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Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mk II review

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Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mk II review

Using the Canon 9500 II A3+ printer



The new version of the 9500 features faster more accurate printing at up to 14″ width. With 10 pigment based inks, it offers similar performance to the much larger iPF6100 we reviewed last year.

Keith has been looking at how it performs as a photographic printer for high quality printing.

Canon 9500mk2 printer

This review looks at a Canon 9500 ii driven directly from Photoshop and using an Apple Mac. Functionality is virtually the same if you were using a Windows PC.

Canon Pixma 9500 Mk II

This review specifically looks at using the printer for highest quality print output.

It comes with some additional software and features for windows based PCs, which we’ve not covered in detail, since we tend to concentrate more on print quality and a fully colour managed workflow.

What do you get with the Pro9500 ii?

replacement inks for canon Pro9500 IIAn A3+ pigment ink based photo printer.

A3+ is 13″x19″ which is a good size for prints, and should quickly convince you that A4 is rather small for prints, and that maybe you need to raise your game in terms of image quality for printing at this size.

The printer does allow for slightly wider 14″ paper via the front loading slot (14″x17″ is available), although A3+ is the size you are most likely to find available.

The printer is the latest in Canon’s range of pigment ink desktop printers.

It weighs in at just over 15kg (33lbs) and comes in a packing box that should not be too bulky for most people to shift unaided.

If you are using the front paper feed slot (for ‘art type’ papers) then you will need to pull the printer forward and allow enough room at the back for a sheet of paper to stick out.

The example below shows an A3 sheet of art paper (Museum Etching) that has been fed in from the front and readied for printing.

Move your mouse over the image to get an idea of the amount of space needed around the printer.

The review unit we received was already working, so we didn’t have to install the print head unit or inks to get it going.

This is a one off setup procedure that should only take a few minutes, but do be careful to remove all the various packing tape used to keep things from moving during shipping.

Also, be careful to get the right cartridges installed in the right place.

ink cartridge access Canon 9500 mk2

Note the red LEDs on the corner of each cartridge, these flash to indicate low ink and go out for a cart that needs replacing.

The printer will also perform an automatic print head alignment when initialised. This is also available as an option in the printer utility software. Previous experience suggests that it might be worthwhile repeating the procedure once your first cartridge of ink gets used up, and the print heads are well ‘bedded in’.

First impressions of the printer are that it is solidly built – no plastic feel.

There are lots of nicely designed aspects of the printer, such as the damped front and rear paper trays.

OK, it doesn’t matter to print quality that the front tray doesn’t drop into place suddenly, but it suggests that if that much care has been given to such features, then care has gone into the whole design. I tested this on several visitors to the office, who were all suitably impressed, before seeing a single print.

I mentioned that if you are using front fed paper, you might need to move the printer to make room at the back.

By lifting the front of the printer, two small wheels at the back enable it to easily slide forward.

rear wheels of pixma Pro9500 mk2

Simple, and well thought out.

printer controlsConnectivity

A single USB2 port is provided at the rear.

Ethernet connectivity is not available – even as an option.

There is a PictBridge USB connection at the front for directly connecting a camera or PDA

Using the 9500 Mk2

The only controls are the three buttons at the front.

Power, paper feed and the smaller front feed button.

The printer software is simple to install and includes a comprehensive online manual and help software.

I also installed the printing plugin for Photoshop, which allows for direct printing of images without going through the normal Photoshop print dialogue.

There is additional software for CD printing and direct printing of images.

The printer just appeared as another printer on my Mac, after installation and connection with a USB lead (not included)

Paper Loading and Media handling

A3 plus sheet of photo paper loadedFor normal weight papers you can use the top paper feed slot.

The picture to the right shows a sheet of glossy photo paper loaded, and the front tray extended to catch it when done.

For lighter papers you can load up several sheets and the pick up mechanism will feed sheets as needed.

I tested this with a small stack (10) of sheets of A4 photo paper.

No misfeeds or marks along the bottom of the paper.

During the entire test of the printer, producing dozens of prints on all types of papers and sizes, I didn’t get one single misfeed.

There is a special holder for printing on CDs, this is stored in a slot under the printer.

Do make sure you use CDs that take the ink properly, since I’ve found that some don’t dry well and smudge.

All the various panels and flaps fold away nicely, so that the printer does not take up so much desk space if you are using smaller papers.

Move your mouse over the image to the right to see the extended guide flap.

The front tray has a lower position for normal printing and a raised position for direct front feed of thicker papers.

The printer detects the movement of the front tray and whirs and clicks for a while, moving various internal parts for the different paper path.

Before you insert paper into the front slot, the ‘straight through’ print button needs to be pressed.

This causes more whirring and movement…

After this, you can feed in a sheet of paper at the front.

The straight through print path can take media up to 1.2 mm thick.

I’m not sure, but it seems that when paper is loaded this way, the printer sets the print head height automatically, since there are the usual whirring sounds once more, when the paper is moved to the back of the printer.

There is an alignment mark on the front tray for placing paper before it’s loaded.

You press the lit blue button at the bottom to load the paper.

manual paper front feed

I’ll admit to a certain amount of impatience at having to do this procedure many times for printing a few sheets, but the important thing to notice is that I didn’t get -any- misfeeds.

If you’ve read some of my other reviews of large printers then you’ll know that single sheet feeding problems are a continuing source of irritation to me ;-)

A 13″x19″ sheet of paper needs some space to load.

Move your mouse over the image to see the print – it’s a wheat field in north central Oregon, and the muted colours work a treat on this sheet of Canon Fine Art Photo Rag paper.

The printer software installation includes ICC colour profiles which give good results with Canon papers, but I wanted to see what papers were like after custom profiling.

There is a good range of media types, but as with most printer drivers there is precious little information on what the different settings change.

Fortunately there is no need to swap black ink types, so you can print both matte and glossy papers without any changes needed at the printer.

This technically makes the printer a 9 ink printer, since you would normally use either photo black or matte black ink for a paper

choice of media settings

When making profiles it’s important to get the correct media setting, which may take a bit of experimentation (more info)

I was somewhat curious to see the Hagaki setting listed – turns out it’s a form of Japanese postcard paper/card and the standard size is ~6″x4″ (Hagaki in WP)

Printer profiling is carried out by printing a coloured test image, with colour management turned off.

If you are used to making profiles then you can learn a lot about how a printer is going to perform just by visually checking the test print.

printing profiling target

I’m printing this target on an A3+ sheet, to measure with an i1 iSis scanning spectrophotometer.

But not yet it would appear…

paper settings error

I’d just put a sheet of Photo Rag paper in the top paper slot.

Even though this paper is a relatively light 188gsm, it needs to be fed in via the front slot, and with a large margin set for the top and bottom.

paper size options for 9500 printing

After setting the Margin 35 option, I was able to print.

  • Note I’m printing my test charts using Photoshop CS3 on an OSX 10.5 PowerBook – why the old kit? 10.6 and CS4 are still incapable of completely turning off colour management, so I stick with what works. At the moment (March 10) we are still waiting for Apple to fix this… There are workarounds, but the laptop and CS3 just work ;-)

print setup for printer profiling target

Even for larger sheets of paper, these margins restrict your image size.

Move you mouse over the image below to see how much print are I lost for a particular test image, at the size I wanted to print it and the size the printer was happy with.

margin size settings for art papers.

Anyway, with a bit of experimentation, I’ve ended up with a whole load of profiling test targets, which I’ve used to build profiles with.

icc printer profile test targets for Canon papers

  • I’ve profiles for Museum Etching (FA-ME1), Photo Rag (FA-PR1), Premium Matte (FA-PM1), Platinum glossy (PT-101) and Photo Paper Plus (PP-101). If anyone wants to try them, then drop me a line. Note that these are for personal experimentation use only and may on no account be used or distributed commercially.
  • We also have profiles for the 9500 mk2 built for four more fine art papers, described (with equivalent paper types from larger suppliers) in our short review of Pinnacle art papers.

When printing with a profile, the colour controls are not available (greyed out below). You would not normally want to use these controls when printing.

driver colour controls

In the example below, I’m printing via the Photoshop print dialogue, using Museum Etching paper – a heavy art paper, with slight surface texture and a good heavy weight.

Note too, the ‘Grayscale Printing’ checkbox. This prints in a special greyscale mode for black and white, which I’ll look at shortly.

printer dialog for canon 9500 II

Using the Photoshop plugin – Canon Easy PhotoPrint Pro

You don’t have to print via the Photoshop print dialogue, there is a plugin that supports direct printing.

It’s accessible from the File>Automate menu.

using photoshop based print plugin

The first thing I noticed is that it has defaulted to opening both images that I have open at the time.

I’ll just go over some of the key features I noticed.

two bordered prints on one sheet of paper

For the example above, the plugin has taken two images and cropped them to fit on one A3+ sheet of paper with borders.

The images have been automatically rotated and cropped to fit the available space. Since both are full frame shots, they have each been slightly cropped along the longest dimensions.

You can specify the crop more accurately if desired.

image crop function

Some options seem less immediately obvious, such as printing the background in black (for slides or perhaps for those having shares in an ink supplier)

print options for plugin

You can use ICC colour profiles, although only Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric are available as rendering intents.

colour management for 9500 II print software

If you need to do proofing then use the normal Photoshop print dialogue.

The plugin does depend on you not altering print options from defaults.

standard print preset use

Rotating a print allows for an even tighter crop of these resting lemurs.

image cropping for print

For the example below, I’ve selected true borderless printing and cropped just the middle of the lemurs.

borderless prints on the 9500 II

Using the glossy photo paper, borderless printing works just fine.
Move your mouse over the image to the right to see…
There was no perceptible fall off in image quality at the top or bottom of the sheet, which once again reminded me of those huge margins enforced when using art papers…

It’s just as easy to print single images where there is full control over margins and position.

There are some very strong colours in the night time shot of Leicester’s Curve theatre.

These were reproduced very well on both the glossy papers I tested.

single image - bordered print

If need be, you can print additional image information from the file’s metadata.

printing image meta data

Even if you normally print from Photoshop, it’s worth trying out the options available in the plugin. It’s the sort of stuff I wouldn’t use that often, but when I did, it would save me a stack of work.

The plugin offers additional colour correction options (‘Color Adjustment’ above) which allow you to pick a portion of the image and tile it on a test print with colour variations (‘Advanced Pattern Print’). Not an approach I’d personally use for my print workflow, but an example of the wide range of functionality included in the supplied software.

Black and white printing

The standard way to print black and white, is just to tick the greyscale box in the driver (or plugin – see the screen shot above). In Photoshop, you’d just select ‘Printer manages colour’

The colour options are greyed out, but there are ones for tone and brightness/contrast.

black and white print mode

I tried a number of settings and paper types, and found that the printer produced very good neutral and even toned B/W prints.

Toning works, but not being a fan of such effects (for my work) I can’t say much more.

After a few prints I decided to print some step wedges to measure and check whether the linearity of the printing was as good as it looked.

black and white test strips

I’ll not go into great detail here, but I’ve covered this aspect of ‘fine tuning’ B/W printing in several other articles, including:

The step pattern is printed in greyscale mode, with colour management turned off.

test strip printing

The photo rag and premium matte papers were pretty much spot on, however the museum etching paper was a bit too dark in the shadows.

If you are not familiar with QTR, then the only bit to be concerned with in these two graphs is the line of ‘L’s

  • Note QTR is an excellent shareware package, and although it does not directly support printing to Canon printers, it does allow the creation of correction profiles for any B/W print setup.

First, premium matte – pretty much spot on – a nice straight line.

b/w print linearity prem matte

Secondly the Museum Etching – notice the bend to the left further down the line – this suggests that mid dark shadows will be a bit too dark.

b/w print linearity museum etching

After creating a QTR correction profile, I printed the image below, using the QTR_9500-fame profile, with greyscale printing selected in the driver.

monochrome printing with qtr profile

It’s very difficult to show the difference in a photo of a print, but the shadow detail in the wall was perceptibly better in the corrected version (nearest print)

two monochrome test prints.

OK, if you’ve stuck with me past the graphs, the question is: Do I need to do all this profiling stuff?

Fortunately the answer is no.

For most papers I tested. the results were hardly improved. It was only the museum etching paper that the benefit was perceptible, and then I’m sure many people just wouldn’t even notice…

So for ‘out of the box’ monochrome printing I’d be more than happy enough to accept what the printer gives me.

Note that this is for Canon papers. I did test some third party papers, but I’ll cover them in another article. Suffice to say, once you move to 3rd party papers, the benefits of custom profiling for colour and black and white are often more readily apparent.

If you’ve previously been using a basic A4 printer for some prints, then moving up to a printer like this should make a big difference to your printed work.

However you will quickly find that bigger prints can need a lot more work preparing them.

Proper print sharpening is vital – it makes a tremendous difference to the ‘look’ of the print.

At this size I find that every print needs it’s own sharpening choices – some parts of the image may need none, others lots and some bits in between.

This is something that takes practice and learning to trust your own judgement. It also helps to not look at the image on screen at 100% magnification too much.

I always remember that the screen image is just a step in the process of getting to a fine print. Too many people make the mistake (IMHO) of trying to get the screen image looking perfect, and then print what they see.

This is a path to disappointment – some of my best colour prints are nowhere near their best on screen.

Meanwhile – back to actually using the printer…

Changing ink on the Pixma 9500 Mk2

Ink levels can be checked via the printer utility software.

ink level display 9500MkII

My first thought when seeing this display was that it just looked too neat – there are not enough different levels making up each bar.

empty green cartridgeAfter printing all the printer profiling targets, the green ink ran out, followed five prints later by the grey.

The window on the side of the cartridge (right) shows the cartridge looking pretty empty.

Even though there are low ink warnings, the coarseness of the display just didn’t give me a good ‘feel’ for ongoing ink usage.

Accessing the ink cartridges for replacement is very easy.

Once the printer decided it needed ink, you have to replace a cartridge.

Below, I’ve lifted out the green ink cart ready to swap it for a new one.

You can see the LEDs at the corners of the cartridges – I’d personally rather not see LEDs incorporated into a plastic box I’m going to throw away.

Perhaps not so green?…

replacing ink cartridge in Pro9500 mk2

replacement inks for canon Pro9500 IIThe cartridges don’t hold a terribly large amount of ink, but there are ten of them so the total amount of ink in the printer is a more reasonable quantity (but still only slightly more than just one single ink cartridge for the iPF6100).

I’ll come back to ink usage issues in the conclusions, but there is more detail in the [Canon supplied] specifications at the end of this review.

Suffice to say, I’d suggest always keeping a spare set of inks if you are doing regular printing.

The demo machine managed to run out of the one ink I hadn’t got as a spare… (thanks to Canon UK for promptly sending out spare inks and paper)

It’s worth noting that the printheads in this machine are a user serviceable part.

At some time you will have to replace the printheads – I’ve seen no reliable estimates of their lifetime, but in looking for user reports of issues with the 9500 ii, I’ve come across no printhead related problems.

Printer testing – some suggestions

It’s difficult showing print quality in a web article.

I just don’t find much utility in vast lists of measurements and gamut charts.

I’ve printed several dozen images at a variety of sizes on different Canon papers – no problems in printing any of them.

The images were sharp and crisp, showing no obvious over inking or spurious patterns.

For looking at colour and black and white performance I’ve initially used the Datacolor test image for colour, and my own black and white printer test image.

The images (and many others) are available for free download on this site.

printer test image for black and white printingdatacolor test image fro printer profilie evaluation

Both images have lots of components to specifically test different aspects of printer performance.

I also use both for testing the performance of printer profiles. If you use them, do be sure to read the explanatory notes that go with them.

Various Prints

It’s important to be careful when using your own prints for evaluation, due to potential failings in your own workflow (such as a too bright monitor leading to dark prints)

Different papers suit different images.

Although my first inclination would be to print the reflections image below on an ‘art type’ paper, the mass of detail in the reflections worked very well on the much whiter and smoother premium matte.

Paper choice is very much about the ‘feel’ of an image, and as such varies by subject matter and my mood…

tree reflections, Rutland water, UK

Given the limited number of sheets in most sample packs, I’ve now got initial quick testing down to 3 sheets – one for a colour profile, one for the Datacolor test image and one for black and white. If the sheets are big enough I can fit a linearising target and two prints of my b/w test image on A3/A3+.

Conclusions

The Pixma Pro9500 Mk2 is one of the more solidly built printers of this size, and the attention to detail in overall design is obvious from the start.

It is generally easy to use and the supplied software makes printing straightforward, even if you are not going through the likes of Photoshop or Lightroom.

16 bit printing is available in some print setups, such as through the plugin.

However, it’s worth noting that few images I’ve ever seen show a perceptible improvement. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing – just that the normal 8 bit printing looks good as is.

Ink cartridges are easy to replace, requiring little effort.

Print quality for both black and white and colour were excellent, with glossy prints showing little gloss differential (dull areas of prints) and the printer driver greyscale print mode giving good neutral and even prints.

  • The only paper I tried that did not live quite up to the billing implied by it’s packaging (seven stars no less!) was the platinum PT-101. Perhaps I was expecting something with a heavier weight and a more obvious gloss (the PP-101 was fine). It was a good even finish, but not to my taste (I do like lustre finish and ‘Baryta’ type papers for larger prints) Then again it could just be that I expected a 7 star paper to be like an amplifier that goes up to 11…

If you are thinking of buying such a printer, do try and find some sample prints to look at, since this gives a far better feel for what it is like than any number of graphs and ink gamut diagrams.

One feature of note is that you do not need to swap black inks for changing paper types – worth noting if you regularly use a variety of paper types (as we do here at Northlight).

Canon 9500 II Ink usage

The granularity of the ink display in the software utility caused me some concern in the way that it jumps from one level to the next.

I’m sure that with experience you get a feel for total ink usage, but the display, with its jumps, is not overly user friendly.

pixma Pro9500 MkIITo their credit, Canon publish ink usage figures (in the specs below), but to be honest, I’ve read them several times and can’t say I’m much the wiser.

Given that the printer was supplied already loaded with cartridges with unknown ink levels I can draw no useful conclusions about its initial ink usage. However where I did replace cartridges, levels went down after a few A3+ prints.

9500 mark II ink cart capacity is 14ml.

All I can say is that ink usage seems on a par with other printers of this size. If you are doing lots of prints, then it could well be worth looking at Canon’s larger printers, such as the iPF6100 I reviewed last year.

The printer uses quantities of ink on start-up for cleaning and maintenance – I’m not sure how much, but it does mean that ink levels will gradually go down, even if you don’t print very often.

The prints I made showed no problems with clogging or uneven ink coverage – there are a number of cleaning and maintenance actions available in the printer utility software, however I had no cause to need them.

The estimated lifetimes for the Lucia pigment inks are easily up to the archival standards I insist upon for my exhibition prints.

Features

A lack of Ethernet connectivity is a bit of a disappointment, since I’d suspect that many users of this sort of printer might have more than one computer they work from, or even have the printer at some distance from where they are working.

The front of the printer has its own PictBridge USB socket. Sure, I could connect my £5k Canon 1Ds3 camera directly to the printer, but this is a feature (like the print button on the 1Ds3) that I suspect is widely regarded as irrelevant by many serious users of such cameras and printers :-)

It does show that this printer is also aimed at some aspects of the ‘consumer’ market, and to provide support as a general ‘office printer’ to some extent.

The front feed path for paper is a straight through one, which is good for heavier papers.

There is no support for roll media.

Border issues

The printer makes very nice borderless prints on glossy paper, however it seems determined to make up for this when printing fine art papers by imposing a huge 35mm margin at the start and end of each sheet.

If you’ve looked at some of the screen shots above, you’ll realise just how big this is. On an A3+ print it’s similar to what I might use anyway.

On A3 it’s a bit big for some print uses I might want.

On A4 it drastically eats into print area.

I have some cut sheets of art papers, ready made for greeting cards – these are effectively useless, since 35mm eats into the print space so much.

A fix?

The only way round this, that I’ve come across, is to use the Matte paper setting, however this may not be the optimum media setting for profiling a particular paper.

This and the amount of time the printer spends whirring and ‘doing stuff’ when waiting to feed paper in at the front would be my two main gripes – do remember though, that I normally print on large format printers and A3+ is one of my smaller print sizes.

Buying the Canon 9500 mkII

We make a specific point of not selling hardware, but if you found the review of help please consider buying the 9500, or any other items at all, via our link with Amazon.
Amazon UK link / Amazon Fr / Amazon De
Amazon USA link / Amazon Canada link

It won’t cost any more (nor less we’re afraid) but will contribute towards the running costs of our site.

 

Who will buy one?

I see this printer being aimed at the more advanced consumer and amateur photographer market.

It has enough simplifying features (and software) to appeal to those without the time and/or inclination to make the effort to understand the nuances of fine art printing, yet it has the ability to allow really high quality prints for those wanting to take their printing up a level (several actually).

If you worry about ink costs and only do a few prints a month then perhaps a cheaper printer may be better suited – printers like this benefit from regular use and not sitting idle.

If you were regularly producing prints for sale, then the economics might suggest a bigger printer, such as the iPF6100.

However, if you’re a pro photographer looking for top quality portfolio prints, this printer has what it needs.

You can leave comments/questions about this review via our blog

Summary

An A3+ (13″x19″) pigment ink printer that can produce extremely high quality prints on a range of paper types.

The 10 ink system means no swapping of black inks for paper types, whilst the range of additional colours give a good even coverage.

Supplied with a range of additional software, including a plugin for direct printing from within Photoshop.

  • If you’ve any questions or observations about this review, then please do feel free to ask…
  • Feel free to leave comments about this article on our Blog

SPECIFICATIONS (from Canon)

PRINTER FUNCTIONS
Print ResolutionUp to 4800¹ x 2400 dpi
Print EngineInkJet 10-ink with minimum 3 pl Micro-Nozzles & FINE print head
Photo Lab Quality SpeedA3+: Approx. 240 seconds (Standard) ²
Mono Print SpeedNot quoted
Colour Print SpeedNot quoted
Ink Cartridge ConfigurationSingle Ink technology – 10 separate ink tanks (PGI-9PBK, PGI-9MBK, PGI-9GY, PGI-9C, PGI-9M, PGI-9Y, PGI-9PC, PGI-9PM, PGI-9R, PGI-9G)
Black Ink Tank LifeBlack: 3320 pages* (PGI-9PBK), 329 pages (PGI-9MBK) ¹
Black: 660 photos* (PGI-9PBK), 845 photos* (PGI-9MBK) ²
*Estimated Supplemental Yield
Colour Ink Tank LifeGrey: 2905 pages*
Cyan: 2025 pages*
Magenta: 1565 pages*
Yellow: 1225 pages
Photo Cyan: 720 pages*
Photo Magenta: 720 pages*
Red: 1325 pages*
Green: 2025 pages* ¹
Grey: 145 photos
Cyan: 850 photos*
Magenta: 845 photos*
Yellow: 560 photos
Photo Cyan: 393 photos
Photo Magenta: 315 photos
Red: 635 photos*
Green: 765 photos* ²
*Estimated Supplemental Yield
Media TypePlain Paper, Envelopes, Fine Art Paper “Museum Etching” (FA-ME1), Fine Art Paper “Photo Rag™” (FA-PR1), Fine Art Paper Premium Matte (FA-PM1), Photo Paper Pro Platinum (PT-101), Photo Paper Plus Glossy II (PP-201), Photo Paper Plus Semi-gloss (SG-201), Matte Photo Paper (MP-101), High Resolution Paper (HR-101N), Photo Stickers (PS-101), Other Recommended Fine Art Paper ¹
Media InputSheet Feeder: Max. 150 sheets
Front Feeder: 1 sheet
DVD/CD Tray: 1 printable DVD or CD
Media SizeSheet Feeder: A3+, A3, B4, A4, B5, A5, Letter, Legal, 25 x 30cm (10 x 12 in), 20 x 25cm (8 x 10 in), 13 x 18cm, 10 x 15cm
Front Feeder: 36 x 43cm (14 x 17 in) and as above
Media WeightSheet Feeder: 64 to 105 g/m² and supported Canon special media up to 300 g/m²
Front Feeder: Thickness up to 1.2mm
DVD/CD PrintingAvailable as standard
Two Sided PrintingAvailable by manual operation only using plain paper in A3+, A3, A4, B5, A5 & Letter sizes (Windows only)
Borderless PrintingYes (A3+, A3, A4, 36 x 43cm, 25 x 30cm, 20 x 25cm, 13 x 18cm, & 10 x 15cm sizes)
INTERFACE AND CONNECTIVITY
Interface Type – PCUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed ¹
Interface Type – CameraDirect Print Port: Camera direct photo printing from PictBridge compliant digital cameras & camcorders
Interface Type – Mobile Phone / PDAPhoto printing via PictBridge
Card Direct PrintingN/A
DRIVERS AND SOFTWARE
Supported Operating SystemWindows Vista / Windows XP SP1, SP2 / Windows 2000 Professional SP4
Mac OS X v.10.3.9 – 10.5 (Win7 and OSX 10.6 not mentioned – but 10.6 worked in our tests)
Minimum System RequirementsWindows Vista,1 GHz processor,512mb/Windows XP SP2, SP3, Windows 2000 Professional SP4, 300MHz processor/128mb/SVGA 800 x 600/ 450MB Hard Drive available/CD-ROM Drive (DVD-ROM Drive, Windows XP/Vista and 1.5GB available Hard Drive required for Adobe Photoshop Elements 6)
Mac OS X v10.5/Intel processor, PowerPC G5, PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster)/512mb/Internet Explorer 6.0/Safari/Display XGA 1024 x 768/600mb Hard Drive space/CD-ROM Drive (DVD-ROM Drive, OSX v10.4.8 – 10.5.2 and 1GB available Hard Drive required for Photoshop Elements 6)
Driver FeaturesWindows: Photo Optimizer PRO, Image Optimizer, Photo Noise Reduction, Vivid Photo
Mac: Photo Optimizer PRO, Photo Noise Reduction, Vivid Photo
Software IncludedWindows: Easy-PhotoPrint Pro, Easy-PhotoPrint EX, CD-LabelPrint, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6
Mac: Easy-PhotoPrint Pro, Easy-PhotoPrint EX, CD-LabelPrint, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6
Power ConsumptionStandby: Approx. 1.2W
Off: Approx. 0.9W
Printing: Approx. 14W
Dimensions (W x D x H)660 x 355 x 193mm
WeightApprox. 15.2kg
Notes
Print Resolution¹ Ink droplets can be placed with a minimum pitch of 1/4800 inch
Photo Lab Quality Speed¹ 11X14″ image printed with borders onto A3+ SG-201 media using standard settings
Black Ink Tank Life¹ Declared yield value in accordance with ISO/IEC 24711. Values obtained by continuous printing.
² When printing Canon standard photos continuously on 10x15cm Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II with the default settings, using Windows Vista printer driver in borderless printing mode and Windows Vista Home Premium Photo Gallery. Declared yield value determined based on Canon standard method referring to ISO/IEC 24711.
Colour Ink Tank Life¹ Declared yield value in accordance with ISO/IEC 24711. Values obtained by continuous printing.
² When printing Canon standard photos continuously on 10x15cm Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II with the default settings, using Windows Vista printer driver in borderless printing mode and Windows Vista Home Premium Photo Gallery. Declared yield value determined based on Canon standard method referring to ISO/IEC 24711.
Media Type¹ Supports a range of non-Canon fine art medias. ICC profiles and Art Paper Printing Guide instructions manual can be downloaded from http://software.canon-europe.com/
Interface Type – PC¹ Operation can only be guaranteed on a PC with built-in USB or USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Port and pre-installed Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me or Windows 98.

Canon media types

PROFESSIONAL PHOTO PAPERS
FA-PR1 A40587B006AAFine Art Paper – Photo Rag 188g/m2 (20 Sheets) A4
FA-PR1 A30587B007AAFine Art Paper -Photo Rag 188g/m2 (20 Sheets) A3
FA-PR1 A3+0587B008AAFine Art Paper -Photo Rag 188g/m2 (20 Sheets) A3+
FA-PM1 A41263B005AAFine Art Paper – Premier Matte 210g/m2 (20 Sheets) A4
FA-PM1 A31263B006AAFine Art Paper – Premier Matte 210g/m2 (20 Sheets) A3
FA-PM1 A3+1263B007AAFine Art Paper – Premier Matte 210g/m2 (20 Sheets) A3+
FA-ME1 A41262B005AAFine Art Paper – Museum Etching 350g/m2 (20 Sheets) A4
FA-ME1 A31262B006AAFine Art Paper – Museum Etching 350g/m2 (20 Sheets) A3
FA-ME A3+1262B007AAFine Art Paper – Museum Etching 350g/m2 (20 Sheets) A3+
HIGH QUALITY PHOTO PAPERS
PP-101 4 x 67980A010AAHigh Quality Glossy Photo Paper (20 sheets) 4×6
PP-101 5 x 77980A020AAHigh Quality Glossy Photo Paper (20 sheets) 5×7
PP-101D 5 x 79981A004AAHigh Quality Double sided Glossy Photo Paper (10 sheets & Drying Stands) 5 x 7
PAK-101 5 x 70041B004AAHigh Quality Photo Album Kit with PP-101D 5 x 7 Double sided Glossy Photo Paper (10 sheets plus Photo Album & Drying Stands)
PP-101   A47980A008AAHigh Quality Glossy Photo Paper (20 sheets) A4
PP-101D A49981A002AAHigh Quality Double sided Glossy Photo Paper (10 sheets & Drying Stands) A4
PAK-101 A40041B003AAHigh Quality Photo Album Kit with PP-101D A4 Double sided Glossy Photo Paper (10 sheets plus Photo Album & Drying Stands)
PP-101 A37980A013AAHigh Quality Glossy Photo Paper (20 sheets) A3
PP-101 A3+7980A014AAHigh Quality Glossy Photo Paper (20 sheets) A3+
SG-101 4 x 68386A006AAHigh Quality Semi-Gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) 4×6
SG-101 A48386A005AAHigh Quality Semi-Gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A4
SG-101 A38386A009AAHigh Quality Semi-Gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A3
SG-201 4×61686B015AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (50 Sheets) 4X6
SG-201 A41686B021AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A4
SG-201 A31686B026AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A3
SG-201 A3+1686B032AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A3+
SG-201 8x10in1686B018AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) 8x10inch
SG-201 10x12in1686B024AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (20 Sheets) 10x12inch
SG-201 14x17inch1686B029AAHigh quality Semi-gloss Photo Paper (10 Sheets) 14x17inch
GP-401 CREDIT CARD9157A022AAGlossy Photo Paper (100 Sheets) Credit Card Size (54 x 86mm)
GP-401 4 x 69157A005AAGlossy Photo Paper (50 Sheets) 4×6
GP-401 A49157A004AAGlossy Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A4
GP-401 A39157A011AAGlossy Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A3
GP-401 A3+9157A012AAGlossy Photo Paper (20 Sheets) A3+
GP-501 4 x 60775B003AAEconomy Glossy Photo Paper (100 Sheets) 4×6
GP-501 A40775B001AAEconomy Glossy Photo Paper (100 Sheets) A4
MP-101 A47981A005AAMatt Photo Paper (50 sheets) A4
MP-101 A37981A008AAMatt Photo Paper (40 sheets) A3
HR-101N A41033A001Matt High Resolution Paper (200 sheets) A4
HR-101N A41033A002Matt High Resolution Paper (50 sheets) A4
PS1010001C001Glossy Photo Stickers (5 sheets = 80 stickers)
TR-301 A48938A001AAT-Shirt Transfer (10 sheets)

More Info

  • ImageNest on the Canon PRO-2000 1st December 2016 A quick test of ImageNest print layout software on the Canon PRO-2000 printer. Quick print layout and placement along with resizing, colour management and sharpening
  • Canon iPF8300 review and notes 5th October 2016 Ongoing Canon iPF8300 review and notes about using the imagePROGRAF iPF8300 44 inch large format printer, by Keith Cooper. Notes date back to setting up the printer in November 2010
  • Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 printer review 14th August 2016 Detailed review of the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 24" pigment ink printer. 11 inks and a gloss optimiser coat. Dual roll feed option. Roll and sheet media tested, including a print over 7m long.
  • Mirage print software review (V3.5) 14th August 2016 A review of the Mirage print software by Dinax. Tested with the Canon PRO-2000 printer, the software now supports Canon and Epson large format printers. One feature is its freedom from print length limitations, ideal for huge pano prints at photo print resolutions.
  • Canon PRO-2000, 4000 printer setup and installation 2nd August 2016 Assembly and initial setup for the Canon iPF PRO-2000 and PRO-4000 large format printer. Features print head and ink installation and initial configuration, including printer software and network connection.
  • Canon PRO-1000 printer review 8th May 2016 Detailed review of the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 17" pigment ink printer. 11 inks and a colour optimiser coat. Tested for colour and B&W printing on a range of media types. Paper sixes up to A2, with borderless print options.
  • Canon Pixma PRO-100 printer review 15th August 2014 Detailed review of the Canon Pixma PRO-100 printer. A 13" width (A3+ paper size) dye ink based printer for colour and black and white.
  • Canon iPF6450/iPF6400 printer reviews 22nd July 2013 Overview of Keith Cooper's reviews of the Canon iPF 6450 printer, along with tests of specific paper types. Also includes printer setup and the optional spectrophotometer unit
  • Canon iPF6400 – 6450 printer review 22nd July 2013 Detailed review of the imagePROGRAF iPF6450 (ipF6400) 24 inch large format printer. Colour management and print setup for colour and black and white
  • Canon iPF6450 SU-21 spectrophotometer use 15th July 2013 Canon iPF6450 SU-21 spectrophotometer use, including basic testing of printing and measuring patches with the SU-21 using the supplied Canon software.
  • Canon iPF6450-6400 setup and assembly 20th May 2013 Assembly and setup guide for the Canon imagePROGRAF 6400 and 6450 printer. Unpacking, and installation of PF05 printheads and ink
  • Canon Pixma PRO-10 printer review 15th April 2013 Detailed Canon Pixma PRO-10 printer review, looking at colour and black and white pigment ink based printing a range of paper types up to A3 plus size (13" width)
  • Printer review – Canon Pixma Pro-1 22nd November 2012 Detailed review of the Canon Pixma Pro-1, a 12 ink A3+ (13inch) printer for colour and black and white printing. Tested on a range of paper types and sizes.
  • Canon iPF5100 printer review 27th December 2011 Detailed review testing the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100 17 inch width large format printer. Sheet and roll paper, looking at colour and black and white pigment ink based printing a range of paper types.
  • Canon iPF6300 review 15th July 2010 Canon iPF6300 review, testing the imagePROGRAF iPF6300 24 inch large format printer, for colour and black and white fine art printing.
  • Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mk II review 1st March 2010 Detailed Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mk II review, using the Canon 9500 II A3+ printer for colour and black and white photo printing.
  • Canon iPF6100 review 30th July 2009 Full review of the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100 24 inch large format printer. Colour management and profiling for all printing on different media types. Colour and black and white printing.
More print related information

For information about other printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main Articles and Reviews page, or use the search box at the top of any page. There are also specific index pages for any articles connected with the following topics:

 


Buying anything from Amazon (not just what's listed) via any of the links below helps Keith and Karen keep the site going - thanks if you do!

 

 

  • Richard Laurence

    Keith,
    I’ve found your review of the Pixma Pro9500 mark 2 to be extremely useful. Would it be possible to have a copy of the paper profiles you created please?

    Best wishes,
    Ricahrd

    • PH

      Hi Keith, I realise this is a bit out of date now, but I have one of these printers. You may or may not remember that I also have recently purchased an ipf6400, so why am I bothering with the smaller printer. Basically for smaller prints that will fit into some small hand made books is the reason.
      Which brings me to my point. I got some profiles made for various hahnemuhle papers, photo Rag and a couple of the baryta papers. Photo rag was fine, and at first glance , the baryta papers looked fantastic. Until I looked closely. All the glossy baryta and pearl pictures suffered from pizza wheel dots, in pairs, running the length of the print. Noticeable in shadow areas, but not highlight areas. Calumet swopped the printer and the new one exhibited the same issue. I eventually gave up using the papers as no amount of searching could shed any light on this issue. Have you come across this? I notice there are now new downloads available from Canon since autumn last year. Maybe they will help.
      Cheers
      Paul

  • I linked here from your Canon 9500 mk2 review.
    I have seen several user reviews of the 9500 claiming that while it does a fabulous job with matte finish gallery prints, that the pigment based inks can’t produce a good hi-gloss photo print.

    It seemed really odd to me that Canon would overlook such an obvious concern, and wanted to ask if the review was accurate or the user just not savvy at getting the desired results.

    Thanks

    • It’s pigment ink, so depending on the paper you are not going to get as good results compared with dye based inks, whether Epson, Canon or HP. The choice of media settings, media and ink results in an awful lot of combinations.

      The only real way round this for pigment ink is to use a gloss coat of some form.

      A lot depends on the user’s definition of a ‘Good’ glossy photo – if gloss photo is that important I’ll always suggest dye based inks or a pigment ink printer with gloss overcoat.

      The photos I tried in the review were to my mind quite acceptable – it’s what you get with pigment inks.

      Canon themselves would point to the 9000 for the glossy photo fans (I prefer a lustre finish paper)

  • Binh Pham

    Keith,

    If you don’t mind, in your review of the Canon 9500 MK2, you mentioned that you’ve created some print profiles for certain papers for this printer, just send you a note and you’ll be glad to share that for personal use. Could you let me use those profiles?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Just drop me an email from an account I can send them to…

  • Dan F.

    Thank you for this Keith. It’s exactly what I needed. I bought this printer last night and got a great deal, and impulsively started printing without reading anything because I just needed to see what it could do. Obviously I was a bit disappointed but I knew I would be. I cannot wait to dig into this thing and start making great prints.

  • Hello,
    First, thanks very much for your article, this is really added value, that’s great.
    I am using Mac OS 10.6 and aperture 3, and I can not get any good result when I print. Huge gap between my screen and the printing, no sharpness, no contrast, no colors, really bad.
    I did download ICC to match Fine art paper I bought from Canon and Hahnemuehle but no result. I even tried with a former OS 10.5 or with Photoshop element, no result.
    May I ask you if you have any idea about what I could do?
    Thanks for reading,
    Regards,
    Mikael

    • Is your monitor calibrated – and not too bright?

      Are you using the correct printer driver? Make sure it is the latest one downloaded from Canon