Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Epson America 10/20/03 Press Release




EPSON

Press Release - October 20, 2003



New Epson Stylus Pro 4000 Offers 17-Inch-Wide Professional-Level Photographic Printing and Seven-Color UltraChrome Ink System with New Eight-Channel Printhead

Epson Stylus Pro 4000 Offers Nearly Twice the Speed of Previous Epson Stylus Pro Printers and New Ink System Automatically Switches Between Matte Black and Photo Black Ink Modes





LONG BEACH, Calif.--Oct. 20, 2003-- Epson's newest and most advanced professional-level photographic printer to date is taking the form of a desktop design. The new Epson Stylus(R) Pro 4000 creates exhibit-quality images up to 17 inches in width at speeds that nearly double that of previous Epson Stylus Pro printers. The printer features a new eight-channel printhead and seven-color Epson UltraChrome(TM) pigmented ink system that automatically switches between Matte Black and Photo Black inks for optimum print quality on different media surfaces. It's also packed with several other advanced features designed specifically around the needs of today's professional photographers, graphic designers, commercial printers, GIS mapping, CAD users and more.

"We're confident the Epson Stylus Pro 4000 will be the most popular and best selling Stylus Pro printer yet," said Mark Radogna, senior product manager, professional graphics, Epson. "The combination of this printer's amazing image quality, dramatically faster performance and unique 17-inch-wide media handling, will make it a must-have product for any digital imaging professional -- especially with an estimated street price of only ,795."

Epson UltraChrome Ink

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 takes advantage of the company's award-winning Epson UltraChrome ink technology, a vital component to producing exhibit-quality prints that are sellable. This pigment-based formula uses seven individual colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, light magenta, light black and switches between one of two other unique black inks) to create an extremely wide gamut of colors that eliminates color casts and enhances midtones. The printer can also be used to print a wide range of black and white photography using its lower density Light Black ink. Epson UltraChrome Inks are water resistant and offer lightfastness ratings for color images up to 100 years, and greater than 100 years for black and white prints, on specific Epson papers under non-UV glass.(a) When displayed under UV-protected glass, color lightfastness is rated at more than 100 years for all Epson's leading professional papers. The quick drying nature of Epson UltraChrome inks also makes it possible to handle prints the moment they come off the printer. The Epson Stylus Pro 4000's eight individual channels/slots can handle either 110 ml or 220 ml cartridges, or a combination of both sizes. Each cartridge also uses Epson's Intelligent High-Capacity Ink technology, a feature that stores a variety of information on a memory chip (including ink levels), and communicates the data to the printer whenever the power is turned on.

Automatic Black Ink Mode Switching

In order to produce the highest level of image quality possible on a wide variety of media types, the Stylus Pro 4000 (in its photographic mode) offers two black inks/modes (Photo Black and Matte Black) that are automatically activated by the printer. The printer operates in Photo Black mode whenever the user sets the printer driver for photographic media surfaces such as glossy, luster, or semi-matte. All seven colors are used in Photo Black mode, which includes a combination of Photo Black ink and Light Black ink to produce a D-max rating as high as 2.1. If the user selects a matte, cotton-based or fine art surface in the printer driver, the printer switches to Matte Black mode. This mode also uses all seven colors but uses a combination of Matte Black and Light Black inks to produce a D-max rating as high as 1.69.

Media Handling and Flexibility

Images can be printed on virtually any media type (up to 1.5 millimeters thick) as wide as 17 inches using either rolls or cut sheets. Some of these media include plain paper and specialized Epson papers such as glossy, semi-gloss, luster, matte photographic papers, canvas and fine art papers, commercial-grade proofing media and more. Epson is also offering a complete set of professional-level RGB ICC profiles out of the box for extremely accurate color reproduction on a variety of these surfaces. A built-in high capacity media tray handles up to 250 sheets of plain letter sized paper or up to 50 cut sheets of photographic media up to 17" x 22". Cut sheet media can be fed automatically using the printer's high-speed cut sheet loading feature. Roll media users can take advantage of BorderFree(TM) printing, a feature that enables users to print over both left and right edges of the media while automatically cutting top and bottom edges for full-bleed prints on all four sides of the paper. A built-in cutter is included to trim prints faster and with greater accuracy and safety than manual techniques. User-adjustable roll media spindles can accept either two- or three-inch media cores.



Sleek Design and Automated Operations

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 offers a sleek, black and silver metallic design that features an easy-to-use front control panel with backlit displays and ink level indicators. Operation is simplified with six simple buttons located next to the display panel. Setup time and effort is also greatly reduced by a built-in auto head alignment feature. This technology uses a built-in white beam sensor that automatically scans printed alignment patterns created by the printer and then makes automated adjustments if necessary. The same white beam sensor is also used to detect clogged nozzles and automatically activate head cleaning cycles when/if necessary.

High Resolution Printing and Faster Print Speeds

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 is capable of printing at 2,880 x 1,440 dpi resolution -- resulting in finer blends and smoother photographic transitions. It also uses variable droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters to greatly decrease print time while optimizing photographic quality. Furthermore, Epson's advanced Micro Piezo(R) DX3(TM) ASIC technology controls the printing process to produce consistent image quality and color output from print to print. The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 prints up to 1.9 times faster than any previous Stylus Pro printer with the help of a new one-inch-wide print head packed with 180 nozzles per channel. Depending on the print mode, users can create an 8" x 10" photo-quality image as fast as one minute, seven seconds -- or create an 8" x 10" at a quality level that surpasses traditional photo labs in approximately seven minutes, eight seconds.

Features for Proofing and Engineering Applications

In addition to creating professional level photographs, the Epson Stylus Pro 4000 is also an ideal solution for pre-press proofing, graphic design, GIS applications, CAD engineers and other advanced digital imaging professionals. A "Dual CMYK" ink mode is available for different applications and media types that enable users to dedicate all eight channels for running two identical sets of cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks simultaneously. The Dual CMYK mode provides an ideal combination of high image quality and even faster print speeds (approximately 1.9 times faster than the printer's photographic mode) for applications such as GIS, CAD or plain paper printing. The Stylus Pro 4000's ability to create 17" x 22" images is also ideal for graphic designers who typically create two-page mockups for magazines, brochures and other pre-press applications. Since many graphic designers are typically limited to 13" x 19" images on their current printing devices, the Stylus Pro 4000's larger format creates prints with extra room around the borders for handwriting comments or signing off approvals. The printer can also handle C-size images that are commonly used by GIS and CAD users. An optional Epson Stylus Professional 2.0 software RIP featuring true Adobe(R) PostScript(R) 3 is available for graphic designers. Several other third-party RIPs and workflows will also be compatible with the Epson Stylus Pro 4000 to meet the printing industry's most demanding work environments.

Driver & Connectivity

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 uses an Epson professional level photographic driver for Macintosh and Windows, allowing for complete density control even when the driver color management feature is turned off. A wide selection of printer interfaces includes one USB (1.1 and 2.0), one IEEE 1394 FireWire(TM) and one Epson expansion slot for installing the optional 10/100 BaseT Ethernet card.

Pricing, Availability and Support

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 is priced at ,795 (estimated street price) and will begin shipping in January 2004 through authorized Epson dealers. An optional printer stand/cabinet will also be available for approximately . The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 is supported by the standard Epson Preferred(SM) Limited Warranty. This one-year program includes toll-free advanced telephone access Monday through Friday and typically next-business-day product replacement in the unlikely event of any hardware failure. Epson Preferred Plus Service Plans are also available, offering one or two additional years of protection that can be purchased at any time before the standard one-year warranty expires. For more information on Epson warranties, service programs and products, call 1-800-GO-EPSON (1-800-463-7766) or visit our Web site at www.epson.com.

About Epson

Epson offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, business, photography and graphic arts markets. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) printers and transaction terminals for the retail market. Founded in 1975, Epson America Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, a global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality technology products that meet customer demands for increased functionality, compactness, systems integration and energy efficiency. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif. Note: Specifications and terms are subject to change. EPSON, EPSON Stylus and Micro Piezo are registered trademarks of Seiko Epson Corporation. UltraChrome, BorderFree and DX3 are trademarks, and EPSON Preferred is a service mark, of Epson America Inc. All other product brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and all rights in these trademarks. (a)Lightfastness data from Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. Ink lightfastness ratings based on accelerated testing of prints on specialty media, displayed indoors, under glass. Actual print stability will vary according to media, printed image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, and atmospheric conditions. Epson does not guarantee longevity of prints. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or lamination or properly store them. For more information visit http://www.wilhelm-research.com/





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