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Old Sep 13, 2004, 9:50 PM   #1
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Hello, I'm brand new here, but I am very curious as to whether anyone has noticed that the quality of Epson's printer drivers has deteriorated in recent years. I have detected a problem in Epson's printer driver dithering in newer printers, and I have done the scans to show what I'm talking about, and I'm attaching them below.

Since dithering algorithms are independent of inks these results may well apply to the R800 and other Epson printers, although the test I performed compares an old Stylus Photo 780 with the new Stylus Photo R300.

The top of the attached image shows a close-up scan I have made of my resulting printouts from the older printer, the Stylus Photo 780. The folds in the red shoulder garment are smooth and integrated.

The bottom of the attached image shows a close-up scan of the SAME exact file printed on the R300, from the same app (Photoshop), with the same settings (maximum Photo quality available for each printer) on the same paper (Epson Premium Luster).

As will no doubt notice, the dithering just falls apart in the shoulder area of the R300 sample. The rest of the picture came out alright, but not these red highlights. They're a real mess on the newer printer with the supposedly tinier droplet size. The R300 passed a nozzle check with flying colours, by the way, before AND after making this print. To me this seems like poor driver programming. Does anyone have any better idea why this is occurring?

I am looking for other people who own the R300 and/or an older Stylus Photo and are willing to try to print out my photo at maximum quality with Epson inks on Epson gloss or semi-gloss paper, and see if they can replicate my results. Does your R300 resemble the nice smooth red dither from my Stylus 780 or is it as bad as my R300? If you want to find out, you can copy and paste the following link to retrieve the entire file I actually printed:

thedigs.dnsalias.net/posted/gardensamurai.jpg

I would love to hear about your results printing this shot; which of my samples does it resemble more, and if you have any experience to share about the inferiority of the newer Epson printers or printer drivers.

DB.

P.S. My tests were done on a Mac with OS X Jaguar
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Old Sep 14, 2004, 3:48 AM   #2
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There is no doubt that there is a big difference in the two images you attached. Even the colours are massively different. It looks like the two were not set up the same, perhaps the settings need to be individually adjusted to get the best from them.
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Old Sep 14, 2004, 10:05 AM   #3
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Both were printed from the SAME FILE (I kid you not) with no changes in setup whatsoever, and with fully colour-managed systems using the printer profiles provided by Epson and appropriate to the printer and the paper (Epson SP780 Premium Luster profile in the first case and Epson R300 Premium Luster profile in the second). Each profile was selected in the Photoshop printer driver with relative colorimetric rending, and 'no colour adjustment' was chosen in the printer colour settings, which is the recommended way to engage printer/paper profiles. I'm not sure why Epson's profiles are so different ... they just are. The difference in colour cast is not something I consider a serious issue, however, and it does not explain the terrible dithering on the R300.

DB.
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Old Sep 14, 2004, 3:04 PM   #4
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certainly looks a problem. I would have expected the new printer to be much better.

I think there is an Epson rep visits this board, perhaps he would care to comment.
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 12:56 AM   #5
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Just an update ... I have since done the test with a different R300 attached to a different Macintosh (but still with a colour-managed workflow), printed the exact same file and came up with the same deteriorated dither problem.

The same test printed on an R800 showed no problems and was superior to the Stylus Photo 780.

The same testp rinted on a Stylus Pro 4000 showed no problems either.

It seems the R300 is a problematic release for Epson as far as dither quality or Mac driver algorithms (whatever the reason the output is subject to this kind of flaw in certain brightly coloured areas) but this drawback is not widely acknowledged.

Personally, I find it unacceptable and I will not be purchasing an R300 (or the R320 which is suspect due to having the same technology) and will instead be saving my cash for the R800 which is better in many ways but in this most crucial way especially, since the R300 is just not ready for prime-time in my opinion.

DB.
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 11:04 PM   #6
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epson's getting lazy with their drivers ..i have a epson 1520 ...fine printer ..but epson does not have native driver's for winxp...so i use the win 2000 drivers ...
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 11:46 AM   #7
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has anyone verified if this is an issue with Windows (XP)? the problem posted by the originator mentions that he's using a Mac.

i'm on the fence with respect to getting a Canon or an Epson. I thought I was leaning towards choosing Epson until I stumbled across this post.

thanks



Roy
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 4:23 PM   #8
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RoyA wrote:
Quote:
has anyone verified if this is an issue with Windows (XP)?* the problem posted by the originator mentions that he's using a Mac.

i'm on the fence with respect to getting a Canon or an Epson.* I thought I was leaning towards choosing Epson until I stumbled across this post.

thanks

*

Roy

I've owned a R800 ..no comment

...now Canon and HITI are maklng me
very happy:-)
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