Steve's Digicams

Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX
Inkjet Printer

Posted 5/30/01
updated 9/5/01

Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX Inkjet Printer

Stylus Photo 785EPX Main Features:

  • 2880 x 720 dpi, 6-color Photo Reproductive Quality
  • Virtually continuous tone quality
  • Print speeds: 4x6" in 54 seconds, 8x10" 1:51 (Fine mode)
  • Printing without computer via flash card and control panel
  • BorderFreeTM prints on 4x6", 5x7", 8x10" and 8.5x11" media
  • Panoramic printing with cut sheets up to 8.5 x 44" long
  • PCMCIA Type II card slot (includes CompactFlash Type I adapter), supports Sony Memory Stick, SmartMedia, Type II CompactFlash, IBM Microdrive, and Secure Digital with optional adapters.
  • Filters for brightness, sharpness, vivid, sepia, monochrome and contrast
  • Optional 1.6-inch color LCD for preview ($99 MSRP)
  • Supports Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) from memory cards.
  • Epson PRINT Image Matching Technology
  • EPSON Ultra Micro Dot™ 4pl with Variable Sized Droplet Technology
  • Separate black and color ink cartridges
  • USB connectivity for Windows® and Macintosh®
  • EPSON Film Factory™ and Arcsoft™ PhotoImpression™ 3.0 software included
The Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX, 780, 890 and the larger format Stylus Photo 1280 printers represent the absolute best in current inkjet printing technology at the time of this writing (May 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.

Epson has upgraded 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.

The Stylus Photo 785EPX is entry-level priced but has everything the home or small office would need in a modern, high-resolution photo printer. It has a carriage width of 8.5 inches and can handle paper lengths up to 44 inches. Also included with the printer is a roll paper holder, more about this below.

In addition to the Photo Reproduction Quality technology, the Stylus 785EPX is Epson's first printer to include PRINT Image Matching, a breakthrough technology that ensures digital cameras and printers work perfectly together to produce the best possible prints. Many new cameras made in 2001 will feature PRINT Image Matching compatibility. Camera manufacturers can set critical image specific parameters for printing such as gamma level, color space, contrast, sharpness, brightness, saturation, shadow point, highlight point and color balance to ensure optimum results for each camera.

There are specific driver settings for all types of media; plain paper, photo paper, Premium Glossy Photo paper, glossy film, transparency, double-weight matte, photo stickers and roll glossy photo paper.

Epson Stylus Photo 785 Inkjet Printer

I really like the ability to print borderless pictures without having to use the old 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. Epson's new borderless glossy photo paper is available in the 4x6", 5x7" and 8x10" standard photographic sizes. No more cutting prints to make them fit in photo frames. The Stylus 785EPX can also print BorderFree prints on standard 8.5 x 11" letter size media as well.

Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX 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 (borderless) 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.

Epson Stylus Photo 785 Inkjet Printer

The built in PCMCIA Type II card slot supports all existing memory cards when used with the appropriate adapter. Epson includes a CompactFlash Type I adapter and there's a mailin coupon in the box to exchange the CF adapter for either a SmartMedia or MemoryStick adapter (offer good thru 9/01/01).

Epson Stylus Photo 785 Inkjet Printer

You can read your memory cards and print pictures without the use of a computer or the PCMCIA slot can be used as a card reader to transfer images to the host computer when connected via USB. Utility programs are included that detect when a card has been inserted and then automatically copies the images to the hard drive.

Epson Stylus Photo 785 Inkjet Printer

The 785EPX comes with a roll paper holder. Using the 4" wide glossy photo paper rolls you can crank out an endless stream of borderless 4x6" prints just like a photo lab. You can also print up to 4 x 44" panormamas with the roll paper.

I would advise you to get a good rotary trimmer to cut roll paper prints as most paper cutters leave the edges rough.

Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX Inkjet Printer

Equipped with a high-speed USB port, the 785EPX is compatible with PCs running Windows 98, 2000, Me or later; USB equipped Macintosh with System 8.5.1 - 9.X

Optional 1.6" Preview Monitor

Epson Stylus Photo 895 photo via Medianord
Photo by Medianord,

There is an optional 1.6" color LCD preview monitor available for $99. This monitor allows you to "see" and select pictures on the memory card for printing. This eliminates the need to print index sheets. The color preview monitor has a screen saver function, brightness adjustment knob and a tilt mechanism for changing the viewing angle.

Mechanics & Performance

The first thing you notice, especially if you're a new Epson printer user, is the rather lengthy "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 1.1)

ResolutionHigh SpeedPaper SizePrint Time
2880 dpiN/A8.5 x 11"20:35
1440 dpiOff8.5 x 11"10:30
720 dpiOff8.5 x 11"5:15
720 dpiOn8.5 x 11"3:50
2880 dpiN/A4 x 6"7:22
1440 dpiOff4 x 6"3:58
1440 dpiOn4 x 6"2:52
720 dpiOff4 x 6"1:53
720 dpiOn4 x 6"1:20
1440 dpi (borderless)Off4 x 6"10:02
1440 dpi (borderless)On4 x 6"7:41
720 dpi (borderless)Off4 x 6"5:10
720 dpi (borderless)On4 x 6"3:20

Standalone Mode - Direct print from Card

720 dpi (borderless)N/A4 x 6"7:56
720 dpiN/A4 x 6"4:45
720 dpiN/A8.5 x 11"11:45

As you can see by the print times above, using the borderless (aka no margins or full bleed) option more than 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.

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Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX Specifications

Printing Method 6-color (CcMmYK) Micro Piezo ink jet technology
Configuration Monochrome head: 48 nozzles, Color head: 48 nozzles x 5 (CcMmY)
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. 51 secs. Black text memo: 8 ppm (When connected to host computer via USB)
Sound Level 47 dB(A)
Ink Technology EPSON Photo Ink
Printer Language EPSON ESC/P Raster, EPSON Remote
Software Driver Windows USB- Windows 98, 2000, Me or later; Macintosh USB- Macintosh System 8.5.1 - 9.X
Input Buffer 35 KB
Interface USB
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 .003 - .004 inch
Types Supports a variety of EPSON photo papers, plain, bond and air mail 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, Roll paper holder (included)
Physical Dimensions 18.4" L x 10.1" W x 8.4" H, 11.6 lb
Environmental Conditions Temperature: Operating: 50° to 95°F (10° to 35c); 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 No. 950; FCC part 15 subpart B class B, CSA C108.8 class B
Power Requirements
Rated Voltage AC 120V
Rated Frequency 50 to 60 Hz
Rated Current 0.45 Amp (max.)
Power Consumption Approx. 19 w (Energy Star compliant)
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 2 years from production date; 6 months from first use
Warranty Standard one year limited warranty in the U.S. and Canada including EPSON Exchange program. (Additional warranties available beyond one year).
PCMCIA Card Slot PCMCIA Type II card slot: PCMCIA Type 1 adapter included (supports CompactFlash Type I memory card) Supports Sony Memory Stick, SmartMedia, Type II CompactFlash, IBM Microdrive, and Secure Digital with optional PCMCIA adapter. Voltage Supported: 5V, 3.3V/5V, 3.3V. Printer reads Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) from digital camera memory cards.
Software EPSON Software™ Film Factory™, Arcsoft PhotoImpression™
Print Volume 16,000 pages or 5 years (less than 50,000 pages)

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