Photography News Issue 53

Photography News | Issue 53 | photographynews.co.uk

67

First tests

EpsonExpressionPhotoHDXP-15000 £299.99

Specs

Epson’s latest printer offers high- quality photo output up to A3+ (19x13in) prints from a unit that has an impressively small footprint making it ideal for home use. Add the option of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, USB and Ethernet, you have interconnect options to suit most situations and the six colour Claria inkset gives pro- quality, long-lasting prints. You can print on CD/DVD, produce double- sided prints and there is plenty of choice with regards paper options too; and this unit can accept thicker specialty media. And you get all this for £299.99 which seems a competitive price, so let’s see how the XP-15000 performs. It took longer to unpack the inks than actually install them, and next is the initialisation process that takes a few minutes. Connection to the network was a few minutes too. The monitor is not touch sensitive so with upper and lower case letters and numbers using the virtual QWERTY keyboard was slow. First go, though and I was connected. A software installation CD is provided but I took the online option by going to epson.sn and five minutes later the software was installed and added to my printer list. When I went to make prints through Photoshop seven Epson paper profiles including Premium Glossy and Premium Semigloss had been automatically added. I used both those surfaces and threw in some Fotospeed and PermaJet textured finishes too. At the time of writing the XP- 15000 had just been announced and there were no generic ICC profiles for third party brands. However, I got round that obstacle making my own profile using the X-Rite i1Studio colour management kit and that worked fine. Colour management support is something to consider if you intend third party papers or even Epson’s own specialist media and you may need custom profiles or make your own. An A3 print in quality mode takes about threeminutes toprint so it is fast and that is in normal operation. There is a high-quality mode, but that takes longer and uses more ink and with prints looking sparkling in the default quality mode there seems no point using that mode. There is also a quiet mode and that is slower too. However,

Prices £299.99

Cartridges Six-colour XL multi pack £112.99, black (code nos 378/378XL) cartridges £17.99 each, cyan/ magenta/yellow (378/378XL), grey/red (478/478XL) £18.99 each. Maintenance box (T3661) £12.47 In the box Printer, mains cable, one set of ink cartridges, set-up guide, CD with Epson Easy Photo Print and Epson Print Compatible operating systems Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Windows 10, 7, 8, 8.1, XP SP3, XP Pro x64 Edition SP2 Maximumpaper size A3+ CD/DVD printing Yes Number of paper trays Two: plain paper tray, rear specialty media feed LCDmonitor 6.1cm Interfaces Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi direct, Wireless LAN Ink technology Claria Photo HD ink with black, cyan, yellow, magenta, red and grey Printing resolution 5760x1440dpi Nozzle configuration 180 nozzles black, 180 nozzles per colour Dimensions (wxdxl) 47.9x37x15.9cm Weight 8.5kg Contact Epson.com Right For a printer capable of producing A3+ (19x13in) prints, the XP-15000 is remarkably small. It is very quiet in use too, ideal for home. Below Six colour inks are needed – plus themaintenance tank (not shown here) that collects surplus ink. Inks come in standard and XL sizes. Belowright The printer’s LCD panel helps with set- up and the printer’s status but it is not touch sensitive.

the printer is so quiet anyway that there seems no point using that either – unless it is very late and your house is full of light sleepers. I focused on using the printer for photographic output, not using plain paper or CD/DVD printing, with a variety of subject matter including scenic and portraits in colour and black & white. I made prints via Photoshop with the generic or homemade custom profiles. Prints from the XP-15000 are very impressive. The colour prints were saturated and nicely vibrant especially the reds, yellows and oranges which looked very lively and clean. Greens lookedverygood tooasdid flesh tones. If I had to nitpick about the rendition of any colour that came out less well I’d say blue. Saturation was good but the reproduction of the some skies seemed slightly off with a very mild magenta tinge. The black & white shots looked very good with plenty of depth in the blacks and lovely smoothness in the midtones. The more contrasty scenes came out as well as the more delicately toned shots. The mono prints looked neutral with no sign of any colour cast. Images The XP-15000 showed itself to be a competent printer, producing vibrant results. Above on Epson PremiumGloss and on the right, on Epson PremiumSemigloss, bothwith Epson generic profiles.

Verdict

By the end of the test, from a new set of XL-size cartridges I’d made 21 A3 and A3+ prints, 12 colour and nine black & white, with 70% on gloss or lustre and the reminder on textured finishes. When I checked, the ink supply levels were: black about 50% full; red 80% full; grey 30%; yellow and magenta both 25% full; and cyan which had an exclamation mark indicating a replacement would be needed soon. The maintenance box, a user replacement part (you need a screwdriver) which collects surplus ink, was about 10% used. The capacity of the first set of cartridges is usually lower and the printer system needs to be charged with ink, so print capacity seems good. It is worth bearing in mind that I was using XL size cartridges. WC

If you want to enjoy home printing, the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is a very good option to consider. It has the ability to print up to A3+, works wirelessly and is competitively priced at £299.99. Its compact footprint is appealing. I’ve used Epson A3+ printers for years and the XP-15000 is small by comparison and ideal if space is at a premium. With easy set-up, quiet and fast operation and capable of high-quality output it impresses on the performance front too. Pros Small footprint for an A3+ printer, quiet, fast, quality of colour and mono prints, versatile Cons No touch monitor

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by