FLAAR continues to follow the performance of the seven-color Epson Stylus Pro 7600 and Epson Stylus Pro 9600. We are now adding fresh information after the actual features of this printer have been experienced in real-life usage. Our team at the university spent summer 2004 test-driving the Epson 7600. The in-depth evaluation is now available in the FLAAR Premium Report Series on Fine Art Giclée Printers.
So check out those reports. In the meantime, here is a note by an actual user of the Epson 7600 in Switzerland. He got tired of the poor gamut of his Epson 5500 and tried out the 7600. Here are his comments verbatim.
Finally I have got a 7600 printer. I am running it with a ( RIP) on a Windows machine. The results are great. I really don't miss the (Epson) 5500!
With the Quality of Epson today you don’t need an Iris to do Giclee
The picture here shows us in front of an Iris 3047 giclée printer . One print is from the Iris; one from an HP 5000ps, and one from the Epson 7600. Frankly for under $3,000, the Epson 7600 sure looks professional. Of course if you need an Iris, then you need the $45,000 Ixia. But to start your career in giclée printing, the Epson sounds like a more economical entry level selection.
When the Epson 7600 first came out it was the only 24” color printer of its kind. But this year Canon came out with a 24” printer with pigmented inks and HP has produced a 24” with 80-year dye inks, so there are alternatives for commercial photography, fine art photography and especially graphic design.
The university lab did a comparison of print image quality this summer, and we were surprised at how differently the Epson and the HP 130 handled text, especially fine details at 2 pts through 6 point lettering. This is, to our knowledge, one of the first objective benchmarking studies documented with a QEA image quality analysis system (basically a macro camera that looks at the actual dot quality). This is what a university lab does a good job on.
Of course today the Epson 4000 would be another option during 2004. With 22 inkjet printers in our two labs, we tend to use the printers that produce the color gamut and freedom from gloss differential defects.
Today newer models are available, such as the Epson 4800. In wider format the Epson 11880 is just announced.
Epson 7600 arrives at the FLAAR test lab at BGSU
The comprehensive report is now available, one of the few independent reports in this depth yet written on any Epson printer
Every several years there is either a new Canon iPF printer or a new Epson or a new HP water-based printer that is made for giclee, decor, or fine art photography. It is hard to keep track of the advances in improved inks and color management features. FLAAR is keeping track by visiting giclee ateliers around the world that have these various brands. Each brand has its good points and a few issues and an occasional deficiency.
Since FLAAR itself does not sell printers, for you to find out information on prices and availability of each model that can print fine art giclee well, we suggest you contact a company that offers all three brands: Canon, HP, and Epson. This way they are not going to push just one brand because they offer all three. Plus you need a company that has plenty of experience with fine art photographs, photo labs, and giclee atelier.
If you are looking for a place that is not a box-pusher (meaning you want a place that provides service after the sale), then one place we know for many years is Parrot Digigraphic. Their telephone is 978.670.7766.
Most recently updated July 25, 2007. Previously updated Sept. 7, 2004.
The complete FLAAR Reports are in full-color PDF format. Our institute has comprehensive FLAAR Reports on over 73 different wide format inkjet printers, RIP software, color management, scanners, digital cameras and on countless markets such as wide format inkjet printers for photography, giclee, proofing, CAD, GIS, graphic design, signs, and specialty applications too. All FLAAR Reports by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth and his team are available on wide-format-printers.net
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