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Epson SureColor P800 provides superb color, sharpness in a small footprint

I’ll be honest — up until November, I had never used a photo printer, let alone owned one. I always just ordered from my local lab, as the number of prints I was ordering was so low.

But as friends and family wanted to get some prints, and I wanted to finally fill my walls with some artwork, I knew it was time to get a printer. After visiting PhotoPlus Expo in October, Epson sent me the SureColor P800 printer for review. When I received it, I saw that it was really the perfect size for my needs. Allowing me to print up to 17″ wide, I could print small and medium-sized prints.

Specs

The Epson SureColor P800 is an inkjet printer that prints at a maximum resolution of 2800×1440 dpi, and has a maximum print size of 17×22″ for sheet media. It prints an 8×10″ in 113 seconds and offers borderless printing at up to 17″ wide.

It comes with an eight-channel drop-on-demand Epson MicroPiezo AMC Print Head and has nine ink slots to hold Epson’s UltraChrome HD pigment-based inks. Each ink cartridge holds 80ml of ink, and the printer features 180 nozzles per ink color. It features an Advanced Black & White mode and also has an optional adapter for 17″ wide roll media. It offers USB 2.0, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity.

First impressions

Once I set up the printer and connected it to my Mac, I went through a few photos in my Lightroom catalog to run through as test prints. Once I figured out how to print borderless, I printed a few landscape scenes.

The color here was spot-on. It matched what I saw on my computer screen, and really popped off the paper. What’s more, the sharpness was really great, providing a great sense of detail throughout the photograph. The blacks were black, and the whites were white — it was almost like I was looking at my OLED television set.

For this review, I tried a few different types of paper, including Epson’s Ultra Premium Luster, Hot Press Bright, Velvet Fine Art and Metallic Glossy. Each type of paper brought its own characteristics into the photograph. The Hot Press Bright, for instance, is a heavy textured paper with a matte finish that’s great for black and white photographs. Whereas the Ultra Premium Luster and Metallic Glossy really make colors pop for landscapes and portraits, as it has a glossy finish.

While using the main sheet media loader, I didn’t come across any issues. But using the manual feeder for the fine art paper did prove to be a little difficult at first. After my first paper jam, I was able to figure out the loading of the paper, but I needed to do a little extra work in the Printer dialog before I printed.

I found the printer to be pretty fast. Photo printers take quality over quantity, meaning that even after you hit the print button, it might take the printer a minute or so to switch gears (especially if you’re switching types and sizes of paper). But once it was ready, I did not find myself waiting long for a print to finish. If nothing else, it’s way better than the two-day wait, or longer, that you’d get from a print lab!

How the prints held up

I tried a variety of different tests on the prints, including subjecting them to water, scratching and rubbing. While no prints are invincible, I found that the prints I made held up very well. I waited approximately 15 minutes after printing to run my tests, to allow for some drying to occur.

Rubbing on the paper produced some minor smudges on the Hot Press Bright and Velvet Fine Art paper, but none of the others. Scratching with scissors produced some smudge-like marks on these as well, and white scratch marks appeared if I scratched hard enough. Water drops, and even holding the prints under my sink with the water on, had no effect on the print.

Quality

As I mentioned, I’m blown away with the color, sharpness and other aspects of what this printer produced. It’s a great printer no matter what you like to photograph, and where you are at in your career. With my Ireland prints, it made me feel like I was looking outside a window at the beautiful landscapes all over again! And the fact that the prints hold up extremely well is just icing on the cake.

The Epson SureColor P800 printer is a great, compact photo printer with big results. It’s small enough to fit easily in a home office and large enough to produce some larger print sizes. It retails for $1195.00, but a $300 mail-in rebate is available through Jan. 31, 2019.

Click here for current pricing.

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