Silhouette’s latest plotter is on the market for a while now. Therefore it’s high time to go in for it. Recently Cameo 4 moved in with me, so I’d like to give you my first impressions and have a look on what’s new.
Zur deutschen Version geht’s hier lang.
Hesitated for a long time
If a plotter is useful or nice to have only, I have explained in a former blog post (German only, sorry). These thoughts are the same for Cameo 4. It is still a useful assistant for a lot of different applications. Maybe even more with those new features. So, why did I wait so long until I bought it? After all, C4 is available since end of last year. I collected first information about it during a retailer event and wrote about results in this blog post (German again, sorry).
With new 4th generation came an announcement on bigger machine versions. Besides the “usual” 12 inch standard machine there will be a “Plus” version with 15 inch and even a 20 inch “Pro” version. Bigger is better, I thought, because space for playing around will be increased. So I wanted the whole nine yards and originally I decided to wait for the big one.
Plus version was released beginning of this year, Pro was announced for May. Wether it was the virus or other determining factors, I don’t know. In fact the 20 inch version still is not on the market. Referring my inquiry in the US, they gave September as release date, but without guarantee.
This was too uncertain for me. In autumn my new Cameo workshops will start at the adult education center and I want to be prepared properly. They couldn’t tell me the precise price for the big version here in Germany, too. Most probably it will be above 500 Euro. That’s no more “hobby” machine then, to my opinion. And my original intent to test the device “live” before buying it on a trade fair for example was busted by the virus – just as the fairs were busted, too.
So, I took a deeper thought on it and decided that the additional benefit of 20 inch against 30 inch will neither justify waiting any longer nor the higher price. As Cameo 4 is available now for some time I was able to purchase it at a good price in addition.
There it is
Unpacked and deployed. What is the first impression? Dimensions have changed. It is wider and higher and so I had to lower mein pull-out cabinet to fit under my tabletop.
That would have worked for instance with Plus version only with a bigger shelf. Which would not had enough space under my 60 cm desk. There wouldn’t have been hardly enough space for Pro version. And even though I am privileged to have an own room for my hobby, space isn’t endless. If you want to purchase such a big plotter, you should have a place for it.
Take a deeper look
So what are the differences to Cameo 3? Here are my first impressions on what’s new with Cameo 4.
- The lid can be moved backwards, which saves space. C3’s lid swings open to the top and takes a lot of space. Now it is an advantage for all of you that have their Cameo in a shelf compartment for example.
- Roll feeder is now already integrated into the machine. This is interesting for user only that work with vinyl rolls. I have plottered wall stickers, for which a vinyl roll is very useful. In the past you had to purchase a roll feeder separately. To be honest, the roll feeder feature seems to be not too stable. This is my impression, as soon as I have tested it, I’ll let you know.
- The driving belt is hidden now. On the old version it was installed right over cutting space and freely accessible. Now it is up above under the top. Please, never mess with the driving belt, especially not with machine switched on! If you have to move blade holder, please do it only with Cameo powered off. Otherwise the machine can be damaged.
Not everything is better now
- Storage compartment. A real step backwards. When the old C3 had a relatively big compartment underneath cutting area (where I stored for example my weeding hooks), now this was replaced by the roll feeder. What’s left is this mini compartment, where at most you can store an adapter or a replacement blade. With some luck and fumbling you can add the little manual blade adjuster. But I wouldn’t call it a real storage space.
- That so-called “manual” is still as poor as it was before. It doesn’t come with the machine but has to be downloaded and deals with Silhouette Studio software mostly (19 of 29 pages…). In other words, a plotter newbie will not find a real guidance how to handle the machine properly. This is one of the reasons why I offer plotter workshops.
- New display is very fancy. Appearing from nowhere it lights up on the housing, including characters in the middle. With those “buttons” on the right you have access to basic features.
And because my new machine had to be customized immediately, I created my blog logo and a floral ornament as stickers. Weeding that logo (those smallest pieces are sized 1×0,5 mm) was a big challenge… 😉
So, this were my first impressions on what’s new with Silhouette Cameo 4. You will find more information on advanced features and options here at HirschEngelchen soon!