Epson announced a new A3-sized printer in Japan in late September. Typical Epson practice is to annouce new printers for their domestic market in the Fall and then release them in the rest of the world the following Spring.

Since few westerners can read Japanese it’s been a bit of a guessing game as the the exact specs and features of this new printer. But reader Yasu Nakaoka of Tokyo has now provided us with a freehand translation of the information currently available. Thanks Yasu!

Hi Michael,

I am a photographer living in Japan, and I truely enjoy the tremendous informational
value you give to the photographic world with the Luminous Landscape.  I keep thinking
about how many Japanese photographers would appreciate what you’re doing if your
video journals were translated into japanese.

Anyways, I was reading your article about the new Epson printer and although I’m sure
someone has provided you with the info already, I thought I’d  write down what I see in the
brochure here. The printer will be in the stores mid november.

Epson has grouped three printers (PX-G5000, PX-G920, PM-4000PX) in a category
called "Pro Selection."  The new PX-G ink is said to withstand effects of ozone for 30
years, and fading for 80 years versus the 30 year ozone resistance and 45 year color
fading of the PX-P ink.  As you have mentioned, the PX-G5000 is an 8 ink, 5760X1440
A3-sized printer, with 1.5 picoliter dots. It prints an A3 size color print in 1min49 sec
versus 6min14sec for the 4000, and a small 89mmx127mm print (the standard size in
japanese photo stores) in 42 sec versus the 2min31sec of the PM-4000PX. 

So, we got faster printing speed with the new printer.

The 8 color ink for the 5000 are Photo Black/Matt Black/Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Red/
Blue/and Gloss Optimizer for printing on high gloss paper. What’s missing is the Grey
ink which is causing alot of concern on the discussion boards here. A lot of folks believe
that Epson did not make the new 5000 with the same intentions they had for b&w
printing in the 4000.  Epson is keeping the 4000 in production along with the 5000,
and since the 4000 has come down in price to nearly US$400 here, alot of folks who
believe in the grey ink are going for the 4000.  The new 5000 has Adobe RGB mode
so you can print in the color space of Photoshop CE. The new printer is capable of
printing photographic paper sizes such as 8×10, and 9.5×11.5. I supports USB2.0 as
well as IEEE1394 Firewire.  Running cost per print is about 2/3 of the 4000. It has an
auto head cleaning mechanism which detects clogged up nozzles  and does
susequent cleaning on its own.

So, the impression I get is that this is the printer for those who want to optimize
their color prints and work faster. For black and white work, you might want to hang on
to the 4000 until we see the actual results from the new printer.  I can see people in
Canada having both printers in the house for specific jobs, but in Japan where space is a
scarcity this is going to be a tough decision to make.

The store price for the new printer at Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo will be about US$680
with an 18% instore credit rebate which makes it about $557.

Epson is making a RAW data printing software available for download in november.
With this software, you can optimize the printing of RAW data on the new printer.

I hope I was able to shed some light on the new Epson Printer.

I look forward to more adventures and informative tutorials on the Luminous Landscape.

Best wishes,

Yasu Nakaoka
Tokyo, Japan