SEAN BACHER recently got his hands on Epson’s P-6000 Multimedia Viewer and was anything but impressed. Although the device could serve as a great backup to travelling photographers, he feels there are endless other devices out there that will serve the same purpose, but at a fraction of the price.
When I first received the Epson P-6000 Multimedia Viewer for review, I was in two minds about it. On the one hand, I thought ‘what on earth was the point of carrying a device around that allowed you to store and view your images whilst on the move.’ And on the other have, I could see where the photo viewer would fit in.
After using it for a few weeks, I am still not totally sold on the idea that it really serves a mainstream purpose. Yes, the Epson allows for a photographer to store his or her images on it, thus creating a backup and allows him to scroll through and view these images. But does the photographer really need this? Surely he will have a notebook on hand on which to copy the photographs? Surely a notebook would make more sense, as it is almost certainly going to have more space compared to the 80GB sported by the Epson. Secondly, the notebook would have the software needed to touch up and save the images in a required format for the photographer’s client. Well, I am no photographer, and to me the notebook makes far more sense.
But enough of that, and lets look at the actual device. As mentioned before, the photo viewer comes with an 80GB hard disk drive, and a four inch LCD is located on the front of the unit for photo viewing. Also, the device has slots for both compact flash and SD slots. This, I assume would be how the majority of the backups are made. The photographer simply removes the card from his camera, slots it into the Epson Multimedia Viewer and selects the backup command on the device. Once selected, all the photos are copied from the card and onto the built-in hard drive.
Apart from backing up images, the Epson Multimedia Devices also lets you play MP3s and also supports RAW camera files. This means that the file you are seeing on the viewer is more of an accurate version, compared to the stripped down JPEG files which in many cases are rather different to what actually gets printed. Finally, there are also video/audio out jacks, letting you connect the unit to a television or projector should you be disp0laying your work to a larger audience.
One thing I have to comment about is the ease of use that the Multimedia Viewer offers. Everything is operated through the jog wheel and the screens are neatly laid out and easy to navigate.
Now for the bad news
The Epson P-6000 Multimedia Storage Viewer retails for around R4 000. I am sorry, but for that price you can get a really top-notch external hard drive on which to back-up your photos. Yes, it’s got a built in screen to view your photos, but I really cannot justify the price. If you did decide to buy the Epson P-6000, it would just end up as another device you would have to carry around and after a few weeks of use would probably end up sitting on the back of your shelf collecting dust.