Steve's Digicams

Epson Stylus Photo 780
Inkjet Printer

Posted 3/16/01
updated 9/5/01

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

Stylus Photo 780 Main Features:

  • 2880 x 720 dpi Perfect Picture Printing
  • Print speeds of up to 7.8ppm black text and 7.5ppm color
  • Borderless prints on 4x6", 5x7" and 8.5x11" without special media
  • EPSON Ultra Micro Dot™ 4pl with Variable Sized Droplet Technology
  • USB and Parallel connectivity for Windows® and Macintosh®
  • EPSON Software™ Film Factory™, Arcsoft™ PhotoImpression™ 3.0, and QBeo™ PhotoGenetics™ 2.0 TE, Adobe Activeshare software included
  • Print Image Matching compatible when used with new drivers and software
The Epson Stylus Photo 780 (790 in Europe), the Stylus Photo 890 and the larger format Stylus Photo 1280 (1290 in Europe) printers represent the absolute best in current inkjet printing technology at the time of this writing (March 2001). They all feature 2880dpi printing resolution for pinsharp text and graphics. Using a combination of 4-picoliter Ultra Micro Dot, advanced Variable Sized Droplet technology, PhotoEnhance 4 and 2880dpi, they produce photolab-quality prints.

Using the latest Photo Reproduction Quality technology incorporating the EPSON Perfect Picture Imaging System, true Photo-Quality performance comes as standard without the need for additional upgrades, while printing on plain paper has been improved even further.

The best news is the 780's price, it's now only $99 and Epson has upgraded drivers and software to fully support the Print Image Matching (PIM) technology found on many of the new digicams. Visit the Epson Print Image Matching web site for more details.

How to Get the PRINT Image Matching Upgrade

The first PRINT Image Matching-compatible printer, the EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX, offered PRINT Image Matching support when used without the computer. With a simple software upgrade to Epson Software Film Factory, this printer can now support PRINT Image Matching through the computer.

Customers who own the EPSON Stylus Photo 780, 890 and 1280 printers can also easily upgrade their printer with an updated driver and a new version of Epson Software Film Factory with PRINT Image Matching support. These upgrades can be obtained by calling Epson's PRINT Image Matching customer support line at (562) 276-7296 to speak to a representative Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST, and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST. A CD-ROM containing the PRINT Image Matching upgrade will be shipped to each customer, free of charge.

or Download the newest 780 drivers from Epson America's File Library

The difference between the models -- the Stylus Photo 780 is the entry-level photo printer for the home user. It has a carriage width of 8.5 inches and can handle paper lengths up to 44 inches.  It is iMac-styled with the translucent blue cover.

The main difference between the 780 and the 890 is that the 890 comes packaged with the roll paper holder. There is no roll paper option available for the 780 and the only Paper Source option in the print driver is the Sheet Feeder.

Epson Stylus Photo 1280 Inkjet Printer

The Epson Stylus Photo 1280 (1290 in Europe) has a wider carriage and accepts paper stock up to 13 inches in width and 44 inches in length. All three printers feature the same basic print engine with an amazing 4-picoliter variable size ink droplet that gives you about twice the tonal range of any other inkjet. The 1280 (1290) uses the larger capacity T009 color cartridge.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

To insure complete cross-platform compatibility the new printers are equipped with both bi-directional parallel and high-speed USB ports. When used with a Windows PC you can use either port and the USB can be used with the macintosh computers. Epson has an optional print server that allows the printer to be a true resource on an ethernet network.

Mechanics & Performance

I'm not one who cares much about looks, so I can take it or leave it when it comes to the iMac styling -- how can you avoid it nowadays. seems as if everything is mimicking the popular translucent color schemes of our friends over at Apple.

The first thing you notice, especially if you're a new Epson printer user, is the rather noisy "pump up and nozzle clean" cycle that all Epsons are famous for. Yes it does require a little time when the printer is first turned on and yes, it does waste a certain amount of ink. But, it is necessary for the piezo printing technology that Epson uses. It properly primes the feed lines and ensures that all of the nozzles are clear. Believe me, the printed results are well worth it.

The new printers are quite fast unless using the 2880dpi mode, it greatly extends print times and doubles the ink useage. The 2880dpi mode can only be selected with the Photo Paper, Premium Glossy Paper or Glossy Film media settings and cannot be used with the no margins (borderless) mode. Unless you're creating prints to be examined by an 8x loupe, the 1440dpi and 720dpi modes will more than meet your needs.

Print Speed Timings

Custom: Advanced Photo-realistic setting
(Windows 98 SE, Pentium III/1000MHz USB)

ResolutionHigh SpeedPaper SizePrint Time
2880 dpiN/A8.5 x 11"25 min 30 secs
1440 dpiOff8.5 x 11"11 min 20 secs
1440 dpiOn8.5 x 11"7 min 32 secs
720 dpiOff8.5 x 11"5 min 50 secs
720 dpiOn8.5 x 11"2 min 40 secs
2880 dpiN/A4 x 6"9 min 20 secs
1440 dpiOff4 x 6"4 min 50 secs
1440 dpiOn4 x 6"3 min 05 secs
720 dpiOff4 x 6"2 min 20 secs
720 dpiOn4 x 6"1 min 20 secs
1440 dpi (borderless)Off4 x 6"10 min 30 secs
1440 dpi (borderless)On4 x 6"6 min 20 secs
720 dpi (borderless)Off4 x 6"5 min 10 secs
720 dpi (borderless)On4 x 6"2 min 50 secs

As you can see by the print times above, using the borderless (aka no margins or full bleed) option doubles the print time. You'll know why if you lift the cover and watch the process it uses to produce a borderless print. The printer micro-steps and begins printing before the leading edge of the paper gets in range and then slows down when the trailing edge of the paper is being printed. I was very impressed at how it handled the paper during borderless printing and didn't see any smearing or blurring of the trailing edge at all.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

I really like the ability to print borderless pictures without having to use the special Epson 4x6" photo paper with the tear-off margins. It's a hassle to bend and tear off four tabs per print and the micro-perf'd edges were not all that smooth. You can now use any brand of 4x6" photo paper to print your own "drug store size jumbo prints."

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

Looking down inside the new Stylus Photo printers you will see how they are able to handle the ink that is over-sprayed during full bleed printing. There is absorbant foam that soaks up the excess ink and it's located along the leading edge as well as at the 0", 4", 5", 8" and 8.5" width points.

US visitors Epson Stylus 780/870/875/890/895/790/915/1270 Rep. BLK Cart.

$ 23.01 at

UK visitors Epson Stylus 780/870/875/890/895/790/915/1270 Rep. BLK Cart.

£ 23.01 at

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Epson Stylus Photo 780 Specifications

Printing Method 6-color (Cyan, light cyan, Magenta, light magenta, Yellow and Black) Micro Piezo ink jet technology, borderless printing 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10 and 8.5 x 11 support
Configuration Monochrome head: 48 nozzles, Color head: 240 nozzles
Resolution 2880 x 720 dpi; 1440 x 720 dpi; 720 x 720 dpi; 360 x 360 dpi; 120 x 120 dpi
Ink Droplet Size 4 picoliters
Print Speed 4" x 6" Photo: 54 secs. , 8" x 10" Photo: 1 min. 50 secs. Black text memo: Approx. 8 ppm.
Sound Level 47 dB(A)
Ink Technology EPSON Photo Ink (Lightfast Inks)*
Printer Language EPSON ESC/P Raster, EPSON Remote
Software Driver Windows USB- Windows 98, 2000, Me or later; Windows Parallel- Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, Me or later; Macintosh USB- Macintosh System 8.5.1 or later
Input Buffer 256 KB
Interface USB, Parallel (IEEE-1284)
Print Direction Bidirectional with logic seeking
Paper Handling
Single Sheets Letter, legal, A4, B5, A5, A6, half letter, executive, user definable (4" to 44"), 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10"
Thickness N/A
Types Supports a variety of EPSON photo papers, plain and bond papers.
Envelope Types No. 10, DL, C6
Printable Area 8.5" x 11" (full-bleed letter size); Top Margin, 0"; Bottom Margin, 0", Left Margin, 0"; Right Margin, 0", 8.5" x 44" (maximum)
Paper Capacity Input paper tray: 100 Sheets/ 10 envelopes, Output paper tray: 30 sheets
Physical Dimensions 17.7" L x 9.7" W x 7.2" H, 8.36 lb
Environmental Conditions Temperature: Operating: 50° to 95°F (10° to 35°); Storage: -4° to 140°F (-20° to 60°C), Humidity: Operating: 20% to 80% releative humidity, Storage: 5% to 85% relative humidity (no condensation)
Safety Approvals Safety standards: UL1950, CSA22.2 950, FCC part 15 subpart B class B, CSA C108.8 class B
Power Requirements
Rated Voltage 120V AC +/-10%
Rated Frequency 50 to 60 Hz
Rated Current 0.4 Amp (max.)
Power Consumption Approx. 17 W (self test mode)
Ink Cartridge Life
Automatic ink low/Ink out detection Yes
Black Ink Life 540 pages text (ISO/IEC 10561 letter pattern), 378 pages of graphic (5% coverage)
Color ink life 220 pages ( 15% coverage)
Shelf life N/A
Warranty Standard one year limited warranty in the U.S. and Canada including EPSON Exchange program. (Additional warranties available beyond one year).
Software EPSON Software™ Film Factory™, Arcsoft™ PhotoImpression™ 3.0, and QBeo™ PhotoGenetics™ 2.0 TE
Print Volume 25,000
* Per Wilhelm Research Labs, lightfastness rated approximately 25 years before noticeable fading occurs in normal indoor display conditions in a glass frame, when using Genuine EPSON ink cartridges and EPSON Matte Paper- Heavyweight; approximately 6-7 years under the same conditions when using EPSON Photo Paper. Results will vary depending on lighting conditions, humidity, framing under glass, color intensity, color range and print media. Water-resistant prints are produced using Genuine EPSON ink cartridges and EPSON Premium Glossy Photo Paper and EPSON Photo Paper. Fine Mode: Print speeds will vary depending on system configuration, software application, page complexity, amount of page covered and print setting.

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