Sony UP-DR200 - What we Think
The UP-DR200 is Sony's replacement for the UP-DR150, how does it stack up?
|What we think of the Sony UP-DR200 Photo Printer
Jan 2008 - Sony launch the UP-DR200 as a replacement for the UP-DR150
Sony is of course a household name in the electronics industry but not many people would know that it also makes dye sublimation printers and photo ID and Passport printing systems.
Sony has a range of photo printers and have a well established market share within the medical industry where there products are also used.
The UP-DR200 replaces the UP-DR150 and Sony have made some obvious improvements with this new printer. The UP-DR200 now has front loading for the media which makes it much easier to use in a flight case. The larger capacity media roll allows fewer media changes.
Sony's UP-DR200 printer can print 6x4, 7x5 and 8x6 but the popular 9x6 media is not supported (full frame on quite a few cameras these days) by the printer which seems strange as this is supported by the Mitsubishi CP9550, CP9600, CP9800, Hi-Ti P710L and the Citizen CW-01. This seems strange given that most of Sony's own cameras use this ratio. We are advised that Sony have recognised this and the inclusion of 9x6 media maybe something that will be added to later models in the future.
Like Kodak, Sony provides support for it's Dye Sublimation printers through a third party company rather than taking the servicing in-house. Other manufacturers choose to provide servicing themselves and have their own engineers who provide service and repair facilities. In our opinion we prefer manufacturers who provide support directly rather than entrusts this critical element to a third party company.
Print Speed & Quality
As with all Dye Sub printers the quality is going to be very good (there are a few exceptions) but the Sony is not one of them, print speed is fast but as we mention elsewhere for event photographers this is often not an issue. HOWEVER....There is a significant issue with the prints in that the top coating of the image can be easily scratched! - This is something we have only ever seen on some Kodak printers, but have never experienced with any other Dye Sublimation Printers. It seems very strange that this problem is seen on a brand new printer.
Sony also offer a type of Matte media for the UP-DR200 unlike many other manufacturers, although we find that where Glossy and Matte media types are offered (Mitsubishi CP3020, Kodak 1400 etc) sales of the Matte media are a fraction of the sales of the Glossy Media.
Whilst features like large media capacity and matte media option are unique to the UP-DR200 they aren't in our opinion enough of a reason to buy the Sony over other products particularly when you take into account the lack of 9x6 and the fact that the top protective layer can be easily scratched means the UP-DR200 is far from our first choice.
Sorry Sony, but there are better printers in the market and the UP-DR200 just doesn't cut the mustard against the stiff competition. Have Sony relied too much on their name to win over customers rather that create a printer that stands up against other manufacturers?