For several years now, I’ve printed most of my images with the Epson Stylus Photo 2200, and it has been very good to me. When I had an opportunity to use the large-format Epson Stylus Photo 1400, I found it delivered colorful, archival-quality prints, with the added bonus of direct printing on CDs and DVDs—all at a list price of $399. Remarkable.
The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 features a new DX5 Micro Piezo print head, with a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi. It delivers five different droplet sizes, the smallest at 1.5 picoliters. A wider range of droplet sizes is a significant advantage for printing ultrasmooth gradations and transitions between the light and dark areas of your photos; it’s arguably more important than maximum resolution. The human eye can only perceive around 1440 dpi, so anything beyond that is more than adequate.
Each of the prints I made on Epson’s Premium Glossy and Ultra Premium Luster paper was very good. The printing speeds for 13x19-, 11x17- and 8x10-inch prints were noticeably faster compared to printers from a few years ago.
Also impressive are the new six-color Claria Hi-Definition dye-based inks. The colors are so vibrant, they truly pop in Epson’s Vivid mode. Additionally, Epson claims the printer has three times the ink yield and improved archival qualities. The inks are rated to be smudge-, water- and fade-resistant for up to 98 years under glass and 200 years displayed in an album.
Mac users will appreciate the three different color-management controls on the Print menu. Selecting the Color Controls option lets the printer drivers do the color matching and adjustment. The ColorSync option matches the print colors to the colors you see on your computer screen. Selecting No Color Adjustment, which is recommended for Photoshop CS2 users, will let the editing program determine the colors.
Other features include a PictBridge and USB Direct-Print connection for printing straight from digital cameras. The printer uses the EXIF image information—shutter speed, metering, exposure settings and resolution—to ensure the most accurate image reproduction. Image format is limited to JPEG, and Epson doesn’t guarantee compatibility with any cameras.
When printing from a Windows computer, Automatic Photo Correction can be used to enhance colors and sharpen and correct low-contrast or dark backlit photos automatically. This feature can’t be used with a Mac OS X operating system, however.
If you want to print customized text, graphics and photos directly on CDs and DVDs, the Print CD software makes this easy. Within 15 minutes, I had designed a custom label with text and one of my photos, then printed it on a CD. Nothing says you’re a professional like a custom CD or DVD.
An inkjet-printable CD or DVD must be used, though. Thermal-printable or regular disks shouldn’t be used with this printer. Epson also recommends that the images or video be burned on the disk first.
For the actual printing, a plastic CD/DVD tray is used. The tray can accommodate a regular 12cm disk or an 8cm mini-disk. Just open the front cover of the printer and insert the tray into the tray guide until the arrows on each are aligned, then print. Simple. Two minutes later, you have a finished CD or DVD. List Price: $399.
Contact: Epson, www.epson.com.
[ Specs Of Note ]
Resolution: Up to 5760 x 1440
Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection
Bundled Software: PictBridge camera-direct printing
Print Path: Bidirectional
Dimensions: 24.2x8.8x12.4 inches
Weight: 25.3 pounds
1 Gorgeous, archival-quality prints up to 13x19 inches