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Epson SureColor P800 printer review


Review of the Epson SureColor P800 printer

Published on October 14, 2016   |  Updated on May 15, 2020


The Epson of the new SureColor Pxxx series are introducing a new formula of pigment inks in order to further improve their gamut but especially their DMax so the depth of their blacks, especially on matt papers. The color fidelity as well as the printing finesse were already there. So all this is a good omen...

This Epson SureColor P800 printer belongs to a complete range of photo printers that appeared in 2015 and use the new Ultrachrome HD pigment inks. This range starts in A4 format with the SureColor P400 and ends at 60'' with the SC-11880. This model SureColor P800 gives access to the very beautiful A2 format and to the roll paper prints (panoramic photo). Its new pigment inks increase, on paper at least, the gamut but especially the DMax (therefore the depth of the blacks), on glossy papers but mainly on matt papers. The management of the different paper weights is also improved and better management of print run margins should not be forgotten either. It is therefore clearly a printer with a professional vocation and claim.


In a few words...


Epson SureColor P800


If you often print on matte paper then don't look any further: the new Epson SureColor P800 series offers the deepest blacks. I didn't say dark grays, I said black!- Read my conclusion  

  More offers...
CDN$ 2,109.99



Introduction to the Epson SureColor P800 printer

The Epson SureColor P800 is therefore a photo printer in A2 format + roller that uses new generation pigment inks, Ultrachrome HD, which guarantees very long-lasting prints for photographers/authors who want to sell limited series for example, possibly to institutions but with a slightly increased gamut (not very sensitive!) but especially a significantly improved DMax, especially on matt papers (very sensitive!). Like the generation it replaces, the Epson SureColor P800 uses two different black ink cartridges depending on whether you print on a paper that is rather " glossy" or " matt, smooth ". But unlike the first generations, this change is now done only by purging black and no longer all colours, which was particularly expensive in terms of ink.

the Epson SureColor P800 printer

Finally, far from the light weight of multifunction printers, it weighs nearly 43 lb and therefore imposes some even if the plastics used are sometimes a little cheap. The interior is solid but the covering, the buttons, the paper supports are a little light. The impression left by the first contact is therefore not particularly high quality. Too bad.

Main features:

To start, here are the main features and some views of this Epson SureColor P800 printer:

  • Photo printing in A2 format, 10x15 cm and optional roll (panoramic photo) with vertical loading from the back or flat from the front for the use of thick paper,
  • New printing nozzles for greater reliability and speed,
  • New generation pigment inks: Ultrachrome HD for a wider gamut,
  • New black ink for a DMax on Glossy paper (2.86) and record matte,
  • 9 cartridges of 80 ml...
  • including two grey ink cartridges for high quality black and white printing,
  • Two black cartridges: for glossy or matt papers, with very fast changeover (one minute) of the required black cartridge (without purging the other colours),
  • High printing speed: an A3 in 153 sec.
  • Control from a PC via cable or Wifi, Ethernet, smartphone or tablet from the Google Cloud Print, AirPrint Apple (Full features  )
  Technical specifications
  Epson SureColor P800 Launch price: $1,195.00
Printing format
Up to A2 (2880 x 1440 dpi)
9 including 2 black (Glossy and Matte) and 2 grey - 80 ml
  Sheet tray From 10 x 15 to A2 (0,29 à 1,5 mm) + Roll
  Control panel 2.6-inch touch screen colour display
  Printing speed A A3 in 153 sec.
Wifi + AirPrint + memory cards
iPrint + various
  Memory cards SD, SDHC, SDXC and USB key
USB 2.0 + Ethernet + Wifi + Cloud
  Dimensions 26.93"(W) x 14.80"(D) x 9.85"(H)
  Weight 43 lb

What's in the box...

You'll find obviously:

  • the printer (yes, yes, I'm not kidding!),
  • its power cord,
  • 9 High-capacity 64 ml initial ink cartridges,
  • Start Here Guide
  • Printer Basics with Warranty Statement
  • Media pack for printhead alignments

Attention! The box does not contain a USB 2.0 cable so you should plan to buy it beforehand so you can use it immediately if you do not want to use your printer in Wifi.

Epson SureColor P800 Roll Print Kit



Installation of the Epson SureColor P800 printer

Using this printer starts as always with its installation, really very simple if you have a recent Mac or PC system. The installation or replacement of ink cartridges, for example, is very simple by lifting the top cover. So I'm not going to dwell here. As the cartridges are always in the same place and not fixed on the print head rail, their replacement is immediate. Very pleasant.


The 9 ink cartridges of the Epson SureColor P800


Attention : my installation advice! Install the drivers on a Mac or PC before connecting your printer, otherwise the driver used will be a simplified version or that of another printer - as happened to me on my Mac - So I had to uninstall the printer (from the "System Preferences > Choose your printer on the left > click on the button - down") then reinstall it (with the + button this time) on my Mac and everything then went back to normal.

The software?

I just installed the manufacturer's print drivers + generic profiles so I won't tell you about the software suite sold with this printer. The various screenshots of this test were made from Photoshop CC or Lightroom latest version.

Black ink: Photo Black or Matte Black?

The Epson SureColor P800 printer has two black cartridges with different properties:

  • A cartridge called Noir Photo: it will be suitable for printing all "glossy, barium" papers, i. e. papers with a surface treatment that prevents ink from penetrating into its fibres,
  • A cartridge called Black Matte: it will be suitable for all matte papers such as Watercolour Matte, Smooth, Canvas, etc. These papers drink more ink.


Example of choice of black ink type: the "Matte Black" is chosen here and gives access, in the "Support" line above, to a list of compatible papers. The others will be greyed out.


Fine Art Paper" media is only accessible if Black Matte Black ink has been chosen.


These two black cartridges are always permanently installed in the printer but a print can only use one of the two cartridges depending on the type of paper that has been chosen. It is therefore necessary to "install" the black that you want to use BEFORE printing because the list of paper types and media types in the printer driver will be displayed or grayed out accordingly and the ink circuits will use the "right" ink. You will not be able to choose a matte paper support if the "Black Photo" option is selected or more accurately says the right black cartridge "installed". So what does it mean to "install" the "right" black cartridge? Simply purge the black ink circuit so that the nozzles are only supplied with the "right" black ink. This change is done directly on the printer's touch screen (above) and takes less than a minute. We can therefore say that the change of black ink is no longer the "purge" it once was! It is no longer time-consuming - less than a minute - or expensive.

Reminder about the black ink replacement!  It is imperative to change the black ink BEFORE printing if you want to obtain the list of compatible papers when choosing the substrate (choice that defines the ink rate). This is essential if you have calibrated your printer.

Which papers should be loaded at which location?

There are three ways to load sheets of paper into this Epson SureColor P800. In addition to the classic vertical loading back tray, it is also possible to load thick but perfectly flat sheets from the front - in a somewhat laborious and slow process. Finally and unlike Canon, which remains a puzzle for me in 2018, it is possible to load rolls of paper in 17'' (16.5 in) format and most often in 10 m long thanks to two holders sold separately (Option $261.00).

Pictures of the Epson SureColor P800

In the following order:

  • Loading from the rear paper feed slot for all not too thick papers that come out from the front, flat (top left photo),
  • Roll paper (holders sold as an option) that comes out from the front (allow space in front of the printer),
  • The thick papers are loaded from the front, flat and will go back and forth front/rear (you have to open the rear cover properly) to exit from the front, always flat.

This printer accepts all kinds of photo paper, from the Epson brand of course but also from all other brands. It will obviously be necessary to calibrate it necessarily and each time.

Access to certain type of papersAccess to certain types of paper = sometimes changing the loading tray! Some papers such as "Fine Arts" can only be accessed in the printer driver's media list if the correct paper loading tray is selected: "Print Settings > Paper Size > Axx > Axx (Front Tray - Fine Arts)". We can therefore say that printing on "beautiful" papers is a little laborious!


Choice of paper size for the Epson SC-P600

You have, above, the panoply of possible options between the trays, with or without margins, etc.,




Printing with the Epson SureColor P800

We are ready to print with the Epson SureColor P800! Although it may sound a little crazy (!), I first started testing this printer using generic profiles. And we will save a lot of time because the conclusion is clear: it is absolutely necessary to calibrate it! Without calibration, the prints are not colorimetrically accurate - even if not completely in the cabbage - but what might be "acceptable" with a $150 multifunction printer to print a souvenir photo is no longer acceptable with a professional printer that uses pigment inks and to make possible exposure prints. Conclusion, it must be calibrated! Well, even with the i1 Studio kit at 429 dollars - I got excellent results in colour and black and white, on Glossy or Mat paper. And if that wasn't enough to convince you to calibrate it, the prints are much too dark with generic profiles. So you won't avoid calibration but it's really for your own good!

Color printing after calibration (i1 Studio and i1Photo Pro 2)

So I calibrated this printer with the two best tools available: the brilliant and economical i1 Studio under test on this site and the very professional i1Photo Pro 2.

1 - Printing of colored facades - Well against all expectations, when I look at the prints under "classic" lighting - halogen, tungsten and daylight, therefore called uncontrolled - the results are not only excellent with the i1 Studio in chrome and brightness but "better" than with the i1Photo Pro 2, too cold, too "clinical". It is obviously an incredible instrument but it has been designed for use in a controlled lighting environment - the famous D50 - where it will work perfectly but less satisfactory, according to my personal taste, in a standard lighting environment.


On Permajet Gloss 271 paper - This is the print run on the Epson SC-P600 one uses the same print head and inks.

My personal opinion! On Permajet Glossy 271 paper, the correspondence between the print run and my display on my Eizo CS2420 is very good. It is a reliable and predictable chain, a surprising limitation when you consider that this calibration kit only costs "only" 429 dollars - compared to the 1,500 dollars of the i1Photo Pro 2.

Black and white printing (after calibration)

The black and white prints after calibration are accordingly, perfectly neutralized and faithful in terms of contrast on the screen. Certainly the quality of the calibration kit is a factor, but the Epson SureColor P800 + i1 Studio + Eizo CS240 display (replaced by the brilliant Eizo CS2420) works perfectly and is predictable even if on this criterion the Canon Pro-1000 does even better and moreover without calibration (Internal calibration).

On Epson Glossy Premium paper

Black and white printing on matt paper: has the famous DMax really been improved?

Although it is still possible to quantitatively measure the increase in DMax promised by this new generation of Ultrachrome HD ink, in the "real" world, the photo below shows the evolution of the improved black depth between the matte black ink of the Epson 7800 generation and this new Epson SureColor P800.


On Fuji baryta paper with Epson 7800 on left and on the same paper but on Epson SureColor P800 on right.

My opinion on matt paper prints  - Even if the deepest blacks correspond roughly to a Zone 1 in the System Zone, i. e. a grey that is never totally deep black, the increase in depth on matt paper is really sensitive to the naked eye and even more so when comparing side by side. The miracle is therefore not complete (!) because the blacks do not reach their depths on Glossy papers but Epson's efforts are commendable and tangible. On this criterion, Epson is the best on the market today.

About the Epson SureColor P800's gamut...

In this view, I compare the 3D gamut of this Epson SureColor P800 vs Epson 7800 from 2009 (ICC profiles made with the same Colormunki Photo kit since replaced by the i1 Studio) and on Epson Premium Glossy papers:

Comparison of the gamut of the Epson 7800 and Epson SureColor P800 printers


You don't have to be a great specialist to make two observations:

  • The volume gain over four generations of pro printers is not monstrous! Gains are made at the margin,
  • and as the Vivid magenta cartridge has been modified, there is indeed an increase in the gamut to cyan/red. Not enough to change the face of the world but it is a logical growth even if some will never see its contribution because it is still necessary to have photographed these very saturated colors!

Comparison of the Black Photo ink and Matt Photo ink gamut


Comparison of the gamut of the Epson SureColor P800 on glossy or matt paper

Epson Glossy Premium Premium vs Archival matphoto papers.


As expected, the gamut on matte paper is significantly smaller than on Glossy paper. Nothing unusual!

In which color space should you open your images to get the most out of the Epson SureColor P800's gamut?

1 - Comparison of the 3D gamut of the Epson SureColor P800 and the Adobe RGB space:


Comparison of the gamut of the Epson SureColor P800 on glossy paper and the Adobe RGB color space


If the overall gamut of the Adobe RGB is potentially larger than that of the Epson SureColor P800, especially in green or purple, it would limit a little the very saturated blue-green colors of your file once printed. So ideally, if your file contains very saturated colors in these hues, choose an even larger workspace for your RAW files. The DonRGB significantly improves things but you have to look for the giant ProPhoto to get everything back in order.

2 - Comparison of the 3D gamut of the Epson SureColor P800 and the ProPhoto space:


Comparison of the gamut of the Epson SureColor P800 on glossy paper and the ProPhoto color space


By using the huge ProPhoto space as a workspace for your images you will be sure not to potentially sacrifice any color of your file... if you have taken a picture of it, which will surely be rare in the vast majority of cases.

The printing finesse: Epson SureColor P800 vs Epson 7800 ?

The conclusion is obvious when you put the two prints next to each other: on the sole criterion of printing fineness, the two prints are equal to the naked eye but the Epson 7800 offers a softer rendering with a magnifying glass, less linear, more silver! That being said, and I repeat, the difference is invisible to the naked eye and has been for several generations of printers as well. The comparison with Canon is similar.


Difference in printing point between Epson 7800 and Epson SureColor P800


Even if printing with the Epson 7800 is even more "silvery", to the naked eye, it is impossible to see the difference so the Epson SureColor P800 no longer brings anything in terms of printing finesse as we can imagine because this is already the case since the Epson 7800 generation. Please don't wait for the moment when they "finally" announce more than 10,000 dpi of printing fineness. It will not help visually.

Management of margins in automatic mode

Unlike my Epson 7800, when you ask the printer to center your photo in the middle of your sheet, it really is! I wasn't used to that. So a priori, because I don't try all sheet formats or all scenarios, it will not be necessary to make many trial and error to "understand" the erratic management of the margins of this printer.




  Epson SureColor P800  
Printing quality 10/10
Colors before calibration 7,5/10
Colors after calibration 10/10
Gamut 9,5/10
Strength/time stability 10/10
Manufacturing quality 9,5/10
Quality/prince ratio 10/10
  I like it very much...  
  • Gives access to the beautiful A2 format
  • Roll printing (panoramic photo optional),
  • Printing on thick media (1.5 mm),
  • DMax record on Glossy paper but especially sensitive on matt paper - outstanding quality!
  • Predictable margin management,
  • Pretty fast,
  • Obviously can be calibrated very well - mandatory - but we can imagine it!
  • Really beautiful prints in color or black and white once calibrated, even / especially (!) with the new i1 Studio,
  • 80 ml cartridges and easy and quick to replace,
  • Quick change (1 min.) from photo black to matte black,
  I regret...  
  • Always the mandatory "purge" from matt black to bright black (but very fast),
  • Laborious flat loading of Fine Art papers,
  • No black and white mode like on the great Canon Pro-1000,
  • Generic profiles not very useful for photographers,
  • A little disappointing manufacturing quality, too plastic and smooth running can do better.
  My overall rating...  
  9,75 / 10, close to perfection!  
  My conclusion...  
This printer is the most versatile A2/pigment printer in 2018, although the Canon Pro-1000 can still do a little better sometimes, especially on Glossy papers. However, I would choose the Epson without hesitation if I printed panoramic on a roll and/or if I often printed on matt papers because the depth of its blacks on these papers thanks to its new generation of Ultrachrome HD ink represents a striking quality. Happy photographers like us, we have a choice!
Epson SureColor P800
$1,195.00 *
CDN$ 2,109.99
Replaced by SC-P900
Epson SureColor 80 ml ink
Here is my full review of the EPSON SureColor P800
- Full review of the Epson SureColor P800
  1 - Introduction to the Epson SureColor P800
2 - Settings and printing with the Epson SC-P800
3 - My rating and my conclusion

- My 3 photo printers reviews!
- How to choose your printer?
- How to calibrate your printer?


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Calibrate your photo printer with the
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