For your print volume, you are wise to skip the 3800, if not only because the 3800 doesn't support roll feed. The 4880 and 5100 printers are much more heavy duty. For your clog issue, the Canons are reputedly better at avoiding them.
I can't give you specific costs per print for the 4880 and 5100, but that information can probably be found on the internet through a google search.
The real problem will be your desire to print small (5x7) prints. As far as I can tell, the smallest sheet feed for the Epson and the Canon is letter/A4. Any smaller prints would have to be printed as multiple prints on letter/A4 and trimmed. (The exception being that the 3800 will print on smaller paper.)
The greatest problem with the Epson printers these days is the same problem that has dogged them for alomost four years -- swapping matte black/photo black ink carts. However you look at it, it's still and extremely wasteful procedure -- I've heard quotes of 30-50ml for the 4880. The larger format printers are even worse, which is why I'm considering the Canon 6100, though I've owned Epson exclusively for over 10-years.
Both the Epson and the Canon have built in roll cutters. The advantage is you can create in either the exact paper size you want or need (based on width of roll you are using). You could create a paper size of, say 17"x17" and the printers would both create a square sheet printed and trimmed to that size.
Epsons still, from everything I've read, have a VERY slight qualitative edge. If the vast majority of paper you print on is glossy (as you said), then I wouldn't worry as much about the ink cart issue. Just understand that you have ot plan your printing carefully so you don't waste your ink needlessly.
My suggestion: go with the Espon IF you can get it at a good price AND you don't forsee printing much on matte in the future. The Epson print driver is a little more comprehensable than the Canon, though that may have changed with the 5100. (Epsons are also much more universally supported by print RIPs, unless you use Qimage, which uses the native driver.) Otherwise, go with the Canon. Finally, in the US at least, the Canon 5100 can be bought much more cheaply than the Epson.
Hi, I am sorry for my bad English. I am looking for a new printer to replace my R2400, I have some new works to print and I would like to buy an A2 printer, but I need you to help me so that I can make a good choice.
What I need? Here I have some questions to make you understand.
1) I need to print 500 A4 print each month, there is a month that I can have 2000+ prints to do (A4) and a month that I have just 5 A2 to print. So I would like to buy a printer that can work a lot but also can stop working for more than 10 days without problems. I don’t like to waste ink in heads cleaning and I would like to buy a printer that doesn’t have nozzle clogging problems. I need a printer that can work “alone” for long periods, I can finish a work and start printing 500 A4 pictures and I don’t want to have many “pit-stops” due to replacing ink cartridges and I really don’t like to see that some of the pictures have been printed with clogging problems that compromised quality.
2) I print 90% the time on Premium Glossy and Silky papers, so I don’t really need a printer for matte paper, but I would like to have some more comments on how much ink do you waste when you swap from Photo to Matte black in the Epson printers.
3) I would like to have a comment on how much a single A4 print can cost in ink, I have read many opinions for the Epson 3800 and other Epson, and usually people agree that for an A4 print you need from 1 to 1,5 ml of ink, but I couldn’t find any information for the Canon. I would like to have an information, Canon original ink seems to be cheaper than Epson (I pay 50€ for 80ml of the 3800 and 60€ for 130ml of the iPF5100).
4) I often print on small paper, like A5 (210x150mm) so I would like the printer to be able to work with this dimensions. I read that with the 3800 there are no problems [Auto Sheet Feed: Minimum: 3.5" x 5.0" (8.9 cm x 12.7 cm)] but I couldn’t exactly understand what are the minimum for the other printers, can you please help me?
EDIT: I forgot: I would like to use roll paper (so the 3800 is out) but I would like to understand how does it works with this printers. With the R2400 I had to manually cut the roll, and I would like to know if the 4880 and the iPF5100 have a cutter, and if it works automatically. For example: I have some 210xXXXXmm rolls, can I use them in these two printers? Thanks again.