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a guide to digital
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a guide to digital

Nikon D40x
User guide


Pro 3800
Page 1

The EPSON Stylus Pro 3800 A2 printer

Digital cameras have been pushing image quality upwards for the past few years and now we are seeing affordable 8, 10, and 12+ megapixel cameras. This has meant photographers can now capture image quality that is at least, if not better, than similar shots taken on film stock. The next digital hurdle to overcome was the output. In the early days of digital imaging we were all convinced that the way to go was by writing digital files back to film. Many manufacturers did produce film writers, some of which were crude devices which just re photographed a high resolution CRT screen. The end result would invariably always go to a print.

EPSON Stylus Pro 3800 A2 printer

Although we have also seen a steady increase in print quality with inkjet printers, manufacturers were still gunning for the lucrative A4 market share. The first important milestone for printers was the introduction of the Epson Stylus Photo SP2100/2200 in 2004. This was a pigment ink printer that produced superb quality A3 size prints which were on par with traditional wet chemistry photographs. Now photographers and fine art artists could confidently sell their work in the knowledge that the print wouldn't fade before they had cashed the cheque. Of course, there were also some large format printers available, but for the average hobbyist and semi professional user these were, and still are, out of their price range.

2006 has been an important year for new printers, especially for larger format units. HP Canon and Epson all produced some exciting new models. Canon launched their Pro 9000 and announced the Pro 9500 (we are still waiting for this to materialise). HP launched the B9180 and announced its Z series printers. EPSON hasn't sat back on its laurels, the Pro 3800 was launched at Photokina 2006 and on 8 January, 2007, Epson announced the R1400 (A3 Claria dye ink) printer. The Pro 3800 printer is priced at £995 (+VAT) which places it between the R2400 (A3) and the Pro 4800 (also an A2 printer).

The Pro 3800 uses EPSON's well proven UltraChrome K3 inkset, these are the same inks as used by the R2400 and Pro 4800 (as well as Epson's larger format printers). The Pro 3800 uses eight 80ml ink cartridges containing; Photo Black, Light Black, Light Light Black, Matte Black, Magenta, Light Magenta, Cyan, Light Cyan and Yellow. Okay, so there are nine inks, but only eight inks are used at a time. Both black inks (Photo & Matte Black) are fitted, but depending on the media type you select from the menu, only one black is used. Incidentally K3 stand for 3 Blacks, the letter K is used to differentiate black from Blue (B).

Normally, on the first page of our reviews we would include a what’s in the box section, this can now be seen in our video on page 2 of this review.

Movie on page 2


17 January 2007

© Vincent Oliver 2008
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