Review based on a production Epson R3000

It's now almost 10 years since Epson launched the Stylus Photo 2100. The SP2100 was an instant success due to its use of long lasting UltraChrome pigment inks which claimed a life of 200+ years. Many photographers were now ready to move out of the darkroom and fully embrace digital photography. The SP2100 set a new benchmark for digital photo printing. The quality of photos that this printer could produce was excellent: traditional wet chemistry process now had a serious rival. The SP2100 remained the de-facto choice that every serious photographer wanted. This was replaced some three years later by the R2400, followed by the R2800 and R2880. Other dye-ink based printers were also launched during this time, but for archival printing the only option is to use a pigment ink printer.

Epson has added another A3+ printer the R3000. This is not a replacement to the much-loved R2880, but comes in addition to Epson's professional line up that includes the R3880 A2 printer. The R3000 is aimed both at the professional and advanced hobbyist photographer who may want to produce a short print runs or limited edition prints.

The R3000 uses Epson's tried and tested UltraChrome K3 ink set, which consists of 9 inks including the new Vivid Magenta and four blacks. Although all the inks are loaded into the printer, you still have to perform a Matt & Photo Black swap routine. However, this has been greatly improved over previous models and now a very small amount of ink is used in the flushing process. Each cartridge has 25.9 ml of ink, not sure why Epson couldn't have splashed out on the extra 0.1 ml and made it 26 ml, I'm sure they have a reason. One of the major differences between the R3000 and previous models is that the ink cartridges now remain in a static position. On previous models the entire ink/heads cradle travelled up and down the print bar which limited the cartridge size and capacity.

What's in the box?

  • R3000 printer
  • Rear roll media holders
  • CD/DVD printing tray
  • X9 ink cartridges
  • Power cable
  • Installation disks