The EPSON Stylus Photo R3000 review
Page 1 – 3rd March 2011
It’s now nearly 10 years since photo-i was first launched with an interactive review of the Epson Stylus Photo 2100, this was the big breakthrough with pigment ink printing. Epson had previously launched a Stylus Photo 2000 printer but this printer didn’t catch the public’s imagination, or maybe as digital photography was still in its infancy, the 2000 was just too ahead of its time.
The SP2100 was an instant success due to its use of long lasting pigment inks which were claiming a life of 200+ years. Many photographers were now ready to move out of the darkroom and fully embrace digital photography. The SP2100 set a new bench mark for digital photo printing, the quality of photos that this printer could produce was excellent, traditional wet chemistry process now had a serious rival. The SP2100 remained the de-facto printer that every serious photographer wanted. This was replaced some three years later by the R2400, followed by the R2800 and R2880. Other dye ink based printers were also launched during this time, but for this review I will just stay with the UltraChrome pigment ink printer.
Earlier this year Epson announced yet another A3+ printer the R3000. This is not a replacement to the much loved R2880, but an addition to Epson’s professional line up which includes the R3880 an A2 printer. The R3000 is aimed at both the professional and advanced amateur photographer who may want to produce a short print run or limited edition prints.
The R3000 uses Epson’s tried and tested UltraChrome K3 ink set, which consists of 9 inks including the new Vivid Magenta and four blacks. Although all the inks are loaded into the printer, unfortunately you still have to perform a Matt & Photo Black swap routine. However, this has been greatly improved over previous models and now a very small amount of ink is used for the flushing process. Each cartridge has 25.9 ml of ink, not sure why Epson couldn’t have splashed out on the extra 0.1 ml and made it 26 ml, I’m sure they will have a reason. As with all Pigment ink printer inks, the cartridge has to be shaken before installation.
What’s in the box?
The printer we have here is a late pre-production model, I can’t confirm exactly what will be in the full package, but I assume the following items will be included.
- R3000 printer
- Rear roll media holders
- CD/DVD printing tray
- X9 ink cartridges
- Power cable
- Installation disks
Using past reviews I would also assume that there will be a Quick Start guide and usual warranty leaflets and maybe a sample pack of media.