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Stylus Photo R300 Color Inkjet Printer


Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Digital Accessories : Photo Printers

The Stylus Photo R300 Color Inkjet Printer


  • 2 USB ports; supports DirectPrint and PictBridge cameras
  • Up to 5,760 x 1,440 optimized dpi resolution
  • Slots for digital-camera memory cards
  • Prints 4-by-6 photo in as little as 37 seconds
  • Accepts inkjet-printable CDs and DVDs

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1 Review  

Average Rating: 5 out of 5

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John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/18/2005
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Rating: 5 out of 5
The Epson R300 is one of a family of printers based upon the same print engine - the R200, R300, R300M (an R300 with an optional LCD display for previewing images on memory cards), R320 (same as the R300M except the supplied LCD display is larger). There is also the RX-series of multi-function printers (scanner/fax/printer/copier) that use this same engine, so the print quality comments will apply to all of these items. The R300 is the latest incarnation of Epson's family of dye inkjet printers, and the culmination of this design. These printers are meant primarily for the amateur user who produces prints up to 8.5" wide and who is not specifically looking for archival qualities. I picked up my R300 on sale for just $79 at CompUSA. Considering that a replacement ink cartridge set runs about the same price, but you are getting a printer with a built-in high-speed USB 2.0 multi-card reader (CF, SD/MS, XD/SM compatible) PLUS the ability to attach a USB 1.0/1.1 hard disk for quick backup from memory card to storage device... you're getting the printer for free! Heck, if it broke tomorrow I'd still keep it for the card reader! How about the image quality? In a word, astounding... 4x6 glossys printed on Epson Premium Glossy paper are as good or better than the best lab-produced prints. In fact, you can't tell the difference. I've made numerous images on Epson's enhanced matte and the quality is also superb. My biggest images have been 8.5" x 19" panoramas (I could go up to 44" wide) made from stitched photos that allow me to print at 360 dpi and the image quality is, again, outstanding. I've also burned a few printable CD-Rs of my images for friends and printed ON the CD using this printer (need printable CD-Rs) and again, the results are amazing. My CDs look better than most commercial CDs. If you're a pro photographer who wants to distribute CD-Rs with proofs on them, this printer is a cheap way of impressing your customers. This thing lets the digital photographer produce prints at a quality level that couldn't be done by the average home/hobbyist photographer with a couple thousand dollars worth of wet darkroom equipment as recently as a decade ago. You can even get aftermarket continuous ink systems (CIS) that reduce the ink costs by 90%, and if you feel adventurous enough you could run archival Ultrachrome inks (2200) in it after making your own profiles and you'd have an R800 for about half the price. The only drawback is print life. Wilhelm Research gives the paper and ink used a max of 25 years in a standard indoor environment before noticeable image deterioration, and you can add a decade or two to that by use of aftermarket image preservation sprays. However, if you print mostly shots that will be stored in albums, the images will outlive you. Get this printer if you need to print CDs, if you need to make beautiful prints quickly at a very low price and you don't need prints that will last longer than most conventional photolab prints. Get it for proofs, for marketing brochures, and for other purposes where low cost and high quality is wanted. Get it to make prints for family and friends. Get it if you are thinking about getting a multi-card reader because you'll only pay $30 more for the printing features. Your jaw WILL drop when the first beautiful print appears. Highly recommended, and at $79 it is the outstanding value in photo printers. I will get a larger printer (2400) eventually, but I'll keep this little guy for all of its outstanding qualities and features.
8/19/2005 12:44:06 AM

1 Review  

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