Epson EcoTank ET-8550 printer review

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is true all-rounder: a large-format, multi-function, cartridge-free printer with quality document and photo output

Epson EcoTank ET-8550
(Image: © Matthew Richards/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Most of us don’t want to buy and run two printers, one for documents and one for photos. The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 makes a good job of both, with an ink line-up that’s an ideal compromise for both tasks. It’s essentially an upsized A3+/13-inch version of the cartridge-free A4/8.5-inch ET-8800 and runs on exactly the same ink tanks and replacement 70ml bottles. Competing with likes of Canon’s PIXMA G650 ‘MegaTank’ A4/8.5-inch printer, it has similarly low running costs but the Epson printers are much more expensive to buy, so it takes longer to get your money back.


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    Versatile large-format printing, scanning and copying

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    Cartridge-free tanks and 70ml bottles enable reduced ink costs

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    10.9-inch color touchscreen


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    Relatively limited color space for photo printing

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    A bit slow in high quality photo mode

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    Big up-front purchase cost

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Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is different to dedicated A3+/13x19-inch dedicated inkjet photo printers being much more more of a multi-purpose, multi-function device. This all-in-one printer has a pigment-based black ink for delivering crisp black text, along with five dye-based inks for photo output, comprising cyan, magenta, yellow, photo black and grey. 

The grey ink not only enhances the color space but also enables greater fidelity for black & white photo printing. That’s ok up to a point, but it comes up short compared with A3+ printers like the pigment-based Epson SureColor P700 and Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300, and the dye-based Canon PIXMA PRO-200, which run on ten inks and eight inks respectively. As specialist photo printers, these have a significantly wider color space or gamut, compared with the ET-8550, as well as having a larger range of black and grey inks for superior black & white photo printing.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.