Matching camera and printer, Epson Print Image Matching, time for a new CD player!

Week of August 31, 2003  

Q:     I have read the archived columns on your website and it has already answered some of my questions!   For example,  I have been using Kodak paper on my Canon printer and wondered why the prints don’t look so good. I now know to  try  the high end Canon paper.
I was wondering what your opinion is on the combination I currently have: Sony DSC-S85 camera with a Canon i850 printer.   Is this getting the most from my camera?   We bought and returned about 3 printers (all of them HP, just different models) before we settled with the Canon i850, and the only reason we didn’t return the i850 was because I didn’t want to get banned from the store.   However, I have not used the printer with the Canon paper, so maybe that will make the difference.   I take pictures mostly for my own enjoyment and just for our family.     I want the photos to last many years and even look good, but I am in no means a professional or even amateur photographer.

-Christy Caballero, Mesa, AZ

A:   Canon makes excellent printers, and they are in fact my own personal choice.   However, I use my Canon printers with Canon cameras.   For your Sony DSC-S85, there is a better solution.

Your digital camera, photo inkjet printer, computer software, and the paper itself work as a team, and it is important to pick good teammates.   Certain brands work better together than others, and without a plan for a complete system you will not achieve realistic photographic results, unless you get lucky.       This luck does not happen very often, as you have experienced as you bounced between printers and paper brands.

To get the most out of your camera, I recommend you purchase an Epson printer using their Print Image Matching (PIM) system.     There are two versions, Print Image Matching and Print Image Matching II, and both are compatible with each other.   You can read more about PIM at   If your camera supports PIM, it will say so in the specifications by listing either PIM or PIM II.

With Print Image Matching, your camera records extra information on the digital file created when you take a picture.   The printer software (Epson Film Factory, included with PIM printers) interprets the information and uses it to create very realistic prints when used with a PIM printer and Epson paper.   I once owned the same camera you do and used it with an Epson PIM printer and software.   The results from the system were outstanding and likely to be much better than you would get with a 35mm camera and a one-hour photo lab.   When someone writes to me about printers and they own a camera that supports PIM, I always recommend they purchase a printer that supports the PIM system as well.   The difference is amazing and must be experienced to be appreciated.

Canon camera owners will do best with a Canon printer supporting Exif Print, also called Exif 2.2.   It works on the same principle as PIM.   As always, use paper from the printer’s manufacturer.

So remember:   when setting up a system for digital photography, have a plan and pick good teammates!

Q:     My 15 year-old CD player is acting strangely. When I put in a CD, it will
not read it. It makes noises like something is spinning for about 10 – 15
seconds and then stops and ejects my CD.   Is it time for a new cd player?
-Yee-Sin Law, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A:   Fifteen years old?   That is an easy call- time to buy a new CD player.

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