Epson Debuts the Stylus Pro 3800

Epson Debuts the Stylus Pro 3800


The large format wars continue to heat up, and Photokina showcased several interesting new models that continue to move this market into possible new directions and new channels.

Epson Stylus Pro 3800 was certainly one such unit, featuring a new compact, 17-inch wide printer design, Epson’s new screening algorithm and UltraChrome K3 Ink technology as well as a new auto-sharing black ink technology that allows for automatic switching between photo and matte black ink modes. Epson’s UltraChrome K3 Ink technology actually leverages eight individual cartridges that use high-density color pigments for, as Epson explained at the show, “overall color gamut and fidelity along with a high-gloss Microcrystal Encapsulation resin chemistry to create prints with greater scratch resistance and reduced gloss differential.”

In addition, the technology uses a three-level black ink system that simultaneously uses black, light black and light-light black inks to produce professional quality black-and-white prints, which it says rival traditional silver halide. (Epson also announced that they have set up a Web page dedicated to Intel-based Mac support.)

The seemingly never ending need for speed in this market was also addressed with the 3800 as the unit can produce 16”x 20” photo lab-quality prints (using 1,440 x 720 dpi – High Speed mode) in as fast as five minutes, 32 seconds. The machine also accommodates a variety of media in cut-sheet form between 4” x 6” and 17” x 22”, and offers three different ways to load media, including a high-capacity paper tray (120 sheets), top-loading manual tray optimized for fine art media and a front-loading, straight-through path capable of handling media up to 1.5 mm thick.

With an MSRP of just over $1,000, small footprints and lightweight (43 lbs) units like the 3800 are opening up the large format printing market to a wide variety of interested parties. We will be taking a much closer look at this category along with new product from Canon and HP as well, in a future issue of Picture Business.