Epson SureColor SC-P600 review

Epson's top of the range A3+ printer for photographers

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Our Verdict

The SureColor SC-P600 is a brilliant printer for the enthusiast or professional photographer. It's well made and easy to use, and you'll be impressed by the quality of the prints it's capable of producing.

For

  • Stunning print quality
  • Neutral black and white images
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Useful touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Against

  • Large footprint
  • High consumable costs

The Epson SureColor SC-P600 is designed for both enthusiast and professionals looking for a high-end home printing solution to produce up to A3+ (329 x 483mm) prints. 

Make no mistake, this isn't a jack-of-all-trades printer that can scan and copy as well; this is a high-end piece of kit that's designed to produce beautiful looking prints fit for a gallery wall. 

The SC-P600 uses Epson's premium UltraChrome HD inks, and packs in nine cartridges (yellow, vivid light magenta, light cyan, vivid magenta, cyan, light light black, light black, photo black and matte black), while there's a large 2.7-inch touchscreen display to keep things nice and simple.

Design

  • Large footprint
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Useful tilt-angle interface

This is one large printer, and with a footprint of 616 x 369mm you're going to need a big desk or somewhere else to store it. That said, its size is about par for the course for an A3+ printer, and it feels incredibly sturdy.

Epson SureColor SC-P600 specs

Type: A3+ inkjet photo printer

Ink: Nine cartridges 

Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB

Data storage slot: No

Print quality: 5,760 x 1,440dpi

Duplex: Manual

Apple AirPrint: Yes

Google Cloud Print: Yes

App support: iOS/Android

Size/Weight: 616 x 369 x 228mm (WxDxH)/15kg

When all the trays are shut, the design of the SureColor SC-P600 is nicely streamlined and uncluttered. In use, it opens up with a three-section rear auto sheet feeder at the rear, while the front of the printer features a paper-out tray with two telescopic sections that can be pulled outwards to support media as it's produced. In addition to this there's also a front-loading straight paper path should you want to print onto thicker paper up to 1.3mm.

External controls on the SC-P600 are kept to a minimum, with large home, on/off and back buttons supplementing the 2.7-inch touchscreen display. A nice touch is that the whole front console section, including the buttons and display, can be angled outwards to almost 90 degrees – it makes the SC-P600 that bit easier to use should it be positioned low down, as you won't have to bend or crouch to see the interface.

Features

  • Wide range of media supported
  • Print times can be over four minutes
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

The Epson SureColor SC-P600 is all about print quality, and outputs at a resolution of 5760dpi. If you want, it can rattle out a large A3+ in about two minutes and 30 seconds, although if you're going to be using fine-art media and want the best possible quality, expect that time to double.

In addition to A3 media a range of smaller paper sizes are supported. There's also the option to print professional-quality labels directly onto inkjet-printable CDs/DVDs (if that's still a thing), while the SC-P600 is also supplied with roll holders for panoramic printing; these attach to the rear of the printer, and will accommodate paper up to 13 inches in width. 

You'd be forgiven for thinking that there would be a dedicated USB input on the front of the printer for transferring images from flash drives, but no. There's no SD card slot either, with the SC-P600 relying instead on USB and Ethernet ports at the rear of the unit.

If you want to keep wires to a minimum and have your printer positioned away from your computer then you'll appreciate the SureColor SC-P600's Wi-Fi connectivity. This also means Epson's iPrint app is supported – we reckon most users will want to send images to print direct from their computer, but it's handy to have nonetheless.   

Setup and operation

  • Easy to set up
  • Small 2pl ink droplet size
  • Replacement inks can be expensive

The prospect of setting up a device such as the SureColor SC-P600 can be daunting, but we found the process extremely straightforward.

While the SC-P600 has the potential to be used as a standalone unit, we opted to install the printer drivers and software on our iMac with the intention of printing images through Photoshop. 

This is all nice and easy thanks to the on-screen instructions, while we chose to wirelessly connect to the printer, which again was simple to do.

Populating the cartridge bay with the nine inks is also easy enough, with each cartridge requiring gentle pressure to snap it into position. There's no chance of fitting cartridges incorrectly or in the wrong position, as each color has a unique moulding. 

Each cartridge contains just under 26ml of ink, which is a decent amount, while the smallest ink droplet size is just 2pl, which promises to produce smooth gradients. One thing you will want to consider is the cost of replacement inks – a full set of nine Epson cartridges will set you back more than £200 / $285 / AU$350.

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Performance

  • Smooth colour graduations
  • Vibrant colors
  • Neutral mono images

We used Epson's own premium satin Traditional Photo Paper (£87 / $102 for 25 sheets of A3+ media), with color handling set to Printer Manages Colors. Should you wish to use third-party media, then there are a host of options within Photoshop for using custom profiles.

The results were very impressive, with color prints exhibiting vibrant colors and beautiful detail, and subtle color graduations rendered smoothly with no visible banding. The Epson profiles with the paper used are also very accurate, which meant we didn't have to manually intervene to adjust the image before printing. 

If you're planning on doing a lot of mono printing you'll really appreciate the SC-P600's four black inks. Depending on whether you're using gloss or matte media, the printer will use photo black or matte black, alongside light black and light light black; this avoids those slight color casts that can ruin black and white images from lesser printers, and our results were beautifully neutral and contained plenty of shadow and highlight detail. 

Verdict

The Epson SureColor SC-P600 is a brilliant printer for the enthusiast or professional photographer. It's well made and easy to use, and you'll be impressed by the quality of the prints it's capable of producing.

The consumables are pricey though – this won't be such an issue if you can recoup costs by selling your prints, but it does make the SC-P600 an expensive option for the occasional user, who may be better served using online services.

However, if you can see yourself regularly making prints and can justify the running costs, you won't be disappointed with the SC-P600.