Epson Stylus Photo R800
Review Date: 22nd July 2004
The Epson Stylus Photo R800 has a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 optimised dpi when used with compatible papers. The permanent EPSON Micro Piezo print head produces a 1.5 picolitre EPSON Ultra Micro Dot for high quality reproduction. The finest detail is achieved and fast print speeds maintained by using a range of dot sizes.
The Epson Stylus Photo R800 uses UltraChrome Hi-Gloss pigment inks to provide prints with in excess of 80 years lightfastness. There are 8 separate ink cartridges in the 7 colour Epson Stylus Photo R800 - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Blue, Photo Black, Matt Black and Gloss Optimiser. The Red and Blue inks are supposed to create a colour gamut rivalling that of silver halide, adding depth to natural colours such as sky, sea, sunsets and autumn leaves.
The Epson Stylus Photo R800 supports the EPSON PRINT Image Matching standard, which produces images that are faithful to the original Digital Still Camera image, with higher quality greens, blues, turquoises and natural skin tones.
Epson's printers have never been the quickest on the market, and the Epson Stylus Photo R800 is no exception to this rule. Epson quote speeds of 17ppm in black text (Economy mode), 8ppm in colour text (Economy mode) and 39 seconds for an 8"x10" photo (bike image, Fine Mode). 39 seconds for an 8"x10" print sounds pretty quick, but this is for 720dpi mode - in practice the print speed is considerably slower at the higher resolutions. Even so the Epson Stylus Photo R800 is a lot faster than previous Epson A4 printers.
There are two ways of connecting the Epson Stylus Photo R800 to your PC. You can either use the USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) Type-B Interface for PC and Mac connection, or the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) Interface for PC and Mac connection. Annoyingly there is no USB cable included with the printer, although to be fair to Epson, virtually all printer manufacturers choose to not supply this cable.
The Epson Stylus Photo R800 has a number of extra features included as standard in the box. There is a paper roll holder which allows you to print banner, panoramic or multiple shots, the ability to print directly onto matte coated media up to 2.5 mm in thickness, borderless printing and the option of printing directly onto suitable CDs, with no special sticker media required.
Considering that this is a printer that creates A4 sized prints, the Epson Stylus Photo R800 is both heavy and large in size. It weighs in at a hefty 8Kg and the standard dimensions are 495 x 307 x 198mm.