New Epson Stylus Photo 1200
A complete, ideal digital
darkroom includes three basic elements: input from a scanner or digital
camera, a personal computer with image-editing software, and output
in the form of a photo-realistic printer. From my perspective the output
is "the proof of the pudding" and has been improving dramatically
in performance relative to price recently. Epson's latest Stylus
Photo models, the 750 I reported on last month and now the 1200, have
brought the price performance relationship to a level even the most
advanced photographer will not find compromised. The Epson Stylus Photo
1200 has all of the performance specifications supporting superb quality
photographic print production just like the 750 model while printing
with a much larger maximum paper size of up to 13x44".
What distinguishes the Epson Stylus Photo 1200 is its print size capability. It looks very much like the Stylus Photo EX model, only a bit wider. This width allows the 1200 to accommodate 13" wide paper. The color ink cartridges for the 1200 are also different from the 750 which uses the same five color and black ink sets as the previous 700 model. Assuming the 1200 will be used largely for photo and color graphics printing, the five color ink cartridge has been increased in size and capacity, while the black cartridge has been kept the same as it is for a number of Epson ink jet printer models to keep weight and mass at a minimum. Combined with its noticeably faster print speed and the continuous data flow supported by its USB connection, printing 12x18" images on 13x19" paper in full color at 1440dpi is a practical reality. All of the new features at an official selling price of $499 make the Epson Stylus Photo 1200 an ideal complement to the digital darkroom.
Using The Epson Stylus
Photo 1200 Ink Jet. The timing of my tests with the 1200 was
fortuitous following work with the Epson Expression 800 scanner, permitting
me to print some 120 size film scans. It was also concurrent with my testing
of Polaroid's new SprintScan 4000 which allowed making higher resolution
scans of 35mm images capable of printing at an image size of 12x18".
Another timing advantage involved the fact I had recently acquired a new
"blue" Mac G3 computer. This enabled me to evaluate the printer's
speed using USB and a fast computer in comparison to printing with an
enhanced parallel interface with a Windows 98 machine, and to use the
latest version of Colorsync on the Mac for output control.
Evaluation And Recommendation.
There are only two drawbacks in having an Epson Stylus Photo
1200 printer: First, it is such an addictive pleasure making really big,
beautiful prints one after another that bring out everything in an image.
Second, if your original image isn't that good or the color correction
is seriously lacking, when it is printed big with the inherent qualities
of the 1200, those flaws are really apparent. Seriously though, after
a long time working with photographs in digital format, reproducing them
with the Epson Stylus Photo 1200 is the satisfaction that has until now
been an illusive promise. It makes that potential the kind of reality
you cannot dream could be any better.
Printing Method: Advanced
Micro Piezo ink jet technology
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