Having used many “photo printers” in the past, including Epson, HP, Vuepoint and more, I was excited to test what I would call the best in class photo printer out there. It is the Epson Stylus Photo R2000. It boasts many different features that will appeal to Professional and Amateur photographers as well as graphic artists of any level. This however will also appeal to those that simply want to have a great photo printer around for their works of art as well. This is due in part to Epson’s under $600 price point, making it affordable for the hobbyist in us all. As Ansel Adams said "You don't take a photograph, you Make it."
It was tested on both a Mac Book Air and Windows 8.1 desktop. It was also tested on several (Epson Brand) paper types and sizes, including;
- 8.5”x11” Presentation Paper Matte, Premium Photo Paper Glossy, Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster and Velvet Fine art Paper
- 11”x14” Premium Photo Paper Glossy
- 13”x19” Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster
- Premium Satin Canvas (13” x 20’ roll)
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 ($499.99 direct) is, the least expensive of Epson's high-end, near-dedicated photo printers, as well as being the most cost effective in its class among other manufacturers.
When you get this printer, you either need to have a WPS compatible router or a USB printer cable, neither which are supplied by Epson. What is supplied by Epson (and to my knowledge the only said supplier) are a full set of ink cartridges. They are not starter inks with a minimal supply, but the full sized ones so you can get up and running immediately.
I connected it to the MacBook Air and began the setup process. After registering it on the network which took less than two minutes, it was ready to go.
The printer itself, is massive. It is just under 25 lbs and almost 3” in width, so find a nice table and set it up there.
Now it was time to print. Being a large format printer, anything smaller than an 8x10 was left to the Epson Expression 800, which in and of itself is a great printer.
The first print I did was from this picture. I did it on 13”x19 Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster. Luster does not even scratch the surface when it comes to describing the output. A more suitable name would simply be OMG paper, as it popped as if I was snapping the picture again.
While glossy papers can be quite common, there is a reason that Epson has also developed its own papers and ink; they are the exact composition and match for their printers. As a side bar, I have also tried glossy papers from other manufactures and some generics. While other true name brands are premium, they do not seem to bring out the color as true Epson brand papers. As for generics, if saving money is your only reason, fine, but you will be printing the photo again as early as 6 months from now. I still have a 5x7 photo printed 3 years ago from an older Epson Small-in-one printer. It has the same color as the day I printed it.
Epson seems to have topped the market with specialty papers, that include the Velvet Fine art Paper and the Premium Satin Canvas paper. Those two were the next tests. For the Velvet Fine art paper, I chose this picture. Even though it was a picture with the vivid colors of a sunset and the reflections on the water, the quality was amazing. The colors were perfect. They did not run, and the ink appeared to have dried almost instantly. Lastly was a test of the Premium Satin Canvas paper, which came in a roll format. For this paper, I chose two pictures for their content that would benefit from an extra wide width print. They are “The Old Stone Church” in West Boylston MA, and Broad Meadow Brook in Barre MA. Thanks to the width of the paper, the prints had the focus of the starting and ending points. The color was spot on. There are specific suggestions from Epson regarding the curing of the print and ghosting prevention that I did follow before framing. Those suggestions can be seen here.
This printer is a pure no brainer for the creative genius in all of us. Its quality is unmatched, whether it be via its class or price point. With the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 and the right paper, anyone can product museum quality photos, prints and other creative projects. Learn more at www.epson.com or see the entire line and inks at Amazon.com.