The ZEDOnet Blog
In our blog we would like to inform you about the latest from the ZEDOnet development department - e.g. about new printers, new technologies or other interesting topics.
We are often asked by our customers for our recommendation for a new printer purchase - after all, we have adjusted and calibrated almost every device supported by TurboPrint and PrintFab on site. It is of course not the task of our support to recommend certain devices. Instead, we would like to report in this blog from time to time about our experiences with one or the other printer that somehow caught our eye.
Two Epson printers in A3 format in our development laboratory
Epson EcoTank ET-7750 und Epson XP-15000
We find two printers that we currently have in the office to create drivers for TurboPrint and PrintFab quite exciting and perhaps interesting for some PrintFab and TurboPrint users. Both devices are A3 photo printers and fully cover the ISO Coated color space, which is important for proof prints. The ink concepts are very different: while one printer uses classic color cartridges, the other is a so-called "eco-tank" printer with ink tanks that are filled from ink bottles. The ink costs are reduced enormously by the refill bottle concept. It is remarkable that the ink does not have to be worse.
Here is our little report on the printers with our impressions:
The printers mentioned are the Epson XP-15000 photo printer and the Epson EcoTank ET-7750 multifunction printer (each supported in PrintFab macOS from version 2.87, PrintFab Windows from version 1.08 and TurboPrint Linux from version 2.46).
The XP-15000 is a classic A3 photo printer with 6 different inks. Classic ink cartridges with the colors black, cyan, magenta, yellow, red and gray are used. The special color red is intended to expand the color space with intensive red tones, the gray ink enables color-neutral black and white photos to be printed, since lighter gray tones do not have to be mixed together from yellow, magenta and cyan as usual - with the risk of a slight color cast. The paper cassette under the printer holds up to 200 sheets in up to A4 format, and the printer accepts paper up to A3+ format (329x483mm) from the rear feeder.
Epson EcoTank ET-7750
The ET-7750 does not have classic ink cartridges, but refillable ink tanks that are filled with ink from bottles. With 140ml for black and 70ml for the colors, the ink bottles contain about ten times the amount of ink as the "XL" variant of the cartridges of the XP-15000 (11ml / 9ml). Because the ink bottles at Epson cost about the same as the small ones cartridges, the ink costs about a tenth - resulting in very low running printing costs, but the printer also costs about twice as much as a printer with ink cartridges.
In addition to cyan, magenta and yellow ink tanks, the printer has two black ink tanks - a larger one containing pigmented black for printing on plain paper and a smaller one containing "photo black" which is used when printing on matte inkjet paper and glossy photo paper. A paper cassette of the ET-7750 takes up to 100 sheets of formats up to A4, a second cassette is available for photo paper up to 13x18cm. DIN A3 paper must be inserted via the rear feeder, which only holds a few individual sheets. The maximum format of A3 (594x420mm) is smaller than that of the XP-15000.
As a multifunction device, the ET-7750 also contains a scanner, which, however, only accepts formats up to A4.
Features & Ink Technology
Both printers have a duplex unit for automatic double-sided printing and also print on data carriers (CD, DVD). Another similarity is that they use dye-based inks (except for the pigment black in the ET-7750), which are less fade resistant than the pigment inks used in the more expensive Epson SureColor printers.
The advantage of dye-based inks is that they are better compatible with glossy photo paper - the ink penetrates the paper and is therefore scratch-resistant and provides a perfect gloss - pigment ink, on the other hand, remains on the surface of the paper and sometimes creates an annoying "bronzing" effect, i.e. uneven shine.
The printing units of the two printers are very similar - 180 nozzles per color, 5760x1440dpi maximum resolution, 1.5 picolitre minimum droplet size (360 nozzles for black with the ET-7750). This means that the printers are also about the same in terms of printing speed, color and print quality.
Color and Print Quality
During the measurement and color profiling and the subsequent photo test prints, we were able to certify that both devices have a high color quality and print quality. Our impression is that the ink contained in the refill bottles for the ET-7750 is of a similarly good quality as that of the much more expensive color cartridges of the XP-15000.
Color space shown in three dimensions - left XP-15000, in the middle ET-7750 when printing on Epson Semimatte Proof Paper and right for comparison of the offset printing color space ISOCoated v2
As expected, the XP-15000 has slight advantages when printing intense red. However, both printers completely cover the "ISOCoated" print shop color standard and are therefore also suitable for "proof prints".
The XP-15000 also prints better black-and-white photos that are characterized by more neutral gray values and are also less prone to "metamerism".
Influence of the lighting on the color tone, simulation by measurement with a spectrometer and subsequent visualization
For more information and the detailed specifications of the devices, visit the EPSON website.
With their different ink concepts, both printers impress with their color space, which is sufficient for proof prints and covers ISO-Coated v2 - however, the inks are not pigmented and therefore less lightfast. Both devices achieve a respectable print quality in photo printing. With the additional, pigmented black ink, the Eco-Tank printer ET-7750 is also suitable as an office printer for sharp text printing on normal paper and even comes with an A4 scanner.
With its "photo black" ink, which has so far been a rarity in Ecotank printers, it also prints on glossy paper in high quality. Due to the high purchase price (700 euros directly from Epson, including two bottles of ink per colour) and the low ink costs, it is more worthwhile for frequent printers.
Comparable multifunction devices with classic ink cartridges for print formats up to A3 are the Epson XP-960 (RRP €270) and XP-900 (RRP €200).
With its additional gray cartridge and red ink (only a small color space extension), the XP-15000 is the even more perfect photo printer, although the ink costs per printed page are significantly higher. On the other hand, the printer with its RRP of just under €380 only costs about half as much as the ET-7750.
Due to the missing paper cassette for A3 formats, both printers can only accept a few sheets of paper via the rear feeder - those who mainly rely on large paper formats will be a bit annoyed here.