When compared to a shiny laptop, a top of the range camera or a cutting edge phone a ‘multimedia storage viewer’ is unlikely to excite. The truth is such a device is not going to get many hearts racing but for the likes of professional photographers this may be the technology of their dreams.
Anything but pocket-sized, the P-6000 takes the shape of an oversized digital camera, albeit one without the lens on the front. Its bulky, rectangular frame sports an array of buttons, connectors and inputs along with a striking 4” LCD screen on the back. Inside the device hosts a 80GB or 160GB hard-drive, a USB-in and out port, A/V out, a headphone jack and an SD and CF card reader.
The purpose of Epson’s creation is to act as a PC by-pass for media files such as audio, video and pictures. As the array of inputs listed above suggest, it can be hooked up and synced with most types of portable device quite easily and has all the right outputs to allow users to enjoy them without powering up their laptops.
At its simplest the P-6000 offers a handy way of looking at photos on a decent screen. Most digital cameras now – even professional DSLRs – tend to offer screens that only give you an idea of the photo taken so the extra few inches and better resolution will be good for those left unsatisfied.
For more advanced users – using particular types of camera – they can also tether the device while shooting, meaning the P6000 acts as a better display while lining up shots. As one would expect from a mainly printer-based company the P-6000 also adheres to the PictBridge standard, which means that it can be connected to compatible printers without the need for a PC.
Perhaps more useful is the easy back-up function which allows users to copy their files onto the P-6000′s hard-drive in seconds. This not only means users have added peace of mind but it also allows them to make space on their camera’s card without having to lose important pictures.
This, however, is unlikely to be important to all but the heaviest of camera users as most will get all the space they need from a 2GB SD card. Likewise the P-6000 is not going to be all that attractive as a portable media player even though it can handle and play-back various formats; that is something companies like Archos do in far more practical and stylish ways.
Instead Epson’s creation is really a toy for the professional and semi-professional photographer who often works with few PC pit stops in between. The fact that the device can sync with Adobe’s Bridge software for image transfers and can be used as a USB display within Photoshop only cements that.
All of this comes at a fairly high price, however, meaning that even professionals may think twice about investing in one. Indeed if you are all that serious about photography you might decide that a new lens and a handful of 4GB SD cards would be a better way to spend your money than this.