Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Stunning screen
- Excellent detail, sharpness, color and contrast on-screen
- Easy-to-use interface and menu system
- Raw file previewing (though see below)
- Excellent battery life
- Efficient caching speeds up operation
- Movie and audio support
- Excellent video out quality
- Well designed and well built
Conclusion - Cons
- 8.9 megapixel maximum JPEG size
- Raw support very limited
- Can feel slow when browsing images before they are cached
- All cards except CF and SD need additional adapter
- No support for WMV or WMA files
- Some audio/video sync problems with some AVI codecs
- Only supports 8.3 filenaming - long filenames are truncated
- No way to move files between albums (only supports copying)
- Images stored in albums are renamed
- No easy way to manage MP3 playlists
- Direct print not PictBridge compatible
Let's get one thing out of the way from the start; the P-2000 is a very well-designed, very sophisticated and very desirable addition to any serious digital photographer's gadget bag. It has a fantastic screen that makes browsing images a real pleasure, is easy to use, and can be used to watch movies or listen to music whilst on the move. We managed to rip AVI files from DVD and watch them on the P-2000 relatively easily (though you'll need additional software - and to be prepared for a little experimentation with settings to do this yourself), and the MP3 playback is not bad at all for a photo viewer!
On the downside the lack of support for JPEGs over 8.9 megapixels is a little shortsighted, given what we're likely to see in cameras next year, and the raw support is limited (you can't view Olympus, Minolta, Fuji, Sony or Sigma raw files, for example). Even those raw formats that are supported (Canon, Nikon and Epson) can only be displayed full screen, using the JPEG stored in the raw header, limiting the usefulness as a viewer for more advanced users. That said, you can still store your images on the P-2000, whether it can display them or not, and there aren't many other devices out there that even attempt to show raw files, so it is perhaps a little churlish to complain. Epson says that other raw formats may be added in the future via firmware upgrades, but I wouldn't hold your breath.
What I would like to see changed is the annoying 8.3 filename restriction, which truncates longer filenames, and the ability to copy images directly from a card to an album (preferably without renaming them at the same time) would be nice, but this is a minor annoyance in an otherwise very elegant system.
It's hard not to recommend the P-2000 to any serious digital camera user; it allows you to keep on shooting without worrying about card capacity, is a great way to share your pictures (you can carry your entire collection around with you), gets rid of the need for a laptop when photographing in the field, and even lets you print without a computer. Throw in the ability to watch movies on the train and listen to MP3s without an iPod and you've got one very appealing package that Epson will have to fight me for if they want it back. :)
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