Epson PictureMate

Page one of the driver lets you select to print Borderless or Bordered style. The Color Option can be set for No Correction, Auto Correction (improves low resolution images), Sepia (old brown-photo look) or Black & White. The Quality setting Digital Camera Correction helps to eliminate the "jaggies" or digital noise, Enhance Fine Details is for images with lots of fine detail - print time will be longer when enabled. Orientation options for portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) printing modes. If you enable the Print Preview the driver will display a preview window before continuing to print - see example below. And finally you can set the number of copies to be printed, 1 is the default. There's a lot less options here than we're used to seeing in a print driver because this is a dedicated 4x6" photo printer. It only uses one size of paper, one type of paper, there's only one paper source and it's only used to print photos.

Page two of the driver has all of the maintenance options on it. Here you can manually start the Status Monitor to check ink levels, run a Nozzle Check and make a test print, initiate a Head Cleaning or Print Head Alignment and use the Printer and Option Information selection to verify settings or specify optional devices. The Speed and Progress section has options for: High Speed Copies, Show Progress meter, Disable Status Monitor or Always spool RAW datatype. You can also select what Monitoring options you want to use.

If you check the Print Preview box on the first page of the driver, the printer will display this preview window before printing. This lets you visually see what the final print will look like so you can double-check your cropping or layout before wasting a sheet of glossy photo paper.

The Status Monitor pops up whenever the printer is printing and shows a moving progress bar and a big "gas gauge" display of the remaining ink in the cartridge.

When printing direct from memory cards you need to make an index print first. This generates up to 20 thumbnail size preview photos per page and assigns a number to each photo. Unless you use the Print All option you need to be able to tell the printer which pictures you want printed. You can also mark your photos beforehand in the camera using the DPOF (digital print order format) option, the printer will automatically print the marked images.

Before printing a picture you can specify a crop number and the printer will automatically crop and enlarge the selected area. You need to print out a Crop Template as shown here, only one is necessary and can be used for future reference, the cropped areas don't change from photo to photo.

Here's a side-by-side 600dpi unaltered scan of an Epson PictureMate (left) print and a HiTi 640DL (right) print. The HiTi 640DL is a dye sublimation printer with very true color rendition. The PictureMate's color gamut is very good and produced nearly identical results to the HiTi printer but with a little more cyan in the flesh tones and a noticeable boost to the greens and reds. Most consumers like the printed colors to be more "punchy" than real life so this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Epson's Film Factory software lets you store and organize your photos, edit your photos, easily print thousands of photos in all the popular photo sizes, create greeting cards, sticker prints, index prints, photo album pages, personalized calenders, and more. You can import photos from TWAIN-compliant digital cameras, scanners, etc. Film Factory supports Epson PRINT Image Matching II and is Exif Print compatible. Image enhancement tools allow you to automatically or manually adjust color, brightness and contrast. Rotate, trim, crop, add soft focus, correct for red-eye or fix multiple photos. Convert color photos to B&W or Sepia tone. In addition to organizing, editing and printing images, Film Factory lets you create HTML pages of your pictures for display on web pages. It runs on Windows 98, Me, 2000, or XP computers as well as Macintosh computers with Mac OSĀ® 8.6 through 9.2.2 , Mac OS X 10.1.5 or higher.