27 June 2013

Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Color Professional Inkjet Photo Printer

It’s time to step up to the large format, professional quality printer you’ve been dreaming about. The PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless1 Professional Inkjet Printer possesses the functionality and technology you need to achieve high-quality output so your prints can look as good as the images you capture. The 8-ink dye based ChromaLife100+ system provides you with an amazing color gamut so your prints will look as vivid as you remember.

The PIXMA PRO-100 shares technology with the rest of the PIXMA PRO line utilizing the Optimum Image Generating System to ensure what you envision is exactly what you get. The OIG System analyzes each area of the print and chooses the best ink mixture so you see the colors you expect to see in your print.

The new Print Studio Pro2 plug-in software makes it even easier to get amazing results from your favorite photo applications. Add to that connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB and you have a professional machine that easily fits into your workflow that you can place anywhere around the studio.

For media support, the PIXMA PRO-100 features two paper trays. A rear tray for a variety of fine art and glossy photo papers, and a manual slot for thicker media to meet your printing needs.


Amazon Vine™ Review

I currently have 2 printers that I use for my printing needs. The first is a Canon PIXMA MP990. The second is an Amazon Vine provided Canon PIXMA PRO-1. I've also had, and since discarded, a few Epson Work Force printers via Amazon Vine. The Canon printers have always performed at the level I've expected and the Pro 100 is no exception.

It was with some excitement that I was offered the Pro 100 to compare to my current models.

Printer was installed on a Win 7 64 bit based laptop with 8 GB RAM.


Instead of using the enclosed CD for software installation, I decided to download the drivers and software directly from Canon's website. Based on this, the installation was pretty simple. I used the printer connected directly via USB because the printers are all very close to my work PC. I have a nice USB hub that I use the two printers and other devices.

While I say setup was simple, please don't confuse this with it being a quick process. The process is quite lengthy, much like the Pro-1. I didn't time it completely, but it was at least an hour from start to finish, not including the unboxing. Installing the print head and cartridges just takes time - you can't get around it.

Installing the software is pretty easy -- just keep hitting next mostly.

Another thing to note is that, like the Pro 1, this printer is HEAVY. It's roughly 45 lbs and you will almost certainly want someone to help you move the boxed printer around, along with pulling the printer out of the box and placing on the desk/table.

Print Quality-

Here's where the Pro 100 comes into it's own.

The Pro 100 is a dye based printer. The prints from this, on Canon paper with proper paper profiles chosen, results in some vibrant and amazing results. In comparing this to the MP990, prints from the Pro 100, as expected, are better. Doing a blind comparison with family members, everyone prefers the Pro 100 results to the MP990. This isn't unexpected, given this printer uses many more inks to provide the results.

The Pro 100 isn't amazingly better than the MP990, but the results are much, much closer to what's on screen. The MP990 also has some minor issues with gradients that I'm not seeing from the Pro 100 results.

The Pro 1 printer is a pigment based printer. Pigment based printers are, generally speaking, not nearly as vibrant as dye based printers. So comparing the Pro 100 results to Pro 1 results kind of leaves you with a mixed bag. Black and White from the Pro 1 are phenomenal. Great highlights, midtones and shadows. The Pro 100 is quite nice in B&W and if you didn't have a Pro 1 result sitting next to it, you wouldn't know any different. The differences are subtle but noticeable under scrutiny.

In terms of color, this is also a mixed bag. I like the vibrancy from the Pro 100 for some prints and the more subdued look of the pigment. For those that can afford both printers, the ink tanks for both and the large amount of space required, I can see that someone might actually make the argument to use both for different photos. No question.

I using Canon Pro Platinum paper and the cheaper Semigloss plus paper in my testing. I prefer these two papers for my prints but hope to invest in some other types to compare results there as well.


In terms of print cartridge costs, using less in this case, helps you save a few dollars compared to the Pro 1. Of course, the Pro 1 uses massive "tanks" of ink while the Pro 100 still uses standard cartridges. It's too difficult to compare price per sheet, but given there are less tanks and they are smaller, you may end up breaking even between these inks and those in the Pro 1 in terms of cost.

Dye based printers, like the Pro 100, get a bad rap. Everyone claims dye based prints don't last nearly as long as pigment. This is true - or was true. The ChromaLife 100+ system from Canon claims longevity of up to 300 years for some prints on this dye based printer. I won't be around long enough to verify that, that's for certain. And I think pigment based printers boast the same or similar longevity. Minimum life claims seems to be 100 years on Canon paper and using Canon ink... I probably won't be around to verify that either.


The Pro 100 printer is a great printer. If you can afford the printer and not the Pro 1, don't fret. You're still getting a great printer that outputs stunning results. Both do amazing jobs with prints that accentuate their positives.


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