Sometimes, being a fellow Nikonian has sparkling advantages.
I had the pleasure of attending an official hands-on presentation of the brand new Epson Stylus Photo R3000 printer and it is a pleasure to share my impressions with you.
"Ah, yet another printer, move on, move on," you might think. But, allow me to mention that this device has indeed impressed me by demonstrating two vital points: 1) Epson listens to customers and is willing to act accordingly 2) Epson is able to further improve the achievable print quality
|Epson Stylus Photo R3000|
The new SP-R3000 printer utilizes the same excellent UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta pigmented ink system already known from the R2880 and R3880 printers. In fact, the R3000 forms a new member of that family. This ensures an output quality that will be at least as good as everybody expects it to be. A droplet size reduction from 3 picolitres to 2 pl along with print algorithm refinements yields improved tonal transitions and even a slight expansion of the printer gamut, squeezing the last bit of quality out of the ink formulation.
Although this is good news in itself, it won't rock anybody who is familiar with the already famous Epson print quality. Neither will the substantial increase of ink cartridge capacity, now almost 26 ml. That is certainly a valuable improvement but not a killer feature in my opinion.
The real revolution resides under the front lid: Epson incorporated a media feeder which I consider fool-proof and which is such a joy to use that this alone justifies a purchase. Believe me, you won't ever experience a misaligned print or paper feed issue with this device. All the awkward handling hiccups of the family members are overcome. The paper alignment and transport are so precise that it is indeed no problem to print borderless without any artificial oversizing engaged. Just crop the image to meet the exact sheet dimensions and print borderless without any worries of paper white strips along the edges. This is good proof of the engineering efforts and manufacturing quality that constitutes the SP-R3000 printer.
Many customers were not overly happy with the need to exchange photo black and matte black cartridges on the R2880 device, the "elder brother". Epson revamped the cartridge system, inspired by the R3880 solution and incorporated an automatic switching of black inks depending on the paper media that the operator selects in the printer driver.
Since the cartridges are now "externalized" and feed the print head via tubes, the switchover involves tube purging which, inevitably, spills roundabout 1 millilitre of black ink. The switching procedure is cleverly sequenced such that the tube purge is actually executed only before the print starts.This means, you can change and revise your media settings in the driver as many times as you wish. The tube purge becomes effective only if necessary and ultimately before the print job starts.
From what I have seen, the new R3000 printer inherited winner genes and might cause the R28880 a hard time. Frankly speaking, the SP-R3000 features everything one may wish from an A3+ size printer. Be it WiFi/cable network integration, adequate cartridge capacity, effortless paper feed, profile support for lots of fine art media in top quality, local operation aided by colour display and wizards. It is a serious quality tool in every respect and performs with a lot of customer orientation in mind.
I am curious what else Epson has in the pipeline. The SP-4900 LFP ? the SP-R3000 - ? My glass bowl is opaque but I am convinced they will not stop at this point.
|Epson Stylus Photo R3000|
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