The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 is a professional printer which uses long lasting UltraChrome K3 pigment inks especially formulated for archival printing. This 13 inch-wide printer comes with professional features including high-capacity cartridges, networking and wireless connectivity, and advanced media handling.
The Epson R3000 prints fast and delivers impressively high quality prints at 5670 x 1440 dpi. It accepts photo papers of different weight and texture and so is ideal for the photographer who wants to print high-quality Fine Art prints. The Wi-Fi option works flawlessly and should prove popular to those who have more than one printer (since the R3000 will be reserved for high quality photo printing and won’t be for your everyday printing). If you want to showcase your photos, we highly recommend the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 for your exhibition-quality photo printing.
We test the printer using color and B&W images and print on a variety of paper types, from glossy to matte, and thicknesses. The photo results are superb though the print comes out darker than it appears on your computer screen; you’ll need to apply an adjustement layer to lighten your image before printing.
Output quality is impressive and is suitable for professional display. With Epson’s ink rated to last 100 to 200 years and its paper from 110 to 300 years (when stored in the dark), it’s perfect for archival purposes.
The UltraChrome K3 ink set consists of 9 inks: Yellow, Vivid Light Magenta, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Cyan, Light Light Black, Light Black, Photo Black, and Matte Black. The last two cartridges mean that you do not have to change black cartridge anymore when printing on glossy or matte paper. The Vivid Magenta pigment ink helps bring out the blues and violets in prints.
The R3000 allows you to print even if you are low in some ink colors. The ink cartridges are conveniently housed in a static housing and changing ink cartridge is literally a snap. Each high-capacity cartridge holds 25.9ml of ink. (Epson rates ink cartridge shelf life to be 2 years from printed production date or 6 months after it is opened.)
According to the specs, a 8×10 in. page prints in approx. 1 min 33 sec while a 13×19-in. page prints in approx. 2 min 30 sec. Printing time may also be affected depending on the paper type and image being printed and our print tests ranged anywhere from 1 min 14 sec to 5 min.
Do note that if you are printing from one type of paper followed immediately by a different type, there is an ink conversion time that takes place (so you need to add that time to the printing time) as well as the loss of some of the black inks. Black ink conversion times switching from Matte to Photo Black is approx 3 min 30 sec (with 3ml ink loss), and switching from Photo to Matte Black is approx 2 min (with 1ml ink loss).
When the delivery person rings the doorbell, I am shocked at how big the box is. Since I do not have adequate table space upstairs in my office (dimensions of the R3000 are: 24.2″ (W) x 32″ (D) x 16.7″ (H)) and I am not about to hurt my back hauling the 35 lb printer upstairs all by myself, I decide to leave it downstairs in the Family Room. I am about to bring my laptop down to physically connect it to the printer when I see the Wi-Fi label on the printer. Wonderful!
Installing the required drivers on my desktop is quick, easy and the printer is set up to print wirelessly in no time. The wireless capability means that I can leave the printer downstairs and print from my office/studio upstairs. The R3000 is Wi-Fi certified 802.11n (only, and so does not support 802.11a, 802,11b, or 802.11g routers) and also features a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port and a 100Base-T Ethernet port.
The Stylus R3000 is built solid with sturdy trays, each neatly sliding in and out of the printer and with a cover that protects the printer from dust when not in use. A CD/DVD tray allows labels to be printed directly onto CD/DVD disks. Two roll-media holders at the rear of the printer allow the use of roll media paper for long prints.
Minimum print size is 3.5″ x 5″, maximum cut-sheet size is 13″ x 19″ and maximum printable area using roll paper is 13″ x 44″. So if you are printing very long prints (e.g. panoramas), plan ahead for enough table space to accomodate the output. Also, weighing in at a hefty 35 lb, you’ll need a sturdy and solid surface that won’t rock as the printer works.
The 2.5-in. color LCD Screen on the R3000 is on the front and cannot be angled up so, unless the printer is at eye level, you need to squat down to look at it. At first, I keep hitting the OK icon with my finger and am puzzled that nothing happens. Then I realize the LCD is not a touch screen panel and I need to use the arrows and OK Menu Navigation buttons and the Back button on the Control Panel to type in my choices.
Touch screen LCDs are now ubiquitous and I would have certainly preferred a more intuitive touch screen interface as well as a larger LCD and one that angled upward for added convenience. The Control Panel is nevertheless quite adequate to the task and the user interface is pretty easy to navigate. I like that the LCD display shows the ink levels in each cartridge at all times. It means I can check at a glance whether I have enough ink and won’t run the risk of being out of a particular ink color in the middle of a print job.
The Epson Stylus R3000 looks intimidating at first (size-wise)but I find installation and setup to be straightforward. I really like the fact that the ink cartridge housing does not move and is within easy reach, making changing ink cartridges a snap. I always have problem setting up a wireless connection but it is a breeze on the R3000 and I am setup in no time, allowing me to leave the printer downstairs while I print on my desktop in my office upstairs. Photo print quality is astounding and print time ranges from 1 min 10 sec to 5 min in our tests. For your serious photo printing, we highly recommend the Epson Stylus Photo R3000.