Most photo collections are kept digitally these days. Sure, it’s convenient and you can store a seemingly infinite number of images, but there’s something irreplaceable about a printed photograph. Displayed in your home or at work, it’s a constant reminder of the special moment it captured.
Enter the Epson SureColor® P600 Wide Format Inkjet Printer. For this review, it was tested in the Canadian Geographic offices, which for years has used an Epson printer to produce colour-accurate proofs of the magazine’s pages. Expectations, then, were high, and this printer did not disappoint.
While relatively user friendly, it requires a little experience to set up and use, so it’s best suited for the advanced amateur or professional photographer. The machine itself is sleek black, features an LCD touch menu and fits comfortably on a desk (though once the paper tray was fully extended, space got a little tight).
The P600 utilizes nine UltraChrome HD ink cartridges (photo black, cyan, vivid magenta, yellow, light cyan, vivid light magenta, light black, matte black, light light black) meant to provide a broad range of colour and excellent detail in light and dark areas. The images we printed were crisp and grain-free with smooth gradations and rich colours, and we appreciated the ability to switch between photo and matte black for greater depth, especially in black-and-white images.
The top-loading manual tray feeder can accommodate a variety of paper sizes and types, from canvases to art boards to prints (and even CD/DVDs), up to a maximum sheet size of 13-by-19 inches and a minimum of 3.5-by-5 inches. There is a handy — and effective — borderless printing option, and for those looking to produce prints of epic proportions, the P600 can accommodate roll papers (roll holders are included). We tested the printer with both Epson paper and our own photo paper, and while the Epson-brand prints were excellent, we found it difficult to determine the settings for other varieties. We suggest trying out Epson’s metallic paper. It might sound gimmicky, but it resulted in gorgeous prints, particularly those with cool, watery hues.
The printer boasts “unparalleled connectivity,” supporting Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, wireless printing and the standard USB and Ethernet capabilities (cables not included). We tried printing wirelessly, but connecting and troubleshooting over the office network took some time. (Full disclosure: our Wi-Fi connection is occasionally a bit dodgy, so that may have been the issue). The good news: Epson’s troubleshooting desk offers live chat, email or phone help options, and we were up and running in no time.
All told, the Epson SureColor® P600 Wide Format Inkjet Printer is a great addition to the advanced amateur or professional photographer’s home printing system.