I have an Epson Stylus Pro 7600 (predecessor to the 7800), an Epson R2400 and an Epson Stylus Photo 1280. So why would I want the consumer-grade Epson RX580, at $179? Well, perhaps because printing snapshots is tedious—and with 20,000 images taken over the last six years, and not a single album, I finally realized that there’s value in printing the dang things out—but not if it takes a lot of time. The RX580 has a small LCD screen for its settings, selecting pictures, etc, and there is no need to connect it to a computer!
The RX580 makes average prints easy—just shoot RAW+JPEG or process RAW files into JPEG, then shove a compact flash or SD or xD card into it, press a few buttons, and wait while it spews out rather nice 6X4 snapshots every 30 seconds or so. It’s rather addictive—and highly recommended if you’re feeling the time pressure of printing one-by-one in Photoshop.
One caveat is that printing 16:9 images on 6:4 paper is frustrating—the printer just doesn’t have any “print the whole picture without cropping” setting. This requires using the little buttons to crop each 16:9 photo—precisely the kind of tedium I wanted to avoid. Nevertheless, being able to just run off a set of snapshots is handy enough to make the printer worthwhile.