Epson R2000 review: An A3+ photo printer with Wi-Fi, and it can print panoramas
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is an A3+ photo printer with integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi and roll media printing. It's a great choice if you're interested in printing panoramas, but it's also adept at A3 and A4 photo printing as well. Unless you're doing extensive greyscale printing where a larger variety of black inks is preferable, the Stylus Photo R2000 is more than capable for high quality prints with excellent colour accuracy and vibrancy.
Epson Stylus Photo R2000: Design, connectivity and setup
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 has two paper feeds — there's a top cassette that can hold A3+, A3, A4 or smaller paper (which we had no problems fitting 20 A3 sheets or about 30 A4 sheets in) and a rear feed that can be used for individual sheets of fine art paper, thicker stock or a roll of photo paper. Epson gave us a spool of A3+ glossy photo roll paper to test the R2000's roll feed, and although it takes a little bit of customising in the printer's driver the results are worth the effort.
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 adds Wi-Fi over the old Stylus Photo R1900, which made do with wired Ethernet. The new R2000 has Ethernet as well, although for most of our testing we used the printer's inbuilt USB 2.0 for trouble-free connection. We had no problems connecting the Stylus Photo R2000 to our test Apple MacBook Pro via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet (through a Linksys E3000 router).
Setting up the Stylus Photo R2000 is reasonably simple — you don't have to insert any print-heads or unlock anything, with the only requirement the installation of the printer's eight ink cartridges. There are about twenty pieces of protective tape holding all the printer's components securely in place, some slightly hidden, so setup becomes an Easter egg hunt for a few minutes.
Epson Stylus Photo R2000: Print quality and speed
We ran through around two dozen A3 test prints, a dozen A4 photos and three metre-long panoramas with the Epson Stylus Photo R2000. Most prints were produced in the highest possible quality settings with the printer's high speed mode disabled. Although we doubt you'll be comparing the Stylus Photo R2000 and its competitors purely based on speed, we took notes anyway — A3 prints at the highest possible quality took 8min 1sec to print completely, although enabling high speed printing (which prints on both passes of the print head, rather than just right to left) drops that down to 4min 23sec. A4 highest quality prints take 2min 35sec to complete. We didn't time the panorama prints, which were 329mm tall and 987mm wide.
One thing to note is that the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 doesn't include any automatic cutting for roll paper, so you'll have to do it by hand. It's a slightly tedious task which requires pressing the paper feed button a few times to print out a cutting line and feed more paper through to allow you to comfortably cut it.
We produced both monochrome and colour prints in our testing. The Epson Stylus Photo R2000's eight pigment inks are cyan, magenta, orange, red, yellow, matte black, photo black and a gloss optimiser to smooth glossy photo printouts. Detail is as good as any other high quality A3+ photo printer we've seen — the more expensive Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II is able to print out ever so slightly more detail on fine edges, but the difference is minor at best. We were entirely happy with the detail and quality of the printouts the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 made from our 16-megapixel Nikon D7000 and 24-megapixel Nikon D3x digital SLR cameras.
The accuracy of the Epson Stylus Photo R2000's colour photo prints was excellent in our testing. With a calibrated Dell U2711 in sRGB mode for comparison, we found the Epson Stylus Photo R2000's A3 printouts to be near-identical, with no colour posterisation or banding visible at all. The printer driver has a range of colour modes to choose from, but we opted to avoid them and adjust colours through Photoshop (which we printed from for its extensive printing customisation options).