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How to get a discount on a new large format printer -- and free up office space too

How to get a discount on a new large format printer — and free up office space too

Technology ages — and as printers come out with more efficient designs and higher image quality, replacing aging equipment makes sense. But what do you do with your old printer? Use it to make your new printer cost even less. HP is currently running a trade-in program for DesignJet and PageWide XL printers through the end of July. With the HP DesignJet and PageWide Trade-In, upgrading to a newer model is an even more cost effective solution — here’s how it works.

First, chat with a representative at Photo Direct to check for trade-in eligibility. With a long list of available trade-ins for DesignJet and PageWide printers, chances are good that your older model is on the list.

Before filling out a trade-in request, you’ll need to know what printer you’d like to trade up to, so while you’re chatting with us, explore the latest options from HP that may work for you. The latest DesignJet, for example, is the Z6 and Z9+ with HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Ink for better prints with more efficient performance.

Next, fill out a trade-in request and send it in following the instructions on the form. HP will respond via email with a no obligation quote. You have 45 days to decide whether or not use the offer. To accept the trade-in, use the link provided in the email and enter your information. You’ll also need a proof of purchase for the new HP printer.

Finally, you’ll send in the old printer back to HP. Once the company receives the old printer, you’ll receive a refund for that portion of the new printer, as specified in the trade-in agreement.

HP’s trade-in program solves a couple of common issues with upgrading to the latest technology. One, it reduces the cost of the new printer via a rebate. And two, it frees up office space for the new gear in an ecologically responsible way.

Ready to submit your trade-in, or have questions on the program? Photo Direct can help with trade-in requests — just remember, the deadline for HP’s current program is July 31.

What is HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Technology - and what’s the big deal?

What is HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Technology – and what’s the big deal?

Printing technology is a scientific dance between ink, paper and printer. New innovations create higher quality printers, more efficient inks and higher standards in overall print quality. HP’s latest innovations are something called HP Pixel Control and dual drop technology. So what in the world is HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Technology? Here’s what the tech inside HP’s latest DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ does — and what it means for you.

HP Pixel Control

HP Pixel Control is all about colour — and not just any colour, but consistent colour. The technology allows the printer to read colour in each pixel to allow for greater colour detail and identical results between print runs.

HP mixes that colour consistency with the HP Nozzle Architecture, and the mix of those two technologies creates greater ink efficiency. The DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ only need nine inks instead of the 12 inks earlier generations required. So along with colour consistency, HP Pixel Control is more cost effective — because fewer inks means fewer inks to buy.

Dual Drop Technology

That HP Nozzle Architecture that helps create more efficient inks? That’s also part of HP’s new Dual Drop technology. Dual Drip Technology is simply a combination of the HP Nozzle Architecture with high-definition printheads. Together, the combination allows for clearer details, along with more contrast between colours, when compared to earlier generations. With the HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Technology working together, the new DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ deliver higher quality prints.

Additional tools

HP’s latest DesignJet printers deliver high quality printers with efficient ink use and print speeds. But HP has also built in a handful of tools that help make the large format printers easy to use. HP Applications Center is included for designing posters and original signs. The software even builds in augmented reality features, which means viewers can scan the poster with a smartphone and watch it come to life. The software also has Adobe Stock built-in, along with free graphics from Unsplash and tools from Vecteezy and Pattern Design.

HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Technology mix with the DesignJet’s fast print speeds and high-end image quality while offering excellent value for large format printers. To find out if the HP DesignJet Z6 or Z9+ are right for your business, contact Photo Direct today.

Enhanced speed and image quality in the advanced, yet affordable HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+

Enhanced speed and image quality in the advanced, yet affordable HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+

The larger the print, the longer the print time, right? – Not any more, HP have recently released a wide format printer that challenges those norms. The HP DesignJet Z Printer series, in 24 and 44 inch options, offer both fast and high quality photos.  So how did HP manage to get both speed and quality in one printer? Here’s a look behind the technology in the newest members of the DesignJet Z series.

Speed

The DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ printers boasts the fastest print time in the industry compared to similar large format printers. The secret behind that speed? Integration. HP integrated the materials, hardware and software together. By fine-tuning each aspect to work with the others, the Z6 and Z9+ are able to achieve a greater level of efficiency compared to other options on the market.

Some of the Z6 and Z9+ models also offer one more way to save time — with a built-in vertical trimmer. The trimmer speeds up what happens after the printer spits out the image, allowing for faster trims and speeding up the process from printing to delivery.

The print speed, combined with the built-in trimmer, delivers print speeds up to 2.5 times faster, with an increase in post-production efficiency by 20 percent.

Image quality

Today’s digital cameras are steadily adding on the megapixels, and printers need to keep up with the increasing quality. To boost quality (as well as efficiency) HP took another look at the printer nozzles. The HP Nozzle Architecture in the Z6 and Z9+ uses dual drip technology. The upgraded design on the nozzle head helps give details additional clarity and colour more contrast.

The upgraded nozzles also work together with HP Pixel Control, a new technology that enhances the print quality by allowing the printer to control each pixel.

Enhanced speed and image quality are just two of the features in the advanced, yet affordable HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+. Chat with a Photo Direct professional today to learn more on the new printers or follow the blog for upcoming details.

Yes, quality, speed and efficiency can co-exist: A look at the new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+

Yes, quality, speed and efficiency can co-exist: A look at the new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+

Choosing a large format printer requires several elements to work together. There’s, of course, the print quality. But, there’s also factors like print speed, ink efficiency, and extra features that help printers, photographers, and other artists deliver high quality work with an efficient budget. With HP’s latest large format series, the company is synchronising hardware, software along with the ink and printing surface to maximise performance in all those categories.

Available beginning June 7th, the HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ series encompasses large format printers designed for a mix of high print quality, fast performance and efficient ink usage. How? The hardware and software were designed specifically for each other, allowing the printer to capitalise on quality, speed and efficiency. HP says the printer is designed to keep up with growth in the industry as large photo merchandising jumped by seven percent last year alone.

The HP DesignJet Z6 launches in three variations with a 24-inch, a 44-inch and a 44-inch that adds a vertical trimmer. All three are Postscript printers. The Z9+ series also launches with 24-inch, 44-inch and a 44-inch with a vertical trimmer.

So what’s the difference between the Z6 and Z9? The Z6 series is designed for photo quality prints for a number of different types of prints, while the Z9+ is a Geographical Information Systems printer that works with final images designed to resist moisture and fading. Meanwhile, the option with a vertical trimmer helps boost productivity with 2.5 times the speed.

The series encompasses some of HP’s latest technology, including HP Pixel control for truer colours and dual drop. The series also includes security software to keep data and print information safe. Watch the blog for more details on just how these technologies work together in the new series.

Call Photo Direct (03) 9894 1644 and speak to one of our trained staff members to assist you further. Personal demonstrations are available in our CBD show room – simply call to book an appointment.

4 Reasons Print Shops Should Consider Web to Print (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think)

4 Reasons Print Shops Should Consider Web to Print (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think)

E-commerce powers many businesses today — and allows consumers to find all kinds of odd and previously hard-to-find items. But what does the shift towards online shopping mean for print shops? Web to print is a service that allows customers to order and ship prints online — and the many perks could offer a boost to even traditional brick and mortar shops. Here’s why — and why it’s not as complex as you might think.

Give customers the convenience of printing anytime.

Many of the benefits to web to print are the same as using e-commerce for other physical products. Chief among them, is that customers can shop on their own schedule, whether that’s in their PJs at 1 a.m. or while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. All customers need with web to print is their digital files, an internet connection and a form of payment to order from a web to print service. That convenience could drive more customers to a business over competitors without the service.

Go beyond regional reach.

Continuing the perks that apply to multiple business segments in e-commerce, the web to print offering allows businesses to sell prints all over the world if the service is combined with shipping. With web to print and shipping, businesses can both offer more convenience for local customers while also extending the reach to non-local customers. The service will help keep existing customers returning, but can also help even small businesses reach more customers by expanding reach beyond just one city.

Spend less time investment on each customer.

When customers order online, they stop in store just to pick up the order, or maybe even not at all if that order is shipped. Using an online ordering system helps free up customer’s time as well as your employees. When online ordering streamlines the process, you can dedicate the extra time to marketing the new service or another task you’ve been meaning to tackle.

Offer faster service.

Web to print often doesn’t need extra work getting the file ready to print. Combined with the easier ordering system, using print to web, many print shops can offer a faster turn around time. Brick and mortar stores can even hold an edge over the global print giants by allowing local in-store pickup, eliminating the time necessary for shipping to offer an even shorter turnaround time.

But isn’t web to print hard to do?

The web to print trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by printer companies — which means that, for print shops, adding a web to print service is often painless. Diland Web, for example, offers an online software that’s identical to in-store kiosks. The software allows customers to use the same system as the in-store prints to send prints to your shop. The service easily integrates with studios already using a Diland Studio kiosk and still allows for redos, order editing and other easy features. The software even offers printing from a mobile device.

Still debating? Find out exactly what adding a web to print service would mean for your business by contacting Photo Direct today.

3 Creatives Share How Canon In-House Printing Drastically Changed Their Business

3 Creatives Share How Canon In-House Printing Drastically Changed Their Business

Canon’s Pro line may be known for its stunning images — but that doesn’t mean the printers are used solely for images. So what do non-photographers have to say about in-house printing with Canon’s line-up? An illustrator, prop designer and videographer recently shared insight on printing with Canon — and how the tech changed their business.

Megan Hess, Illustrator

Megan Hess, an artist known most for her illustration on the cover of Sex and the City, uses the imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 and Pro-2000 from the Canon Pro series for printing her fashion designs in-house. The illustrator, which has worked on canvases from postage-stamp sized to graphics that cover the side of an entire building, says that printer her work allows her to control the details in the graphics.

“The benefit of printing in house is that I can keep a close eye over the detail, which is a fundamental aspect of my design process. Partnering with Canon gives me the peace of mind that the exact colours, the line work, and detail is reproduced precisely as I envisioned it,” Hess says.

The artist added that prints create more value than a digital art piece.

Captain America – Winter Soldier, Prop Master Russel Bobbitt

Canon’s ProGraf IPF8400 even had a hand in creating Captain America – Winter Solider. Property Master Russel Bobbitt says that the printer was used for several aspects of the film. Since a single prop could cost up to $200,000, the art team created detailed illustrations before manufacturing and the Image ProGraf IPF8400 printer created large-scale images of those ideas.

Prints even made it into the film, when the scene required art on the walls. The printer handled a life-sized version of a weapon and even Captain America himself in a life-size reproduction. Having an on-site printer also helped to bring down costs and the ability to put 18 different types of files on a USB drive and print them right away also helped create a more convenient workflow for the prop master.

“I seek out the best tools that I can find,” Bobbitt says. “I’m a firm believer that you are only as good as your tools.”

Ori Media, Videography Studio

So how does a videographer use a large-format printer? Ori Media produces both video and stills, a versatility that owner Michael Ori says has helped to build the business. In an hour, the client can walk away with 4K video and high-end prints using teamwork and a Canon ProGraph IPF8400.

“When you are building a small business, shooting a hybrid is the only way to go,” Ori says. “Pulling stills from video saves time and helps make more money.”

Ori says that the printer look so nice that they set it up in the entry way — which often prompts customers to ask for prints and helps drive up sales. The printer offers the versatility to work with a number of different papers and offers excellent print quality with “unreal” clarity, he said.

Outside-the-box thinking and an in-house printer can help many different types of creatives explore new possibilities. Ready to explore yours? Ask a Photo Direct specialist to assist you on your creative journey today.

5 photographers share their in-house printing secrets

5 photographers share their in-house printing secrets

Moving from using a print service to creating large format prints in-house can feel like a daunting task — but many professional photographers suggest the transition was as smooth and seamless as those giant prints. Five photographers recently shared the different ways they use Canon’s large format and photo printers in-house — and what they wish they knew before they made the switch.

Darren Jew, Underwater Photographer

As an underwater photographer, capturing an image for Darren Jew is much more than taking a walk down the street with a camera in hand — and the printer finishes the process. “I feel a photograph isn’t really complete until it has been printed — it’s the final expression of what my vision was when I took the picture,” he said.

The underwater photographer says his current Pixma Pro and large format printer line by Canon delivers the best quality that he’s seen yet, while the DreamLabo printers allow high-quality prints packed inside of a photo book.

Eugene Tan, Photographer and Gallery Owner

Switching to an in-house printer, for Eugene Tan, allows his beach gallery to create cost-effective images all on site, including anything from foam core prints to giant wall mounts. The photographer has even worked with Canon to print one of his images on the bottom of a pool. Tan chose the Pro Series printers because, in his work flow, he prints off small test images, then fine-tunes the colours to perfection, then moving to the large format print.

Tan says the software is surprisingly simple with just a click and drag that made it easy for his staff to make the switch to printing in-house. With the large format printers, Tan’s gallery can create same-day prints, or leave large print stock runs overnight.

Jeremy Cowart, Photographer

But large format printers aren’t just for displaying images.  When well-known photographer Jeremy Cowart couldn’t find the exact backdrop that matched his vision for a shoot, he asked a graphic designer friend to create one. Using the Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-4000, the photographer had a custom 40 by 60” background — and it only took a half a hour.

Andy Farrer, Landscape Photographer

Outsourcing prints is actually what led Andy Farrer to his own in-house printing system. After getting a large format shot outsourced, he was so impressed by the quality, he asked the shop what printer they used. He then decided to test out the Canon PRO-2000 himself and was so impressed that he bought two Pro line printers in two sizes. Besides lowering the print costs, the change helped add another income source to his business too.

“If, like me, you print on both glossy/lustre and matte/fine art papers, it used to mean printing in batches to minimise wasting ink, which in reality is an utter pain,” he said.   ”…the PRO Series doesn’t waste a single drop of ink when switching from photo black to matte black as it has its own proper ink head for each.”

Clive Booth, Commercial Photographer

While working with a luxury brand, a tiny LCD screen is no way to show off the quality of your work. That’s why photographer Clive Booth used an on-site 12 ink Canon iPF PRO-4000 to create proofs for the client before even leaving the site, showing the quality and colour of the images.

“There’s nothing better than seeing your work in print, nothing,” he said. “ It’s the only way a photographer can truly show their vision to another person.”

For more information on Canon’s large format printer range, reach out to the Photo Direct Customer Service team at (03) 9894 1644.

4 Photo Booth Event Photography Secrets with Photographer Jess Pace

4 Photo Booth Event Photography Secrets with Photographer Jess Pace

Photo booths are the instant photography of the 21st century, bringing instant printable photos to parties and events while creating keepsakes for the hosts. Jess Pace has been running a photo booth company, In an Instant Photography, for nearly 10 years, now working full time with her fiancé, Seb. We sat down with Jess to gather insight on the industry — and what photographers can do to get started in the growing industry.

Running a photo booth is an enjoyable way to own your own business

In an Instant Photography launched after Jess brought a light and a camera to a friend’s party — she enjoyed the experience so much that she later launched her business. Jess wasn’t a stranger to photography, however — she initially studied photography with plans of pursuing fashion photography, then worked with Pioneer Studios – now Sun Studios — for eight years before running her own company full time.

“I’ve also always been quite passionate about owning my own business and working for myself, I enjoy the freedom and responsibility of running a business,” she said.

But running a photo booth can also be a physically demanding job — with long hours

While part of her job means attending parties for a living, Jess says that running a photo both isn’t always fun and games. “Owning a photo booth involves quite a lot of physical labour, be ready for long days and late nights,” she says. “Although it’s incredibly rewarding! You definitely have to be a people person, as you’ll be interacting with loads of people at every event.”

Jess also recommends joining a Facebook group of other photo booth owners for tips and advice, including Photo Booth Owners Australia / New Zealand and Australian Photo Booth Friends.

Gear is a necessary but straight-forward part of running a photo booth event photography business

In an Instant Photography uses the Simple Booth App, an iPad and the DNP DS40 photo printer. The company also brings their own halo studio lighting, which helps give the company an edge over the competition by providing simple, studio-worthy lighting. Using an open air booth rather than an enclosed space also allows the photo booth to accommodate large groups.

Jess says her printer is efficient — and hasn’t had a major breakdown. “[DNP printers] are so efficient, we’re always receiving comments from guests at events at how quick they print out the images,” she said.

What about marketing?

Jess says word of mouth is their best form of advertising, but the photo both event photography company also runs promotions on Instagram, in wedding magazines and at wedding fairs. The duo also works to request reviews, earning a five-star rating on Facebook to keep new clients coming.

Like other businesses, Jess and Seb had to find what separated them from the rest of the industry — with easy to use gear and a fun personality, their company has thrived. “Because it’s just myself and my fiancé Seb who run In An Instant, you’re dealing with two passionate business owners who love being at every event that we’re hired for,” she said. “We’re quite attentive to our clients and guests throughout the entire process, from booking us via email through to the end of the event. We’re always told from our clients that what really made us stand out from the rest was how we interacted with the guests and how easy the booking process was. We’re just two fun and easy going people, so we’re just being ourselves!”