At the recent Photo & Film Expo Greg and I took some time to talk to some interesting people including Kelvin Reynolds, Regional Manager-Southern Africa for Epson and Kristin Saus-Opuszynski who is the Senior Business Manager for Prophoto: Epson Europe and was part of the design team for the highly successful (not to forget award winning) R3000 and R2000 printers. We sat down for a discussion on Epson, printing etc. After the break are some points we have taken out of the discussion.
PC: Could you share with us how Epson developed the R3000 to become the award winning printer it is?
Kristin: The R3000 is the result of many interviews and feedback from existing Epson R2880 printer owners. With the R3000 our company engaged our user base in a way we had not really done before. The result is something that address many of their needs.
PC: Might we ask what some of that feedback was?
Kristin: Certainly. Some of the feedback we got related to ink cartridge size. The R3000 targets a market that print between 30 and 50 prints a month. This volume required us to create a cartridge that was larger than what the R2880 offered and yet smaller than our next biggest cartridge which was available at the time.
Some other feedback we received was that customers found it a hassle to change between the Matt Black and Photo Black inks hence the new printers have both cartridges in at the same time.
The last thing we found that needed to be changed was the way the printer loaded the Fine Art media or paper making it easier to align the media etc.
PC: What seems to be the growth areas for Epson printing?
Kristin: Black and White printing is definitely a growth area. Consumers looking to purchase a R3000 level printer are generally looking to achieve the best Black and White prints they can and are frequently disappointed by the quality of the commercial printing services when it comes to fine art black and white. Epson’s print technology allows our printers to print with greater precision and achieve more not only greater print quality but to do so with more consistency. We are also finding increased demand for more media variety.
There was certainly a lot more that we chatted about though these were some of the critical areas which we have summarized. We were quite surprised to learn of the healthy condition the print industry is in. Sure the demand for Jumbo prints seem to be in decline as more and more people are moving to platforms like Facebook for sharing images but when people print they seem to want to do the job right and in a size that makes one proud hence the increased sales in A3 capable printers. We are looking forward to getting an R2000 or R3000 for review in the coming weeks and will share our experiences with you as soon as we can.