Large storage capacity and a big, beautiful display make Epson’s next-gen viewer a practical piece of equipment
By Ron Eggers
image resolution increases with the release of new digital camera
models and CompactFlash card capacity increases accordingly, portable
storage solutions have become more functional and affordable. There's a
variety of high-capacity portable devices on the market that cost a
fraction of CompactFlash cards when it comes to price per megabyte.
Epson's new P-2000 Photo Viewer, a.k.a. Multimedia Storage Viewer, stands out as one of the sleekest I've seen, and I've seen a lot. It comes with a 40GB hard drive, accepts multiple media types, and multitasks as an image display device and video/MP3 player.
The 3.8-inch screen with its 640x480-pixel display sets the P-2000 apart. With Epson's proprietary Photofine technology, the quality and viewability of the screen rivals any laptop on the market. With its 212-ppi resolution—more than double the resolution of most digital cameras and other display devices—it provides exceptional image detail and color rendition.
The P-2000 accepts SecureData and CompactFlash cards, including high-capacity Type IIs and microdrives, and can display images from the card, even before they're transferred. After transfer, the images are available for the user to rotate and zoom in on, and moreover, to create sophisticated slide shows with multiple transitions and audio tracks. Output can be directed to any video device (in NTSC or PAL format) with video-in capabilities, including digital projectors. Images can also be marked for printing on select Epson printers. The unit supports Print Image Matching II and Exif 2.2 (Exif Print) for the highest quality prints.
The P-2000 can display a variety of imaging, graphic and video file formats, including RAW and JPEG still image files, MPEG4 and motion JPEG video files, and MP3 and AAC audio files. Curiously, while it's billed as a portable storage device for high-resolution digital images, the device was unable to display full-size JPEG images captured with the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II. It displays an error message saying the images are too large. It was able, however, to display the camera's RAW capture files, and thumbnails of the JPEGs. The P-2000 has its own operating system and menu structure with which to manage the various file types, copied cards, albums and audio files.
The P-2000 viewer provides considerably faster data transfer than the P-1000, an important feature in moving gigabytes of data. It can also serve as high-capacity external storage, especially useful when using older laptops with limited capacity. The device is handy as well when used as a transfer drive in moving images and other data from one system to another, and is compatible with both Mac and Windows systems.
At $499, the Epson P-2000 Photo Viewer is comparable in price to other mass storage devices.
Specs: Epson P-2000 Photo Viewer
- Display: 3.8-inch Photo Fine LCD, transparent poly-silicon TFT LCD; 640x480-pixel display of up to 262,144 colors; white LED backlight
- Hard drive: 2.5-inch 40GB; 36.5GB FAT32 available for storage; external hi-speed USB 2.0 hard disk drive when connected to computer
- Photo file format: JPEG (minimum 160x120 pixels, maximum 8.9 megapixels, maximum aspect ratio 8:1), RAW
- Built-in memory card slots: CompactFlash Types I and II and microdrives (3.3 volts), Secure Digital and Multi Media cards; Memory Stick, xD Picture Card, and Smart Media supported with optional third-party CF adapter
- Direct print: Epson Stylus Photo R300, Stylus Photo R320, Stylus Photo RX600 and PictureMate; PRINT Image Matching II
- Interface: Hi-speed USB 2.0
- Price: $499
Epson P-2000 for more information.