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Epson Stylus Photo P50 Printer Review
Epson Stylus Photo P50 Printer Review

Following in the footsteps of the older R200, R265, and R285 models is the Epson Stylus Photo P50; offering borderless photographs up to A4 in size.

The case takes a conventional style with the almost vertical rear paper feed and front output tray. There is no LCD touch screen or keypad, just three control buttons on the front fascia, on/off, paper feed, and one for replacing Inks. There is also a flap that pulls down where a tray holding a CD or DVD can be inserted to print directly on to coated disks; a feature that will separate this machine from much of its competition. At the rear is a USB socket for connecting to a PC or Mac. No PictBridge or memory card support here!

The Epson Stylus Photo P50 uses 6 colours, the extra two cartridges being light cyan and light magenta which hopefully increasing the colour gamut and reducing grain against a light background. There is no grey/gray cartridge, so black and white (monochrome) images are created using the six colours.

The Epson Stylus P50 uses T0801 Black, T0802 Cyan, T0803 Magenta, T0804 Yellow, T0805 Light Cyan, and T0806 Light Magenta printer cartridges. Genuine Epson Claria Ink Cartridges (dye based ink) are available for around £10 each and the T0807 Hummingbird multi-pack costs between £50 and £65. Alternatively by using premium quality compatible cartridges you will achieve similar results; albeit keen photographers may delve into the colour profile settings to adjust c/m/y percentages slightly. Compatible cartridges also contain dye based ink which produces blacker blacks as opposed to pigment ink. If however you wish to use pigment ink instead (more water and light resistant), then refillable cartridges make the best option. They have auto reset chips (ARC) that enable the cartridges to be repeatedly refilled and accepted by the printer. They can be filled with either Dye or Pigment inks, driving down the price of printing even more than compatibles.

Print quality for photographs can be exceptional, however ordinary text documents lack sharpness and are slow to print. The Epson Stylus Photo P50 is really just intended for printing photographs on paper and disks, and preferably on photographic paper. There are much better options available elsewhere and for less money if you need an all round printer that can also produce quality photographs. For example the Canon Pixma MG5250 offers similar photographic quality, but also contains a flatbed scanner, colour LCD screen, memory card/PictBridge support and Wireless.

I feel that we have been rather spoilt in the past by similar more robust printers such as the R200. Unfortunately modern day offerings feel and sound more plasticy and have a shorter service life. Printer manufacturers have come to realise that long lasting products are bad for profits, and so we are growing accustomed to replacing our printers on a yearly/bi-annual basis. On the face of it it appears that the Epson Stylus Photo P50 falls into this category. The print heads will eventually get blocked, the paper feed mechanism will fail, or the ink pad warning lights will demand to be reset. However until one of these events take place the Epson Stylus Photo P50 will produce superb quality photographs using either genuine Epson ink or premium quality compatible.

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The opinions expressed in Printer News Website do not necessarily reflect those of the editor. Reviews are based on opinions and readers should gather information about products from a wide range of media in order to get a balanced view. Don't take one persons word for it!