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Author Topic: New Epson Printers  (Read 125914 times)
Scott Martin
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 11:59:51 AM »
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On all the profiles (Bill Atkinson profiles, APS Z frm V5, Canon 5000 profiles given to me)  I looked at in the bottom end of the L*a*b* locust Epson had more colour information in the lowest ranges of the L* levels. Does the newer x100 Canon inkset have more in the shadows than the older inkset[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Gotta profile them all the same way using the same device to be fair. And yes the black and grey inks are different on the iPF x100 inks which bring a number of advantages including DMax.
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Both HP and Canon fall back rapidly to a neutral in the deep shadows due to in most part GCR.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That's not what I'm seeing based on actual prints. I like to look carefully at the bottom portion of the granger rainbow when deep colors fade into black. Many processes go neutral before hitting black but iPF prints do an excellent job maintaining color down there (again with the right profiles).
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In any subjective tests what viewers see as better than the other often surprises me. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I agree - that can be really educational. But when large groups of people are unanimous about something that's different.
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Bill Atkinson's test image has some green fern areas that tell a lot about what all three can do. Objectively one can map these colours, subjectively will be up to the viewer to decide their preferences. Since no analogue printers ever printed these colours before, who knows what is "right", yet for me realism is what I think is best.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
When it comes to skin tones I can compare prints under high quality lighting or daylight to the person photographed and see better matching with some profiles over others. PMP and EOM profiles, for example, put a little too much pink or magenta in the skin tones even though the gray balance is fine. Photo labs are really good at picking this out and every time I hear about a lab complaining about 'pink' or 'fleshy' skin tones its a red flag that they are using either PMP or EOM profiles.

I also deal with designers and print shops with Pantone spot color matching. When I take out the spectro and compare the Pantone color book samples to inkjet reproductions made with various profiles, I consistently find the MP profiles to provide the lowest (best) Delta E variances. So this is a quantitative way of confirming what I am seeing visually.
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Canon uses 2 extra bits in the plug in to it's advantage for the extended inkset.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
12bit minus 8 bits equals a 4 bit differential right? 4 more bits requires substantially more processing power on the printer. Since Canon makes their own chips perhaps they felt that could push the envelope while everyone else was using on-board 8 bit processing? Canon told me that their tests showed 12 bits to be the sweet spot for quality and demands on processing power.
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Epson do not need 12 bit processing at this point. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Says who? Their granger rainbows could be a little smoother. I'm being crazy picky when I say this - this type of small detail would probably be lost to the general public.
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Has anyone seen a difference with the new 16 bit drivers on the 11880 between 8>16 bit?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No. Sending 16 bits to the printer doesn't matter much if the on-board processing is limited to 8bits. Since the IPF printers have on-board 12 bit processing you can see a subtle difference between sending 8 and 16 bit data to the printer (this effects smoothness, not gamut of course). On the Epson no. Epson has been asked what their on-board processing bit depth is but their silence and the results seem to suggest that it is 8. I'd certainly love to hear and see otherwise.
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In theory now that Vista and 10.5 are out the plug-in (rip) approach are no longer needed as they can process images at high bit at OS level, including screening.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
What us end users think of as "screening" and what the engineers talk about as screening are two different things. There are several things that happen that effect the dot appearance and placement on the page. Let's just say that when any OEM driver is used (any with most RIPs) the real "heavy lifting" (what the engineers call dot masking and multi color conversions) is done on the printer's on-board processor. Canon's 12 bit LCOA chip is said to have the advantage but I won't be surprised if we start seeing HP and Epson marketing talking about new on-board processing capabilities on future printers, should they catch up.
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neil snape
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2008, 10:00:42 AM »
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The screening for HP is done at 8 bit for the Z and 16 bit for the 9180. Bit depth for screening is not the same as image bit depth.  Epson it's done in the printer, I have no idea on their actual bit depth of masking. I think it is hard to argue that the finesse of the Epson screening is extremely fine, and efficient. In fact it is too real for many of us used to film, press dots etc.

I didn't ask what the processor ASIC has in bit depth but if the new 11880 16 bit drivers produce visual differences.

The reasons of the mild clipping in Epson drivers is not at all bit depth of masking but a decision of pleasing contrast and sharpness. Easy enough to see if you use GutenPrint to run a raw plot.
You are combining a lot of things that are related to total output to visual response to Granger rainbows. I use the most tools as indicators and thus don't have as much  conviction as your might due to the variability of the tests I worked on and will work on in the future.
Do you have some documentation on Canon using 12 or 10 bit for masking. I haven't seen any yet, but an awful lot of assumptions either way. When I asked Canon engineers from Japan, they just wouldn't say. Others such as John Panazzo asked too, same they didn't want to say. At least HP is clear and told me  quite a bit about the masking other things that are confidential; of course.

Although one would quickly assume that higher bit processing to be an advantage, fact is it is required for performance within the hardware set up to perform at it's optimum , which in the case of Canon is a good thing. Yet assuming the same for other systems is not true until proven , and that, is something that would be for R&D to do.

I don't know what EOM profiles are. OEM?   PMP is decidedly different in skin tone repro. I think Monaco is too yellow for my taste, too yellow for a lot of printers too.  In the fashion /beauty world and or Asiatic side a brighter magenta is definitely the side you want to be on. The number of times press runs are credited back to the big names have most often been skin tones being too yellow, too dark etc. Considering the Logo guys and girls are over here, I think the skin tones they look to are pointed towards the look pros are looking for. If the labs there are having enormous  problems with skin tones I question their source images more than PMP.

We're getting too far off topic though , as all of us have preferences as well as  differences in perception/vision.  I have always loved discussing these subtleties! Just a note on large groups> there was one image in a lab test with a girl in a bathing suit (hmmm my type of image for testing/ eval !) that unanimously ( a lot of  pro photogs) was better on the Epson than Canon or HP. The skin tones were yellower, redder and more saturated, the bathing suit much richer in red and darker thus higher local contrast. Thing is , the perfectly calibrated screen, L*a*b* eyedropper readouts, and Canon and HP ( HP was better) prints were the correct match.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2008, 10:47:51 AM »
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Do you have some documentation on Canon using 12 or 10 bit for masking. I haven't seen any yet, but an awful lot of assumptions either way. When I asked Canon engineers from Japan, they just wouldn't say. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193128\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I have an excellent iPF engineer contact at Canon that I talk with at great length with about these issues. The current processor is 12 bits and they have elaborately explained their testing and why they choose 12bits. Should I see you at a trade show I'd be happy to introduce you if he is there.

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PMP is decidedly different in skin tone repro. I think Monaco is too yellow for my taste, too yellow for a lot of printers too. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193128\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
In what way did you conduct these PMP vs MP evaluations? How many printers are we talking about about and what type of printers? What did they think about the gray balance differences? Were the prints viewed under daylight?

Measure the skin tones, measure the screen and measure the prints and look for the lowest Delta E variation. I find MP to offer significantly lower delta e variances. It's often not a matter of which one you prefer it's a matter of which one is more accurate.

As far as personal preference goes we may have to agree to disagree. :-] And that's fine! I've shown PMP and MP print comparisons (using the color and B&W evaluation images on my website as well as their own all viewed under daylight) to over 20 pro photo labs (in North America, Australia and Europe) over the last 16 months and every single one has chosen the MP prints.

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I don't know what EOM profiles are.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193128\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
OEM= Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM profiles would be the profiles that are installed along with a printer driver. Some OEM profiles are better that others!
 
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Just a note on large groups> there was one image in a lab test with a girl in a bathing suit (hmmm my type of image for testing/ eval !) that unanimously ( a lot of  pro photogs) was better on the Epson than Canon or HP. The skin tones were yellower, redder and more saturated, the bathing suit much richer in red and darker thus higher local contrast. Thing is , the perfectly calibrated screen, L*a*b* eyedropper readouts, and Canon and HP ( HP was better) prints were the correct match.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193128\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
OK, you've got to clarify your methodology when making statements like that. What steps were taken to ensure the test was fair? How were the three printers profiled? What paper was used? Did you measure the original objects photographed and the final prints and compare Delta E variances? Was the preferred print less accurate than another? Why don't you tell us where we can get that image so we can repeat this test?

p.s. Great discussion with you Neil!
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BJNY
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2008, 10:54:30 AM »
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p.s. Great discussion with you Neil!

Great info Scott & Neil.
THANK YOU!
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Guillermo
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2008, 10:58:27 AM »
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there was one image in a lab test with a girl in a bathing suit (hmmm my type of image for testing/ eval !) that unanimously ( a lot of  pro photogs) was better on the Epson than Canon or HP. The skin tones were yellower, redder and more saturated, the bathing suit much richer in red and darker thus higher local contrast. Thing is , the perfectly calibrated screen, L*a*b* eyedropper readouts, and Canon and HP ( HP was better) prints were the correct match.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193128\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've seen situations in which people preferred the PMP prints over MP prints but it was because the image needed color correction. The MP print was more accurate but the PMP profile applied the warming of the skin tones that the poorly corrected file needed. Again, talking about what is more accurate vs. what is preferred can be dangerous. And when it comes to screen matching the software used to calibrate these display is important. GMB profiles (PMP and EOM) put too much pink in the skin tones on screen as well. You actually do get better when GMB printer and display profiles are used but when you go back to the original objects that were photographed it becomes obvious that the skin tones are more pink than the original. If someone is calibrating their display with either PMP or EOM try calibrating your display with BasICColor or CEDP and take another look at those skin tones, contrast and print matching.
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2008, 03:05:05 PM »
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DRUPA starts tomorrow, so do we expect the rumored new Epson models to be announced tomorrow?
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2008, 03:14:41 PM »
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DRUPA starts tomorrow, so do we expect the rumored new Epson models to be announced tomorrow?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198592\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Very soon, probably : I've received a spam from Epson Europe a few days ago simply stating that some new Epson thing will come out there.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2008, 04:02:08 PM »
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Very soon, probably : I've received a spam from Epson Europe a few days ago simply stating that some new Epson thing will come out there.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


There will be the wide format ecosolvent model that has been announced before and two office inkjet models, both four color Durabrite with big carts that look like the same model the 9800 uses. Max. print size A4 though.

[a href=\"http://www.letsgodigital.org/nl/18965/epson-b-500dn/]http://www.letsgodigital.org/nl/18965/epson-b-500dn/[/url]

http://www.insidehw.com/Editorials/Events/...our-Vision.html

Few English pages on them so I guess it is more for the European market.

No news in the Dutch press on new wide formats though.


Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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xixar
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« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2008, 10:44:58 AM »
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http://www.bluelinemedia.com.au/news-archi...-7900-and-9900/
http://www.xrite.com/company_press_room.aspx?News=515
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seangirard
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« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2008, 10:56:12 AM »
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So they add orange and green and an optional spectro. No mention of Mk/Pk.

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neil snape
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« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2008, 11:05:20 AM »
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Finally! I knew about some of the testing on these (very little) and have to say this is going to make a huge difference to art printing, and packaging  proofing.

The feature set is what should have been in the Z series, built in Fogra strip reading, spot colours, verification.

The only thing I think is sad is Epson's way of saying that they didn't need extra colours, nor a built in spectro. Here's the proof in literal terms of why, now the users will have what makes the Z series what it is with the traditional quality of Epson.

Nice.
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raymondh
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« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2008, 12:05:19 PM »
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Hmmm, no price info, does anyone have a guess?  I am on the verge of giving my credit card for a Z3100.  Now I'm wondering if I should wait a bit...
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mike_botelho
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« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2008, 12:07:24 PM »
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Well, this seems to be what I've been waiting for.  No excuse for me not to spend the money on a 44" Epson now.

Availability is supposed to be late spring.  Sooner than I'd expected, though the increased competition may be a factor here.

Here's where I read about the availability:

http://www.print21online.com/supporters/epson/

Kind Regards,

Mike
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neil snape
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« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2008, 12:38:15 PM »
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Hmmm, no price info, does anyone have a guess?  I am on the verge of giving my credit card for a Z3100.  Now I'm wondering if I should wait a bit...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198784\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Take a close look at what your needs are. If the price of the Z is really in line with what you need then it's still a very capable printer.
If there are certain things that you would hope be improved, then wait a bit. A new released printer will always cost more, but it can be justified when improvements are added.

I don't have any major points with the Z , nor Epson, nor Canon in the current series.
But just as Epson did , there is no reason why there won't be other releases too in the other's camps.
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rdonson
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« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2008, 12:43:50 PM »
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No doubt big news and nice advances for Epson.  I did enjoy that Epson now thinks that linearization is something that needs to be done and not just once at the factory and its good for the life of the printer.  

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Epson's optional integrated spectrophotometer with mounting device uses the latest X-rite technology to provide automatic colour measurement data to the printer, allowing user profiling and linearisation, enabling professional colour management while at the same time reducing labour costs.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
Nill Toulme
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2008, 12:45:34 PM »
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That link says:  "Matte black is also included on-board and can be auto-switched with photo black."

Nill
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www.toulme.net
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raymondh
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2008, 12:49:45 PM »
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Take a close look at what your needs are. If the price of the Z is really in line with what you need then it's still a very capable printer.
If there are certain things that you would hope be improved, then wait a bit. A new released printer will always cost more, but it can be justified when improvements are added.

I don't have any major points with the Z , nor Epson, nor Canon in the current series.
But just as Epson did , there is no reason why there won't be other releases too in the other's camps.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198794\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yeah, it's hard to buy existing technology right after a new model is released.  The Z, I'm sure is much cheaper than the new Epson will be.  I think I just need to wait for some reviews so I can look at the pros/cons of both.
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seangirard
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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2008, 12:52:32 PM »
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Yep, I saw that too in Mike's link. Looks like a great overall feature set. Maybe I can convince my boss to replace the proofer this year  

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That link says:  "Matte black is also included on-board and can be auto-switched with photo black."

Nill
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www.toulme.net
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2008, 01:20:36 PM »
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That link says:  "Matte black is also included on-board and can be auto-switched with photo black."

Nill
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www.toulme.net
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Which suggests more a 3800 solution than a 11880 solution. No gloss enhancer on-board as more of us expected instead of the green and orange ink. With the emphasis on proof printing in the spectro addition it may fit another market more than photography or art printing. Much depends on the pricing for the last two markets. Wonder how the spectro not on the head carriage is doing its job. Will see it on Wednesday next week.

Interested in the comments why Epsons need to be calibrated these days :-)


Ernst Dinkla

Try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
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neil snape
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2008, 01:23:48 PM »
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Yeah, it's hard to buy existing technology right after a new model is released.  The Z, I'm sure is much cheaper than the new Epson will be.  I think I just need to wait for some reviews so I can look at the pros/cons of both.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198798\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yes it's always the next thing that is better.
In Canada they had a sale on the HP printers , the 44" was going for >3000$ CDN for the PS APS model. We can assume  to see prices like that again when or if the models are upgraded.
There won't be many cons for the new Epson given their track record. There will probably be some hick ups around the implementation of the spectro though. At least they have the first experiences with the HP so it should be smoother than that but still it is a huge undertaking to integrate verification online and or inline.
Now it's up to Canon to bring on a built in spectro and everyone is set!

Too bad there is no Gloss Enhancer though....
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