Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Inkjet Printer Review

by Mark Burnsworth

I’m an amateur photographer and recently I decided to ditch my old Epson 2200 because it never quite lived up to its promises and inevitably I would end up sending photos off to the lab to be printed. After a few hundred prints, I can safely say the new Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Inkjet Printer blows away my old 2200 model. Below I’m going to detail the specs for this printer and also talk about my experiences with it so far.

Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Features and Highlights

The Stylus Pro 3880 is Epson’s new gallery quality Inkjet photo printer. It’s very compact at 27” x 15” x 10” considering that it’s capable of printing photos up to 17” x 22” using Epson’s ground breaking Ultra Chrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink technology, for ultra intense violets and blues. And with the advanced black and white mode, you will be able to produce professional quality neutral or toned B&W prints from either color or monochrome images. Nine different inks are delivered using Epson’s industry leading Advanced MicroPiezo AMC one-inch print head, which features an ink-repelling coating for pinpoint accuracy.

This model also features auto-switching capabilities between matte and photo black inks to produce superior contrast on fine art, matte and glossy papers (you can also print on fine art media, art boards, fiber paper and semi matte paper up to 1.5mm thick). Quality is further improved thanks to new Accuphoto HD2 screening algorithms that produce better highlight and shadow detail as well as smoother transitions.

My Experience with the Epson Stylus Pro 3880

I’ve always preferred to have complete control over my photos from start to finish so having a professional quality printer like the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 in my home studio is a must. As mentioned earlier I’ve now printed hundreds of photos of varying sizes over the past few months and I’m continually amazed at the quality. When they say “gallery quality” they aren’t joking. I’ve had no issues with bronzing, metamerism or gloss differential like I did on the old 2200. And I love that there are separate cartridges for matte and photo black ink, so you don’t have the hassle of swapping them out.

It’s probably overkill if you’re just printing quick candid shots of the family, but if you’re a photographer, graphic designer or anyone else that doesn’t want to skimp on quality, this is the printer you want in your studio. That being said, even my wife finds it very easy to use and has printed quite a few shots of our kids as well as vacation photos. She’s always telling me how amazed she is at the quality and won’t take anything to the lab for development anymore, which unfortunately means that now we have to fight over who gets to use the printer!

PROS

  • Low cost — delivers comparable quality to professional printers costing thousands more
  • Compact — very small footprint considering it produces prints up to 17” wide
  • Quality — prints gallery quality photos
  • Versatility — performs equally well in color or black and white, and supports a wide range of media types and sizes
  • Ink usage — definitely not an ink guzzler, each cartridge goes a long way

CONS

  • Ink loss — there is some ink loss when switching between matte and photo black because the nozzle must be purged
  • Flimsy out feed tray –– the guts of this printer are rock solid but the out feed tray is made of flimsy plastic, so don’t bump it

The Bottom Line

Overall I am completely blown away with the quality of this printer. My old 2200 isn’t even in the same league as the Epson Stylus Pro 3880. I use it to produce gallery quality shots of my own work as an amateur photographer, and my wife loves to use it for family photos. We’re both very satisfied and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who needs to do their own professional photo printing.

Price Alert: Amazon.com is offering a generous 10% discount for the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Inkjet Printer. This means you’ll save $126 from the usual retail price.

Click here to get the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Inkjet Printer from Amazon.com