by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2007
Also launched at the same time as the 880 series of printers are the upgraded four-ink systems, now called, 4450, 7450 and 9450. A new web-based service is also to be launched with the new printers that will provide service facilities as well as remote diagnostics. It is to be available under the URL myepsonprinter.eu.
Overall then it seems that we can expect the new printers and the new inks to push the bar up even higher than it currently stands, with additional proofing capability, increased speed, lower metamerism and smother structure to the prints. It is going to be an interesting review.
Captions: The three plots collectively show what might be expected from the new Vivid Magenta ink set. The top histogram is from the record-breaking combination of Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl through an Epson 3800, tested for the last issue. Even though the average error is the lowest we have recorded, the three blues of the Macbeth Chart remain the high errors in the data set (Sky Blue, Purplish Blue and Blue). The light lemon part of the graph bars represent the error in the hue component of the colour and this is backed by the plot above in which the errors are displayed around the colour wheel (further from the centre equals a higher error). Note that the blues stand out, again for their hue error. In the plot on the right the length of the line represents the error in all but the lightness of the colour and the blues show the characteristic of being rotated in hue away from ideal as well as being slightly longer than the other colours in the gamut. The very saturated Reflex Blue and Rhodamine Red are within the grasp of the new ink set and the graph shows how far out they are from the Macbeth colours (ie they have much more saturation. The spread of data points reflects some confusion over the exact colour coordinates of the two Pantones). Hopefully the additional headroom of colour will be translated into an overall improvement in the statistics. Bear in mind though, these are incremental improvements in already outstanding data! The colour gamut plot has been rotated to show the additional colours, epsecially in the magenta and blue regions. The solid surface is K3, the dots are K3 Vivid Magenta.
Epson Stylus Pro series key features summary: 4880 7880 9880
Consistent output with Epson Micro Piezo printhead technology
High-density Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink Technology
Image processing with Epson Super Halftone Screening Technology
Maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi
Individual high-capacity ink cartridges - 110ml or 220ml
Professional media handling at a width of 44", 24" or 17" in roll and cut sheet mode
BorderFree™ roll printing from 8" up to 44" wide
Print on media up to 1.5 mm thick poster board
Built-in automatic media cutting system
High-performance print engine speeds
Standard USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet interface
User-friendly back lit LCD control panel
MyEpson Printer™ network compatible
Pressurised ink cartridge technology for Stylus Pro 7880 and Stylus Pro 9880
Cassette feed mechanism for Stylus Pro 4880
Optional take-up unit for Stylus Pro 9880
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