Epson has announced the Stylus Pro 4000, a 17-inch photographic printer with a seven-color, UltraChrome ink system and eight-channel printhead. Due in January, it can handle printing at 2,880 x 1,440 dpi (dots per inch) resolution and will print up to 1.9 times faster than any previous Stylus Pro printer, according to Epson.
The Stylus Pro 4000, which has an estimated street price of US$1,795, is targeted to professional photographers, graphic designers, commercial printers, those who need to do GIS mapping, CAD users and more. The UltraChrome pigmented ink system automatically switches between Matte Black and Photo Black inks for optimum print quality on different media surfaces. The pigment-based formula uses seven individual colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, light magenta, light black and switches between one of two other black inks) to create a gamut of colors that Epson says eliminates color casts and enhances midtones.
The printer can also be used to print a range of black and white photography using its lower density Light Black ink. UltraChrome Inks are water resistant and offer lightfastness ratings for color images up to 100 years, and greater than 100 years for black and white prints, on specific Epson papers under non-UV glass, according to Epson.
The Stylus Pro 4000’s eight individual channels/slots can handle 110 ml or 220 ml cartridges — or a combination of both sizes. Each cartridge uses Epson’s Intelligent High-Capacity Ink technology, a feature that stores a variety of information on a memory chip (including ink levels), and communicates the data to the printer whenever it’s powered up.
The printer, in photographic mode, offers two black inks/modes — Photo Black and Matte Black — that are automatically activated by the printer. The printer operates in Photo Black mode whenever you set the printer driver for photographic media surfaces such as glossy, luster, or semi-matte. All seven colors are used in Photo Black mode, which includes a combination of Photo Black ink and Light Black ink to produce a D-max rating up to 2.1. If you select a matte, cotton-based or fine art surface in the printer driver, the printer switches to Matte Black mode. This mode uses all seven colors, but utilizes a combination of Matte Black and Light Black inks to produce a D-max rating as high as 1.69.
A built-in media tray handles up to 250 sheets of letter-size paper or up to 50 cut sheets of photographic media up to 17 x 22 inches. Cut sheet media can be fed automatically using the printer’s cut sheet loading feature. Roll media users can utilize BorderFree printing, which lets you print over both left and right edges of the media while automatically cutting top and bottom edges for full-bleed prints on all four sides of the paper. A built-in cutter is included to trim prints; user-adjustable roll media spindles can accept either two- or three-inch media cores.
The Stylus Pro 4000 also sports a front control panel with backlit displays and ink level indicators. Optional is Epson Stylus Professional 2.0 RIP software that supports Adobe PostScript 3 is available for graphic designers.
The printer uses an Epson professional level photographic driver for Mac (Mac OS X and Mac OS 8.6-9.x ) and Windows systems that allows for density control even when the driver color management feature is turned off. The Stylus Pro 4000 offers FireWire and USB (1.1 and 2.0) connectivity.