A4 plain paper print speeds are pretty irrelevant on this machine, but for the sake of completeness we ran our tests, producing speeds of 0.8ppm on our five-page black text print and 1.6ppm on the black text and colour graphics test - you’d be better using a separate printer for handling your invoices and covering letters.
More relevant are the photo print times, which range from 57 seconds for a 15 x 10cm photo from PictBridge, to 4:58 for a full colour A3 print from a PC. An A3 greyscale took slightly less at 4:01. These are all very reasonable speeds for their respective print sizes and quality settings.
The print quality is OK on plain paper, but excels on glossy photos and art media. Plain text is a little ragged in places but solid colour comes through well. On glossy media, colours are natural and there’s plenty of detail in light and dark areas of images. Greyscale photos are particularly strong, with the two lighter grey inks strengthening the smoothness of transition in paler shades.
We’re a little suspicious of the stated black yield of the black cartridge, at 1,000 pages as, by the end of our tests (a total of 31 A4 pages of text, two 15 x 10 photos, 1 at A4 and three at A3), the photo black cartridge was showing half empty.
However, using these figures and the best online prices we could find for the nine cartridges gives 2.7p for a black A4 text print and 9.4p for a text and colour graphics print. Epson doesn’t quote yields for photo prints, so it’s not possible to quote per-print costs.
If you value the quality of your photographic prints, either on glossy paper or artistic media, it’s hard to think of a reason why you shouldn’t buy this printer, except the cost. Apart from anything else, the main alternatives for A3 photo inkjet printers tend to be other Epson models and as this is the top of the range, it’s the most versatile solution.
The ratings for this printer are based primarily on the speed and quality of photo prints, as this is its primary market.
The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 is one of those printers that does what it says on the box. It reproduces photos from small to A3 beautifully, at a standard it would be easy to offer to paying customers. It’s quiet and reasonably fast and costs no more than others of its type to run.
Next, read our Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Review