If you take your photography seriously, either as a semi-professional or an enthusiastic amateur, you may well want to print your photos larger than an A4 printer can manage. Epson has several machines that can do this, but the Stylus Photo R2000 has a few extras, which make it well worth considering.
All printers that can handle paper bigger than A4 are, by definition, fairly substantial beasts, but this one manages to keep its proportions right, by having three-stage, telescopic paper trays for feed and output. Although it can handle paper up to A3 and has an eight-ink printhead, it’s accommodated in a case which fits easily on a desktop, though not with a PC with a big screen beside it.
There are lots of ways of feeding paper. The conventional way is via the rear tray, which takes sheets from 15 x 10cm to A3 and feeds them through to the equally conventional output tray. If you're using thicker, textured art paper, there's a clip-in tray behind the normal feed tray and if you want to make sure you get a flat feed, you can do so from the front.
This is also where you feed the CD/DVD carrier, so you can print directly onto appropriately coated blanks. When it comes to media handling, this is a very versatile machine.
The control panel is a row of six buttons, some of them with indicator LEDs above them. It's probably all you need, but we still wonder whether even professional photographers wouldn't value a quick select and print facility using memory cards and a small LCD. There is a PictBridge socket at bottom left, which goes part of the way to printing from other media.
At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet, but wireless networking is also supported and is probably the easiest option, once you've temporarily connected to the printer via USB to set it up. Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and software including a simple CD designer and Web print tool are also provided.
The main printhead takes eight cartridges, with a photo black, red, orange and gloss optimiser added to the standard CMYK quartet. Having a red and orange ink should mean this machine is particularly good at flesh tones in portraiture.