The R1800 is here, an A3 photo printer capable of borderless shots at a whopping 5760 x 1440 dpi. I fear for the future of photo labs.
Epson has bestowed another printer upon the world, this time an upgrade to its A3 photo range with the R1800. Billed as a comparable machine to the A4 based R800 released last year, the R1800 incorporates many of its features such as borderless prints and two additional inks (Red and Blue) to the existing five colour cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Black, Matte Black) and single Gloss Optimizer (it puts the shine on photo prints).
Perhaps the most impressive boast of the new R1800 however is image quality. Epson asserts the wider range of colours makes it closer (and to use its terminology) “”in some areas wider”” than Silver Halide, which is the photo sensitive chemical compound used in photographic film and paper. Essentially, if a consumer product can match these levels it can put home users within touching distance of professional laboratory prints – or at least it is claimed.
Consequently, print resolutions for the R1800 are up to an impressive 5760 x 1440 dpi with droplet size reduced to 1.5pl. Print speeds appear better too (though these must always be taken with a pinch of salt) with 10 x 8 inch photos at 1440 x 720 dpi quoted as taking just 66 seconds.
For those who are fans of creating CD and DVD labels the R1800 also has a special tray (which you should be able to see in the picture above) that allows the media to be fed directly into the printer which I think is kinda neat. Just don’t forget to put the sticky label on first.
Connectivity is provided by either USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394 depending on your port of choice and a palette of photo software is included with programmes such as Epson RAW Print which – as the name suggests – enables processing and printing of camera RAW files.
For the aspiring photographers among us you may be keen to know the R1800 will be available in April with an RRP of £399.99 including VAT.