Epson's pricey photo viewers present prettier pictures?

The P-6000 and P-7000 feature significantly better color than their predecessors.

Epson P-7000
Epson P-7000 Epson

To accommodate all those high-resolution photos you've shot with your new (or old) dSLR, Epson has doubled the hard disk size of its Multimedia Photo Viewers. This year's models, the P-6000 and P-7000, offer 80GB and 160GB, respectively over the P-3000 and P-5000's 40GB and 80GB.

Though screen size and resolution hasn't changed from the previous models--4 inches at 640x480--they incorporate Epson's latest display technology, dubbed Photo Fine Premia. Though the technology remains basically the same--it combines red, blue and two green filters in a single pixel rather than spreading them across pixels--the company claims claims the new gamut covers 94 percent of the Adobe RGB color space compared to 88 percent for its Photo Fine Ultra predecessors. That would certainly make it attractive for dSLR shooters. (Like some other photo viewers, these support raw files in addition to JPEG, but not all raw formats. You should always double-check on support before buying.) The new display also offers a wider viewing angle.

In addition, Epson has addressed some performance issues, and says that these models are up to 35 percent faster at downloading than before and supports USB 2.0 and UDMA CF cards. Battery life hasn't increased, though; the internal rechargeable is still rated to last about 3 hours. The company has also updated the design with a new jog dial for navigation instead of the four-way switch that's so last century. As with the previous models, these support video and audio as well.

When it ships in September, expect to pay a premium for that slightly larger but higher-tech display: the 80GB P-6000 lists at $599.99 and the 160GB P-7000 for $799.99 compared to, say, Digital Foci's 160GB, $499 3.6-inch Picture Porter Elite. The 160GB model does come with a Travel Pack, which includes a dual battery charger, car adapter, viewing stand, carrying case and some other stuff. We're expecting a unit in soon; we'll tell you if it's worth the dough.

 

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