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The quality of print from the dye sublimation process, where a solid ink sublimes to its vapour form, is very good. No matter how closely you look at the prints, there are no visible dots, which is why the process is known as continuous tone. It is sensitive to any dust falling on the paper, though, and this shows as, usually white, spots on your finished prints. Best not to move the printer around to much and to keep the covers on all the time.
Colour rendition is pretty good, though we did notice a slight yellow cast when compared directly with our digital originals, even after printer calibration. Greyscale prints are close to neutral, though with a very slight pink tinge.
One unexpected restriction with our review printer was that we couldn’t get a full A4 print. The printer started printing around 25mm from the top of the page and left a border of around 15mm at the bottom. The maximum image length we could achieve was 254mm, some way short of the A4 page length of 297mm. The Professional 1400 certainly can’t do A4 full-bleed.
Kodak claims a sound level of less than 60dBA from the printer and that’s what we found. In other words, it’s noisy when printing and most of that noise is intrusively high-pitched.
It’s particularly easy to work out how much each page from this printer costs to print, as Kodak sells a 50 page pack which includes both paper and a ribbon cartridge for exactly that number of prints. The cheapest we could find the pack for was £75, giving a cost per page of £1.50p. That’s for a full A4 page, but with the supplied EasyShare software – or with judicious layout skills in other applications – you can get three 15 x 10cm prints onto one sheet. That still brings them out at 50p each of course, which is pricey compared with typical ink-jets. You’ll also have to arrange to print all your images in groups of three if you want to keep wastage down and you’ll also have to cut out and trim smaller prints.
This is a no-fuss printer for the semi-pro or professional photographer who wants to print or proof 10 x 8-inch or A4 images in a repeatable and predictable way. Output quality is very good, especially with the water and fingerprint resistant Xtralife coating. However dust specks can be a problem and may restrict the Professional 1400’s use as an ‘event’ printer.
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