Epson Stylus Photo R1900 A3+ inkjet photo printer

An impressive Epson photo printer that uses pigment-based inks

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Epson Stylus Photo R1900
  • Epson Stylus Photo R1900
  • Epson Stylus Photo R1900
  • Epson Stylus Photo R1900
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Ethernet connection, great print quality for skin tones and black-and-white photographs, pigment inks can be used on glossy media

Cons

  • Poor paper handling for documents, some banding issues in gradients

Bottom Line

The Epson Stylus Photo R1900's print quality is suitable for amateur photographers, and professionals will likely find this model a good option as an all-purpose concept and archiving printer. However, issues with banding and paper handling mar what is otherwise a good photo printer.

Would you buy this?

Epson's Stylus Photo R1900 inkjet photo printer provides useful features for both amateur and professional photographers. It can print on directly onto CD/DVDs and can handle both A3+ media and roll-feed paper, making it a great all-purpose printer for the home studio. However, some banding issues mean that this is better for printing concepts and prototyping rather than the final product.

Being an A3+ capable photo printer, it's no surprise that the Stylus Photo R1900 is bigger than your average inkjet. Open all the trays and it's even bigger, standing nearly 410mm high. That's because, unlike the business-inclined PIXMA iX7000 from Canon, the Stylus Photo R1900 only has a rear paper tray, so you won't be able to tuck it into a narrow space. The printer also accepts media from A4, A3 and A3+ roll-feed paper, which attaches to the back of the printer, as well as CDs and DVDs, which are inserted on a palette through a front panel.

The Epson Stylus Photo R1900 offers USB and Ethernet connections, as well as a PictBridge USB port for compatible mobile phones and digital cameras.

Like many high-end photo printers, the Stylus Photo R1900 uses pigment-based inks, which tend to be more vibrant and better suited to matte media rather than glossy. However, Epson's UltraChrome Hi-Gloss2 Pigment Inks (yes, it's a mouthful) are designed specifically for glossy photos and even include a gloss optimiser for a shinier finish. It will cost $177.92 to replace all eight consumable in one hit, though at a cost per A4 page of 17.9c it won't hit the wallet too hard in the long run.

A4 Document Print Speed Results
Model Price Type B&W Draft
(ppm)
B&W Normal
(ppm)
Colour Draft
(ppm)
Colour Normal
(ppm)
A4 photo
(minutes)
4x6in photo
(seconds)
Epson Stylus Photo R1900 $1099 Inkjet (Pigment-based) 6 2.2 5.5 2 1m 20s 26.5s
Epson Stylus Photo 1410 $699 Inkjet (Dye-based) 12.2 2.7 12.2 2.7 2m 42
Stylus Photo R2880 $699 Inkjet (Pigment-based) 1m5s 1m38s 1m5s 1m38s 5m N/A
Canon PIXMA iX7000 $799 Inkjet (Pigment-based) 15.5 10.2 10.6 3.9 1.30 38
Brother MFC-6890CDW $699 Inkjet 16.4 4.8 16.4 3.4 1min38secs 22
Brother MFC-6490CW $499 Inkjet 16.4 8.1 14.9 3.5 1min38secs 22
Epson Stylus Office T1100 $399 Inkjet 17.2 13.2 9 4.2 2min53secs 1min12secs
HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format $399 Inkjet 18.75 10 17.3 6 1min15secs 28

A3 Document Print Speed Results
Model Price Type B&W Draft
(ppm)
B&W Normal
(ppm)
Colour Draft
(ppm)
Colour Normal
(ppm)
A3 photo
(minutes)
Epson Stylus Photo R1900 $1099 Inkjet (Pigment-based) 3.9 1.5 3.1 1.2 3m 2s
Epson Stylus Photo 1410 $699 Inkjet (Dye-based) 6.1 1.8 5.6 1.8 3m15s
Canon PIXMA iX7000 $799 Inkjet (Pigment-based) 3.5 3.2 2.8 2.4 2.37
Brother MFC-6890CDW $699 Inkjet 5.7 3.2 6 2 4min40secs
Brother MFC-6490CW $499 Inkjet 6.3 3.4 6.6 2 4min26secs
Epson Stylus Office T1100 $399 Inkjet 8.6 6.2 4 2.3 4min31secs
HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format $399 Inkjet 47.4secs 1min34secs 43secs 1min20secs 2min

Photographers are unlikely to worry about print speed when it comes to printing photos; quality is, after all, paramount. That's probably for the best, since the Stylus Photo R1900 is slower than even the Stylus Photo 1410 at printing both A4 and A3 documents. Even with the slow speed, paper handling was disappointing: the printer is loud and often curled 80gsm A3 pages, which could lead to a paper jam if unattended.

Though the Stylus Photo R1900 isn't built as a document printer, it can deliver professional looking documents when required. Epson's drivers even include an enlargement option, so you won't have to rely on the inferior settings in Microsoft Word when blowing A4 documents up to an A3 size. Colours aren't as vibrant as we would have liked when printed on matte media, though are certainly accurate enough for use in graphics and images within documents.

Of the eight pigment-based inks used in the Stylus Photo R1900, three are based on red hues and three on blacks, so it isn't surprising that the photo printer excels when reproducing both of these colours. Reds, oranges and pinks are particularly crisp, benefiting skin tones and sepia-tinted photographs. At the same time, monochrome photographs are surprisingly neutral in colour, providing no tint on our black-and-white test photo, though black levels aren't as deep as we found on the Stylus Photo 1410. The only problem we found with photos was a slight banding issue in gradients, despite initiating the printer's maintenance tasks. This is barely noticeable on most occasions, but could deter those looking to produce the final print.

The ability to print on glossy media with pigment-based inks makes the Epson Stylus Photo R1900 a great choice if you're looking to create long-lasting, shiny photos. Our main concern lies with the printer's banding issue, which could easily mar otherwise brilliant-looking photos.

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