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|Product:||Epson Stylus photo PX810 FW|
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW - The Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW offers the whole package for the professional photographer who only needs A4. With a scanner, fax machine and wi-fi connectivity, does it justify the £295 price tag?
Matt Grayson, ePHOTOzine tester, gets hold of the Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW with integrated wi-fi, fax and scanner.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Features
Recently, we tested the Epson Stylus Photo PX650, a printer with a built-in scanner that gives lab quality prints in a unit for £125. The £295 price tag is a huge difference, so is the fax option and alternative connectivity worth the extra cash?
It certainly looks attractive with its sleek black shiny exterior, touchscreen front panel and sweeping curve on the top for housing the fax machine. The touchscreen is sensitive and responsive and I really like the black and orange colouring.
The built-in scanner operates at 4800dpi.
There are 6 ink tanks but unfortunately no provision for larger capacity tanks.
There are six inks in the printer: black, cyan, yellow, magenta, light cyan and light magenta. They're available from many places, such as the Epson website priced at £10.68 each or £54.98 for all six. That will save you around £9 but Warehouse Express sell the individual cartridges for £9.99 each or £49.99 for all six.
The PX810 will print on both sides of the paper with the provided duplexer and it's an automatic process so you don't have to mess around reloading the paper and reprinting. It doesn't take roll paper and despite having Print CD software, there's no obvious place for CD printing. But that's the beauty of it. It's not obvious but it is there. Closing the output tray, raising the control panel as far as it will go and pressing the CD eject button will bring out the CD/DVD holder.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Handling
The footprint is pretty static as there's no large rear feeder tray to unfold and the front output tray is quite small. It's deceptively wide but is only a few millimetres bigger than some other models in the range such as the recently reviewed PX650.
Print quality is very good, it's fast at printing managing a print from warm in 2min 57sec. The paper loading tray can be removed from the printer to ease the loading, I guess, but it actually hindered me as I pushed the paper too far and it overlapped where it should be. I then had to wrestle to get the bottom sheet of paper back inline with the other which simply slid back. I ended up dragging it out and creasing it in the process.
The first two prints suffered no problems with ink leaking or head strikes and I was really happy with the outcome. Print after print came out perfectly and the more I use the printer, the more I begin to like it.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Performance
Photographs were printed in a variety of settings. The Agfa test print is a 17.3Mb file, the colour shelf Raw image was taken on a Sony Alpha A850 24.6Mp DSLR. The file can be downloaded here:
The prints that are produced out of the printer and placed onto the output tray are excellent quality. I've scoffed in the past at labelling photographic prints with the term HD. I don't see how a digital term can be applied to an analogue format but with the prints from this printer, I can understand it. Colours are lush and rich, detail is crisp and contrast is bang on. Skin tones are natural and offer lots of detail with close ups.
The original image is strikingly similar in tone and contrast.
When the printer handles the colours, you can also change the way that it perceives colour. There are a number of different options called Perceptual, Saturation, Relative colorimetric and Absolute colorimetric.
Colour is managed very well in the default setting, I found that primary colours are produced realistically, but it's worth having a mess around with the settings because with some of them, if the colour falls outside the printer gamut, it will replace it with the nearest. With 180 nozzles on each colour employing 1.5pl variable size droplet technology, the PX810 FW should manage to get very fine detail well but it suffers on the smallest font sizes. It manages small point lines well though and the problem is really only the worst when the text is on a black background, so it looks like it suffers from mild bleeding.
Sky blue is recorded well on the Epson and it also manages detail brilliantly in printing and scanning.
The original image.
The Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW has a built-in flatbed scanner with a dpi performance of 2400x4800 dpi, scans look good, a little pale but that's usually the case and choosing the professional mode in the Artisan section of the import screen will allow you to boost saturation if you want to.
The original portrait image.
Portrait scanned at 300dpi.
Portrait scanned at 350dpi.
Working the preview takes a few seconds even with warming the scanner up. Scanning at 300dpi produces an image at 8.9Mp or 25.6Mb. This is more than ample in size for many uses but banding is present and the quality has to be raised to remove it. Upping the dpi to 350 does this and creates files at 34.8Mb with dimensions of 2975x4094 making 12Mp images.
Colour is recorded very well with all the prints I scanned looking very realistic on screen next to the original.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Verdict
The Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW is another sterling example of how printers can work and should work. Every time I review an Epson printer I get blown away by the print quality. The PX810 FW is no exception and for the money, it's worth it. Of course if you don't need the fax machine or wi-fi capability, you may as well save £175 and get the PX650 because the quality is just as good.
However, as good as the PX810 is, I'm unsure it's worth the price tag. Maybe drop it by £50 to £100 and it'll be more appealing and more competitive.
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Pros
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Cons
Sometimes slow to get the printer started
Won't print if the monitor is at 90°
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW: Specification
|Max document size||A4|
|Ink system/type||Epson Claria photographic ink|
|Quantity of inks||6|
|Monitor||2.7in colour LCD|
|Resolution||5760x1440 optimised dpi|
|Capacity||120 sheets A4|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0, wi-fi, CF, MS, MS Pro, SD, SDHC, xD memory cards, optional bluetootth|
|Black & white scan speed||300dpi 1.1msec/line, 600dpi 1.6msec/line|
|Colour scan speed||300dpi 2.5msec/line, 600dpi 4.7msec/line|
The Epsoin Stylus Photo PX810 FW costs around £295 and is available from Warehouse Express here:
Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW