Epson has developed an ink jet printer that prints directly from digital cameras and includes technology designed to match the output specifically to the nuances of the kind of camera that shot the pictures.
The Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX ink jet printer is scheduled to ship in June. And should you need to edit an image before printing, a special add-on monitor lets you do it without using your PC.
The printer supports up to 2880-x-720dpi resolution and uses a six-color photo ink printing system.
Its new camera-specific technology is called Print Image Matching, which is designed to help the printer work in tune with the digital camera that captured the images. The camera and printer use shared settings for color, contrast, brightness, balance, and other functions. However, the camera used must support Epson's Print Image Matching technology; cameras that support this specification are also expected to ship this summer, according to Epson.
The optional 1.5-inch preview monitor lets you view and edit images without a PC by using the controls on the monitor and the printer. You can apply some basic edits, including brightness, sharpness, and tones. You can also choose among paper type and size, and the number of copies from the printer's control panel.
The 785EPX has a built-in PC Card slot, which supports most digital cameras. Supported memory device types include CompactFlash Type I and II, IBM Microdrive, memory stick, secure digital, and SmartMedia. The printer comes standard with a CompactFlash Type I adapter, which you can exchange through Epson for either a memory stick or SmartMedia adapter.
The printer comes with two programs: the Software Film Factory photo management tool and ArcSoft's PhotoImpression image-editing application. The hardware and software support both Windows PCs and Macintosh systems.
Epson says the unit's quality is among the highest of its printers. It supports the company's BorderFree photo printing technology, which lets you print borderless photos in a variety of frame-ready, popular photographic sizes.
The Stylus Photo 785EPX is part of a family of Epson photo-quality ink jet printers that date back to 1998. Epson recently weathered some concerns about its photos fading when exposed to certain environments, notably with high ozone concentration. The company markets special paper to avoid fading, and it recommends photos be protected in albums or behind glass.
Epson estimates the printer can produce a 4-x-6-inch photo in less than a minute. You can even print multiple 4 by 6 snapshots on rolls. The maximum print size is 8.5-x-44 inches, for banners. The printer can also handle standard printing tasks; it produces black-ink text pages at a rate of 8 pages per minute.