EpsonStylus Pro 3880. Epson’s 17-inch professional model is the Stylus Pro 3880. It’s capable of 17x22-inch prints, and it uses the pigment-based Epson UltraChrome K3 inks with Vivid Magenta. The 8-color inkset also features three-level black technology for rich shadow detail and beautiful black-and-white prints. The MicroPiezo AMC print head delivers droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters, and it has a maximum resolution of 1440x2880 dpi. Black-and-white prints made on Epson papers are rated to 200 years and color prints to 108 years.
Stylus Pro 4880. Another 17-inch printer from Epson is the 4880, which made headlines when it first appeared for its ability to print in 16-bit. The 4880 features the pigment-based Epson UltraChrome K3 system with the Vivid Magenta and three-level black technology.
Stylus Pro 4900. At Photokina this September, Epson introduced the new Stylus Pro 4900. If you follow Epson’s naming system, this printer is part of the 4000 lineup of 17-inch printers, but unlike the 4880, it has a 900-series print engine inside. In other words, the Stylus Pro 4900 has the print engine found on the lab-type 7900 and 9900 printers, but it’s in a smaller desktop chassis (okay, it’s around 80 pounds so you’ll want a sturdy desk, but it doesn’t need to have its own stand system, which is nice). This new printer is designed squarely for professional photographers who want the high-volume 900-series print engine. It makes use of 11 UltraChrome HDR inks to generate maximum image detail, color reproduction and excellent black-and-white prints.
Stylus Pro 7880. Stepping into the 24-inch arena, the Epson Stylus 7880 features the 880-series print engine with the pigment-based Epson UltraChrome K3 8-color inkset. This inkset incorporates the Vivid Magenta and three-level black technology. Maximum print size is 24 inches wide, and you can print full bleed on cut sheets or roll papers. Epson rates the longevity of prints from the Stylus Pro 7880 to be 200 years in color or black-and-white. The print head lays down ink droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters and its maximum resolution is 1440x2880 dpi. A nice feature that many pros will appreciate is the built-in print cutter, which can automatically trim the paper to your predetermined size.
Stylus Pro 7900. Another 24-inch model from Epson is the Stylus Pro 7900, which is built with the 900-series print engine. The printer uses the MicroPiezo TFP print head and pigment-based 10-color Epson UltraChrome HDR inkset. The 7900 is built for particularly demanding professionals. A built-in spectrophotometer, developed in conjunction with X-Rite, can monitor your prints, and it works with a RIP to automate color management in a proofing situation. Ink droplet size is as small as 3.5 picoliters, and maximum resolution is 1440x2880 dpi.
HPDesignjet 130. Using a 6-ink pigment-based system, the Designjet 130 can make prints up to 24 inches wide, and with the optional roll paper adapter, you’re almost unlimited in the length of the image. The HP Vivera inks are pigment-based for longevity, as well as excellent color reproduction. The printer also has a built-in calibration function. Using the HP driver, you can print a test image, then the printer will pull it back through and scan it, and calibrate the system accordingly. The calibration function makes the Designjet a good choice for proofing situations or anytime you want to be sure you’re getting all of your colors just right.
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