After installing a complete set of fresh cartridges we were able to make 71 A3+ prints (50 colour, 21 B&W) before one cartridge (Vivid Light Magenta) had run out and the printer refused to make any more colour prints. We estimated the remaining level in the other cartridges as:
Light Cyan – trace
Vivid Magenta - 2/3rd
Cyan - 2/3rd
Light Light Black – trace
Light Black - 1/8th
Photo Black – 2/3rd
Matte Black – 1/6th
As a complete set of nine ink cartridges for the R3000 costs £219.15 from Epson, the average cost per colour print is £4.38 (£219.15/50) for the ink alone.
Epson charges £25.54 for 20 sheets of its Premium Glossy Photo Paper, so we can add another £1.28 per A3+ print for this, or £0.90 for the Archival Matte, which is £45.07 for 50 sheets. This gives us a total of £5.66 or £5.28 respectively, which compares favourably with the £6.59 plus £2.99 for postage charged by Photobox for an A3 print.
Bearing in mind that the black inks are also used for colour prints, it may be a fairer assessment to also take the monochrome prints into account. This works out at £3.09 for the ink.
We printed a variety of different images, with a variety of border sizes on a mixture of glossy (Epson Premium Glossy) and matt (Epson Archival Matte) media as this most closely reflects how photographers use a printer. This isn't intended to be a perfect scientifc assessment, but we think it reflects how most photographers will use the R3000 and gives a reasonable guide price. Extended use would enable us to revise the printing costs.