Epson L805 photo printer review

7:08 PM

If you read my Printable Calendar post, you know that I've been in painting overdrive all of Feburary to complete a 26 monogram letters project.
To make sure I would not be tempted to slack and procrastinate on that project, I decided to allow myself to buy the printer that has been sitting in my Amazon wishlist for month ONLY after I scanned and edited the letter Z, which I did on Saturday 29th February.

We had a printer at home, one of those All-In-One basic HP printer, and it did a fine job printing basic documents and basic quality pictures, which was fine because we weren't printing a lot of things. I put the scanner to real good use though (and still do).
Years aren't kind to electronics, and I think that very basic printer is now 7 years old, the cartridge for it cost a bomb, and for the past 3 years I haven't even bothered with original refills.

Now that I am selling my own stickers, and art prints, I wanted a printer that could cut it without forcing me to take huge inventory of one design with a professional printing service. Not that there is anything wrong with it, and I plan to still use those services for very specific items, it's just that I wanted the freedom to print quality stuff at home.

After a lot of research, I found that short of a color laser printer, the best InkJet printer for photo printing was the Epson L805 (This is an Amazon affiliate link by the way).

Unlike other printers, this model has 6 ink cartridge, allowing it to print subtle changes in color tones more accurately. Those ink colors are : Black, Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Light magenta and Light cyan.
It might sound trivial, but it actually makes a big difference in translating on screen colors onto paper.
A traditional 3 colors and black printer often print a duller version of what you have on screen, so far all the prints I have done with this printer are very very close to the original on screen.

This printer comes with a refillable ink tank rather than cartridges, which allows for a greater quantity of ink to be stored in the printer, and minimise the waste, because let's face it, those tiny printer cartridges are anything but environment friendly.
Regardless of what printer I would have bought to replace our old, half broken HP printer would have been an ink tank printer.

The Epson L805 is a single function printer, it does nothing else but print, so if you scan and xerox a lot of things, this isn't a printer worth buying. It's also a more professional-grade printer than your average run of the mill domestic printer, so if all you are going to do it print a few photos and mostly documents, this is probably to be a bit of an  overkill printer, unless you really don't mind blowing 18k rupees on a photo printer just to print your resume, bank statements and tax paper.

Let's talk quality shall we?

Frankly, of all the printers I had over the years, you can't beat this one, even my Canon Selphy printer doesn't even come remotely close in term of color and print quality.

I did a few test prints on regular paper, and after that I moved on to printing on Glossy Vinyl sticker paper exclusively. As you can see in the picture above, the result is very impressive.
I plan on testing it on card stock paper, transparent sticker paper and matte sticker paper soon, but I have no doubt it will handle it just fine.

As with any printer, you need to use the printing settings correctly though, and when you print on glossy sticker paper, you will need to make sure that you select the best settings in your print menu, if you don't know your way around printer settings, you will probably not get the best out of the printer.

For those stickers, I selected the printer sticker setting, on High quality print at the highest dpi resolution the printer could go to.
If you aren't printing stickers to sell, or just a few basic family pictures, you will still get a really good print on "normal" print quality.

Since I am printing at the highest quality there is on the glossiest printing paper there possibly is, it goes without saying that it takes over a minute to print one sheet, and seriously, I am fine with that, you don't rush quality.
Printing an image on regular printer paper with normal settings is much faster but still slower than in your average all purpose household printer.
It's also super silent, it barely makes any noise while printing, which is a pleasant change from my old printer which has always been very noisy, but started making some disturbing clickety-clacks for over a year now.

Setting it up was pretty easy too, if you follow the instructions properly. The instruction manual asks you to press the buttons to initiate the ink flow through the printer once you have filled the tank. This process takes a solid 20 minutes.
Then you will be asked to go to a URL to download the driver and utilities if your computer has no CD drive (and very few do nowadays).
I am working on a Macbook, so I am part of the no CD drive club. Once I downloaded the setup file, I simply followed the instructions on screen and it connected my printer to the Wi-Fi effortlessly, and there, the printer was ready to print.

The printer is quite big, and once the ink is in the tank, you need to take great care while moving it because the ink could spill. The instruction manual explains what to do if you plan to transport that printer so keep that paper handy just in case.


Since it kept coming on the Canon Selphy post, I will say very clearly that : 

a) I am NOT an Epson technician
b) I do NOT work for Epson
c) Epson has not paid me to write this post, the links in the blog post are Amazon affiliate links I am sharing of my own account
d) I am an ARTIST, not a tech person or an engineer

This means that if your printer has any problem, seem to be broken, or not printing properly, I am NOT the person you should contact about it, so please do not ask me why your printer doesn't work in the comments, or in DM on my Facebook page. 

Should you have any technical issue with your printer, please contact Epson directly via your home country specific Epson website, they are the ones that can assist you with those queries. NOT me. 

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  1. I have a noisy inkjet colour printer at home and as you said, they cartridges do not last long. The printer makes earth shattering noise and takes a long time. Now, ofcourse its sensors are not able to pull the sheets properly. Colour laser printers are efficient but they cost a bomb. I guess there are no cost effective colour printers available.

    1. Laser is not necessary for your regular household, even this Epson Photo printer is an inkjet printer not a laser. They are meant purely for professional use.

      There are plenty of quality and affordable printers on the market these days, my advice is to stay away from HP, I had many HP printers over the year, they were all without exception consuming massive amount of ink, and the HP ink is notorious for fading when in contact to just air, and most HP still rely on the outdated cartridge system.
      With HP what I noticed is that with each printer, they change the cartridge model and after 2-3 years, the price of said cartridge is hiked up making printing costlier on an old model, if you didn't give in and purchase a new printer because of the ink cost, an HP printer starts being dysfunctional a year later to really drive the point home.

      Go for Epson or Canon inkjets, they are far better quality, and nowadays they all come with a "ink tank" system in which you refill a tank with ink rather than discard a whole cartridge each time.

      All-in-one printers are good if you need something multi-function or if you plan on using it as a xerox machine, if you don't scan or xerox regularly, better stick to a basic single function printer.

  2. Thank you so much for the in-depth review. I just bought this printer today purely based on trusting what the shop owner recommended as a good printer for my journal artwork.

    I feel so relieved to hear that it’s a great choice esp. as I am fussy about the quality. You have put my mind at ease and I can’t wait to try it all..
    Thank you!

  3. Thank you so much for your review! I just purchased this printer purely from the shop owners recommendation and have to admit I was a ted apprehensive to see wherever it would work well for my journal artwork.

    I feel relieved and happy after reading your review and am excited to go home and explore all the options! Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, I am sure you will love this printer, I use mine to print all my stickers and I love it.

  4. Hi, I went over to the L805 a year ago, thinking it would be more eco-friendly. I've had Epson printers before and had no problems with any of them. Also, having had an A3 Canon, I decided to down-size. However, I'd have to say that I'm very disappointed with this printer. I knew it couldn't do double-sided but was willing to forego that for the eco-tank system (a kind of trade-off) but that was with the expectation that the tank system would perform properly and not be so down-right messy. I've had nothing but trouble with print colour and quality and blocked nozzles so it has been far from economical. I've finally decided to cut my losses and go back to a Canon A3 printer with 6 single ink cartridges (which now seem to be called "tanks"). So, I'd say be prepared to accept that the eco-tank system also has faults and isn't, perhaps, suited to all requirements. It's also a low-end printer as far as this system goes so maybe not Epson's best effort.

    1. To each their own I guess.
      I haven't had any other issue than an occasional clogged nozzle that required a print head cleanse, but all printers I owned in the past required that from time to time.
      I use my Epson to print mostly vinyl stickers, and since I bought it, I printed around 50 sheets of stickers, I also printed many card stock paper prints, and thanks to the pandemic, ended up printing too many a school worksheet for my daughter. In about 10 months all this printing barely made a dent in my ink supply so the fact I can print so much on one refill and still can print more is a huge plus.

      I don't know where you live, but in India, Canon printers are notorious for not being compatible with Mac, we don't get the full Canon range over here.

  5. Hey there, I'm an artist as well from Goa and just came across your review on this printer while googling around for reviews. I recently purchased this printer to print prints of my artworks and I was curious as to what brand of paper you're using for your prints (you mentioned card stock?). Thanks!

    1. Hi, thanks for reading my blog.
      I use regular card stock paper from my local stationery shop because I don’t print art prints for sale, I did print a few of my Etsy printables on that regular card stock. I print stickers on glossy vinyl sticker paper most of the time.

      If you plan on printing art prints, I suggest doing so on photo paper, rather than card stock for a better finish.

  6. Hello can we print on 350 gsm paper normal or glossy both ?

    1. Hi, I am not an Epson printer expert, or work for Epson, or sell printers. I would check directly on their website to know if that printer can handle 350 gsm paper. I think I read somewhere it can't handle paper above 200gsm

      It's a Photo printer, so yes it can handle glossy paper as long as you make sure it's inkjet compatible.

  7. Hi,
    I use a L805 for printing semi glossy vinyl stickers on an A4..the one problem i have consistently faced is my paper jams towards the end of each sheet...Just want to know if you too face such an issue

    1. No I don't face that issue, at least not on a consistent basis, it has happened once or twice that the paper jammed, but that was because the paper was curling because of the humidity of the monsoon. Do make sure the paper you insert in the feeding tray does not curl inward at the end or it could enter the printer with a fold that could get caught under the printing head.

      Another problem that is more prevalent if you don't take care is black marks on both ends of the paper, that is due to the printing heads not being fully clean and the edge of the paper lifting up slightly.

      If you are going to be printing a few sheets of stickers, my advice is to do a dummy print or two on plain paper before printing on the sticker paper doing that will clear the printing heads of any residual gunk before you use sticker paper.

  8. Hello just read your review. I bought this printer recently and i am wondering what brand of vinyl glossy paper are you using for your stickers? I tried a glossy vinyl paper on my L805 and the ink is smearing or smudging. Hoping foe yoyr reply thank you!

    1. Hi, please read the blog post again, the link for the glossy vinyl paper I use is in the blog post itself.
      You can also check the blog post "How to print sticker at home" in that blog post I share the YouTube video in which I show how smudge proof that paper is.


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