The Epson Stylus Photo R3000 draws many accolades for its print quality and speed. It might be overkill for everyday tasks, but if you're serious about printing photos, it's a terrific choice.
Outstanding photos. Reviewer after reviewer draws the same conclusion: Professional photographers and dedicated amateurs will find lots to like in the Epson Stylus Photo R3000. Photo quality is first rate, and even fussy experts find few nits to pick with both color and black-and-white prints. PCMag.com says that text and graphics output is similarly high-quality, certainly good enough to make this a go-to printer for professional presentations.
Ease of use is also generally well liked, with a few small caveats. The R3000 can print on a variety of media, including CDs, DVDs, roll paper for prints up to 13 by 44 inches and fine art papers. Thick paper or thin board go in the printer's front-loading straight paper path, although Digital Photography Review's Vincent Oliver finds that using it is "a clumsy operation." The tray can accommodate standard paper of up to 13 by 19 inches.
Performance is equally good whether you print on matte or glossy stock, and the eight-ink cartridge system includes blacks for both. One drawback: The R3000 does a wasteful ink purge every time you switch between printing on matte or glossy stock.
Finally, the R3000 is fast for a photo printer; PhotographyBlog.com says it output a borderless 13-by-9 print in 6:45. PCMag.com doesn't test printing times for such large-format photos, but reports that the R3000 spit out a high-quality 4 by 6 in 53 seconds, and an 8 by 10 in 1:41.
Useful features, but few extras. Digital Photography Review sums it up best: "The R3000 has many features without too many bells and whistles." Ink cartridges are high-capacity compared to its predecessors, although some printers like the pricier Epson Stylus Pro 3880 (*Est. $1,300) use cartridges that are even more economical long term. The inks are rated to last as long as 300 years depending on the paper type and storage conditions, says PCMag.com.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, USB and Ethernet. PictBridge printing direct from an attached digital camera is also supported. An LCD control panel provides status updates on ink levels and a wide range of advanced media options that allow printing on different paper sizes.
While a printer capable of handling sheets up to 13 by 19 will never be small, several reviewers say the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 has a reasonably compact footprint when not in use and its trays are folded in. However, PCMag.com says you'll still want to keep things clear around the machine -- front and back -- for the trays and for paper handling when using the straight paper path. Closed, the R3000 measures 9 by 24.2 by 14.5 inches; that expands to 16.7 by 24.2 by 33.1 inches when open.
Excellent build quality. Oliver at Digital Photography Review is impressed, saying the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 should be able to deal with "moderate to heavy use." He also likes that when the trays are closed, the printer is effectively sealed against dust and debris. PCMag.com wishes that Epson quoted a duty cycle -- the amount of usage the printer can withstand per month without affecting its life expectancy -- but admits it's unlikely to be an issue among this printer's intended audience of professional photographers and graphics experts.
User feedback is generally positive. One Amazon.com owner suggests, "If you print a medium number of prints, I'm sure this printer will last forever. Still, if you're like me and you print hundreds of prints every week, then I suppose the consumable parts of the printer will wear out long before the rest of it does, as was the case with my R2880." A user posting at Digital Photography Review says his R3000 had no clogs after sitting idle for more than four months.
Review Credibility: Very Good The print quality of the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 is excellent, Goldstein says. Other positives include wireless connectivity, bigger ink cartridges, and no manual switching between photo and matte black inks. The printer earns a Highly Recommended award.
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R3000 Review, Mark Goldstein, April 25, 2011
2. Digital Photography Review
Review Credibility: Very Good After extensively testing a pre-production model for nearly a month, Oliver says the Epson R3000 is "certainly one of the best printers currently available." Print quality, speed and features are top-notch, but the R3000's price may put it out of reach for many users, he adds. Still, the site gives the printer its Gold Award.
Review: Epson R3000 Review, Vincent Oliver, October 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good "Gorgeous output at fast speed" makes the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 a standout among Editors' Choice printers here. Stone can find only two drawbacks: Epson doesn't publish cost-per-photo or monthly duty-cycle numbers, which is the maximum number of prints you can make without shortening the printer's life. However, he says, few manufacturers do.
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R3000, M. David Stone, Feb. 18, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good Like other experts, Nicholson praises the "superb" prints she gets from the Epson Stylus Photo R3000. Disappointments are few, primarily that the R3000's cartridges -- while improved compared to its predecessor -- still aren't as economical as those used in other more expensive printers.
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R3000 Review, Angela Nicholson, Aug. 5, 2011
5. Technical Image Press Association
Review Credibility: Good Editors of the Technical Image Press Association's 29 member magazines worldwide vote the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 the best expert photo printer (nonlarge format) for 2011 based on their own testing. Editors are "very impressed" by the printer's unusually fine black-and-white print quality.
Review: TIPA Awards 2011, Editors of Technical Image Press Association, April 2011
Review Credibility: Good Oliver rehashes his Digital Photography Review report on the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 here at his own website. Not surprisingly, it again draws a rave review.
Review: Epson R3000 Review, Vincent Oliver, March 3, 2011
Review Credibility: Good In this lengthy review, Weitz tests the R3000 and applauds the printer's performance and inkwell capacity, noting that its large cartridges will ultimately save users money.
Review: Printing With the Epson Stylus Photo R3000, Allan Weitz, July 20, 2011
Review Credibility: Good More than 35 owners post reviews of the Epson Stylus Photo R3000 here. Complaints vary but center around ink cost issues. However, those are outnumbered by reviews from mostly happy owners, resulting in an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of 5.
Review: Epson Stylus Photo R3000 Wireless Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013