Epson offers new pro, consumer inkjets

Epson enhanced its line of inkjet printers on Tuesday with new wide-format printers for professionals and a new printer aimed specifically at professional photographers and fine art photographers. The new printers use Epson’s UltraChrome K3 inks, an eight-color ink system that Epson said provides “exhibit-quality” output on a wide selection of media. The new printers range in price from US$849 to $4,995. What’s more, the company also introduced a new PictureMate printer designed for consumers looking for a “personal photo lab.”

New large format models

The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 replaces the 4000, and supports media up to 17 inches wide. The Stylus Pro 7800 and 9800 replace the 7600 and 9600, and output media up to 24 and 44 inches, respectively. All three printers support “Photo Black” and “Matte Black” ink modes, which optimize the level of black ink density depending on the medium. They also feature eight-channel print heads, touting 180 nozzle per channel and resolutions up to 2880 x 1440 dots per inch. The 4800 can output a 16 x 20-inch print at 1440 x 720 dpi in 6 minutes, 41 seconds; the 7800 can output 24 x 30 prints in 14 minutes, 18 seconds and the 9800 can output 44 x 60-inch prints in 42 minutes, 30 seconds, at the same resolution.

Epson’s UltraChrome K3 pigmented ink includes cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan and light magenta, coupled with a three-level black ink system — black, light black and light-light black — which provides more professional neutral and toned black and white prints without problems like crossover or color casts. Epson said the new ink system also helps reduce bronzing and metamerism — when color hues shift under different lighting conditions. All three of the new printers can handle 110ml or 220ml cartridges, or a combination of both sizes.

The 4800 handles “virtually any type of media” including poster board according to Epson, and supports roll and sheet-cut media. The 7800 and 9800 are similarly endowed, except, obviously, their respective media sizes. The 9800 can also support an optional take-up reel system for unattended production of large print runs.

Printer interfaces include USB 2.0, FireWire and one expansion slot suitable for an optional 10/100baseT Ethernet card. The printers are supported by most third party Raster Image Processors (RIPs), as well, according to Epson.

The Stylus 4800 is available now for $1,995. Epson plans to ship the Stylus Pro 4800 “Pro Edition” in July for $2,495 — that will add a software RIP and Ethernet card. The Stylus Pro 7800 and 9800 are shipping this fall for $2,995 and $4,995 respectively.

New pro photo model

Professional photographers and fine art photographers looking for a smaller inkjet printer with support for the UltraChrome K3 ink system also got a new choice today with Epson’s new Stylus Photo R2400, a replacement for the Stylus Photo 2200. Coming this month, the $849 printer outputs media from 4 x 6 inches to 13 x 9 inches, and also supports panoramic sizes.

The Stylus Photo R2400 supports resolutions up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dots per inch, and supports borderless printing in various media sizes. It can output an 11 x 14-inch photo in 1 minute, 47 seconds, and features three media paths — rear, for roll and single-sheet fine art prints, straight through for media up to 1.3mm thick, and standard handling.

The printer ships with a Print Image Matching plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and black and white filters from nik Color Efex Pro v2.0. Epson RAW Print helps output digital camera RAW format image files from Epson’s RD-1, Nikon D70 and Canon EOS Rebel cameras. Mac OS X v10.2.4 or later is supported, using either USB 2.0 or FireWire.

PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition

For consumers looking to step up to a better “personal photo lab,” Epson on Tuesday also introduced the PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition, a personal printer that can output “lab-quality” 4 x 6 inch photos in 75 seconds, without having to use a computer. The printer touts a built-in color 2.4-inch LCD screen, enhanced editing and printing options, an optional internal battery for portable printing and support for all popular memory cards, as well as printing directly from PictBridge-enabled cameras. An optional Bluetooth Photo Print Adapter lets users of Bluetooth-equipped cell phones to send their photos directly to the printer.

The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition supports a six-color pigment printing technology that’s water and smudge-resistant. It will ship with enough media and ink to print about $100 borderless photos, according to Epson, and is coming this June. Its suggested retail price is $249.

This story, "Epson offers new pro, consumer inkjets" was originally published by PCWorld.

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