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Author Topic: Epson 4880 vs 3800  (Read 8251 times)
dennysb
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« on: November 17, 2007, 07:29:39 PM »
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Has anyone with past experience on the 3800 had the opportunity to use the new 4800 printer and compare the 2 units?

I am excited about the ew 16-bit driver technology for maximum image quality capability (Mac OS X) the 4800 has over the 3800, but then I also know about the black ink swapping issue with the 4800 series.

Feedback appreciated.
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tomrock
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 07:41:55 PM »
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I'm pretty sure the 3800 will use the 16-bit tech soon in the US. The European Epson site already has the driver.

Basically, the 4800 is a heavier-duty printer that will use rolls whereas the 3800 will only use sheets.

Either is a great solution. I had a 4000 and went to the 3800. I like it a lot and only miss rolls a little.

But that's just me.
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Schewe
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 08:44:39 PM »
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I am excited about the ew 16-bit driver technology for maximum image quality capability (Mac OS X) the 4800 has over the 3800, but then I also know about the black ink swapping issue with the 4800 series.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153707\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Before you get too excited, the 3800 driver for Leopard can ALSO print in 16 bit–if there were any apps out there that can print out 16 bit. Neither Photoshop CS3 nor Lightroom can yet and it'll be Lightroom that gets it before Photoshop.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 09:42:49 PM »
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Before you get too excited, the 3800 driver for Leopard can ALSO print in 16 bit–if there were any apps out there that can print out 16 bit. Neither Photoshop CS3 nor Lightroom can yet and it'll be Lightroom that gets it before Photoshop.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153728\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Photoshop can print 16 bits through the Canon Export Plugin (not the regular OS driver) to the Canon iPF printers.  While there is a slight quality difference, you really have to look closely to see it--pretty subtle even on careful inspection.

--John
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digitaldog
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 09:57:48 PM »
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Photoshop can print 16 bits through the Canon Export Plugin (not the regular OS driver) to the Canon iPF printers.  While there is a slight quality difference, you really have to look closely to see it--pretty subtle even on careful inspection.

--John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153737\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But John, isn't that an apples to oranges comparison? There's the plug-in which supports 16-bit and the other, standard print driver that doesn't. Or are you saying you can print with the same export module and turn the 16-bit on and off and then you see a slight difference?
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Andrew Rodney
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 10:02:34 PM »
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Photoshop can print 16 bits through the Canon Export Plugin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153737\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Actually, I think the Canon Export Plug-in exports 16 bit files in 12 bit, not 16 bit.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 10:16:33 PM »
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Actually, I think the Canon Export Plug-in exports 16 bit files in 12 bit, not 16 bit.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Come to think of it, I believe it only exports 10 bits:

[a href=\"http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/Plugin+Bit+Depth]http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/Plugin+Bit+Depth[/url]

Forgot about this little tidbit.

--John
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2007, 10:20:53 PM »
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But John, isn't that an apples to oranges comparison? There's the plug-in which supports 16-bit and the other, standard print driver that doesn't. Or are you saying you can print with the same export module and turn the 16-bit on and off and then you see a slight difference?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153738\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It is an apple to oranges comparison, but the difference is so slight (plugin with 16 bits--10 bits actually--vs. 8 bits from OS driver) that it probably isn't worth that much anyway.  When I did this comparison with one custom profile built for plugin and another built for driver, the only difference I could see was a very slight increase in accutance in the plugin version.  You really had to look closely, and I'm not even sure I could have picked out the plugin version in a blind test.  Of course, this may be image dependent, but in the one test I did the difference was just barely discernible.

--John
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2007, 10:55:56 PM »
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But John, isn't that an apples to oranges comparison?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153738\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think this was intended as an observation, not a comparison. If you profile the Canon plug-in with a 16 bit target via the 16 bit path the results are truly incredibly smooth like I have not seen elsewhere, and there certainly is a difference between 16 and 8 bits. If you print a large granger rainbow it is incredibly smooth. Kudos to Canon having this capability for some time now.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2007, 11:31:14 PM »
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If you profile the Canon plug-in with a 16 bit target via the 16 bit path the results are truly incredibly smooth like I have not seen elsewhere, and there certainly is a difference between 16 and 8 bits. If you print a large granger rainbow it is incredibly smooth.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153752\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, but I don't print granger rainbows very often     I am not sure how much difference one would see on most prints.

--John
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dennysb
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 12:03:08 AM »
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Thank you so much everyone!

When looking at the type of volume print I produce, its probably better to stick with the 3800.

Very useful information. BTW, the other claim that cut my eye was that they are using a new coating later in the print heads which (they claim) would significantly reduce the Print head ink clogs.
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Dennys Bisogno

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dennysb
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2007, 12:05:41 AM »
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Schewe,

I was under the impression that the driver for Leopard was not ready..

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Before you get too excited, the 3800 driver for Leopard can ALSO print in 16 bit–if there were any apps out there that can print out 16 bit. Neither Photoshop CS3 nor Lightroom can yet and it'll be Lightroom that gets it before Photoshop.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153728\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Dennys Bisogno

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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2007, 12:19:38 AM »
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I was under the impression that the driver for Leopard was not ready..
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153759\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The Epson 3800 6.11 driver is already available from Epson UK as are the drivers for the 4800, 7800 & 9800. Epson US hasn't posted them yet. But the 3800 drivers from the UK work fine in a US 3800.

And some of us have been using them "for a while"...
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dennysb
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2007, 01:48:09 AM »
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Great thanks!

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The Epson 3800 6.11 driver is already available from Epson UK as are the drivers for the 4800, 7800 & 9800. Epson US hasn't posted them yet. But the 3800 drivers from the UK work fine in a US 3800.

And some of us have been using them "for a while"...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153761\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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madmanchan
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2007, 07:43:20 AM »
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Jeff, do you know if Epson has a set of release notes for the version 6 driver for the 3800? The most obvious change I see compared to version 5 is the interface, but is there anything else? I checked the Epson UK / Europe site but couldn't find any info about how else the driver has changed.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2007, 09:26:43 AM »
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It is an apple to oranges comparison, but the difference is so slight (plugin with 16 bits--10 bits actually--vs. 8 bits from OS driver) that it probably isn't worth that much anyway.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153745\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have an ipf5000, never use it and its about to be given to a school. So I don't have a lot of recent memories of its use hence the question. But if you can't turn off the 16-bit (or 12/10) in the export module, then I would consider it an apples to oranges comparison unless we know for a fact that this module and the standard driver has the identical print/procesing pipeline which I kind of doubt. That's one reason why those who early on said the export module was 'better' and said this was probably due to the higher bit depth may not have been accurate in why it was 'better'.

Hopefully when Lightroom and Photoshop have the ability to send 15-bit data to the Epson driver, we can have a true apples to apples comparison by simply turning on and off the 16-bit/Channel check box in the driver.
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Andrew Rodney
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2007, 11:25:39 AM »
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I have an ipf5000... But if you can't turn off the 16-bit (or 12/10) in the export module...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153833\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
But you can - just click the 8 bit button on the first page. That should be the very first thing you notice. Have you really given this printer a fair chance and approached your testing with an open mind?
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unless we know for a fact that this module and the standard driver has the identical print/procesing pipeline which I kind of doubt.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153833\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The 8 bit plug-in path is said by Canon to be the exact same printing path as the driver. Prints made both ways with the same profiles are visually identical and support that claim. What's to doubt?
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Hopefully when Lightroom and Photoshop have the ability to send 15-bit data to the Epson driver, we can have a true apples to apples comparison by simply turning on and off the 16-bit/Channel check box in the driver.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153833\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
In the meantime it's not unfair to compare the best quality one can get from Canon's 16bit path via the plug-in versus the best quality that can be had through Epson's driver or HP's driver and plug-in. If the bottom line is that one can get smoother gradients and/or color gamut and/or less bronzing one way over another than those are very valuable observations, IMO.

And let me just say that I have worked with all three brands in my own studio and work very closely onsite with a large and picky client base that have all three brands and a variety of needs. I am not pro-Canon or pro any brand. I like all three for different reasons. Although I have good contacts at all three companies my relationships with them aren't so close that I would be afraid to be critical of anyone or to switch brands when appropriate. It's my job as an independent to make knowledgeable observations and be as unbiased as possible. My Canon remarks here are only meant to fill a gap - Canon's printers do have certain advantages which I feel aren't getting their fair share of the attention. I don't think there is any need for a Canon vs Epson vs HP religious feel to these discussions. They are all fantastic printers and their various technological advantages are worth celebrating.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2007, 11:41:46 AM »
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But you can - just click the 8 bit button on the first page. That should be the very first thing you notice. Have you really given this printer a fair chance and approached your testing with an open mind?

I think so. I don't dislike it, I just don't have the room and newer printers are coming in for testing.

I HATE the papers I was sent. I don't love the loops I have to jump through to setup the printing via the unit itself. The output quality was very nice once I put in decent papers. Its loud and big. I didn't like not being able to use the export module in LR too.

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The 8 bit plug-in path is said by Canon to be the exact same printing path as the driver. Prints made both ways with the same profiles are visually identical and support that claim. What's to doubt?

Just want to make sure that's the case.

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In the meantime it's not unfair to compare the best quality one can get from Canon's 16bit path via the plug-in versus the best quality that can be had through Epson's driver or HP's driver and plug-in. If the bottom line is that one can get smoother gradients and/or color gamut and/or less bronzing one way over another than those are very valuable observations, IMO.

They are although it didn't work out well in all my workflow scenario’s. When I did print out of Photoshop, I used the export module.


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Canon's printers do have certain advantages which I feel aren't getting their fair share of the attention. I don't think there is any need for a Canon vs Epson vs HP religious feel to these discussions. They are all fantastic printers and their various technological advantages are worth celebrating.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153854\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It wasn't my intent to start such a this versus that thread. This is a nice unit, its just no longer state of the art and I need to make room for new printers. The Epson driver with respect to 16-bit is a non issue, none of the applications I use send more than 8-bits to the driver.

My initial questions were about the apples to apples comparisons of the two different drivers. In one respect, it sounds like they are identical and in another they are not so I'm still a bit confused by the answers to this initial question.
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Andrew Rodney
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Schewe
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2007, 12:04:33 PM »
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Jeff, do you know if Epson has a set of release notes for the version 6 driver for the 3800? The most obvious change I see compared to version 5 is the interface, but is there anything else? I checked the Epson UK / Europe site but couldn't find any info about how else the driver has changed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153806\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've found nothing on Epson UK (other than the drivers). But there are some pretty big changes under the hood, that's for darn sure. I couldn't even find where to set the driver to No Color Adjustment for a long time cause they moved it into the Print Settings menu > Color Settings...

:~)
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2007, 02:02:36 PM »
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I just don't have the room and newer printers are coming in for testing. I didn't like not being able to use the export module in LR too. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153858\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yes, ditto to that.
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It wasn't my intent to start such a this versus that thread. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153858\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
And I didn't want to suggest that you had - your work and comments are always appreciated. With all the Canon comments I've made here lately I just wanted to clarify my stance so people wouldn't get the wrong idea.
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