In my opinion, the Epson P-3000 has a BIG DESIGN FLAW with regard to backing up this viewer in the field to another portable hard drive.
Pre-purchase review of Epson ads and the device manual erroneously led us to believe this would be easily accomplished.
It is hard to imagine that this viewer, obviously created with professional photographers in mind, would not be designed to easily connect to a back- up drive in the field. Who wants to be on a photo shoot, especially out of the country, and have only one copy of each photo - relying solely on the Epson P-3000 or P-5000 viewer. Not me! No HD is that dependable.
I have spent the last full day researching this matter - and complaining to Epson. After about 90 minutes on hold in 4 or 5...
mostly unhelpful... calls, I managed to piece together the following important facts: 1. Epson Customer Relations is staffed by people who just don't care, don't understand and don't listen. Supervisors are NOT available.
2. Most customer service and level one tech support has now been outsourced to Asia. Those calls were WORSE than item 1 above.
3. The one USA tech who finally did know, indicated the following: A hard drive that is compatible with the Epson P-3000, MUST HAVE - WITHOUT EXCEPTION - ALL OF THE FOLLOWING SPECIFICATIONS: Compatible with the "USB Mass Storage" Standard, be formatted in FAT32, with ONE partition, AND it ABSOLUTELY MUST plug into an electrical outlet for power. Oh, and the P-3000 MUST also be plugged into an electrical outlet, at the same time, to effect connection and file transfer.
4. You won't find any of the above information in the Epson P-3000/P- 5000 manual or Epson web site FAQs or tech support articles.
Epson has completely avoided the issue of HD compatibility.
Rather, Epson INFERS COMPATIBILITY for backing up to another drive in their manual and then says it "can't guarantee" it. Positively pathetic! Deceptive and shameful.
Since I actually like the rest of P-3000 features, I dutifully resolved to find such a PORTABLE drive. Here lies the concern. Trust me, NONE of little USB-powered NTFS-formatted drives that actually fit in a camera bag - and are currently in every store - will work. Some of the BIG FAT HDs also fit these Epson specs, but this sort of defeats the portable concept and I may as well lug the laptop through the airport! After searching for hours, I did find a Maxtor One Touch III Mini that MAY work and is small. First I have to re-format the drive to FAT32, and then I have BUY an electrical adapter to plug it in. Still waiting on that one. Turns out that Maxtor appears to be phasing out this drive - the only mini drive that plugs in, to be found ANYWHERE - and the electrical adapters are almost all sold. It will be interesting to see if this works. This mini-Maxtor also allows connection to TWO USB ports - this increases power. I don't know if that would work, but the P-3000 has only ONE USB port that can be used anyway.
In conclusion, after 20 years as a satisfied customer, IT WILL BE A LONG TIME BEFORE I BUY ANOTHER EPSON PRODUCT.
I attempted to send this e-mail to Epson management and Customer Relations but was told by the main office in LA, CA that they "don't give out e-mail addresses". Hiding management, supervisors and customers relations, with lots of outsourcing to Asia... hmmmm... great company.
Michael G. Morgan
Commercial Consulting Services
P. O. Box 56019
Virginia Beach, VA 23456