Product Type: Epson inkjet printers
Newest Review: ... of the top spec machines that was available on the market. When first setting up the machine included with the machine is a manual and a ... more
Soon to be gone but never forgotten!
Epson Stylus Photo R300
Member Name: thebigc1690
Epson Stylus Photo R300
Advantages: A quiet, easy to use, very good quality photo printer.
Disadvantages: Been superseeded!
The Epson R300 was one of the first of its kind, a photo printer that could print straight from the memory card so no need for a PC or laptop, simply slip your memory card into the appropriate memory card slot on the front of the printer and using the small LCD screen choose your options and print.
Once attached to a computer or a laptop though you could make use of the bundled software that comes with the Epson R300 and take your printing to another level. What most people were asking was "could this printer really print lab quality photos"? Well the answer to that is no it cannot but it can come very close if you use good enough glossy paper and the genuine Epson ink cartridges.
As a pro photographer I would never have considered offering my customers prints that I had done on this printer but it did come in very useful for the office and for trial printing before and after Photoshop. I used the same Epson R300 printer for over three years without a hitch and it could do something my much more expensive Epson professional photo printer could not and that is print discs.
Using a very simple sliding tray mechanism the Epson R300 can print CD`s or DVD`s to give a professional finish, I found this very useful when offering wedding photos on disc as I could personalise the disc for people at virtually no cost.
Is running your own photo printer cost effective? This was another question people regularly asked and the honest answer three years ago would have been "no, not really" but now that has all changed. You can now get very inexpensive ink cartridges for the Epson R300 and many other Epson printers; they are not Epson quality but work fine in the machines and cost a fraction of the price.
There are places on line such as bigmaggot.co.uk where you can buy the six ink cartridges that the Epson R300 takes for under £10 and also get yourself a very good quality A4 glossy paper for around £6 for 50 sheets. A combined effort by the Epson R300, the cheap ink cartridges and the inexpensive paper will not offer lab quality images but to the untrained eye they will offer perfectly good photos which will suit most people just fine.
As a previous Epson hater I was glad to see that with this machine Epson have finally put to rest the clunky and shaky operation that was present in most of their earlier printers and the Epson R300 prints without any real noise or movement. The constant errors have been greatly reduced also and only very rarely do you get an error warning and refusal to print and they are usually very easily eradicated by following the simple on screen instructions, either through the PC or laptop monitor or through the built in LCD screen.
Image printing is not particularly fast if you are printing photo quality images but it is very fast if you are just doing documents, the printer offers you the choice of settings for everything from black and white word documents to best glossy photo. It also allows you to specify which paper you are using and allows you to choose your size of image, with every imaginable size available between 4X6 to A3 borderless.
The Epson R300 prints consistently well and only ever offers poor quality printing when one or more inks are getting low. The printer warns you of low inks from the cartridge having less than 20% ink remaining and Epson recommend that when it points out there is less than 5% remaining you should change it. Personally I used to change when they got to less than 10% to avoid problems but that is a choice you can make for yourself.
The software that comes with the Epson R300 is extensive and very useful as well as being easy to use and simple to set up. You get software to help you save and file your images, software to help you resize images ready for printing and software to help you print your discs. Using the software provided you will find it very easy to print things such as album cards, calendars, greeting cards, stickers and discs and you will find if you use the cheap replacement inks and shop around for your paper you can cut the cost of photo printing in half.
I would say that most people would struggle to find any real difference between a lab printed image and an image done on an Epson R300 when you print in 6X4, it is only when you choose to print bigger that the difference in quality of print could be picked out but even then an untrained eye would probably never notice.
THE EPSONR300 SPECS
Epson Stylus Photo R300 - Printer - colour - ink-jet - Legal, Panoramic A2 - 5760 dpi x 1440 dpi - up to 15 ppm (mono) / up to 15 ppm (colour).
Printer Type::: Personal printer - ink-jet - colour.
Media Type:::: Envelopes, transparencies, greeting cards, plain paper, photo paper, photo stickers, matte paper, glossy photo paper, Compact Disc, bond paper, heavy-weight matte paper, semi-gloss paper.
Max Media Size (Standard) Legal, Panoramic A2 Max Media Size (Custom) 216 mm (Legal) x 1117.6 mm.
Total Media Capacity::: 120 sheets.
So on then to the cost of this printer, well as I said way back at the start of this review it has now been taken of the market by Epson and superseded by basically the same printer but with a scanner attached. Way back in the day when I purchased mine I paid in excess of £200 for it but as with all things technology related it soon fell in price and these days if you can find someone with one in stock you will be looking at a mere fifty quid for this fine machine.
I would still happily recommend this printer at prices around the £150 mark so at today's great prices I would say it is a must buy. I just bought myself a new one a few months back and it is still in its box because my old one has not failed me yet, I paid £55 for my new one from the afore mentioned bigmaggot.co.uk but they sadly no longer have any left. You can still find them online and I am sure that there will be a few floating around on EBay no doubt.
With everything in photography these days being digital it makes real sense to be printing you own images rather than paying through the nose and having to wait on labs doing it for you and if you intend to get started printing in this way then this is the machine I would recommend.
These will soon disappear from the market all together so I suggest grabbing one whilst you still can.
Everything about this printer is simple, from printing one page documents to printing off multiple glossy photos, it can all be very easily mastered and even the ink cartridge replacement is very easy and all the info you need to do it is right there in front of you on the screen so you need not worry that this type of equipment is beyond you in any way.
There are some super Epson printers out there now that leave this one in the shade but they cost big bucks and if you have no previous experience of self printing then they will leave you very confused as well as out of pocket, that is why I recommend this particular printer so highly.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: The perfect machine to get started printing your own photos!
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