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Canon's PIXMA Pro9500 inkjet printer, Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Canon: New pro-oriented inkjet printers
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, February 24, 2006 - 19:32 EST)

Canon USA has unveiled two new inkjet printer models that the company notes are the first to which it has applied the "Pro" designation, the Canon PIXMA Pro9000 and Pro9500.

Both of the models apparently take their styling cues from Canon's digital SLR lineup, and both create prints up to 13" x 19" with what Canon describes as "gallery quality". They also both offer PictBridge connectivity, and come bundled with Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Pro software - which includes Easy-PhotoPrint Pro (a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS and Photoshop CS2) and Canon Digital Photo Pro v2.1.

The PIXMA Pro9000 is an eight-color dye-based printer, with ink colors being Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Cyan, Photo Magenta, Black, Red, and Green, and offers a 2 picoliter minimum droplet size from a 6,144 nozzle print head. The Pro9500 instead uses ten "Lucia" pigment-based inks - photo black, matte black, gray, cyan, magenta, yellow, photo cyan, photo magenta, red and green - in separate tanks that can all be placed in the printer at once, preventing the need to swap cartridges in and out as a particular print job requires. The 9500 applies these to the media via a 7,680 nozzle print head, supporting a mimimum droplet size of 3 picoliters.

Preliminary testing by Wilhelm Research Inc. is said to show that the Lucia pigment inks in the Pro9500 will likely yield WIR Display Permanence ratings in excess of 100 years for color images, and longer for monochromatic ones. Canon also simultaneously announced two new fine art printing papers - "Photo Rag" (100% cotton) and "Premium Matte" (210g/m2 paper) - that are available in both 8.5" x 11" and 13" x 19" sizes, and added an 8" x 10" size of the Photo Paper Pro and Photo Paper Plus Semi Gloss lines, plus a 13" x 19" size of the Photo Paper Plus media.

Pricing, availability, and detailed specifications for the products in this item haven't been announced at this time.

Canon's PIXMA Pro9500 inkjet printer, Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

CANON'S NEW GALLERY-QUALITY PIXMA PRO9000 AND PIXMA PRO9500 PHOTO PRINTERS ARE FIRST TO EARN "PRO" DESIGNATION

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 21, 2006—Canon extends its industry-leading role among professional photographers and advanced amateurs with the introduction of two affordable, new professional photo printers: the 10-color PIXMA Pro9500 and the eight-color PIXMA Pro9000 models. The first Canon PIXMA printers to earn the Pro designation, both the PIXMA Pro9500 printer—which utilizes long-lasting, pigment-based inks—and the PIXMA Pro9000 printer—which uses long-lasting, dye-based inks—produce brilliant, gallery-quality prints up to 13"x19" on a variety of specialty media and fine art papers.

"These printers are a breakthrough not simply for Canon but for the industry," stated Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc. "We have not simply reformulated inks; we have re-examined the selection of inks needed to create some of the finest, long-lasting prints possible."

"While Canon produces the number one digital cameras of choice for photo pros and advanced amateurs, our ultimate goal is to provide the complete digital imaging solution of choice for these discerning, demanding and discriminating photographers, imaging professionals, and enthusiasts," added Mr. Hashimoto. "As our vast selection of lenses anticipate and respond to the optical needs of photographers, so too, these new professional photo printers provide robust, digital imaging solutions for a community we value and vow to serve."

"Wilhelm Imaging Research is currently testing the ChromaLife100 system and Lucia pigment-based inks," said Henry Wilhelm, president of Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. "A review of preliminary test data indicates that prints made with the Lucia pigmented inks and select Canon photo and fine art papers will have WIR Display Permanence Ratings in excess of 100 years for color images and significantly beyond that for monochrome. The pigmented inks also provide excellent short-term color drift behavior, which is critically important for color managed workflows and for proofing applications."

The PIXMA Pro9500 Photo Printer
Designed and developed to accommodate pro photographers and imaging professionals that wish to present the highest possible quality portfolios of their work as well as those who generate gallery-standard prints for sale (and understandably need them to last), the PIXMA Pro9500 Photo Printer delivers output that lives up to that promise and more.

Ten individual tanks of Canon's long lasting, Lucia branded pigment based inks and Canon's 7,680 nozzle print head (compared with the competitor's 1440 nozzle print head,1) and Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) technology are at the core of this top-performance photo printer. These Lucia inks—photo black, matte black and gray as well as cyan, magenta, yellow, photo cyan, photo magenta, red and green—are precisely placed by the PIXMA Pro9500 Photo Printer in three-picoliter droplets (min.) to create photographs and other works of art that are rich in detail, texture and tone. Indeed, the PIXMA Pro9500 printer's dramatically wide color gamut and extraordinary color reproduction in the green, red, and yellow-to-orange color ranges help this printer produce color images of exceptional virtuosity and quality.

Still, this printer delivers remarkable results when printing gallery-grade monochromatic photos. For these "black and whites," the inks are key. The Matte Black ink provides high density true black renditions on fine art papers; the Photo Black ink provides high contrast and, most telling of all, the gray ink reduces graininess and lines and stabilizes the gray balance in the print (by using less color in the gray image areas). The gray ink also reduces the photo phenomenon known as metamerism where composite gray inks (achieved with combinations of cyan, magenta and yellow ink) make image areas look different under different lighting conditions (such as sunlight, fluorescent light, and incandescent light). This aberration is due to the differences in spectral reflectance properties of each of the composite colors.

To further increase productivity, efficiency, and value, Canon designed the PIXMA Pro9500 model so that all 10 individual ink tanks can reside in the print head at all times, saving time (and ink) by eliminating the need to swap out tanks before printing. Now, pros who may have been inconvenienced by swapping ink tanks can simply load all the tanks in this new PIXMA Pro model and never worry about which ink goes with which project.

The PIXMA Pro9000 Photo Printer
The PIXMA Pro9000 Photo Printer uses Canon's high-performance, high-density 6,144 nozzle print head to deposit precise and constant 2-picoliter ink droplets—delivering approximately 11-million droplets per square inch2—to produce impressively detailed prints with remarkable quality and speed.

This eight-ink printer features a wide color space that rivals positive film and delivers vivid coloration and high glossiness. Indeed, the combination of these new individually packaged inks—Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Cyan, Photo Magenta, Black, Red, and Green—and Canon Photo Paper Pro glossy stock creates beautiful finished images.

The Canon-to-Canon Connection
While the PIXMA Pro9500 and PIXMA Pro9000 printers borrow design elements from Canon's digital SLR line, curved edges reminiscent of the lines on Canon digital SLRs and "pro-black" pebble finish, the Canon-to-Canon synergy is not limited to style, color, and curves. Indeed, that connection is closest with Canon's new EOS 30D professional digital SLR.

The EOS 30D Digital SLR connects directly with these two printers via a PictBridge connection powering its advanced camera direct capabilities. This feature permits manual adjustment of color or black-and-white images from the camera's LCD screen all without the need of a computer connection or additional image management software. Professional users can now adjust contrast, color tone, saturation, color balance, and even add shooting information directly on to their prints. The Canon-to-Canon direct connection simplifies the professional photographers' workflow.

Easy-PhotoPrint Pro
Both the PIXMA Pro9500 Photo Printer and the PIXMA Pro9000 Photo Printer are bundled with Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Pro software. Easy-PhotoPrint Pro is a plug-in software program for Adobe applications Photoshop CS and Photoshop CS2, and Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) version 2.1, which permits one-click image transfer; offers simple settings for color management and allows users to configure printer settings once for images on multiple sheets. Among its myriad other features, the Easy-PhotoPrint Pro software facilitates the printing of RAW images (as a high quality TIFF or JPEG) without having to save from DPP software.

The Easy-PhotoPrint Pro software also creates pattern prints that demonstrate different color balance, brightness, and contrast than the original image and prints them on a sheet of paper for easy comparison. This pattern print can present 48 possible image variations allowing users to see what their prints will look like without wasting vast quantities of paper, ink, and of course, time. Users can even configure the color settings for different types of papers and adjustment values can be stored for later use.

New Fine Art Papers
Coinciding with the debut of these two new professional photo printers, Canon is adding two new fine art printing papers to the company's already extensive line of available media:

  • The 100 percent cotton, Fine Art Paper "Photo RagTM" (ideal for printing photo art as well as copies of water colors, oil paintings, woodblock prints, and illustrations); and
  • Fine Art Paper Premium Matte (a heavy 210g/m2 paper with a smooth matte finish that conveys an artistic, gallery-grade look to photographs and other art content).

Both new papers are offered in 8½"x11" and 13"x19" sizes.

Additionally, Canon has extended its quality media lineup with a new 8"x10" size of its popular Photo Paper Pro and Photo Paper Plus Semi Gloss media, as well as a new 13"x19" size for its Photo Paper Plus paper, making it easier than ever to go directly from printer to frame.

Canon will debut the PIXMA Pro9500 and PIXMA Pro9000 photo printers in its booth (#3509) during the Photo Marketers Association (PMA) exhibit in Orlando, Fla., from February 26-March 1, 2006.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is rated #35 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2005, with global revenues of $31.8 billion. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

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All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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