Posts Tagged ‘Canon’

Canon preps Mark II updates to Pixma Pro printers

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Pixma Pro9500 Mark IICanon has announced “Mark II” versions of its Pixma Pro9000 and the Pixma Pro9500 13" by 19" photo printers. The updated models are identical (even in price) to their predecessors; Canon says that the sole improvement in each unit is better print speeds:

  • The Pixma Pro9000 Mark II is an 8-ink, dye-based printer priced at $500. It reportedly offers three times the print speed of the first-generation model.
  • The Pixma Pro9500 Mark II uses 10 pigmented inks—including matte and photo black inks and a gray ink for neutral black and white output—and is priced at $850. Canon says that the 9500 Mark II’s print engine is 1.5 times faster than the earlier version.

Both printers have USB 2.0 and PictBridge ports; a top-loading paper tray that will hold up to 150 sheets of paper; and a straight-through paper path that can handle fine-art media up to 1.2 mm thick. They will include Canon’s Digital Photo Professional and Easy Photo-Fix software, as well as Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 6.0. The printers will run on Mac OS X, Windows XP and Vista, and Vista users will be able to take advantage of Canon’s Ambient Light Correction software in the print driver, which “optimizes print color for the lighting conditions where the final print will be shown.”

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Stylus Photo R1900 speed test results

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

We received our Stylus Photo R1900 recently, and have been quite busy testing Epson’s new pigment-based photo printer. We should have a full review online in the next week or so, but overall, we’ve been quite impressed with the R1900’s output. The glossy prints are as beautiful as we’ve ever seen from a pigment printer, which is no surprise, given the gloss optimizer and the new screening technology. But we’ve also been quite taken with photos printed on matte and fine art papers — they are rich and vibrant, and look as good, if not better, than output from other printers in its class.

While we’re finishing up the review, we wanted to post the initial results of our benchmark tests. While print speed is rarely the first concern when choosing between two higher-end photo printers, it can still be a consideration — especially if you feel that the output is comparable. Below are two charts, noting the print speeds for six different print sizes on the R1900 and its predecessor, the R1800, as well as against the immediate competition: HP’s Photosmart Pro B8850 and Canon’s dye-based Pixma Pro9000.

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Printing from Photoshop with Russell Brown

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Russell Brown, Adobe’s Mad Scientist and top creative dude, has a great Web site full of videos, tips and actions related to the world of Photoshop.

On his Photoshop Tips and Tricks page, under the “Photoshop CS3 Tutorials” heading, Russell recently posted a number of screencasts for getting the best prints from Photoshop CS3 on the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 (direct link to Quicktime movie), Canon Pixma Pro 9500 (link) and HP Photosmart Pro B9180 (link) printers. The tutorials are fairly short and include instructions for both Windows and Mac systems.

HP Z3100, Canon iPF6100 reviews posted

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Macworld.com has posted our reviews of two wide-format photo printers, HP’s Designjet Z3100 Photo Printer and Canon’s imagePROGRAF iPF6100. Both of these printers offer excellent color and black-and-white print quality on glossy, matte and fine-art papers and have good ink efficiency and strong performance.

The Z3100 is priced at $4,095 and has 11 inks; a 12th cartridge, which is a gloss optimizer for reducing the bronzing effect when printing on glossy paper (Unlike most high-end photo printers, it does not have a cyan ink, using blue and light cyan to . The printer also has an embedded i1 spectrophotometer from X-Rite, which lets you easily create ICC profiles for new media types, as well as update the profiles for existing papers (which is often recommended when changing inks). The Z3100’s software is among the best we’ve ever seen for adding new media and keeping ICC profiles current across all your network machines. One other unique attribute found in the Z3100 is the fact that, when printing in black and white on matte or fine art papers, the printer uses four monochrome inks—photo black, matte black, and two grays—in essence giving you quadtone prints. (Epson and Canon printers use photo black with glossy papers and matte black with fine art papers.)

The iPF6100 (which also comes in a 17-inch version, the iPF5100) is priced $500 less than the Z3100. It has 12 inks and supports direct printing of 16-bit images via a Photoshop plug-in for both Mac OS X an Windows XP and Vista. We found the print quality of this generation vastly superior to the iPF5000/iPF6000 series (although subsequent firmware updates did improve the print quality somewhat), and it was definitely one of the faster wide-formats we’ve tested.

These are the first printers in this class from Canon and HP that approach the print quality of Epson’s Stylus Pro line. During our jury testing, when showing prints from Epson, HP and Canon pro-level inkjets, pro photographers and amateurs alike could not consistently pick which printers produced which prints. This is a far cry from years past, where Epson printers consistently produced prints that were recognizably better than the competition. We think Epson’s printers are still top notch, but HP and Canon have gotten into the game.

Product links: Z3100, iPF6100