More people are turning to digital as a simpler, more flexible method of taking photos. This is driving the need for a high quality, easy to use, and cost effective method of printing in the home as a real alternative to retail photo printing. In response to this demand EPSON has launched PictureMate, a new generation personal photo-dedicated printer. Designed to satisfy the needs of digital camera users, PictureMate removes the need for a computer or the necessity to visit a photo lab, photo kiosk or online photo service. EPSON PictureMate supports all popular memory card formats and offers direct printing from PictBridge® and USB Direct Print enabled digital cameras.
PictureMate uses EPSON's Advanced Micro Piezo" ink jet technology, exclusive archival 6-colour pigment printing for rich colour, perfect skin tones and the smoothest images that match the look and feel of traditional photo lab prints. It also features up to 5760 x 1440 optimised dpi with microscopic droplets for the sharpest detail, and seamless gradations.
With growth in digital photo printing coming from the non-technical consumer, EPSON have developed an intuitive interface, which guides you through a simple one-touch printing process. It couldn't be simpler. A printed proof sheet lets you preview pictures to print beautiful glossy borderless 10x15cm photos. Print selection options allow for printing all photos, just one photo, a range of photos, or several non-sequential photos from the camera memory card.
PictureMate automatically optimises each photo for colour and quality and allows you to print your colour photos in black and white or sepia tones. If you would like to have more creative flexibility you are able to crop photos, add classic borders and make wallet-sized photos all at the touch of a button.
One of PictureMate's key differences is its low cost per photo. Designed to make purchasing consumables easy and hassle-free, EPSON will introduce the PictureMate PicturePack. This economical and convenient pack contains a single photo cartridge and photo paper to print approximately 100 glossy 10x15cm photos. The price for a photo printed from PictureMate rivals traditional high street photo processing costs. The PicturePack makes purchasing consumables as convenient and easy as purchasing a roll of film.
EPSON PictureMate prints are superior to photo lab prints and to prints from other 10x15cm photo printers. According to Wilhelm Research Laboratory they resist fading about two to four times longer than the leading brands of photo lab prints and about four to 20 times longer than prints from other dedicated 10x15cm digital photo printers. PictureMate photos resist fading up to 100 years displayed in a frame and are also water-, smudge- and fingerprint-resistant for worry-free handling.
Using the optional Bluetooth module, PictureMate can print photos from compatible mobile phones. You simply point and click, connect to the printer wirelessly over Bluetooth and print. For added flexibility and support, EPSON has created a dedicated mobile phone printing application specifically for Bluetooth enabled Nokia mobile phones offering you further print options. Based on the Symbian® operating system, the application allows you to control size and quality settings, and add frames to the image before printing directly to PictureMate.
The PictureMate DOES produce photographic quality prints. I won't go into the resolution because to many people this means very little, all they want to know is will they be happy with the finished result? Suffice to say the resolution is more than adequate and YES you will be happy with the results.
The printer will print pictures from JPEG or TIFF images from any digital camera that has a USB port and is compatible with both PC and MAC platforms. A variety of memory card types is accepted. If unsure check it out.
Among its features are a multiple print function to allow multiple copies.
Onr small criticism, the manufacturers should include a USB cable, even if it boosts the price a little (did I really say that?). There is nothing more frustrating than getting home, opening the box, chomping at the bit to get started and finding out you cannot print pictures because you have not got a spare cable and my printer had not got one. Complaining over, this is a great piece of kit.
The photos it prints are of fabulous quality thanks to the six colours in the ink cartridge - and they come out dry, so you can handle them immediately with no fear of smudging ink (not all printers currently available can manage this feat - and a lot of them only have three colours in their cartridges which reduces the trueness of the colours in the prints a bit). Although it only does one size of print, the 4"x6", if you're printing ordinary snaps, they'd probably be this size anyway.
As others have noted, it's rather slow - but the printer takes 20 sheets at a go, so you can just go back and re-stock it every half hour or so if you've got a lot of pictures to print.
The paper is supplied with the ink cartridge in one pack - enough to take all the ink in the cartridge - so I am safe from the prospect of inadvertently buying the wrong type of paper. Something that I am quite capable of doing!
Only two niggles (hence the star knocked off): no bundled USB cable to connect your computer to the printer, and you can't view your pictures on the integral LCD screen.
On the other hand, if you're using a computer and have a cable available, the bundled software makes printing from your computer a doddle; so you even have the option of correcting pictures (straightening wonky ones for example - I do seem to have to do that rather a lot) with photoshop or similar packages before you print them.
Having said that there are gripes, the picture quality you get from the machine more than outweighs what are, really, a couple of very inconsequential complaints.... Read more ›
Printing of a wide variety of memory cards works flawlessly but use the supplied software for pictures already on your computer. The software (PhotoQuicker) gives you complete control over the picture. I'm very impressed and would highly recommend it - but only if you want 4 x 6 prints!