Epson – P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer review

80GB photo and video viewer
Photo of Epson – P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer
£500

Photography has changed so radically with the introduction of digital cameras that new accessories have had to be developed to enable the serious snapper in the field (both professional and semi-professional) to be able to view and assess the quality of their images before deciding which ones to delete and which to publish.

To meet this need, Epson brought out a portable storage viewer – the P-2000 – that had 40GB of storage space and the added ability to play back videos and MP3 tracks. Although gratefully snapped up at the time, the public inevitably wanted more of everything and Epson has responded with the P-4000, which has doubled the memory capacity to 80GB whilst leaving most of the other features untouched.

The generous Photo Fine 3.8-inch LCD colour display is housed in a sleek, black and grey, aluminium casing that feels weighty and substantial. A soft carry case is supplied for added protection, along with a USB 2.0 lead to connect to your PC, a plastic stand for easy viewing, a Lithium-ion battery, a strap, a power supply and a software CD-ROM.

The front panel has the controls on the right-hand side, handling both printing and display features, and navigation is done via the easily-positioned cursor. There are card slots for SD (Secure Digital) and CF (CompactFlash) formats and other cards are supported via a CF adapter (which is not supplied). The on/off switch is a slider on the side, which includes a Hold option, and as well as the power and USB connectors there’s a headphone point and an A/V out connector.

The display resolution of 640 x 480 pixels – or 212 pixels per inch – means you can review individual pictures, put them into albums or view them as a slide show in high clarity, sharpness and brightness. Where such information is available, the Display control provides a full history of each snapshot including the camera used, time of day, exposure, flash on/off, etc., plus a histogram reading of every image so you can decide whether the balance of light and shade matches your requirements.

It’s estimated that you can store around 18,000 6-megapixel digital images in total in RAW and JPEG formats, or digital movie files of up to 2GB each in Motion JPEG and MPEG4 (unfortunately WMV, MPEG1/2 and DVD-Video are not supported) and music in MP3 and AAC formats up to 100MB apiece.

Obviously these files can be copied over from a PC or external device via the USB 2.0 lead and images can be viewed externally through a TV or monitor via the A/V output.

Finally, you can print any photos directly to a compatible Epson photo printer or any printer that supports USB Direct-Print.

Company: Epson

Contact: 08702 416900


Verdict
There's no doubting the superior quality of the images, and the information about them, that you can view on this mighty machine. The real question is whether you are willing to pay the hefty price for double the storage offered by the earlier P-2000, but little in the way of innovation.