This article is a preview of the product and isn't a full review. Bookmark this page to make sure you don't miss out on the full review as it happens.
Epson Stylus Photo R2880: Specification
- Max document size: A3+
- Resolution: 5760x1440dpi
- Ink system/type: UltraChrome (Pigment)
- Quantity of inks: 8
- PictBridge: Yes
- Roll media: Yes (With supplied adapter fitted)
- CD/DVD printing: Yes
- Operating system: Windows 2000/XP, Mac OS X v10.3.9/10.4/10.5
- Connectivity: USB 2.0
- Size: 616x322x214mm
- Weight: 1200g
Sitting just above the recently reviewed and superb R1900 is the R2880. Where the R1900 has changed a colour to suit skin tones for better portrait printing, the R2880 has similarly had a colour changed to suit black & white printing. You guessed it, they've added Vivid Magenta.
Epson Stylus Photo R2880: Features
The R2880 has been released because Epson were repeatedly asked for a printer that could produce true black & white images because until now, colour is used in mono images and this leaves a cast or colour twist.
The resulting product also sports support for roll and fine art media and CD/DVD printing which can also print thick and rigid media up to 1.3mm. It also has the same dual USB 2 ports of the R1900 for networking as well as Pictbridge on the front for fast upload direct from a camera. The printer boasts LUT (Look Up Tables) technology and has a mist collection feature. This function uses an absorbent sponge that's positively charged while the print head is negatively charged ensuring the mist from printing is drawn to the sponge and doesn't settle on the paper.
The most important feature of the R2880 is the additional colour of Vivid Magenta and Epson say that it boosts the performance of the K3 inks with no colour cast on monochrome prints. They also say that it improves long term colour stability, has smoother tonal gradation and expands the colour gamut to 85% Pantone coverage with no sacrifice of gamut. Also there's virtually no colour inconstancy which is where the print changes colour under different types of light.
The Micro-Piezo heads have ink repellent coating to improve the accuracy of dot placement.
LUT technology has been added to the R2880 and this is designed to help you increase the quality of your final print. The smoothness, gradation and colour constancy are analysed using the LUT then any combination of over 18,000,000 trillion colours can be chosen.
The User Interface (UI) of the printing area has been improved and now has fewer options. The UI can also be customised to multiple users and these settings can be exported to other computers.
While you're in the UI, the aspect ratio can be fixed, prints can be framed and you can also stamp your camera settings onto the print with the exception of ICC profiles from Photoshop.
In the advanced tab, the Gamma has been defaulted to 2.2 which has been changed from 1.8 with sRGB and AdobeRGB also set at 2.2.
Epson Stylus Photo R2880: Printing
For printing in colour, Epson recommend that on the UI, you choose "No Colour Management" in the Colour Handling area followed by one of the colour management systems such as Colour Controls, PhotoEnhance or ICM.
If you decide to use ICC colour management, choose Photoshop Manages Colours in the Colour Handling area and deactivate Internal Colour Management. The sliders for the colour adjustment have been replaced with a colour circle which Epson feel is easier to use.
For black & white printing, No Colour Management should be chosen in the Colour Handling area and in the printer driver window (where the colour wheel is) choose Advanced Black and White Photo in the Colour box. Epson say the best results are with a gamma of 2.2 as this is the default of the driver.
Epson Stylus Photo R2880: Speed
The default setting of the R2880 is Superfine and this leans more towards the speed of printing instead of quality. The printer also has a Quality Production setting which leans towards quality but with a decent speed rate and a SuperPhoto setting for superior quality. The speed of the SuperPhoto setting is slow, but if you want the best results this has to be taken into account. Epson say that this setting is the most favourable for fine art and black & white printing.
The R2880 is aimed at the user that needs higher quality images with a low volume which is why the print speeds are slower than the R1900.
The following speeds are reported by Epson and ePHOTOzine can't comment on the accuracy of these figures until we've tested the unit.
- 6x4in Borderless: 46seconds
- 10x8in on A4 media: 91seconds
- A4 on A4 Borderless: 116seconds
- 14x11in on A3+ media: 156seconds
- 14x11in on A3+ media: 235seconds
- A3+ on A3+ Borderless: 669seconds
Keep watching this page for the full review as it happens.