Want to bring your photos to life - we look at Epson's R2000 and R3000 printers as great home printer options that deliver gallery quality prints

Updated on Wednesday, February 6 2013

When it comes to high-quality personal printing that doesn’t break the bank, the Epson R2000 and R3000 are two of the most highly regarded printers in the industry. While the technology under the hood is quite similar for both printers, there are some key differences; and if you’ve ever wondered what makes a photo printer a photo printer and subsequently command a higher price, this article should give you some insight into that.


Print Fading

The good news is that both these printers are designed to make long lasting photographic quality prints, i.e. they are primarily good at printing photos that will last many decades. This also happens to be one of the key differentiators between photo printers and regular printers.



The R2000 and R3000 both use the versions of the Epson UltraChrome pigment ink system to reproduce a wide color gamut on many different types of paper. Pigment ink is designed to resist fade for long periods of time - usually well in excess of what the traditional photo lab can offer.



Both printers are 13" wide and are capable of using rolls and long sheets of paper. Both can print borderless and can use custom paper. This leaves you with a wide choice of 


This is where we start to see the real differences between the R2000 and R3000. The Epson R2000 seems focused on more brilliant and punchy color. This makes sense as it is optimized for glossy and satin/luster papers. The red and orange inks help push color saturation. If prints come out a little too punchy for your tastes the fix is as simple as a little desaturation in Photoshop. 

The Epson R3000 on the other hand provides very subtle "real world" hues and tones. You might think of the R3000 as developed more for the portrait and fine art printing market. With some work in Photoshop you can certainly ramp up the saturation of prints if the punchy look is desired.

Black & White

Owing to the fact that the R3000 offers the Advanced Black & White (ABW) system, which mixes three different kinds of black inks to create the final image, you stand to get much smoother mid-tones and transitions from light to dark with the R3000. Unlike the R3000, the R2000, black & white printing is not a feature specifically factored into its design. Consequently, the printer has a much tougher time in matching the exact black & white look you’re intending.

Ink Switching

While we’re on the subject of Black & white, its important to note that the R3000 while providing superior B&W images, does need to switch up its black inks for the different types of paper being used. This makes sense, as the printer optimizes itself for the paper being used, but it is worth mentioning that with the R3000, you do experience a certain amount of down time when switching mediums.

Glossy Prints

If making glossy prints is important to you, the R2000 has a definite advantage over the 3000, in that it contains a dedicated Gloss Optimizer cartridge, which is used to improve print quality on glossy and satin/luster media. The R3000 does a great job here too, but it won’t hold up as well as the R2000 on really high gloss paper.

In essence, both printers offer superior printing options for making home made prints at very large sizes. The main differences boil down to what you see yourself printing. The R3000 is great for Black & Whites and realistic color reproduction. The R2000 on the other hand is optimized for glossy prints and punchy colors. Either way, both make great printers and both make great tools to help you achieve a specialized result if you so need.

Learn more in person and get a chance to see the printing process live at the Spark Session: From Shoot to Print (Printing & Calibration) on Saturday Feb 9th, 15:00-17:00. For more click here

Check out more on the R2000 here  & on the R3000 here.