The new Epson SP R3000 A3+ printer

The Epson Stylus Photo SP3000

The Epson Stylus Photo SP3000

A few weeks ago I was looking at which of Epson’s printers were getting a bit old and potentially due for an update this year.

The 2880 was looking the most likely (see our R2880 review for more)  Well… a couple of days ago Epson announced the Stylus Photo R3000

UPDATE
We now have a
full R3000 review

The link above takes you to all the information from different sources around the world that we’ve been able to find on the printer, and will be updated over time. …until I can get one to write up a full review… that is :-)
Before then, I’ve been looking at the specifications and seeing how it might well give quite a jolt to the printer market in its area.

Observations

Whilst I’ll have to wait to get a real look at a 3000 to write up any detail, it’s worth reviewing some of the features:
ink cartridges for the R3000

The new larger ink cartridges for the Epson R3000

Looking at the R3000, the similarities to the SP3880 are quite noticeable.

Same Ink set, screening and paper paths, but with a new design of smaller cartridges.
The R3000 weighs 35 lbs. vs. the 3880′s 43.2 lbs
Wireless connection will be important to many – not that many potential users will have gigabit ethernet sockets throughout the house, as we do here…

Also different is the new 2 picolitre minimum drop size – the 3880 is very good and it has ‘only’ 3.5 pl minimum. I’ll be interested to see how this affects print quality and speed.

If you add in roll paper support (up to 44″ is mentioned) and CD/DVD printing, this printer marks a distinct step up from the R2880 with its smaller cartridges, that physically move with the print head.

Quite a few people I’ve spoken to, looking to buy a larger desktop printer, have thought about the 3880/2880 choice. Whilst the big prints and larger carts would be the decider for me (80ml cartridges in the 3880 against. 25.9ml cartridges in the R3000), many don’t have the print volume or space (or money) to go for the larger printer.

This printer also addresses what has (for my own use) been one of Epson’s Achilles heel points for some time – the need to swap black inks if you print on different papers. It does this in the same way as the 3880, but uses about 60% of the ink (3ml Mk to Pk, 1ml the other way)

If you look at the 3000, 3880, 4880 and 4900 together, you can see that Epson have a very solid presence in this size range. Whether their competitors see the gap (between ‘desktop’ and Large Format) as worthy of attack, should be interesting.

  • Greg Kraushar

    The issue I am concerned with is whether this printer can print panoramas. I periodically want to print photographs at up to 2,000mm long. I have heard that many of the newer printers stop at around 1 metre and do a small skip at this point, making it useless for this purpose.

    • http://www.northlight-images.co.uk Keith

      Epson are supposed to be sending one to look at – I’ll be sure to check

  • http://happydays-photoservice.de Walter Reichelt

    Hello !
    I´ll be waiting since years for such range of printer. Today I use a Stylus 2400 include Niagara extern ink system with Mediastreet Ink. Maybe that is the reason that I have a lot of trouble with the plugged nozzles. I´m also not a very frequent printer and that is the second reason maybe. Vital importance for me will be:
    1. Coast of Ink must be less than by the 2400 printer(appr. 1€/ml in Germany)
    2. On the 2400 I have modified the waste ink drain to a extern tank. Is that also possible on the new one ? I´m not willing to send the printer to the service office if that type of message will appears after 2 years.
    3. In case of trouble with the printer head, is it possible to change it by my self ?
    I hope that the Epson engineers had done there job.
    Best regards
    Walter

    • http://www.northlight-images.co.uk Keith

      No sign of a replaceable maintenance tank in the specifications.

      Also, Epsons are supposed to have ‘heads for life’ and are never user replaceable like Canon/HP

      It’ll be a few months I expect, until I can get to check this with a review… :-(