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  Epson Stylus Photo 2100 8/10. Date Posted 31/08/2003.

Digital cameras have improved hugely over the years, with 5 megapixel cameras capable of producing decent A3 sized (and maybe) Super A3 sized prints. However, not very many printers have been capable of producing true photo quality results. This printer really can produce photo quality prints at sizes upto Super A3.

Unlike most inkjet printers, the Epson uses a different ink cartridge for each colour it uses. This ensures that you do not waste as much ink. In all there are 7 different colours, plus you have the option of replacing Photo Black with Matte Black when printing on Archival Matte Paper. Epson claim that inks used by this printer on Semi-Gloss should be fade proof for 25 years, and when printing on Archival Matter paper this time is even longer, depending upon how much light they are exposed too. This should address a major concern from professional photographers needing long lasting digital prints.

I prefered the cheaper Archival Matter paper, when printing black and white, but the Semi-Gloss paper (50p per A4 sheet) was much better for colour photos. In any case, swapping from Photo Black to Matte Black can be done on-the-fly (it also requires a change to the driver settings). If it weren't for the price of the paper and the ink cartridges I would would have given this printer 10/10. However, to be fair the price of consumables is a problem with all inkjets, but it would have been nice to have cheaper consumables on a more expensive printer like this (around 500 pounds).

Compared to my old Stylus Colour 1520, the print speed is far better. Printing at 1440 dpi produced very good quality prints, and I could not really tell the difference between them and 2880 dpi (except the ink consumption and time). However, when printing the odd display print I usually go for 2880 dpi. In both cases the dots are very small and invisible to my eye.

The quality is so good, that it can do justice to any input source. The only problem is that it shows up the imperfections from your sources!

If you need professional prints that give you digital prints that are as good as film (or sometimes better depending on your source), this should be your first stop. The ability to handle Super A3 and A3 paper is a great bonus for displaying your work.