Canon debuts new family of pro printers with new imagePROGRAF PRO-1000


posted Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 9:01 AM EDT


Canon is taking their professional photo printing in a new direction with their latest model, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000. This new desktop-based 17-inch professional photo printer is the first in a new series of imagePROGRAF models that blends technologies and features from their free-standing, large-format imagePROGRAF series of printers with their PIXMA PRO family of high-end desktop-based printers.

Designed for the photographer who's "obsessed" with the ultimate in image quality, as Canon puts it in their new marketing strategy, the new imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is targeted not only for independent professional photographers, but is also well-suited for photography schools, design companies and advertising agencies who demand accurate, high-quality prints as well as increased productivity, versatility and scalability.

To accomplish this, the new Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 features a print head that's 50% larger than the PIXMA PRO-1 printer, a new "LUCIA PRO" 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system, and an all-new high-speed image processing engine dubbed "L-COA PRO."

Bigger print head, more nozzles and clog-avoiding features

The new print head design on the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 measures 1.5x larger than that on the Canon PIXMA PRO-1 printer. The new PRO-1000 manages to therefore squeeze in a total of 18,432 nozzles compared to the PRO-1's 12,288. This increases the print speed, according to Canon, as the print head manages to lay down over 32 million ink droplets per second.

Another feature of the new print head focuses on reliability. People expect the printers to, well, print, and print precisely with minimal clogging. (No clogging at all would be fantastic!) The new print head in the PRO-1000 has a built-in light source that can identify clogged nozzles and then utilize nearby nozzles to compensate for the clogged one. This can help reduce wasted ink by not running through a full self-cleaning operation each time a small clog is detected.

To help further reduce the occurrence of clogged nozzles altogether, the ink injection system is temperature-regulated to help maintain the ink at the proper viscosity for optimal, consistent droplets of ink. Though Canon does recommend keeping the PRO-1000 powered on at all times (it will enter a power-saving sleep mode and sporadically run mini test cleanings), in the event that you need to power-down the printer, the print head can heat back up once it's powered back on to re-liquefy the ink and remove any dried remaining ink in the nozzles.

New ink system for deeper blacks, better dynamic range and longevity

As mentioned earlier, the ink system itself is newly formulated for the PRO-1000. The new LUCIA PRO system is an 11-color cartridge system plus a Chroma Optimizer for use on glossy paper. A modified pigment composition allows for much more dense distribution of ink, which, in other words, means more ink can be laid onto the paper without ink bleed. The new ink system also results in an increased color gamut compared to the PRO-1 printer.

Black levels and dynamic range have also been improved with smoother shadow gradations and deeper, richer blacks than the PRO-1. The printer has distinct Photo Black and Matte Black inks with dedicated nozzles, allowing users to print on different paper types without issue. Other color inks, such as blue and magenta, have also been improved for deeper, richer color tones.

For increased longevity and reduced costs, the PRO-1000 uses large-capacity ink cartridges. Each ink cartridge is 80mL, which means less refills and swapping out new ink. For comparison, the PRO-1 uses 36mL ink cartridges.

Speedier, faster, smarter image processing engine

The L-COA PRO image processor in the PRO-1000 expands upon the L-COA processor technology from Canon's earlier imagePROGRAF printers. According to Canon, the L-COA PRO processor helps to insure optimal ink layout based on the specific print media. The on-board 1GB of memory allows the PRO-1000 to process large volumes of image data for demanding jobs. 

Vacuum feeder system for accurate ink distribution

Additional features of the new Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 include a new dual-vacuum air feeder system. Unlike some printers that use a feed roller system, the PRO-1000 actually uses a vacuum to suck paper onto the printing surface and feed it through the printer. This keeps the paper uniformly flat and the speed more controlled for improved ink distribution and droplet accuracy.

Array of software to manage profiles, supplies & jobs, as well as multiple printers

On the software side of the equation, the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is equipped to handle everything from a single-user photo studio to a multi-location photography business, photo classroom or design firm. In addition to the Canon Print Studio Pro v2.0 plug-in software for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Canon Digital Photo Pro, the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 includes the Device Management Console admin tool. This software allows a lab manager or other administrater to organize and control multiple PRO-1000s in multiple locations (even remotely in other parts of the world). You can monitor ink or paper levels or adjust various device settings all from a single computer. One of the goals of this system with the PRO-1000 is consistency. For example, if you have a studio in Los Angeles and another in New York City, you can use the Device Management Console to calibrate and setup two printers to the exact same specs, profiles and calibrations. In other words, if you print a photo in LA, you'll be able to print precisely the same-looking print in NYC.

New Accounting Manager software is also included and helps organize pricing and supply for ink and paper per a specific print job, which is great in an educational lab setting or for customer billing per print job. And while this software has been around in earlier Canon printers, the PRO-1000 is the first to offer this utility for Mac users.

Focus on compatibility with third-party paper brands & customized profiles

With this new printer, Canon also put a big focus on compatibility, namely better compatibility with third-party paper manufacturers. Not surprisingly, Canon would prefer you to use Canon-brand photo paper, but they understand a professional photographer might opt for a different brand, a different type of paper or even a custom hand-made paper altogether depending on the specific job or project. Canon has worked with third-party paper companies to design better, more specific profiles for other brands of photo paper, allowing you to get more precise, accurate prints for that specific medium. The Media Configuration Tool software lets you select from various paper types for a specific print job and even fully customize and configure your own presets for custom print media.

Like Canon's L-series lenses, the PRO-1000 printer shares Canon's distinctive red stripe.

Price & Availability

Set to be available in late October, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 will sell for an estimated retail price of $1,299.99, with ink cartridges retailing for $59.99 each and the Chroma Optimizer for $54.99. The printer will be supplied with full-size, full-volume ink cartridges out of the box. The printer features USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity as well as wireless networking with Apple AirPrint compatibility.