Primera IP60 First Event Review
I want to open each of these reviews with a simple statement letting people know that I am, in no way, a professional reviewer. I am simply a multi-op photo booth company owner that wants to give this new printer a fair shake. I've been reaching out to Primera when I find what I feel are issues to make sure I'm not missing something silly and jumping the gun to say negative things.
I’ve now taken the printer out to it’s first event and overall - performance was exactly as expected. No issues, set up easily, prints were great, and clients loved them. I did need to get with support at Primera to fine tune the prints to get the desired results. My images had a pink hue to them on the prints that I didn’t notice on screen. Tinkered a bit and eventually turned my attention away from the printer to the other devices and tried resetting the white balance on my camera and voila, the images looked great. The IP60’s dye ink seems to be more sensitive to subtle color differences that the dye sub didn’t pick up.
Staying with the theme of printer settings - for photo booth applications you need to adjust the settings - change the color to vibrant, saturation of 100%, and Q2 quality level yielded the results I wanted.
I did notice that the prints were slightly thinner than what I’m used to from my dye sub counterpart - but not enough for the client to take notice and it wasn’t like it was 20lb paper or anything.
I also figured out that I misread the cost per print - the cost of 7.4 cents per print was for a 2x6 strip - not a 4x6 print (as I was able to print single 2x6 prints) so apples to apples, a 4x6 print on the primera printer is closer to 18.8 cents once you figure in the cost of the paper itself. Also, the usage program shows I used 70 percent of the ink cartridge and I wasn’t near 500 4x6 prints so I’ll have to keep an eye on that. I’ll get a true print count once I use up the first cartridge. Primera told me that they are planning to offer quantity discounts on ink cartridges soon. That will be a welcome move on their part as they seem to be more expensive right now than many of the prints I produce on my dye-sub printers.
This printer feels so light it seems fragile. After getting home, checked it for typical wear and tear and no scuffs or cracks. Granted - this is just 1 event, we’ll see how it does over time. I also noticed that when the prints first came out they had a little “tackiness” to them but that seemed to go away within a minute or so.
I also noticed the print time was fast for the actual printing (first sound of the printer doing something until the print drops) but the spooling plus print time was about the same speed (if not a second or 2 slower) than my DNP 620. I’m running a laptop with an i5 2.8Ghz processor and 8GB or ram so it’s not a slow running machine by any stretch of the imagination. I’m also running Darkroom Booth software.
The print catch was nice - just the right size and sturdier than some. It doesn’t stick out so much a user will bump into it and there’s no moving parts like some have that tend to snap off.
On a side note, after preparing this post, my attendant took it out last week and she loved it. I'll post another review after a solid 30 days of use as well.
Here’s a few more pros and cons:
1. Carrying this printer in and setting up was an absolute piece of cake - once again - it’s so light.
2. Not having to go through the loading of media upon setup was nice.
3. Images looked fantastic after fine tuning and needed no further adjustment after that.
4. 372 - 2x6 prints at this event with no issues.
5. I had NO strips sitting around being tossed or handed to the event coordinator at the end of the event due to people wanting an odd number of prints so my true print cost for the event is lower than simply the per-print cost
6. Printer ran with no issues - no jams, no difficulty with the computer finding it, and printed quickly.
7. As a multi-op, I’d feel better sending attendants with this printer as there are no worries with snapping ribbons and media changing is so much easier
1. Sort of a con - just doesn’t have that “strong as a tank” feel that my RX1 or 620 or Hiti printers have due to their weight and strong locking mechanisms
2. The default setting of the printer yields poor prints - need more documentation to walk through how to set up the printer for photo booth specific needs. Primera tells me they are fixing that this week.
3. The cost per print is high - my prints had a white background and the template a deep blue and the frame around the photos was colorful and the cost was about 9 cents per 2x6 strip when you figure in the paper cost. That ends up being almost double the cost of the Hiti 525 prints. With Primera’s new quantity discount on ink this will be less of an issue.
4. The waste catch falls off easily - make sure you dump it before moving or you’ll most likely have a mess. Primera tells me that they hadn’t anticipated this issue and are looking at it now.