A3 Printer Reviews

REVIEW / Epson Stylus Photo R3000

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Marine Goy
Morgane Alzieu
Published on February 9, 2011
Updated on February 9, 2011
Translated by Jack Sims

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • Mono/colour speeds NC / NC
  • Ink droplet size 2 pl
  • Cartridges required 9
  • Number of base colours 8
  • Scanner no
The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 is the latest A3+ Epson inkjet designed for photo prints. It takes over from the R2880 and the R1900 and, like both of these, is targeted at pro photographers.

Hardware


Relatively compact for an A3 printer, it has a fairly sober and pared down look. The new paper charger at the front (rather than at the back as it was on the previous generation) is a good idea and makes it easier to handle the paper with more care. You'll be able to insert fine art paper to a thickness of 1.3 mm. At the back, the printer has the hardware required to load a roll. ICC profile support means you have access to good colour management. Thanks to USB, wi-fi and ethernet connectivity, the printer can be shared between several users.
Under the hood, you'll find the new 9-colour, 8-channel print head technology - it includes a matte black and a black photo cartridge.

The control panel, illustrated below, is no longer on the top of the machine but at the front, "which frees the top up for you to put paper on," the manufacturer explained to us.

The front with its 6.3 cm colour screen



Speeds

Lets not forget that the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 has been principally designed for photo prints. Nevertheless, when you're buying a high end machine you expect it to be able to handle a variety of tasks. We've therefore run it through our usual office document tests as well as the photo tests. Unfortunately its rating takes a hit here, giving just 3 pages per minute (ppm) for both colour and black and white, which is four times slower than the Epson Stylus Photo PX820FWD which gets up to 12 ppm.
 
With photo prints its no trojan either. Printing a colour A3+ photo takes 3 minutes 52 seconds. For A4 photos, count on it taking over 2 minutes (against 1:10 for the Epson Stylus Photo PX820FWD). A 10 X 15 cm which takes 25 seconds on the PX820FWD is up to 1 minute 19 seconds here.

Quality: excellent photo quality

As with speeds, we wanted to see what sort of quality you get from this printer for office documents. The answer is not that good. While the R3000 gives excellent photo quality, for office documents (particularly black & white), quality is compromised as you can see with its handling of the test graphic, for which it only gets a three star rating.



For the rest it gets a five however! Colour office documents are very good. For photos, the target area for this model, results definitely meet our expectations. Colours are accurate, shading faithful and even and light tones are perfectly reproduced down to the last detail. Black & white just misses being excellent, but, if you play with the print profiles a bit, you get an honourable result.





Energy consumption & noise levels: quiet

The printer consumes 3.1 watts on standby and 20 watts when printing, which is good for a laser.
What's more, it runs quietly. We measured it at 48 dB.



Cost per page


We haven't been able to get figures and a rating here. Epson wasn't able to give us ISO standard information with respect to lifespan and as we only had the machine for a short time we weren't able to carry out the tests ourselves. The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 has nine separate cartridges at £24.35 each, which means a complete set will cost £219.15. To this you need to add the cost of Fine Art paper  (from £30 to £300 odd the packet). Obviously not a printer for your man in the street.

9 cartridges for 8 print heads

The two black cartridges share the same print-head phase. Going from one to the other is automatic. Changing over does however require some time (1 minute) and wastes ink needlessly.



The BX625FWD cartridge on the left and the R3000 cartridge on the right, bigger capacity.




 

The 1st page takes 54 seconds
Slow! It takes almost one minute from off position while the current average is around 30 seconds. Responsiveness from standby or when running is also under the average of the most recent models tested.

PROS

  • Excellent photo quality
  • Wi-Fi, ethernet, quiet
  • You can print on various papers
  • Matte black and glossy installed automatically
  • Large capacity cartridges (25.9 ml)

CONS

  • Poor responsiveness
  • Waste of black ink as 2 black cartridges share the same print head
  • Pricey

CONCLUSION 4/5

The R3000 keeps its promise of excellence when it comes to photo prints. It brings in a new interface, bigger capacity cartridges and improved connectivity. Its purchase price and consumables mean that it's destined for pro users.
4 Epson Stylus Photo R3000 DigitalVersus 2011-02-09 00:00:00
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