BO TH PHOTOS © THEANO NIKITAS
alert lamp on the top of the printer, provide
important notifications about ink status, paper
feed issues and more.
Speedy and quiet printing is the norm,
although fan noise is noticeable when it kicks
on. The fan is not exceedingly noisy, but I
wouldn’t want to be next to it when making a
WHAT WE LIKED
Print quality is, of course, the main
criterion and the SureColor P5000 output—
color and monochrome—is gorgeous on
a wide range of papers. Setting up and
printing with roll paper is exceedingly
easy and the user-replaceable rotary cutter
produces clean and smooth cuts. It’s perfect
for printing panoramas.
Dust protection is a bonus and eliminates
the need to find a large dust cover for the
entire machine (I don’t mind dusting the
outside but always worry about dust reaching
the feeds, rollers, etc.). And the user alerts are
very helpful since the control panel explains
exactly what’s wrong.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
I only have a few complaints. Marring
the overall excellent build quality is the
plastic output tray. It doesn’t slide smoothly
in or out of the main body and although
I don’t think it will break, moving the tray
requires a little bit of jiggling. The tray is
also a little short for larger/longer prints and
there’s no catch basket, so your panorama
print will likely end up on the floor if you’re
not there to grab it.
The front sheet feed also requires a bit of
finessing to precisely align the paper since
there’s only a mark (rather than physical
guides) to place the media.
And, yes, switching between black inks
gobbles up some of that liquid gold. Epson
doesn’t release any numbers for how much
ink is used in the switching process and I’m
unable to quantify it, but it’s visible in the ink
level gauge on the control panel.
HOW IT COMPARES
There’s little competition in the
17-inch desktop inkjet printer market.
The closest match to the Epson SureColor
P5000 (or P4900) is probably the older,
17-inch, 12-color Canon imagePROGRAF
PF5100. Paper handling options are the
same as the Epson, but the $2,100 iPF5100
has built-in calibration, which is nice. If you
don’t print in large quantities, can forgo
cassette and roll paper feeds but want
wireless connectivity, the $1,300 Canon
imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is a compelling,
budget-friendly output option.
As I mentioned earlier, inkjet printing
standards continue to be elevated with
each new product, which gives the Epson
SureColor P5000 an edge over the older
Canon iPF5100. With Epson’s best-in-class
print quality and excellent paper handling,
I highly recommend the SureColor P5000
for pros who want—and need—the latest and
greatest in inkjet printing.
Theano Nikitas has been covering
photography for over 20 years. Although she
loves digital, she still has a darkroom and a
fridge filled with film.
ABOVE: The driver installs a long list of Epson
papers (left) including the lovely Legacy
Platine, which was used to print the image
GIVING MOAB’S NEW ENTRADA RAG
TEXTURED 300 PAPER A TRIAL RUN
One of the papers we fed the Epson P5000 was Moab’s latest release, which brings texture to one of my
favorite papers. The new Entrada Rag Textured 300 combines the warmth of Entrada Rag Natural with a
slightly textured surface. Although textured paper is not a perfect match for all images or aesthetics, Entrada
Rag’s subtlety worked well with portraits of costumed actors I shot for a theatre company’s brochure. Julius
Caesar’s robes and breastplate took on a slightly warm tone with enough tooth to give it personality without
overwhelming the subject.
This 100 percent cotton 300gsm media is OBA-free and available in cut sheet sizes from 5 x 7 inches to 36
x 48 inches along with 17 x 24 x 44-inch, 50-foot rolls. Cut sheet pricing for a 25-pack varies from $19 to $514,
and roll prices range from $140 to $281.