press the photo paper against a "ribbon" and a thermal print head. As the paper and ribbon roll through, pixels in the print head are heated, diffusing ("sublimating") the color from the ribbon into a spot on the paper. This process is repeated three times, one pass for each of the primary subtractive colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow.
This process produces a remarkably even, "dotless" continuous tone image that is difficult to tell from a traditional photographic print. The HiTi 631 is a relentlessly single-purpose machine. It is designed to do exactly one thing: make extremely high-quality 4x6 photo prints ... period. Operation is simple: hit the "print" button in your favorite application, and in less than two minutes, a lab-quality print will drop in the "out" tray.
- Compact, quiet, and fast.
- Produces durable, sharp, pixel-less prints with amazing color.
- Cheap (street price well under $200 with controller handset).
- Not versatile; produces only 4x6 photos.
- Only connects to Windows computers or works as a standalone.
- Inefficient; one ribbon cassette produces exactly 50 prints, regardless of the amount or type of color in the images.
If you need to print photos, and don't need anything larger than 4x6, buy it. I can't imagine going back to anything else for photo work.
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