Epson Stylus Photo RX500 is a Good Combination of Photo Printing and Scanning Features

Epson Stylus Photo RX500

I look at buying home photo printers from time to time, and I always end up coming back to the part of the market that offers photo printing, photo scanning, and light duty printing and copying. If fax capability comes in the feature mix, so much the better.

CNET ran a review of the Canon MultiPass MP390 the other day and it caught my eye. I was interested because it looked like it might fit the bill. But, the review prominently said:

Small ink tanks and the lack of an automatic document feeder limit the MP390's potential for busy medium-size office use, however, and this machine doesn't scan slides or film, so digital photographers should turn instead to the six-ink Epson Stylus Photo RX500.

So, then I checked out the review of the Epson Stylus Photo RX500 and realized that this is a product that meets my needs better.

I like the RX500 because it makes has a good scanner that includes a slide and negative scanning adapter. It produces good prints of photos, although it is on the slow side, and text and graphic output is not quite as good. The RX500 also has slots for digital camera memory cards, as many photo-oriented printers now do.

I think that photo printers have to use ink efficiently in order to be worth buying, no matter what you pay for the printer itself. The RX500 uses six separate ink tanks. This seems to be an economical setup, in that individual colors are only used as needed. CNET's review says:

In terms of consumables, the Epson Stylus Photo RX500 was on a par with other six-ink photo inkjets we've seen, averaging $1.05 per page when printing our 8.5x11 test photo. If you print mostly 4x6 photos, your real-world costs will be about half that. Unlike HP and Lexmark, Epson uses separate ink tanks, so you replace only the color that runs out instead of buying a new multicolor cartridge.

This is a good printer/scanner for the money although it probably wouldn't be the only printer I'd have in my home office if I did a lot of work there. Nevertheless, it's strengths (scanning and printing photos) are obvious.