Epson SureColor P800: A Premier Photo Printer

Epson SureColor P800: A Premier Photo Printer

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Printer, Published On
December 8, 2023
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The Epson SureColor PA800 made waves when it replaced the Stylus Pro line and ushered in a new generation of desktop photo printers when it was launched in 2015. Combining the latest precision printing technology with high-end features tailored for professional photographers, the P800 remains one of the best in its class for printing exhibition-quality fine art reproductions, photos, and more. Let’s look at what sets this printer apart and consider its pros and cons for creative professionals.

Epson SureColor P800 Printer: Key Features

Print ResolutionUp to 2880 x 1440 optimized dpi
Ink and Cartridges9 individual 80 ml ink cartridges
Color CalibrationBuilt-in spectrophotometer for automated printer calibration
Media TypesPhoto paper, fine art paper, canvas, posters, etc.
Max Media SizeCut sheets up to 17” wide, paper rolls up to 129” long
ConnectivityUSB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi
Display and UI2.7” color touchscreen, status LED lights
SoftwarePrinter drivers, color calibration software, and utilities included
Operating SystemsWindows 7/8/10, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later

Unmatched Print Quality

Epson SureColor P800

Superior print quality comes from the 9-cartridge UltraChrome HD ink system. Photo Black provides richer blacks for glossier surfaces, while the 8 dye-based inks cover 98.5% Pantone. Advanced 10-channel MicroPiezo AMC print head with ink-repelling coating for clog resistance controls complex dot patterns and screening with properly placed ink droplets. Detail, saturation, and accuracy are remarkable on matte and glossy fine art stock. Bright colors, deep shadows, rich blacks, and subtle highlight transitions are used for color-critical printing of photos, illustrations, and fine art reproductions.

Media Handling Flexibility

Epson SureColor P800

While focused on artists and photographers, the P800 also suits graphic designers thanks to versatile media support. Cut sheets up to 17 inches wide or printable rolls up to 129 inches long can be used with either front-loading trays or a rear straight-through feed path. Thicker fine art stock up to 1.5mm can be handled as well as glossy, matte, canvas, and fine art papers. Convenient roll media adapters make it easy to swap rolls quickly and an optional SpectroProofer adds inline color verification.

Setting Up the Epson SureColor P800

  • Unpack the printer and accessories and remove any boxes, caps, and tape. Position the printhead and ink cartridges correctly. Plug in the power cable and tidy the USB and Ethernet cables with the cable clamps and holders.
  • The P800 comes with a software and documentation CD and Epson’s website has the newest updates. Install print drivers, utilities, color calibration software, manuals, and documentation. Ensure your machine fulfills minimal system requirements.
  • Start the printer and load paper either the rear manual feed slot or the front paper tray. Avoid smearing sensitive surfaces by pre-loading fine art sheets via the back path. Refer to the media guide for paper type and size loading instructions.
  • Run Initial Printhead Alignment Critical to quality is proper printhead alignment so run the automated alignment routine using the control panel prompter before first use with new papers. This verifies the nozzle function and aligns the head to the sheet.
  • Calibrate Printer and Profile For accurate color, calibrate the printer using the built-in spectrophotometer with your standard media choice so the printer can build custom ICC color profiles for that paper stock. Step-by-step wizards walk you through the process.
  • Print a test photo after setup to visually confirm excellent print quality without defects or issues. Your first print should demonstrate accurate colors, sharp detail, clean edges, and smooth transitions.

User-friendly and Practical Features

Epson SureColor P800

Despite its sophistication, the P800 remains user-friendly thanks to intuitive operation, helpful wizards for setup and maintenance, informative system messages, and neatly organized ink cartridges. Convenient touches include an angled control panel, an internal print server for handling multiple networked print jobs, and job programming for batch printing tasks with custom names and settings. Small details like the internal light to illuminate media loading in dim environments and front feet that can be extended to slope the printer also make it more practical and easier to use.

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Pros and Cons of the Epson SureColor P800

ProsCons
Superior print quality from UltraChrome HD ink and Advanced MicroPiezo printhead, max 2880 x 1440 dpi resolutionHigh running costs over time with expensive ink cartridge replacement
Built-in spectrophotometer enables automatic printer color calibration for consistent accuracyLarge footprint takes up substantial space on desk or table
Media versatility supports cut sheets and paper rolls up to 17” wide, thick fine art stock up to 1.5 mmThe lack of a built-in rotary cutter requires external print trimming with a separate unit
Intuitive setup, operation, and maintenance with helpful wizards and status messages
Handles diverse media types from glossy photo paper to fine art stock

Conclusion:

Launched over 7 years ago, the Epson SureColor P800 remains highly competitive among 13-inch desktop photo printers thanks to outstanding print quality, professional features, media versatility, and reputable technology. While running costs are not insignificant and the footprint substantial compared to A4/letter-size photo printers, the P800 delivers exceptional capability for photography, fine art, and graphic design applications. For artists, photographers, and other creatives seeking a powerful yet practical professional printer with the highest quality standards, the Epson SureColor P800 is still hard to beat.

FAQs

Does the printer support wireless printing?

Yes, the P800 offers Wi-Fi connectivity for convenient wireless printing.

What type of papers can I use?

The P800 supports photo, fine art, canvas, and poster papers up to 1.5mm thick, in cut sheets or rolls.

How often do the ink cartridges need to be replaced?

Ink cartridge replacement frequency depends on usage volume but is roughly every 3-6 months.

Does the printer have a built-in scanner?

No, the SureColor P800 is a printer-only model without scanning functions.

What maintenance is required?

Occasional printhead cleaning cycles are advised. Follow printer prompts for alignment, calibration, and firmware updates.

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