Epson 7500 Report
A Hands-On Report
By: Cris Daniels
Cris Daniels is a semi-pro photographer who has been actively involved in computer graphics since the Amiga. His photographic work is primarily landscape and nature. He is also an Adobe certified expert in Photoshop. He reports below on one of the latest-generation Epson wide-format printer, the 7500.
I have been using a 7500 and find it to be the perfect machine for me. I don't really need quite the output size of the larger 9500 so I purchased the 7500 and have been thrilled. The 2000P was simply killing me with its speed and ink use, however I find the 7500 to be a much better solution.
There are a few things to be addressed. First, the gamut of the pigmented inks. I worked with my 2000P for a while and through hours of tweaking, I am getting much better colors than the horrible stock profiles give. Specifically, the reds and blues are much more vivid and the whole range of colors are much improved. I'm very pleased with the output with these revised profiles.
Next, the 7500 responds in a very similar fashion being that they share inks. I've found the 7500 gamut could be greatly enhanced right out of the box with some tweaking. If you simply print with the shipped profiles, you won't be completely thrilled with the results. A head alignment is also very critical for the Epsons, two in fact, back to back is a very good way to help deal with banding. I was professionally trained on this printer for 2 days by Epson and I strongly recommend this to anyone considering such a purchase.
As far as being cost effective, there is no way I can complain about the in-house capabilities I have. I would have never dreamed this was possible 10 years ago. So while its not a LightJet, I'm very happy with this investment as are thousands of other 7500 owners. It is probably not suitable for a ultra-high volume lab, but then again, Epson never really targeted the printer as being the lowest cost output device out there. A local lab of mine uses an Encad NovaJet 600. Even if he was cheaper than my Epson 7500, the print quality is inferior and non-archival.
At $5500 US, the 7500 is the only game in town for me and the versatility that it provides is tremendous. Currently I'm using the printer with the EFI Fiery RIP (Raster Image Processor) as the server since I do output some Postscript 3 files. The Fiery RIP also allows me to spool my image and let them continuously print without tying up any of my machines for hours. The RIP added tremendous versatility to the rig, as well as upping the price substantially, but it was worth the investment.
In closing, I can't help but feel like the 7500 is a fantastic machine, has operating costs in line with other similar technology (people always think since its done on an inkjet it's got to be cheaper), and it MUCH faster than the poor 2000P.
© 2001 ‹ Cris Daniels
You might also be interested in a hands-on report on the Epson 9500