HP C5280 quality vs. CVS quality

By | April 9, 2008

One of my loyal readers asked what exactly I was illustrating with the scans I posted from a print generated by my C5280. Here’s the scan I posted yesterday, next to a scan of a print I made at CVS:

C5280 print CVS print

The CVS print was produced by an instant-print kiosk, not by the big honkin’ machine behind the counter. If I’d hung around longer and used the big machine, the print would be even better than this one.

What you should notice is that the C5280 print has vertical stripes spaced evenly across the entire print. These stripes are caused by ink jets that are not firing properly. Every single ink cartridge I tried in the C5280 had misfiring ink jets. The problem persisted with three different C5280 units.

In addition, the CVS print is much sharper and has much more uniform colors. Even if the ink jets weren’t misfiring, the quality of the C5280 print would clearly be inferior. Here’s what HP has to say about the C5280 on their Web site: “Get lab-quality snapshots that resist fading for generations with optional six-ink color”. While I wasn’t really expecting this printer that to produce “lab-quality snapshots”, that’s what HP claims it’ll do, and that’s clearly false advertising.

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One thought on “HP C5280 quality vs. CVS quality

  1. abbasegal

    I see it now — thanks!

    I admit, for years now, despite being basically a do-it-yourselfer, I have just been getting prints from ofoto/Kodak Easyshare. A number of years ago Consumer Reports did an analysis pointing out that print-it-yourself prints came in (at the time) at almost $.50 per print when you included the paper, ink, and printer wear and tear, while at the time the services were charging $.30/print (less during sales). In addition, you didn’t have the hassle of fighting with your printer! Since then, prices at the services have come down to ~$.15/print, and though I bet home-printing prices have come down too, they still probably don’t beat the services’ prices.

    I also don’t really trust the home-ink-based processes to be as high-quality or last as long as the photo-chemical based processes the labs use.

    Being able to print the occasional snapshot is nice, especially when our kids come home from gan with a note “please bring in a picture tomorrow” — now I don’t need to raid the albums, I can take a picture and print it on the spot, without caring so much about quality. We still order from Easyshare — with a big enough order it is still even worth it having them shipped abroad, and with a smaller order, if a relative is coming to visit, we have them schlep it.

    I know there must be Israeli services we could use, but inertia is a heavy thing to overcome… 😉


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