Seybold San Francisco '99 informative trade show.

We are now preparing for DRUPA 2000 and Photokina 2000. The Review Editor of the Digital Imaging Technology Center will be on hand. We (Nicholas Hellmuth and Andrea David) also have reported on Photokina '98 and CeBIT '99 in Hannover (Germany). Press pass in hand we gathered information from trade shows related to graphics, printing, signs, and paper.

More than a dozen of the companies exhibiting at Seybold '99 have already provided products for review, and here they are:

Agfa Direct, their publications have the best illustrations of any;

Alps Electric, why pay $9,000 for a dye sub printer when Alps sells one for $500 ? (we were told Alps is out of business but evidently their nice printers are still for sale).

American Ink Jet Corporation, whether in the USA or Europe, you can find media for your wide format printer here;;

Apple Computer already supplied the computer on which this web site is written.

Calumet Digital Solutions, exclusive source for Sun Spots from NorthLightProducts; exclusive source for the Better Light large format digital scanning system;;

ColorSpan (test upcoming in mid-August); and

Consolidated Paper, their Futura Laser wins the "touch and feel" test for premium laser paper;;

EFI, Electronics for Engineering, their Fiery PostScript RIP server is a winner;;;

Encad, 24" and 36" models; their wide format printers are sure faster than those of HP;;;

GretagMacBeth, MacBeth was already a leader in color within photography and Gretag was already a leader in prepress. Combined they are even better;;

Heidelberg, whether under the name LinoColor, Linotype-Hell, the Heidelberg products stand for quality. For mid-range their Saphir Ultra2 is a good choice and for the higher end Heidelberg Prepress has additional models;,

Leica, prestige 35mm camera systems, now even a digital model;

Lexmark mades good laser printers for office use ;;

QMS mades excellent laser printers for office use and good enough for printing full-page photos at close to exhibit quality;;

Rexam Graphics has offices in most major countries, is one of the top three in media for wide format printers;;

Part of the test studio for digital imaging equipment at the left.

Seybold 99Since the emphasis is on the high end, the test equipment includes about 100 Gigabytes of storage (including a 36 GB RAID array) and 800 MB RAM in the Macintosh computer (supplied by the Advanced Technology dept. of Apple Computer). The purpose of all of this is to ascertain what are the most practical computer hardware peripherals for digital imaging.

In this picture, ViewSonic 21PS monitor, Panasonic DVD-RAM, Maxell DVD-RAM media, Panasonic CD-R, Pinnacle Micro Apex 4.6 GB MO drive, and a quantity of primarily Seagate Cheetah 10,000 rpm Ultra2 SCSI LVD hard drives.

Since our tests can last months and as our reviews usually last over a year, we accept only a few products at a time. But we often discuss other products in advance of getting them in-house, since we feel that certain hardware and software is so good that it deserves additional public relations.

* 3M Commercial Graphics Division,
* Accuplot (Mile High Engineering Company),
* AHT, UFO, (check out
* Amiable
* Applied Graphics Technologies
* Artbyte: The Magazine of Digital Arts
* Artes Graficas
* Barco, we like their 20 inch flat panel monitor
* Canto, Cumulus data management software, appears to be becoming the industry standard
* Color Savvy
* Colorbus
* Imacon, our first choice for a cost-effective vertical slide and film scanner.
* Itec (New Gen), laser printers
* Miro Displays (Radius)
* Monaco Systems
* Newer Technology
* Nikon; just about everything make is good; we have used two different models of Nikon 35mm film scanner and are content with them both, see reviews on
* Oce, wide format printers.
* Mimaki, wide format printers.
* Peachpit Press, the best source for books about digital imaging and Web design.
* Phase One, a high-quality 4x5 large format digital system and the only automatic QTVR object movie system in medium format.
* Pixo Arts Corp.
* Purup-Eskofot, large format flatbed scanners for professional pre-press, review on
* Ricoh
* Roland HiFi wide format printers.
* Silicon Graphics, sort of got clobbered by Microsoft and Intel, but the name Silicon Graphics is still the Rolls Royce of non-Macintosh computers, even more so than mighty Sun.
* Sinar Bron, top of the high-end in large format photography.
* Splash made a splash in PostScript RIP but EFI has not been lagging.
* Tally, good color laser printers (we just got a Tally T8204 color laser printer and find the quality of full-page photographs exceptional; this printer is reviewed on
* Tektronix, very good color laser printers.
* X-Rite, a respected name in color management.
* USI Laminate, for laminating wide format prints.


This page first posted Jan 23, 2000.
Previously updated Aug. 5, 2001. Design updated July 16, 2008.