Product Review | Epson PictureMate Show

Say hello to the Epson PictureMate Show. A few weeks ago I received an email from Epson's PR firm asking me if I was interested in reviewing one of their new Artisan printers. Since I already use (and love) one of their over-sized printers (the R2000) I asked them if I could try one of their small-format portable printers instead.

Some of you might remember when I started Project Life again in 2011 I also purchased a Canon Selphy printer. I ended up giving it to a friend because the size of the photos was not a true 4x6 (it was a bit smaller) and that mattered to me. My friend has been completely happy with it. At that time people recommended that I try an Epson PictureMate but I just got used to using my larger printer to print the smaller photos and that was that.

Even though I'm super happy with my current process (printing 4x6 via the R2000) I was excited to test out the PictureMate Show and see how it worked. I love the idea of being able to have a printer downstairs or one that could potentially travel with us (portability).

Out of the box there were simple directions to follow.

I pulled the memory card from my camera and placed it in the slot on the printer. It's totally not part of my routine to take my memory card out of my camera. Usually I just connect my camera to my computer via USB cord, upload to Aperture, and then delete the images off my camera.

With this printer you use a remote control to scroll through the settings.

I printed two photos from my card:

I was impressed with the prints and excited. I love the idea of a small printer.

As you can see this printer has a really big screen. The idea is that you can also use this little printer to showcase your photos with a slide-show feature. I don't have enough photos on there yet to use that feature (it does come with some photos already loaded but I wasn't really interested in seeing a slide show of random stock photos).

As part of the test I also took it upstairs and connected it to my main computer with a USB cord. The cord doesn't come in the box but you might already have one around you can use. It took a bit of time for me to get the driver/software installed. I was having some issues getting it to load (running Mac OS 10.7.3) and finally just re-started my computer and the printer popped right up in my system preferences. When in doubt always restart.

From that point I was able to print from any of my programs directly to the PictureMate. Almost all my photos for Project Life this week were printed with this printer via Photoshop.

The paper is a bit thinner than the Epson paper I've been using with my larger printer and one thing I noticed is that the black and white has a much warmer tone than when printing off my big printer (I tried selecting both "color" and "black and white" in the print settings but they came out looking the same - the photo was adjusted to black and white in Photoshop).

My overall impression so far is very positive. Easy to use, prints 4x6 and smaller prints (has the ability to crop and do some smaller custom sizes - I didn't play with that enough yet to really comment on it but I did print out three wallets - three different photos on two sheets and that worked well) and connects to my main computer.

As I was reading through the manual tonight I also saw that you can connect a Bluetooth Photo Print Adapter and print wirelessly. Might have to try that too - would be cool to print from my phone that way.

I'll give you another update down the road and let you know if my initial impressions are holding strong. So far, so good.

NOTE | If you end up ordering this printer you'll want to pick up a Epson T5846 Picturemate 200-series print pack (includes ink & paper) because the initial ink cartridge only works for about 10-20 prints.

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