Page 11 – 29th March 2011
The last 10 years have been a very exciting time for photographers, we have seen many dramatic developments from fully automated SLR cameras through to sophisticated digital cameras. Of course taking a picture is only the starting point, many of you may have had experience in a darkroom and perhaps enjoyed watching a print magically appearing in a developing dish. When we first started photo-i digital printing was very much in it’s infancy, the ultimate printer for producing anything that could be called a photo was a dye sublimation printer. This is a printer that heats up dye ribbons to transfer the image onto special paper, the limitations are media size, generally 10×8 or smaller. Epson led the photo printing market into new territories with their Epson Stylus Colour, a 720dpi four colour printer. This was followed by several models each taking a leap forward over previous models. In 2003 the SP2100 a pigment ink printer set a new bench mark for photo printing, at last inkjet prints could rival anything that was produced in a darkroom, after 8 years many are still in daily use.
Today in 2011, Epson introduces the R3000, an eight ink printer that is aimed at the professional photographer for short to medium run printing. The R3000 has many features without too many bells and whistles. The quality of printing is first class, I calibrate my monitor before any printer review so I am confident that it is displaying accurate colours, however I still had to to lighten up the files with an adjustment layer before printing. Once tweaked the files printed out beautifully, both colour and B/W.
The printer construction is excellent and should withstand moderate to heavy use. I like the way the trays fold away to seal the printer against dust and other objects that could fall into the works. Once closed, the printer becomes a useful shelf to place boxes of media on. The printer does support PictBridge compatible cameras, but I don’t think the person who buys this will be using that function too often if at all. The CD/DVD printing tray is a useful feature, I find myself using inkjet printable disks more often these days, so this is a feature that I would use often. I didn’t try the Wi-Fi function, I put this in the same category as PictBridge printing. The roll media capability has limited use on an A3 printer, generally you will find it hard to uncurl the prints.
Would I buy this printer?
In terms of print quality, Yes, I would.
But, I would only buy it as a replacement for an existing A3+ printer. I like the higher capacity ink cartridges, a great improvement over the small inks on the R2880, but not as economical as the inks cartridges on the Pro3880. The R3000 has a lot going for itself and deserves to do well. However, when most people are having to keep a tight reign on spending, I think Epson may have set the price too high.
- Superb print quality
- Print speed
- Larger capacity ink cartridges
- Compact size
- Excellent LCD screen
- Build quality
- Straight paper path is a clumsy operation
Certainly one of the best printers currently available