The company says the Stylus Photo R3000 has been built around extensive user feedback, which led to design changes such as a front-loading fine art paper feed, and the addition of a colour LCD panel for checking ink levels.
"By far, the most frequent request we received was for increased ink capacity," says Taisuke Okawa of Epson's planning department. "Pros print a lot of large prints and don't like to frequently change cartridges. Also, despite hearing great things about our previous models, many users wanted an easier way to load fine art paper, since they have to attach a guide each time and feed from the rear."
The printer accepts higher capacity 25.9ml ink cartridges, which Epson says will reduce the cost per page of medium print runs. "For the ink cartridges, we more than doubled the capacity to nearly 2.3 times that of previous cartridges by employing an off-carriage mechanism," says Okawa. "For fine art paper, we designed a new mechanism that accepts feeding from the front and also allowed us to keep the printer's footprint small.
Using UltraChrome K3 inks with Vivid Magenta, it says, "each print is consistently true-to-life", and delivers "unbeatable greyscale" thanks to its three densities of black. Either a standard photo or matte black can be used and switched automatically by the printer to suit the particular paper, along with light black and light light black to create "true black-and-white images".
The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 will be available from the end of March, priced around £700.
In a separate announcement Epson said that several of its fine art-quality papers, previously only available in cut sheet sizes, are now also available in roll form.
They include its Hot Press Bright, Hot Press Natural, Cold Press Bright and Cold Press Natural papers, which are linen and acid-free, made of 100 percent cotton, and available in warm white and bright white, with either a smooth or textured finishes.
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