Pros Absolutely gorgeous prints, large ink cartridges, archival ink
Cons No roll feeder, same port for photo and matte black inks
Summary I am an advanced enthusiast and I recently looked at several desktop photo printers, read lots of reviews and finally jumped in to buy the 3800. After several weeks of daily printing, I have been incredibly happy with my choice. The 3800 works right out of the box with my MacBook Pro and either Adobe CS or iPhoto, producing killer prints on a wide variety of media and is very fast for the quality you get. Both the color and advanced B&W prints are stunning.
There are only two main drawbacks that I see. The first is the lack of roll feeder, which really doesn't bother me much as I usually print direct to sheets. The second is a slightly bigger issue and that is that although the 3800 has both the matte black and photo black cartridges loaded, they use the same port, so you need to purge the line to switch. This is done automatically through the software, but wastes 1.5-4mL of ink each time you do it. So...save up all of your matte printing jobs, switch inks and print it all at once before you switch back. Definitely a design flaw they need to address in the next models.
I considered purchasing either the 2400 or the 3800, but chose the 3800 after several reviewers pointed out that the price differential was made up by the cost of the ink included in the 3800 and future ink replacements are much more cost effective- $0.75/mL vs $0.94/mL. So for the cost of the ink, you get a better printer which is more cost effective to run- which is good, because when you see the prints, you'll use it a lot!
Pros Versatile machine, from 4 x 6 to 17 x 22
Cons Big and bulky
Summary Looks like this Epson 3800 is inteded as a less expensive alternative to the 4800, which didn't print in 4 x 6 size. The 3800 should serve the needs of most people from the beginning user to the more expert users.
The 3800 is the step up from the 2400 and the ink system is much more advanced. Whereas the 2400 and on down uses smaller ink cartridges that ride above the print head and feed the ink by gravity & vacuum. The 3800 and on up to the huge 11880, uses a pump system to move the ink from stationary ink cartridges to the print head. This system works so much better as the ink is pressurized at the printhead, so as long as the carts are not ran dry, there should be minimal ink flow issues resulting in banding, and dead spots. This is especially crucial if you want to print economically and use refillable inks, instead of the expensive factory inks.
The printer is rather large and bulky and takes up a lot of space. For those of you who only have this printer, it doesn't have a roll feed option so if that is important, it may be something you have to decide whether you can live without or not. For me, I also have a 7800, its of no issue. The versatility is really nice here, that you can print from the small size up to 17x22, whereas its bigger brother the 4800 starts at Letter size.
Another good feature is the matte & photo blacks are all installed at once. The printer & drivers control which black is used so you don't have to swap them out and flush the system everytime you want to print one or the other. The 4800 & up series do not have this feature, but Epson's next line does.
I have not utilized all the features of this printer yet. The Epson K3 inks are the same inks as used in the 7800, so it is very nice for me. If you have the space, this printer is the one for you!
Pros great prints, good ink costs, dependable.
Cons heavy, speed of printing
Summary We are a on site event photography company. We use Mitsubishi dye subs and the Epson 3800. When it comes to quality the 3800 hands down is better than the dye subs...however I guess you must give up some great color control for speed in the under $1500 price range. However we are thinking about 2 Epson and use the dye subs in only peak times.
"epson 3800 CIS"on by rdalex
Pros larger catridge
Cons expensive.... but ok
Summary As my R2400 seems to come in its terminal phase, I am planning an extensive upgrade of my printer. Next to a 44", I'm considering an Epson 3800 + CIS (Continuous Ink System). I will go for a standard full-color ink setup
For the CIS, I've seen some good reviews of this one:
Any experience? and what about the ink level reset?
Pros large ink cartridges, archival ink, 4 x 6 to 17 x 22 print size
Cons expensive, no roll feed (i don't care i don't use it )
Summary The prints this machine puts out are absolutely gorgeous. Whether Colour or black and white they are just stunning. I'm happy it has 80 mil cartridges because i'll be using it a lot.