Epson Expression XP-30 review – page 3
For the second part of this test I have used the test chart that I use to test high end photo quality printers costing several hundreds of pounds.
I am using our new test chart, which contains elements from our original chart, namely Sophie, the cotton reels and the colour/grey gradients. I have also included text, graphics and a larger B/W image.
The test print was made on Epson Photo Paper (glossy) this is not their premium media, but probably well suited to this printer. I have used the Printer Manages Colours setting in Photoshop and just let the printer do its job. The A4 print took 3 minutes 55 seconds to complete, not one of the fastest times around but the quality is good. You can download a copy of our test file for your own private use, just click on the above photo and save the file.
Sophie’s delicate skin tones are looking oversaturated, an Adjustment layer using curves in Photoshop or PaintShop can easily cure this. The cotton reels are also oversaturated, the black reel has lost the thread detail and the dark blue reel is also starting to lose detail in the shaded area. The B/W image is remarkably cast free with excellent detail in the shadow area, whilst still retaining highlight details. The XP-30 has produced better B/W prints than many printers costing five times or more than this printer. The black on white text is very crisp with no break up of characters, but the white on black text is breaking up especially on the letter “e” and other fine lines.
Perhaps this test chart is too detailed for this printer, but I wanted to include it in this review so you can see how it compares to other printers we have tested. On the whole it has produced a clean looking print, I am particularly impressed with the B/W photo.
Epson have produced a very good printer at a rock bottom price, I don’t know how they are going to make any money on this printer. It has produced an excellent set of prints that will satisfy most users. However, if you are after a high quality printer for your digital camera gear then you will have to dig deeper into your pocket and look to Epson’s range of six or eight ink photo quality printers.