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Epson Stylus Photo 300 - Inkjet Photo Printer review

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Epson Stylus Photo 300 - Inkjet Photo Printer
  • Epson Stylus Photo 300 - Inkjet Photo Printer
  • Epson Stylus Photo 300 - Inkjet Photo Printer
  • Epson Stylus Photo 300 - Inkjet Photo Printer

Summary

Our Score:

8

Epson claims to have 74 per cent of the UK photo inkjet market, which seems a bit wishful – that said it’s certainly true that Epson sells a lot of printers into this arena. The Stylus Photo R300 sits near the top of a new range of machines designed with photography enthusiasts in mind. It’s a full six-colour printer, with light cyan and light magenta inks supplementing the core cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The aim is to improve rendition of light tones in areas like skies and skin.

This is a big printer, almost up to all-in-one dimensions, with a conventional paper path flowing from a 120 sheet, near-vertical tray at the rear, through to a telescopic output tray, which folds down from the front of the machine. At bottom right behind a hinged and sprung acrylic door is a set of memory card slots and a USB port, for connecting either a digital camera supporting PictBridge or an external Zip or CD drive.

This second use of a USB port is unusual and gives you the option to download pictures from a camera or its memory card, directly to more permanent media, without the intervention of a PC. A similar USB socket at the back of the printer, this time to the USB 2.0 standard, connects the printer to a PC so you can use the R300 for conventional hardcopy duties.

A second design feature which distinguishes this printer from the majority of its competitors is its LCD screen. It's mono and it can't show thumbnails of the pictures you're intending to print. Epson has gone for an alternative scheme, where the mono LCD is just used for control menus, error messages and a status display.

If you want to be able to view and select photos from a digital camera without printing thumbnail sheets – which the R300 can also do – £80 will buy you a 64mm, full-colour preview monitor, to slot in just behind and above the mono display. You can then use both screens to select and print your images. It's cheaper to buy the printer with the monitor screen included, as the price difference is then only around £50 on the street. There’s a Bluetooth adapter option too, so you can print from a notebook, PDA or camera-equipped mobile phone.

With the front paper tray open, you can unfold a second internal cover and slot in a CD holder that lets you print directly onto printable CDs. This gives a much more professional finish than printing on labels and sticking them onto the CD, though there's a price premium for this type of media.

Andy Pac

August 31, 2010, 3:59 pm

I have to say the Epson R300 is one of the worst pieces of garbage I've ever had the misfortune of using. I'm using this primarily as a DVD printer and I am disgusted by this excuse of a machine.Not only does it not recognise any of your information (i.e. jpg number) but the screen shows only No1, No2, No3, etc. when ideally you really would like some kind of recognition. Not only that, but unless you remove every image, throw it to trash and then empty the trash bin, you'll not see any images in the folder (for the memory card) but they will print in order of which was put on there first. Honestly, it shows your one and only photo yet hidden in the background are the previous images you've had to print in black & white because the colour is so disgracefully bad. Personally I would avoid this piece of kit like the plague. By the way, I'm using Verbatim discs to print to. If anyone can tell me different I'd love to know if I'm doing anything wrong. Oh, and I did try using the useless software that comes with the printer but that is also a heap of junk and the colour prints just as badly.

Mick Paul

September 18, 2014, 7:47 pm

I have actually found the R300 to be quite a sturdy little workhorse, I don't bother with the card slots, I just print directly off the computer. I have owned at least 3 of these units over the last 10 years, as with most printers the ink is worth more than the printer so I think it's best to stick with the same model, that way you don't throw the ink away when the printer gives in.

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