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Author Topic: quandary on choice of software  (Read 8430 times)
PaulTopol
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« on: February 12, 2015, 09:49:51 PM »

I have been encouraged by the local supplier of my new Epson 9900 to use Mirage Print software.
They used to promote QI but now they sell Mirage and do not support QI anymore.

The price is about AU$745.00. Huge difference in price.
Not much difference in ability.

A couple of things I like compared to QI:
Tiling looks easier. This will encourage me to buy it because I want to make large murals.
Paper saving is easier. Automatically, if selected, cuts rows of pics to make trimming easier.
Canvas printing looks easier.

otherwise QI is amazing value for money.

Has anybody else looked at Mirage?

have a great day

Paul
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daniellouwrens
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 10:06:38 PM »

Hi

I know nothin about Mirage Print software but I gues that if Mirage can do it, QU can do it or will soon.

I am always suspicious if a site cannot get their spelling correct, "Englisch" is not how it is spelled....


cheers

Daniel
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2015, 02:07:27 AM »

I downloaded it just to see.  I'm gonna bend from what my mother always told me: "if you can't say anything nice, just don't say anything at all".  Smiley

640MB download and about a half hour to unzip it and install it.  All I can say is boy, if you want to see what a value QU is... by all means, try Mirage!

First thing I noticed is that I can't use it because none of my printers are supported.  Seems to only support the wide format printers so my R1900 and Fred's R2000 are not supported.  It also looks like it is marketed mostly as a plug-in for things like PhotoShop or LR because the Mirage Print module (which is what you must be comparing to QU) has no real UI.  The Mirage Print program is just a little postage stamp size "drop files here" window where you have to use explorer to locate your photos and then drop them in.  First thing I did was drop some raw files.  Won't recognize those.  So I tried some JPEG's.  Those worked and then it brought up a page viewer (aha... there's the UI: only visible after you drop images).  Even when the JPEG's are loaded, it seems very lacking on features.  It loads them at whatever size you have selected but then when you size them to something smaller, it doesn't even rearrange them: leaves them one per page.  So I really don't see how their arrangements could be easier than QU.  Would be easier printing in a program that's not even designed specifically for batch printing like LR.

Honestly, it looks to me like something someone threw together in a few weeks in a computer science class just to demonstrate the "concept" of multiple photo printing.  And as has been mentioned, their web page is broken english with many words misspelled and bad grammar.  I can't see how Epson is recommending this at all, much less over QU.  Of course, I can't print to compare quality since none of my printers are supported.  I have a Canon Pro 9000, Epson R1900, Epson R2000, and HP 8750, and none are supported.  So since it looks like a RIP, maybe there are some black and white features I'm unaware of that would make it beneficial in some way for some people.

I certainly don't see it being competition for QU for photographic printing at 10x the cost and maybe (being generous) 1/10 the features.  Normally this is where I'd say "maybe I'm biased" but I don't think so.  I say by all means, try both.  Wink  I only downloaded it to see if there were any features that are not in QU or anything they did more elegantly.  For the life of me, even though I only played with it for about an hour, I don't see anything in that software that is of any benefit over QU unless, as previously stated, it has some B/W printing features that only a RIP can have: for example, ability to turn off certain ink colors when printing B/W.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 02:09:24 AM by admin » Logged
PaulTopol
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 02:52:35 AM »

Mike,
Thankyou soo much for going to the trouble of trying it out.

I have been an advocate and prime fan of your outstanding software and support.
I have been using QI for as long as I have been printing. You can check yourself.
How can I encourage my printer supplier to go back to only supporting QI?

I will continue to promote only your software and use it for virtually all my printing.

A couple if things I do like about Mirage is the ease of making tiles (wallpaper for me) and separating lines of photos with the printer cutting after each line.

perhaps install the drivers for, say, an epson 9900 so the software will be fooled that you have such a printer. You might then find some of the features can be adopted by you.

Thankyou for your feedback.

Regards

paul
paul
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Winfried
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 11:03:13 AM »

They used to promote QI but now they sell Mirage and do not support QI anymore.
What does that mean: do not support QI anymore?
QI just needs the Epson driver and the ICC-profiles for the used paper.
So, I don't really see a problem.
Of cause your dealer wants to sell additional software. Maybe there are special profiles bundled for special papers with the software.
So you are caught twice.
If you compare printing with Mirage from Photoshop with the native and "professional" printing interface of Photoshop then Mirage looks like an improvement. But just in that case  Grin

As long as you are not in the printing business and you need the printer for proofing, I see no need for any rip-software. I am not sure whether Mirage can do CMYK-proofs or just uses the Epson driver.

Winfried
 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 11:04:59 AM by Winfried » Logged
PaulTopol
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2015, 07:04:59 AM »

What does that mean: do not support QI anymore?
QI just needs the Epson driver and the ICC-profiles for the used paper.
So, I don't really see a problem.
Of cause your dealer wants to sell additional software. Maybe there are special profiles bundled for special papers with the software.
[So you are caught twice.
If you compare printing with Mirage from Photoshop with the native and "professional" printing interface of Photoshop then Mirage looks like an improvement. But just in that case  Grin

As long as you are not in the printing business and you need the printer for proofing, I see no need for any rip-software. I am not sure whether Mirage can do CMYK-proofs or just uses the Epson driver.
]



Sorry I meant: do not encourage customers to buy QI nor instruct them on how to use it.
Mirage does not need Photoshop to print.
No special bundles that I have been shown.
I think Mirage is just a fancy way of using the driver and, from what I understand, it is not a RIP.
It also will not print from PDF nor RAW. Only jpg and tif.

It has some pretty features that I think I can use BUT my allegiance is definitely to Qimage.
Thanks for your comments.
Paul
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Winfried
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2015, 09:38:18 PM »

Mirage does not need Photoshop to print.
Yes, that is right. But it comes with a Photoshop plugin.
This "replaces" the ugly printing dialog in Photoshop.

Winfried
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MrPunch
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 12:34:42 PM »

I use both Mirage v3.1 and QImage and I wouldn't be without either. There's no need to choose one or the other. They're quite different in their approach and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If you're comfortable with QI keep using it, the support from Mike is great.
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 01:30:02 PM »

I use both Mirage v3.1 and QImage and I wouldn't be without either. There's no need to choose one or the other. They're quite different in their approach and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If you're comfortable with QI keep using it, the support from Mike is great.

As always, I'd be interested in your take on what you feel Mirage does that QU cannot do (or does better than QU).  I couldn't really see how Mirage could even be used for any reasonable batch printing jobs, but if you have the time, maybe you can set me on a path that I can actually get it to work (or see what you are using it for).  Maybe if you give me an example of what you are using Mirage for, I'll see some benefits that I can use to improve QU.  Would be great to get some insight from someone who uses both!

Regards,
Mike
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MrPunch
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 06:44:57 PM »

I use both Mirage v3.1 and QImage and I wouldn't be without either. There's no need to choose one or the other. They're quite different in their approach and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If you're comfortable with QI keep using it, the support from Mike is great.

As always, I'd be interested in your take on what you feel Mirage does that QU cannot do (or does better than QU).  I couldn't really see how Mirage could even be used for any reasonable batch printing jobs, but if you have the time, maybe you can set me on a path that I can actually get it to work (or see what you are using it for).  Maybe if you give me an example of what you are using Mirage for, I'll see some benefits that I can use to improve QU.  Would be great to get some insight from someone who uses both!

Regards,
Mike


QU is great for jobs where a large number of files have to be printed to a uniform size and with standard parameters. Or when we've been supplied with low-resolution images - after a little pre-treatment, I can usually get astonishing results using QU's on-the-fly interpolation and sharpening.

When working from image files that we've produced (we're fine art printers), Mirage handles the very large file sizes (anything from 300Mb to 3Gb) faster and more reliably than QU; setting up individual margins, crop marks etc. is much more straightforward than with QU. Mirage replaces the standard Epson driver, and all the settings you're likely to need are immediately to hand. If you have more than one Epson printer, Mirage will control them all using the same interface (it's simple to jump between printers).

Our non-fine-art services are fairly standard poster and display printing, for which clients typically supply us with PDFs, and this is where Mirage comes into its own: it looks like they've added a PostScript interpreter in the latest version because it will now handle even very complex PDFs quickly and accurately. If you have to handle PostScript, Mirage is worth considering: as well as the Photoshop plugin, you also get plugins for Illustrator and InDesign.

So Mike, you're right, doing large batch jobs via Mirage would be a pain - certainly not impossible but QU is the tool for that.

For jobs where there's a mixture of different sizes with varying margins and different types of crop marks on the same sheet, that's very straightforward with Mirage and considerably less so (or maybe impossible) in QU.

QU's interpolation and sharpening doesn't have a counterpart in Mirage. Mirage's PDF ripping ability doesn't have a match in QU.

These applications represent two very different approaches to making high quality prints, and I'm not sure that one should be considered a direct competitor to the other. From my point of view, having both at my disposal means I can do everything a stupid-priced RIP ($1500 - $2500) would do and a whole lot more. Even better, I can use the same ICC profiles with QU, Mirage and the standard Epson drivers.
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PaulTopol
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 12:17:20 AM »

Thanks guys for all your replies.

Mike, a nice feature in Mirage (not criticizing QI) is lining up each pic to make it easier to cut.
Just printed out 20 images. Didn't want to use "template" setting because it seemed to waste paper.
Selected "sort print" which has been pretty good before BUT cuts become a bit awkward with many pics not lining up to make easy cuts.
Mirage offers a method of printer cutting on each line of prints, saving on extra time for cuts.

NOT major! BUT a nice feature.

have a great day

Paul
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