Kodak Easyshare 5300

Kodak Easyshare 5300

Kodak needs to work a little harder to make its EasyShare 5300 printer more Mac-aware.

 

Kodak made the EasyShare 5300 all-in-one printer simple and affordable to maintain, but the company has a few things to work on
to compete in the Mac-friendly inkjet printer market.

 

Using the EasyShare 5300’s large 3-inch color LCD, rotating and cropping photos directly from our camera’s memory card was a snap. Print time for a 4-by-6-inch photo was about
a minute.

 

Kodak has a $17.99 Photo Value Pack that includes 180 sheets of 4-by-6 Kodak Photo Paper and a color ink cartridge. Kodak also has the Premium Photo Value Pack ($19.99), which includes 135 sheets of 4-by-6 Kodak Premium Photo Paper and a color ink cartridge. These packs are a super value. For example, all of Epson’s Stylus multifunction printers (including the Stylus CX5000) use individual ink cartridges; complete ink packs cost $37.04 on Epson’s website, and that doesn’t include any paper.

 

Value aside, print results with the EasyShare 5300 aren’t exactly photo-lab-quality. On some prints using paper from the value pack, the shadow areas appeared flat and lacked the rich tonality of Kodak’s more expensive medium and heavyweight papers, which produced true lab-quality results. Still, when we showed our EasyShare 5300 prints to others, most thought the prints were fine for photo albums and passing around.

 

The EasyShare 5300 uses pigment-based inks. Each color ink cartridge contains cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink, plus an antigloss-differential solution to even out areas of that don’t require color. Kodak calculated which colors are used most and adjusted ink levels in the photo cartridge accordingly. This allows them to run out at about the same time so little or no ink is wasted.

 

Kodak’s papers are line-coded on the reverse side so the printer can read the line code and adjust the print resolution and the amount of ink to use. This means you never have to adjust image-quality settings in the driver software. Noncoded third-party papers always print at the highest resolution. We tried some Red River papers and got excellent results.

 

Unfortunately, the EasyShare 5300 isn’t very Mac-friendly. If you’re still using Mac OS X Panther or anything older than Mac OS 10.4.8, fuggedaboutit - you can’t use this printer. And Kodak’s printer driver is infuriatingly slow. In some cases, it took more than a minute after we clicked Print for the printer to get going, and then the EasyShare 5300 printed a little, paused, printed a little more, and finally, like the Little Engine That Could, finished the job.

 

Kodak also has some speed improvements to make. Using a 933MHz Power Mac G4 with 1.5GB of RAM, a single-page Word document took 37 seconds to print in the EasyShare 5300’s draft mode, while the Epson Stylus Photo 870 (an 8-year-old inkjet printer) took just 15 seconds. A high-quality 5-by-7-inch photo took nearly 3.5 minutes on the EasyShare 5300; on a 5-year-old Epson Stylus Photo 2200, the same 5-by-7 took only 2 minutes, 37 seconds. Kodak says a fix for G3 and G4 Macs is in the works.

 

The bottom line. The EasyShare 5300 has plenty of room for improvement, but with its affordable price and low-cost consumables, the printer will pay for itself quickly.

 

COMPANY: Kodak

CONTACT: www.kodak.com

PRICE: $199.99

REQUIREMENTS: 800MHz G4 or faster or Intel processor, Mac OS 10.4.8 or later, USB

Good image quality. Affordable ink and paper. Easy to set up and use. Relatively fast when printing from a memory card. Pigment inks make for long-lasting prints.

Slow when used with a G3 or G4 Mac. Buggy printer driver. Can’t use paper profiles. Somewhat noisy.

 

 

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cate73

Printer driver to use with Mac OS 5 (Leopard I think) for a Kodak 5300 - what method can i use to print from my mac laptop to this printer? anything..?

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Nick

The lack of support for anything older than 10.4.8 is just plain stupid. It rules out this printer for what must still be a large user base of Macs.

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