Page 2 – 11th March 2011
Epson Stylus Photo R3000 review – Setting Up
We have now taken delivery of a replacement R3000 printer, it is a pre-launch unit which I have tested and so far it is working OK. Full production units are expected to arrive at the end of March 2011. Just for the record, the first printers ink feed had become disconnected, which was probably a result of the printer box being dropped in transit (not by me).
Installing the printers drivers and software is an easy process, just follow the on-screen instructions and the printer will be up and running within a few minutes. You have three options for connecting, a USB 2.0 port, WiFi or 10/100 Ethernet. For this review I will be using the USB port. There is also a PictBridge port located at the front of the printer, this is for direct printing from PictBridge enabled cameras. I am not sure why any photographer using a high end printer such as the R3000 would want to use the PictBridge option. It would take a very confident photographer to send file direct from a camera to a sheet of FineArt media without first editing the shot.
As with all pigment ink printer cartridges, they have to be shaken before installing. This is to ensure that none of the heavier ink particles have settled at the bottom of the cartridge. Once shaken you can then install the cartridges into the printer. The ink compartment is accessed by first opening the top cover, which now reveals a neat interior. The ink compartment is located on the left hand side which has its own cover. Each ink has its own unique slot, indicated by a colour swatch, there is no possibility of inserting the Inks into the wrong slot as each cartridge also has a unique combination which will only fit into one slot. The cartridges also have an on-board chip, this stores information as to the manufacture date and communicates to the printer how much ink is remaining.
The printer has 9 inks which include; Yellow, Vivid Light Magenta, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Cyan, Light Light Black, Light Black, Photo Black and Matte Black. The Vivid and Vivid Light Magenta colours claim to increase the colour gamut of this printer, I will test this out later and compare the results to my R3800 printer. Below is a Gamut example showing an extended colours when compared to the usual UltraChrome inks.
Only 8 inks are used at any one time although all 9 inks are fitted. The printer will automatically switch between Matte and Photo black when the media type is selected in the driver. I know this has been an issue for many users of previous Epson printers, as ink is flushed away each time you switch between the two blacks. However, the amount of ink that is now used has been greatly reduced – not ideal I know, but it is an improvement.
As previously mentioned, the ink cartridges now have a larger capacity 25.9ml compared to 11.4ml ink on the SP-R2880. The smallest variable ink droplet size has also been reduced to 2.0pl compared to the 3.0pl droplet size on the R2880. This means smoother gradients and reduced grain effect.
The Micro Piezo printhead has an ink repelling coating which provides more accurate dot placement which results in higher print quality. Sample below shows accurate dot alignment with the R3000