What really comes out of this examination of ink-jet printer colour gamut is that original Epson UltraChrome inks set a phenomenal benchmark three years ago, placing a pigment-based ink firmly into the performance territory once the sole domain of more fragile dye-based inks. UltraChrome K3 does show improvements, but none were particularly dramatic. Epson's 'consumer' formulated high gloss UltraChrome inks also measured up well.
Canon showed that for absolute gamut area, dye-based inks can retain a small advantage, but it's pretty small. HP's Photosmart 8750 Vivera inks don't appear to be in the same league as the others, apart from in the L:25 dark region, where the additional blue ink visibly makes a difference.
In truth, I suspect that the main improvements that UltraChrome K3 inks will be noted for in the future are in the area of grey scale photo printing and further reduction in metamerism and gloss bronzing and we will be looking at these factors in a later article. But from a colour-only perspective, the technical tests lead us to expect a fine-tuning of colour quality rather than a revolutionary step forward, but that step is from an already very impressive beginning.