Specs: 5760 x 1440 dpi; 13 x 19 -inch max cut sheet paper size; 9-color UltraChrome K3 pigment ink set, Wi-Fi networking. (Full specs here.)
Intro to the Epson Stylus R3000
The latest inkjet printer from Epson, the Stylus R3000, is clearly aimed at the super-enthusiast/professional photography market, with its stunning, larger format output and fast print speeds. If you’re serious about printing out wall-worthy photos at home (or for clients), this one is worth a look.
The R3000 carries a price tag of over $800 so this clearly isn’t some knock around combo office/photo printer. The R3000 produces serious output on cut sheets as large as 13×19-inches and handles a wide variety of media types, including rolls as long as 44 inches. This one is about making an investment in the hobby.
The reason we’re taking a look at this model here is because these higher end, larger format printers have gotten so easy to use and, despite the aforementioned cost, have come down dramatically in price over the last few years. A printer like the R3000 would have been well over $5,000 years ago, so the fact it can be had for significantly under $1000 is extremely notable. Notable too are the results this thing cranks out. With the R3000 you can not only print your snapshots and 8 x 10s, but you can make canvas prints up to 13-inches thick and take advantage of artist photo papers that normally can’t fit into smaller-sized, lower-end inkjet printers. It’s a creative powerhouse.
Excellent Print Quality
The printer utilizes the same excellent UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta pigment ink system that was a big hit in previous Epson models (the R2880 and R3880). If you’ve been skeptical of the longevity of inkjet prints you can toss those fears out as prints from the R3000 will last beyond a lifetime with the promise they will look just as good then as they do when they first pop out of the printer.
Not to get too technical, but on the quality front, Epson has reduced the droplet size in the R3000 from 3 picolitres to 2. As a result, you’ll achieve greater detail in shadow areas, a much wider color gamut and a greater tonal range. If you’re at all familiar with the already high level of output quality Epson printers yield, it’s a wonder they could somehow raise the bar again – but in the R3000 they have.
Another really cool feature in the R3000 is the fact Epson has updated the ink cartridge system, removing the need to switch cartridges when dealing with either the photo black or matte black cartridges. The need to exchange these cartridges depending on the media you’re printing to is now gone as the switch is made automatically inside the printer. You install both cartridges (the printer takes a total of nine individual cartridges) and the software determines which one actually prints based on your choice of media. The switchover can take between one to three minutes depending on the type of ink you need (matte or photo black).
Again, the output results are the main concern with any printer but we’d be selling the R3000 short if that’s all we told you about. Epson has added built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11n) networking capabilities, higher ink cartridge capacity (a nice touch), a wide range of paper support (all the top fine art papers and up to 1.3mm in thickness) and just about the most full-proof paper loading system we’ve ever been treated to. Additional features include BorderFree cut-sheet media handling, roll paper printing up to 44-inches long and direct printing to inkjet printable CD/DVD media.
Again, an $800 investment in a photo printer might not be in the cards for many but if you’re at that stage where the hobby is ready for the next level you won’t find a better A3+ size printer for the money.