Palladium is a MUCH cheaper way to go when learning. Shop around for prices too, as they vary quite a bit. The image color of palladium can be altered by your choice of paper, developers and the developer temperature. I like really warm brown-black images, so like to print on COT 320 or Rives BFK with 140 degree potassium oxalate developer. I can take the same palladium coating mix and develop a print with room temperature ammonium citrate and it will be an almost neutral black. Most of the pre-packaged kits will use ammonium citrate as the developer. I find you can get most of your image color control with developer choice and temperature control of the developer.