Canon announces two PRO-line printers; Revamps large format line-up
posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM EDT
When Canon announced the PRO-1 a year ago, it hinted that was just the beginning. It planned to introduce a whole line of 13-inch PRO printers based on the same technology as its flagship model.
Today the company followed up on that promise with two new PRO models: the pigment-based PRO-10 and the dye-based PRO-100, the first dye-based model in the line. The new models feature Print Studio Pro plug-in software, WiFi (in addition to Ethernet), CD printing (apparently a PRO-series feature now) and faster printing.
Canon also revamped its large-format line-up of imagePROGRAF printers with built-in tools to manage printing and improvements to both image quality and output speed.
The $699 PRO-10 uses a 10-ink tank system with Lucia pigment-based inks. The ink set includes three monochrome inks, including Matte Black for matte papers, plus a Chroma Optimizer to give a uniform appearance on glossy and semi-glossy sheets.
If we had one complaint about the PRO-1 (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRINT/canon-pro-1/index.htm), though, it was that Matte Black soaked into the sheet too much, resulting in a less dense black than we wanted.
As for speed, Canon claims the PRO-10 can print a 13x19 high-quality color or black-and-white, bordered image in five minutes and 20 seconds.
The $499 PRO-100 uses the eight-color ChromaLife 100+ dye-based ink system, which includes three monochrome inks. Previously the Pro9000 Mark II dye-based printer included just one black ink, making the PRO-100 the first Canon dye-based printer with multiple monochrome inks.
Not quite as fast as the PRO-10, Canon says the PRO-100 can print a 13x19 high-quality color, bordered image in 90 seconds and a high-quality, bordered black-and-white print in three minutes, 5.4 times faster than previous models.
The new Print Studio Pro plug-in is designed specifically for PRO-series printers, Canon said. The company interviewed "a wide range of photographers at various professional levels to help determine what users want out of a printing application."
Print Studio Pro consequently provides "a simple and seamless photo printing solution from a number of applications such as the Canon Digital Photo Professional and Adobe's Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Elements," the company said. The user-interface has been designed "to maximize ease-of-use with a number of options to adjust the page formats and layouts, accommodate for different user preferences and manage a number of variables including color management and printer settings."
The company also touted its new PRO Mode, which "maps color gamut for optimum balance of brightness and saturation," even taking into account human perception. "The technology helps to create prints that accurately reflect the image as seen on a monitor without needing a high level understanding of color management," Canon claimed.
PRO-1 printer owners will also be able to take advantage of the new technology with a firmware upgrade expected in early 2013, according to the company.
Canon expects "a significant number" of ICC profiles to be available at the time these new printers start shipping. Ilford, in fact, has already announced the availability of ICC profiles for its Galerie papers on the new PRO printers. The PRO-1 itself was well supported by third-party fine arts paper manufacturers right out of the gate.
But the company didn't specify an expected availability date for the new PRO models.
Canon also announced its imagePROGRAF iPF9400 (12-color, 60-inch), iPF8400 (12-color, 44-inch), iPF6450/6400 (12-color, 24-inch with 300ml ink tanks) and iPF9400S (8-color, 60-inch) printers using a sub ink-tank system which allows replacement of the Lucia EX pigment cartridges while the printers are running. The iPF9400S and iPF9400 can now handle 60-inch borderless printing and are more affordable price than the previous models as well.
Key technologies in the imagePROGRAF models include:
• An enhanced multi-sensor improves density accuracy and stability over previous models. The sensor, along with the included software, helps to achieve color consistency across all new imagePROGRAF 12-color models.
• A Color Calibration Management Console makes it possible to execute and monitor the calibration status of multiple printers on a network from one PC.
• The Media Configuration Tool updates and customizes the printer and drivers with new Canon and custom media information.
The new imagePROGRAF models are scheduled to be available in September with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $11,995 for the iPF9400, $9,995 for the iPF9400S, $5,995 for the iPF8400 printer, $3,695 for the iPF6450, $2,995 for the iPF6400 and $1,795 for the optional SU-21 Spectrophotometer.