Page 6 – 16th March 2011
The R3000 so far looks very impressive, it’s well made and looks like it will stand up to moderately heavy use. However, the real test for any printer is how well it performs. When I first started doing printer reviews the question on everybody’s mind was, is the print going to look like an inkjet print or a photo? Well, over the years printers have matured and are producing photographs that will more than satisfy the most demanding user. Epson have been the forerunner with their impressive pigment ink printer line-up. The SP2100 set a new benchmark for inkjet photo quality and since then we have had further developments with the UltraChrome inks. The R3000 uses the new Vivid Magenta UltraChrome K3 inkset which claims a wider Gamut over their previous inks, so let’s put it to the test.
I am using the same test chart that I have used since the launch of photo-i, the original file can be downloaded by clicking on the test print below.
The first print was made using Epson Premium Glossy media with the Color handling set to “Printer Manages Color” The printer took 1 minute 45 seconds to produce a full page A4 print. Timings are taken from the click on Print button to final delivery, these times could vary depending on fast your own computer handles spooling etc.
The first print which was managed through the printer was lacking in vibrant colours, I checked my system and the colour settings on the file. This was an Adobe 1998 file and I was printing it as a sRGB file. This had the effect of dulling down the colours. I re-printed the file after assigning the right profile and the colours were much better. I decided to publish the first print just to reassure you that simple user mistakes can happen at any time, even if you have been printing for some years. The second print was also managed through “Printer Manages Colours” and the colours are more or less spot on.
Print profile Adobe 1998, printed using Adobe 1998
OK, so my first print is not technically my first print (5th print actually). The print displays a good range of slightly cool vibrant colours, clean yellows, greens and blues. There is a slight bias towards magenta which makes the flowers and reds stand out, skin tones are well within acceptable tolerances but I wouldn’t want to see any more magenta creeping in. The Black & White photograph on this print has a slight cyan cast, on a print where I had used the sRGB profile the tones were cast free. I will deal with B/W printing later in this review and show you how to produce cast free B/W prints.