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When the A4 EcoTank print­ers were an­nounced, just for fun, we tried one out to see if it was any good at photo print­ing (it wasn’t bad). Now Epson has got se­ri­ous with the con­cept and in­tro­duced an A3 EcoTank model that’s ac­tu­ally de­signed for pho­tog­ra­phers. Happy days.

The evo­lu­tion of the inkjet photo prin­ter in all its for­mats moves along at a steady pace and then oc­ca­sion­ally takes a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward. As con­sumers, what we’d like to see in a prin­ter might be lit­tle more than wish­ful think­ing, but even­tu­ally the man­u­fac­tur­ers de­liver the goods.

By adding bulk inks to an A4 multi-func­tional prin­ter two ma­jor wish list items were sat­is­fied with cheaper inks and more con­tin­u­ous us­age. Now for the first time in the Epson EcoTank prin­ter fam­ily, A3 print­ing is in­cluded. The near­est ‘all-in-one’ Epson prin­ter is the Work­force 7510 at $722. It has A3 ca­pac­ity and pig­mented inks, but runs only off small car­tridges.

The key points of the ET-7750 are the sheer con­ve­nience of a bulk ink sys­tem and the econ­omy de­rived. Usu­ally a prin­ter comes with just one set of inks but the ET7750 comes with two, to to­tal 840 millil­itres of ink or the equiv­a­lent of about 30 sets of car­tridges! The dou­ble ink set cre­ates an­other first in inkjet print­ers, yet it is not an achieve­ment Epson has high­lighted. Hav­ing the ca­pac­ity to print up to 14,000 pages for black and 9000 for colour (but ba­si­cally text pages – not pho­to­graphs) with­out need­ing to buy more ink is a wel­come fea­ture bound to at­tract a great deal of at­ten­tion.

oUT of THe BoX

The box con­tains the prin­ter it­self, the power ca­ble, a guide sheet for the prin­ter set-up, a soft­ware CD, war­ranty doc­u­ment, two sets of ink bot­tles (black as a 140 millil­itres pig­ment with cyan, ma­genta, yel­low and photo black dyes at 70 millil­itres each) and a main­te­nance box.

The prin­ter al­ready has a main­te­nance box in place so what is pro­vided is a re­place­ment unit that is in­serted when the prin­ter in­di­cates. A USB ca­ble is not in­cluded. A two year war­ranty is avail­able if the prin­ter is reg­is­tered within one month of pur­chase.

The ET-7750 is fin­ished in black with some pan­els in gloss and oth­ers matte. A foot­print of 526x415 mil­lime­tres doesn’t take up too much desk space and the weight of 10.5 kilo­grams means it’s com­par­a­tively easy to move. Up front and cen­tre is the ad­justable con­trol panel with a 6.8 cm LCD colour dis­play screen. To the left of this screen is the On/ Off but­ton il­lu­mi­nated in green when switched on (and which flick­ers dur­ing print­ing) sup­ported by the ‘Home Screen’ and CD/DVD buttons. To the right of the screen is a set of buttons which in­cludes four-way di­rec­tional keys, plus and mi­nus keys (for se­lect­ing the num­ber of prints) and a ‘Pre­vi­ous Screen’ key. An or­ange ‘Can­cel’ but­ton and ‘Print Start’ but­ton com­plete the con­trols.

The front-fac­ing ink tanks are housed at the bot­tom right of the prin­ter and the USB slot at the bot­tom left with the SD card port above. For print­ing with­out a com­puter con­nec­tion, these two in­puts link to the LCD screen where im­ages can be se­lected and print­ing pa­ram­e­ters es­tab­lished. The fold­ing cover for the copy area can ac­com­mo­date books up to about 35 mil­lime­tres thick.

The rear pa­per feed han­dles up to ten sheets of photo me­dia in sizes up to A3 and panorama sheets as large as 297 mil­lime­tres wide and 1117 mil­lime­tres long. It is also the ap­pro­pri­ate feed po­si­tion for heavy­weight pa­pers that could jam up in the front pa­per cas­sette trays. The rear pa­per feed folds down into a rather neat box com­part­ment. All the pa­per trays are flimsy and need to be treated care­fully. The smaller cas­sette num­ber one will ac­com­mo­date 20 sheets of 13x18 cen­time­tres Premium Gloss pa­per while cas­sette num­ber two han­dles up to 100 sheets of plain pa­per. Pa­per is placed coated side downin the cas­settes. The pa­per re­ceiv­ing tray re­sides on top of the cas­settes and the CD/DVD tray is lo­cated un­der­neath.

All four trays at the front are so close to­gether they can be awk­ward to use by all ex­cept those with very nim­ble fin­gers.

If the pa­per re­ceiv­ing tray is not ex­tended cor­rectly, the prin­ter will ad­vise. Eth­er­net, USB and power con­nec­tions are lo­cated at the back of the prin­ter.

Epson proudly claims the Mo­pria-cer­ti­fied ET-7750 to be a com­plete so­lu­tion cov­er­ing stan­dard USB ca­ble con­nec­tion to a com­puter, Eth­er­net for mul­ti­ple com­put­ers, Wi-Fi Di­rect and print­ing from re­mote de­vices such iPad, iPhone, An­droid tablets and Smart­phone.


Prior to mak­ing a start on the setup pro­ce­dure it’s most help­ful to view the YouTube Epson sup­port videos ac­cessed by search­ing ‘Epson ET-7750 setup’.

The set-up rou­tine is a lit­tle bit more in­volved than for most print­ers as it re­quires an ini­tial charg­ing of inks and then a top-up. To avoid any like­li­hood of spillage in trans­fer­ring ink from bot­tles to prin­ter, there is a spe­cial cou­pling sys­tem. This will be wel­comed by all ex­cept those who might be think­ing about the use of third­party inks to fur­ther re­duce run­ning costs. The sys­tem doesn’t en­tirely negate the use of other inks, but does re­quire the trans­fer of ink to the orig­i­nal Epson bot­tles in or­der to ac­cess the prin­ter’s tanks.

Get­ting the prin­ter ready for work starts ei­ther with the in­struc­tion sheet or via the CD. If the in­struc­tion sheet is fol­lowed, ev­ery­thing be­gins by open­ing the scan­ner unit lid and ink tank cover. The inks can be loaded in any or­der, but most will start with the pig­mented black ink. The bot­tle is held up­right and the lid un­screwed with­out shak­ing or squeez­ing the bot­tle. Each ink bot­tle has an au­tostop ink fill fea­ture that is uniquely keyed for fill­ing each colour tank so there is no like­li­hood of get­ting it wrong. Af­ter in­sert­ing the bot­tle, it will drain to a point where it will au­to­mat­i­cally stop just be­low the up­per line. This will take about 30 sec­onds. The caps on the ink tank and the ink bot­tle are then sealed. Af­ter all the tanks have been filled, the ink cover and scan­ner lids are closed, the power cord is con­nected, the con­trol panel raised and the prin­ter turned on.

A small amount of ink is used to charge up the prin­ter and will slightly lower the ink lev­els that must then be topped up. Af­ter ‘OK’ is pressed to ac­cept ‘English’ (or other) the in­struc­tions on the LCD screen will ad­vance to a point where the ‘Start’ is pressed to com­mence the seven-minute in­stal­la­tion process. When com­pleted, press ‘OK’. The scan­ner lid and ink cover are re-opened and each ink tank topped up. Af­ter yet an­other hit of ‘OK’, the left and right ar­rows are used to check each colour and then the ‘Start’ but­ton to re­set the ink lev­els. Fi­nally, press ‘OK’ and ‘Ad­just’ and fol­low the on-screen in­struc­tions. The CD can then be in­serted in a com­puter for the driver, op­er­a­tional man­ual and soft­ware pro­grams to be in­stalled.

The best way to go about the set-up is to in­sert the soft­ware disc in the com­puter and fol­low the in­struc­tions for ink in­stal­la­tion and fi­nally the prin­ter driver. Oth­er­wise, fol­low the in­struc­tion sheet for the ink pro­ce­dures and then in­sert the CD to con­firm what has al­ready been done.


For those us­ing the lat­est com­put­ers that no longer in­clude a CD/DVD fa­cil­ity the in­stal­la­tion can be car­ried out from the Epson web­site.

The com­pre­hen­sive 205-page man­ual for the prin­ter is ac­cessed via an icon on the desk­top. This is very much a ref­er­ence man­ual and not some­thing that most will at­tempt to ab­sorb in ev­ery de­tail. By click­ing on the re­quired page num­ber in the in­dex, the man­ual goes di­rectly to that page.


Pa­per types are listed as ‘Plain’, ‘Epson Ul­tra Glossy’, ‘Epson Premium Glossy’, ‘Epson Premium SemiGlossy’, ‘Photo Pa­per Glossy’, ‘Epson Matte’, ‘Epson Photo Qual­ity Ink Jet’, ‘Epson Photo Stick­ers’ and ‘En­ve­lope’. Print qual­ity is listed as ‘Draft’, ‘Stan­dard’, ‘High’, and ‘More Set­tings’. The ‘More Set­tings’ is a three-step ad­just­ment be­tween ‘Speed’ and ‘Qual­ity’. Un­der ‘Ad­di­tional Set­tings’ there is the op­tion to turn ‘High Speed’ print­ing off.

If Epson Matte pa­per is se­lected, the qual­ity set­ting is ‘Stan­dard’ and there is no way of mov­ing up to ‘High’. It seems odd that the matte set­ting has a limit on print res­o­lu­tion, but it is likely that Epson has adopted a con­ser­va­tive ap­proach in see­ing a pos­si­ble ink bleed­ing sit­u­a­tion with im­ages con­tain­ing large black ar­eas on some types of matte pa­per if ‘High’ was ap­plied.

For the sake of a lit­tle ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, a sheet of A4 matte pa­per was printed as Epson Gloss at the ‘High’ qual­ity set­ting and with ‘High Speed’ switched off. This cer­tainly pro­vided a finer dot struc­ture, but a mag­ni­fier is re­quired to see the dif­fer­ence. Such is the for­giv­ing na­ture of dyes, but it still comes down to in­di­vid­ual user tests.

Post­card prints from pa­per placed in Cas­sette 1 took 20 sec­onds us­ing ‘Stan­dard’ qual­ity with ‘High Speed’ which in­creased to 32 sec­onds with ‘High Speed’ switched off. Step­ping up the ‘High’ qual­ity set­ting re­sulted in times of 45 sec­onds and 70 sec­onds with the higher res­o­lu­tion pro­duc­ing a bet­ter out­come.

On A3 size Epson Premium Photo Pa­per Glossy, a print us­ing ‘Stan­dard’ qual­ity with ‘High Speed’ on took just 80 sec­onds. The print time in­creased to 5:40 min­utes with the ‘High’ qual­ity set­ting and ‘High Speed’ switched off. The dif­fer­ence be­tween the speed and the qual­ity set­tings is no­tice­able to the point of stress­ing the need to al­ways go for the best qual­ity un­less time re­ally is an is­sue. When a suc­cess­ful print rou­tine has been es­tab­lished all the at­tributes can be saved un­der ‘Print­ing Pre­sets’ and ‘Add/Re­move Pre­sets’. This al­lows quick print­ing of all reg­u­lar rou­tines with­out need­ing to go through all the set­tings at each new print­ing ses­sion. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion ‘Help’ can be ac­cessed by right-click­ing the mouse over any fea­ture in a print panel.

inK raT­inGS

One of the key ques­tions asked by se­ri­ous print-mak­ers con­cerns the longevity of these bulk inks. The near­est ink set from Epson would ap­pear to be the four inks of the L355 se­ries (which is not avail­able in Aus­tralia). Wil­helm Re­search has rat­ings of two years un­der glass for plain pa­per and up to seven years for Premium Glossy pa­per. Fig­ures for dark stor­age have not as yet been pub­lished.

This is hardly en­cour­ag­ing news. Enquiries to Epson Aus­tralia re­gard­ing print longevity have been for­warded on to Ja­pan with any re­sults not avail­able at the time of com­plet­ing this re­view. In the mean­time, Epson UK in­di­cates prints will “…last up to 300 years in a photo al­bum”. Cer­tainly a very bold state­ment.


While most users will opt for the ‘Auto’ mode or ‘Easy Photo Print’ (part of the in­stal­la­tion) for gen­eral print­ing, more pre­cise set­tings are avail­able for those who care­fully pre­pare print files.

The path­way is ‘More Op­tions’, ‘Colour Cor­rec­tion’, ‘Cus­tom’ and ‘Ad­vanced’.

In ‘Colour Man­age­ment’ choose ‘Colour Con­trols’ and then, in ‘Colour Mode’, choose ei­ther ‘Stan­dard’ for sRGB files or ‘Adobe RGB’ for files with the Adobe RGB (1998) colour space. Any al­ter­ations made to over­all colour, bright­ness, con­trast, sat­u­ra­tion and den­sity may be saved for fu­ture print­ing ses­sions.

In ap­prais­ing dye-based prints it’s im­por­tant to let them thor­oughly dry down be­fore an as­sess­ment of colour can be made. What the prin­ter im­me­di­ately turns out may be slightly red, but should be ‘nor­mal’ later.

In times past, se­ri­ous print mak­ers would have scoffed at the thought of us­ing a four-colour inkjet prin­ter. Al­though the four colours of the Epson ET-7750 can­not match the ca­pac­ity of print­ers with six or more inks, the im­age qual­ity is re­mark­ably good and cer­tainly good enough for many tasks. The dyes can be more vi­brant than pig­ments, es­pe­cially on gloss and semi-gloss pa­pers, while the very fine dot struc­ture (5760x1440 dpi) can­not be matched by pig­ment print­ers.

An A3 size print made on Epson Premium Gloss and us­ing the max­i­mum qual­ity set­tings took 5:40 min­utes. The print file size of 95 MB con­tained plenty of de­tail and the high res­o­lu­tion of the prin­ter ren­dered that de­tail ex­tremely well. To gain im­pact in the file, some tonal scale was sac­ri­ficed.


This did not put any un­due strain on the four-colour inks and the re­sult­ing print was just about the equal of those printed with a nine­colour ink set. Top qual­ity prints can be ob­tained from print files that don’t con­tain a vast range of sub­tle tones and de­tail in both high­lights and shad­ows. The per­fect sur­face of the dyes and their bright­ness might just be char­ac­ter­is­tics that sway pho­tog­ra­phers who may con­clude that, if the print de­te­ri­o­rates af­ter seven years un­der glass then it’s cheap enough to just pro­duce an­other.

A3 prints made on Epson’s Archival Matte (189 gsm) pa­per and printed at the ‘Stan­dard’ qual­ity set­ting with ‘High Speed’ switched off took 2:25 min­utes. When, as out­lined ear­lier, the matte pa­per was de­lib­er­ately printed as gloss in or­der to use the ‘High’ qual­ity set­ting, it took 5:40 min­utes

Us­ing a ba­sic four-colour ink prin­ter with fine-art pa­per would seem to be an over-reach, but for the sake of the ex­er­cise some Epson Cold Press Bright sheets were printed from the rear tray. At 340 gsm this pa­per is about as heavy­weight as it gets, yet the prin­ter ac­cepted the pa­per and turned out a good re­sult as well.

The ET-7750 doesn’t have the ca­pac­ity for the colour man­age­ment pre­ci­sion of ded­i­cated photo print­ers us­ing ICC pro­files and mul­ti­ple inks. Nev­er­the­less, it does pro­duce a re­mark­able print that would cause the scoffers of yes­ter­day to ap­plaud. Most peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tions who will pur­chase this prin­ter don’t ex­pect the ut­most in qual­ity or saleable long-term print life. The ‘all-in­one’ func­tion­al­ity com­bined with rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive and plen­ti­ful ink are the im­por­tant fac­tors.


Us­ing four colours for mono­chrome print­ing will usu­ally re­sult in a colour cast. The black and white prints (files al­lo­cated the sRGB colour space) had ex­ten­sive tonal scale, but ap­peared dullish grey all over. How­ever, there is a way of achiev­ing neu­tral re­sults by ap­ply­ing the old tech­nique of forc­ing the use of the black ink only. This ap­proach may not ap­peal to ev­ery­body, but it’s handy to know there is an al­ter­na­tive. It’s worth ex­per­i­ment­ing with the ‘Plain Pa­per’ set­ting to bring the black ink pig­ment into play along with the ‘High’ qual­ity set­ting (with ‘High Speed’ switched off).

A stan­dard greyscale A4 print on Epson semi-gloss was pro­duced in 3:15 min­utes us­ing the ‘High’ qual­ity and with ‘High Speed’ switched off. The same im­age on the same pa­per us­ing the same set­tings, but with ‘Plain Pa­per’ type took 55 sec­onds. At the A3 size, the time was 1:25 min­utes. By us­ing ‘Plain Pa­per’ type only the pig­mented black ink is used. This im­me­di­ately brings in far greater longevity, neu­tral ‘colour’ and a very fine black dot struc­ture rather than the mi­croweave pat­tern­ing of inks as per the stan­dard ‘grayscale’ method. By re­duc­ing bright­ness by a -8 value, and con­trast by -7, some ex­cel­lent re­sults were achieved.

The pig­mented black on a semi-gloss sur­face did not ex­hibit any signs of gloss dif­fer­en­tial or bronz­ing. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing com­par­i­son be­tween the two meth­ods for mak­ing black and white prints and one for the in­di­vid­ual to de­cide if the black-inkonly ap­proach is worth­while.

Cus­tom pa­per sizes may be es­tab­lished via ‘Main’, ‘Pa­per Size’ and ‘User-De­fined’ where the width can be from 89 to 297 mil­lime­tres and the length from 127 to 1117.6 mil­lime­tres. A panoramic im­age sized at 267x750 mil­lime­tres was printed on matte pa­per at 297x900 mil­lime­tres. The print­ing time with the ‘Stan­dard’ qual­ity set­ting was just 2:50 min­utes. The pa­per was held by the rear tray with­out any sup­port and the prin­ter ac­cepted it with­out any prob­lem. All that was re­quired was the need to catch the pa­per when it was re­leased. Devo­tees of panoramic print­mak­ing will be pleased.

Panoramic prints cre­ated at the max­i­mum length will need to use pa­per cut down from rolls. In or­der to avoid any like­li­hood of head strike marks, it is rec­om­mended the pa­per be flat­tened down to avoid curl­ing.


The ca­pac­ity to be able to work with cus­tom page sizes up to A3 is a dis­tinct ad­van­tage for D-I-Y book­mak­ing. Two 210x230 mil­lime­tres books were pro­duced from A4 sheets of Epson’s dou­ble-sided 178 gsm matte pa­per. The first was de­signed from Adobe sRGB pro­filed im­ages and the sec­ond from Adobe RBG 1998 im­ages. In each case, the ap­pro­pri­ate ‘Colour Man­age­ment’ and ‘Colour Mode’ re­sulted in ac­cu­rate re­sults.

To achieve the high­est res­o­lu­tion avail­able the gloss pa­per type was se­lected to over­ride the ‘Stan­dard’ qual­ity nor­mally locked into matte pa­per. Al­though this is a com­plete mis-match the re­sults were ex­cel­lent, thanks to the for­giv­ing na­ture of dyes. The A4 pa­per was ‘fanned’ to pre­vent

the like­li­hood of mul­ti­ple sheet in-take jams and stacked in the rear pa­per feeder. No prob­lems were en­coun­tered in con­tin­u­ous page print­ing.

Based on this ex­pe­ri­ence, the Epson ET-7750 is ide­ally suited to D-I-Y book­mak­ing and as­so­ci­ated projects such as cal­en­dars and mini posters. Cus­tom-size pages, high print res­o­lu­tion, vi­brant dyes, plen­ti­ful ink and the claim (al­beit ques­tion­able) of ‘up to a 300 year life’ in dark stor­age could be rea­son enough to ac­quire one.


A3 for­mat multi-func­tional print­ers are now avail­able for as low as $200, but only come with small car­tridges which aren’t cheap and re­quire reg­u­lar re­place­ment. It wouldn’t take long for you to have paid more for ink than the prin­ter’s pur­chase price.

The EcoTank bulk ink sys­tem means long-term print­ing at a far more eco­nom­i­cal rate per millil­itre. Now it’s up to the in­di­vid­ual to de­ter­mine the num­ber of prints likely to be made in a week or month to see how the $200 prin­ter and a pile of car­tridges stack up against the ini­tial higher price for the Epson ET-7750 and the cheaper on-go­ing ink costs.

An out­lay of $999 would go a long way else­where, ei­ther to­wards an A3+ or A2 for­mat inkjet prin­ter with mul­ti­ple inks sets or a com­bi­na­tion such as Epson’s Ex­pres­sion HD XP-15000 model at $499 (re­plac­ing the Ar­ti­san 1430) with Claria inks rated at 98 years un­der glass and an A4 mul­ti­func­tional with bulk inks such as the Epson ET-4550.

Other Epson print­ers such as the Work­force WF-7610 is A3+ for­mat at $299, the ET-4500 is $499, the SureColor P405 (A3+ with eight pig­mented inks for $899 )and the P600 (an A3+ ma­chine with nine inks at $1299) should be con­sid­ered when you’re work­ing out the com­par­a­tive eco­nomics.

The 70 millil­itre ink bot­tles re­tail at $22.99 each which works out at about 43 cents per millil­itre. It is not un­com­mon to have an ink cost of over $2 per millil­itre for the small car­tridges so the cost sav­ing is ap­pre­cia­ble. To put this into per­spec­tive, some third party inks can be 15 cents per millil­itre, but go­ing down that road can have other com­pli­ca­tions.


Our test Epson ET-7750 was given a thor­ough work­out for two weeks to tackle a va­ri­ety of projects, in­clud­ing dis­play prints, panoramic prints, A5 greet­ings cards, book pro­duc­tion, post cards, CD/DVD la­bels, busi­ness cards and ba­sic pho­to­copy and scan­ning. As a four-colour dye-based prin­ter it does a re­mark­able job, es­pe­cially when used at the ‘High’ print qual­ity set­ting with gloss or semi-gloss me­dia.

The ET-7750 is moder­ate in size and weight and runs qui­etly, but could dam­age eas­ily with care­less han­dling of the light­weight plas­tic trays. The ver­sa­til­ity of this prin­ter in hav­ing all three trays loaded up at the same time is a boon to print pro­duc­tion. A typ­i­cal ar­range­ment might be to have A4 plain pa­per in the cas­sette for copy work or re­ports, the smaller tray de­voted to post­card or 13x18 cen­time­tres photo sheets with the rear tray ded­i­cated for photo print­ing up to A3 and panora­mas. The sheer con­ve­nience of be­ing able to make a huge heap of prints be­fore ink top-ups are re­quired and the low ink re­place­ment costs com­bine to make a for­mi­da­ble pack­age.

Ad­vances made by both Epson and Canon with multi-func­tional print­ers have been sig­nif­i­cant with the bulk ink sys­tems a key com­po­nent. What hasn’t been ad­e­quately ad­dressed as yet is the longevity of the dye ink sets in this cat­e­gory of print­ers. If Epson can in­tro­duce a Claria-type ink set in bulk ink form, it would not only have a win­ner, but the cheaper third-party ink peo­ple could be pushed ‘right out of the pic­ture’. The bot­tom line is that the ET-7750 re­quires a lot of print­ing to make it a vi­able propo­si­tion and here is where small busi­nesses, clubs and schools, for ex­am­ple, would find it to be a very handy fa­cil­ity. How­ever, photo en­thu­si­asts might con­sider it only as a sup­port unit for a ded­i­cated photo prin­ter that of­fers larger print-mak­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ICC pro­file man­age­ment and far greater print longevity. The sup­port role would be for gen­eral of­fice du­ties and print­ing where long-term print life is not a re­quire­ment.

The bulk ink and A3 print­ing ca­pac­ity of the ET-7750 cre­ate yet an­other mem­ber of the Epson fam­ily of home and small busi­ness print­ers. For some it will be the per­fect so­lu­tion and for oth­ers it will only make the Epson range of inkjet print­ers all the more dif­fi­cult to sort out.

The ET-7750 shown with all the pa­per trays and the scan­ner lid open.

The two cas­settes re­moved ready for pa­per load­ing.

Easy and foolproof ink tank load­ing via ded­i­cated bot­tles en­sures no spills.

All the con­tents of the ET-7750’s ship­ping car­ton are well wrapped up in sealed plas­tic wrap.

Front view of the Epson ET-7750 show­ing the con­trol panel and colour LCD dis­play panel.

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