Current version: v2018.108   |   released: August 8, 2017
Qimage Ultimate innovations in digital imaging:

Qimage Ultimate opens new doors with cutting edge technology not found in any other software:

>>> "RIP-like" industry leading photo printing algorithms
  New Vanish tool removes distractions from photos
  New Deep Focus Sharpening: a Qimaqe Ultimate exclusive
  Fusion interpolation: a Qimaqe Ultimate exclusive
  Cutting Edge Color Management (ICC aware) Support
  Ability to optimize and properly format photos for online printing services
  Tone Targeted (Selective) Sharpening
  Comprehensive Raw Photo Support
  Single Raw HDR

New in Qimage Ultimate 2017.115: put your printer into overdrive!

New overdrive interpolation setting drives your printer at double its native resolution (4x the pixels) for the most detailed prints possible!

We always strive to improve Qimage Ultimate so that it can make the most of improvements in printer hardware.  Today's printers typically run at the same native driver resolutions as they did a decade ago: either 600 or 720 PPI.  We've found that the latest printer models can actually render detail well beyond these native resolutions, particularly on glossy or semi-gloss papers.  Qimage Ultimate 2017.115 now allows you to "overdrive" your printer beyond the native driver resolution to get even finer detail (see example below).

One reason that manufacturers have not increased native driver resolution beyond 600-720 PPI is that most software can't handle sending the (4x) extra data to the driver without running into memory issues.  With Qimage Ultimate's proprietary print engine that actually manages print data rather than overwhelming the driver by trying to pass all the data at once, the sky is the limit!  So when you need your prints to pass the highest level of scrutiny, feel free to use the new overdrive option.

2400 PPI scans of actual prints showing extreme micro detail at high magnification
These scans show ~1/4 inch wide test strips of prints from the Canon Pro-100
Native driver resolution (600 PPI) on the left. New overdrive (1200 PPI) on the right.

 

Resampling to Native Printer/Driver Resolution: Does it Really Help?

In this July 2011 article, we debunk the myth that there is nothing to gain by resampling to your printer driver's native resolution (PPI).

Qimage Ultimate - The World's Smartest Photo Printing Algorithms

Benefits:

  1. Maximum detail: Qimage knows the native resolution used by every Windows printer driver and will automatically resample using the highest quality interpolation and antialiasing algorithms to ensure that prints of any size have the maximum detail possible!  Bypassing the printer drivers' rudimentary scaling algorithms provides maximum quality for small and large prints alike!

  2. Consistent sharpness: Qimage's smart sharpening takes many factors into account when producing final prints to ensure that your 13x19 photos look as good and have sharpness equivalent to your 4x6 snapshots!  All calculations are performed transparent to the user.  There is nothing to adjust on a print-by-print basis!

  3. Data handling: Smart data management means sending image data to printer drivers in smaller chunks rather than overwhelming drivers by dumping the entire image at once.  Qimage's proprietary printer driver data streaming not only ensures more reliable printing, but it also allows Qimage to succeed in printing gargantuan prints where other tools fail.  In addition, Qimage can overcome printer driver length limitations entirely if the driver offers a roll paper/banner paper selection, allowing Qimage to go far beyond the 44 or 127 inch limit of your driver!  It is not uncommon, for example, to hear from Qimage users who have printed one contiguous panoramic print 20 feet long when their Epson driver stops at only 127 inches!

  4. Eliminate job-to-job setup errors: Qimage's automated job log and its ability to save/recall jobs and printer settings ensures that once you get all the variables just right for your setup, you'll never have to set those parameters again!  Do you use multiple printers or just multiple papers with different ICC profiles that require specific printer driver settings?  Just set them once, save, and recall at any time.

Compared to Photoshop
Actual scanned print example (rose stamens)
~ 1 inch close-up of 40x30 inch print
Open photo and print w/identical printer driver settings

Photoshop CS4

Qimage Ultimate

 


Compared to Lightroom 3
Actual print enlargement from original Sigma SD14 1:1 crop

Lightroom 3

Qimage Ultimate

 


Compared to Lightroom 4
Scan of actual 24x16 inch print

Lightroom 4

Qimage Ultimate 2012

 


Notes on above comparisons:

  • In Qimage Ultimate, printer driver settings were selected for paper, quality, etc. and image was printed with all program defaults.

  • In PS and LR, "print resolution" was set to 600 PPI to give PS and LR the best chance of matching QU using interpolation.

  • Identical printer driver settings were used in all programs.

  • Canon Pro 9000 used for comparisons, which has a native 600 PPI driver resolution.

  • Qimage Ultimate picked 600 PPI as the printing default because it read the native resolution from the Canon driver automatically.

  • LR 4 picked 240 for the default print resolution which does not match the native 600 PPI driver resolution, even in multiples.

  • LR 4 results at its default 240 PPI were much worse than the 600 PPI used for the above LR 4 print.

  • When 600 PPI was selected in LR 4, a warning appeared: "You have chosen a high resolution for printing which could cause memory issues or a failure to print on some systems".  We used a small test strip in all tests to avoid Lightroom's memory issues.

  • No such warning appears in Qimage Ultimate with its (default) 600 PPI because it knows how to manage data for large prints.

  • LR warning messages aside, the above represents the best print quality possible in each application.

Keep in mind that other applications that offer photo printing just were not designed with optimal print quality in mind.  Whether you are an amateur or professional, printing is the culmination of your photography.  It is the end result of why you carry that camera!  Why trust this final rendering of art to anything but software that was designed to make the most of it?  Qimage Ultimate printing quality exceeds that of any other application available.  I know how frustrating it is to live in a world where many companies don't deliver on their claims.  My company is proud to be the exception to that rule!  But don't take my word for it: give Qimage Ultimate a try and see for yourself!

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