I’ve made no secret of my addiction: my name is Jacqui, and I’m a photoholic.
The advance of the digital age only helped to fuel my obsession. Back in the olden days of film rolls, I was conscious of the number of images I was taking because it was so darn expensive to get them developed.
But these days, unshackled by the cost and inconvenience, my obsession knows no bounds.
Since getting my first digital camera I’ve taken hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of photos. Motherhood has only fuelled the flames because my kids are just so darn cute and I have to document every single microsecond of their lives.
I’ve even written about the importance of family photos, and why us mums need to get out from behind the lens more often.
I’m out of control, and I don’t care.
In fact, the only thing that bothers me is that the huge majority of my images are trapped in Apple Photos. As much as I adore scrolling back through them all, it’s just not the same as flicking through a photo album and reliving all those lovely memories.
Unfortunately, life is so busy these days – especially since we’re neck-deep in our home renovations – that I simply don’t have time to go online and order prints of my favourite shots. And even if I did have a couple of hours to kill, there are photos it would cost me an absolute fortune.
However, I may just have been thrown a photographic lifeline…
Because a little while back the lovely team at Epson got in touch to see if I fancied trying out the new EcoTank ET-7750 all-in-one printer, scanner and copier. Fancy, I did!
Firstly, I’m an unapologetic gadget girl – enthralled by new technology and things that make life quicker, prettier and easier. This would make light work of work contracts and photo scanning, and printing out internet research for Big Sis’s current affairs homework.
But I quickly realised there was another upside: you see, the EcoTank ET-7750 also prints professional quality photos, right from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
I did some checking, and a 100-pack of 10cm x 15cm photo paper costs around £8, which works out as 8p per sheet, which matches or even undercuts the majority of online printing companies. Rather than laboriously choosing and uploading all the images, paying for postage, then waiting impatiently for the prints to arrive, with the EcoTank ET-7750 I can print them instantly at home.
I actually tried printing photos from home a few years ago, but the quality wasn’t great – the colours were a bit off, and there were loads of striation lines – so this printer had to work pretty hard to impress me.
I knew straight away which shot I wanted to try first; last summer the girls and I had met up with Vicki from Honest Mum and her cheeky chappies at one of our all-time favourite spots, Cliveden House (just announced as the pre-wedding accommodation choice of our newest Royal-to-Be, Meghan Markle).
We enjoyed an AMAZING meal at their newly-opened Astor Grill (named after the former lady of the manor, Nancy Astor, who – coincidentally – was also an American who breached the ranks of the English upper classes), and afterwards, I took the top shot of the four musketeers.
Who else thinks they look like a kids’ pop group?!
When the printer arrived, it was very simple to set up – first I filled up the ink tanks (there are paper instructions, but it’s pretty self-explanatory). Then I just plugged it in, turned it on and followed the prompts on the screen.
The only thing that confused me was the paper tray – my old printer loaded from the back, but this one has trays at the front AND back – but as soon as I’d figured that out, I was good to go.
I selected a sample shot (another cute pic of the kids all together), clicked ‘print’ on my laptop. The EcoTank ET-7750 whirred into life and moments later the photo emerged.
I compared it to the original, and the colours were absolutely spot on. The detail was clear too – not the slightly smudgy, patchy finish I remembered from the last time I’d tried printing photos from home.
And all for just 8 pence!
Satisfied the quality was just as good as the professional websites I’ve always used in the past, I carried on with my task – to make a little ‘congrats’ pressie for Vicki to celebrate the release of her amazing new book, MumBoss.
I printed out a copy and slid it into a frame (Sainsbury’s home range; I picked up some fabulous little goodies during their last sale – I’ll do a reveal post if I ever find the spare time!). I reckon it looks pretty adorable, do you agree?
Apparently, what makes the EcoTank so great at printing photos is the fact it has the standard four coloured inks – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – but it also has a pigment-based ‘photo black’. It’s this that really enhances and sharpens the photos and allows for such a close colour match.
But, of course, that’s not all the EcoTank can do – it’s also a high-quality scanner and full-colour printer capable of processing sheets up to A3 size. The refillable ink ‘super tanks’ mean you’re not constantly having to replace the older-style (and frustratingly shortlived) cartridges, and a handy window allows you to see at a glance when they’re in need of a top up.
While larger and slower to print than the three-in-one printers I’ve used in the past – because the higher quality means more time is spent preparing, scanning and printing – in my opinion, it’s worth losing a little time and desk space for the end result.
Yes, it’s at the higher end of the home printer price range – a quick Google search revealed retailers are selling it from £549 – £700 (a reminder to compare prices before buying!) – but the cost reflects the fact this is more like a professional printer, than a scaled-down home office version.
Now I can’t wait until our renovations are finished so I can rehome this beauty in my new office. Family and friends: expect LOTS of photo gifts this Christmas. You have been warned!
• a huge thanks to Epson for allowing us to put the Eco-Tank ET7750 through its paces