Steve's Digicams

Epson Stylus Photo 780
Inkjet Printer

The Printer Driver (cont.)

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

Page two of the driver is all about paper size options, orientations and the all-important "no margins" check box to enable the borderless printing. The 780 only has one possible Paper Source and that is the sheet feeder.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

Page three controls the Layout of your print jobs. You can reduce or enlarge by fitting to a gven paper size or scaling by percent. Multi-page jobs can be setup for odd/even or you can do posters that are composites of two or more printed pages.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

You can also make use the Watermark option, the defaults are Confidential, Draft, Urgent and Priority but you can add or delete your own as well. Watermarks are mostly used on printed text pages but professional photographers can make up their own "Proof Only" watermark to go over the top of photos too.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

Page four of the driver is the Utility menu and contains options to monitor the ink levels, check the nozzles, clean the heads, align the heads and more.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

How many times have you output an image to the printer only to have it print in the wrong orientation or size?  If you check the "Print Preview" box on the first page of the driver that will never be a problem again. The screen shown above will be displayed BEFORE the job is sent to the printer and you can visually see the results of the output in relation to the selected media.

If it isn't right just hit the Cancel button, correct the mistakes and then try it again -- no more wasted paper, especially the expensive glossy photo paper.

Included Software

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

Note: This is the updated Epson FilmFactory with PRINT Image Matching (PIM) support. See page one of this review for information on how to get your FREE upgrade.

Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

If digital photography has you overwhelmed and under organized, you need Epson Software Film Factory. This ingenious software makes your PC or Mac into a perfectly organized photo library and processing center. With Film Factory, you can collect, arrange, store, edit, and print thousands of photos from any source - digital camera, picture CDs, photo files, Web sites, or your favorite scanned images. Fall in love with photography all over again.

  • Organize thousands of your photos using intuitive "Roll of Film" and "Film Case" storage tools.
  • To save disk space, catalog photos that are stored on CD-ROM or other removable media.
  • Add text comments to your images.
  • Find your photos in seconds by quickly browsing through your rolls, or use Film Factory's search tools to look for them by date, comments, or filename.
  • Imports and exports common file types.
  • Easily import photos from your TWAIN-compatible digital camera or scanner.
  • Attach sound files to your photos.*
  • Make your pictures look their best with Film Factory's image enhancement tools.
  • Automatically or manually adjust color and brightness
  • Rotate
  • Trim
  • Convert photos to Black and White
  • Convert photos to Sepia tone
  • Add soft focus
  • Correct for red-eye
    • Turn your computer into a 1-hour photo lab. Print photo quality pictures at your home or office.
    • Standard and Duplicate Prints. Print wallet size photos, 4x6's, 8x10's, or other sizes.
    • Index Prints. Catalog your pictures off-line.
    • Photo Album Pages. Print multiple pictures onto a single page, with captions.
    • Greeting Cards
    • Sticker Prints
    • Create HTML pages of your pictures.
    • Attach pictures to your e-mails from Film Factory.*
    • Turn your favorite picture into Windows wallpaper.*
    • Show off your favorite photos using Film Factory's screen saver.*
    * Windows version only

    Epson Stylus Photo 780 Inkjet Printer

    ArcSoft PhotoImpression™ is an easy-to-use photo editing and creative design program that gives you the best of several ArcSoft offerings. Edit and retouch your photos, then add special effects or place them in cards, calendars, frames and fantasy templates. PhotoImpression also includes a wide variety of printing options.

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

    $ 23.01 at TonerMax.com
    $ 23.25 at DATABAZAAR.COM

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

    £ 23.01 at TonerMax.com
    £ 23.25 at DATABAZAAR.COM

    Steve's Conclusion

    (8/14/01 update:  Be sure to grab the latest Stylus Photo 780 drivers from the Epson web site, they have added a "Natural Color" option on the main page of the driver that greatly improves the color balance of digicam images.)

    Over the last couple of years we've seen the prices continually fall on the photo quality inkjet printers and this year Epson is definitely looking at increasing its market share. The Stylus Photo 780 is every bit as capable as the other Epson photo printers but is now priced at only $99!  

    My current printer -was- the Stylus Photo 1270 and I've had nothing but Epson photo printers for the last four years. I'm not saying that the Canon and HP photo printers aren't worthy competitors, they are. I'm just personally satisfied with the Epson printers and have always thought that they were just a bit (OK, a lot) ahead of the "other guys" when it came to overall print quality. Epson printers have permanent print heads which are a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand they are inherently better than inexpensive thermal heads that are part of the ink cartridge that you throw away when they run out of ink. On the other hand they are prone to clogging if not used frequently but this has never been a problem for me as I use my Epson photo printer as my "do it all" printer so it gets a daily workout. This is the main reason for the pump-up cycle that all Epson printers go through when first turned on. This makes sure that there is ink in the feed lines and that the print nozzles are clear.

    I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the first print come out of the Photo 780, it was every bit as good as the same print from the Photo 1270. This was an apples vs apples comparison as I used the same 720dpi, high speed off and photo-realistic settings on both printers. I used the exact same digicam image from PhotoImpact and simply switched the output between the printers. Both printers produced a bordered 4x6" print in just about the same amount of time, the 780 was faster by about four seconds. I have always liked borderless prints and on the 1270 my options were to use the special Epson photo paper with the tear-off tabs or else get out my trusty roto-trimmer. With the 780 all I needed to do was load it up with regular 4x6" paper and select the "no margins" options and print away.

    As I pointed out on page one of this review, the borderless (no margin or full bleed) option effectively doubles the time it takes to print so if you're in a rush to crank out a bunch of prints it isn't exactly the most optimal way to print. Most of us usually have plenty of time so I don't see this as a major drawback, in fact I see the borderless option as one of the more compelling reasons to buy this printer.

    Epson is pushing the 2880dpi output resolution as the big selling point of all of its new 2001 photo printers. If you already have an Epson 870, 875DCS or 1270 printer should you run out and buy one of the new ones with the 2880dpi output?  In a word - NO, don't bother. Frankly I have been more impressed with photos printed at 1440dpi on Premium Glossy Photo Paper or Kodak's new Utlima Glossy and Satin paper. The 2880dpi prints take twice as long to print, use twice as much ink and when examined at hand's length I think the 1440dpi prints have better shadow detail.

    If you're shopping for your first photo printer then by all means jump on the Stylus Photo 780, 890 or 1280 printers -- they're all winners and which one you get depends on your needs. With the current pricing, digicam users can be printing their photos with an investment of only $129. And don't forget that these printers don't just do photos -- they're perfect for text and mixed text and graphics too.   I don't own a second printer, my Epson Photo does it all, and does it all in style !

    ICC Profiles for ColorLife Paper

    Epson has introduced a new line of heavy weight, glossy photo paper called Epson ColorLife Photo. Download the ICC profiles for ColorLife Photo paper to make sure that you get the best possible color match between your screen (if properly calibrated) and the printer.

  • Reviews of Epson Photo Printers

    Our Epson Sylus Photo 785EPX review

    Imaging-Resource Epson Photo 780 review

    Imaging-Resource Epson 785EPX review

    Michael Reichmann's Epson Stylus Photo 1280/1290 Review

    Computer Darkroom's Epson Stylus Photo 1290 review

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