Canon PRO-1000 printer review
Canon PRO-1000 printer review
Using the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 17″ printer
The PRO-1000 is Canon’s top of the range desktop printer for sheet media
Keith Cooper was kindly lent one by Canon UK for a few weeks, along with plenty of ink and paper.
This review concentrates on using the printer for high quality photographic printing.
Feb. 2017 Firmware V2.2 – “Optimisation of the specifications of Chroma Optimiser ink used in the auto maintenance.”
Note that in the firmware description it is also referred to as V2.040
V2.1 – The following problem has been rectified: Calibration from software is disabled and OS X 10.11.6 and 10.12 has been added as a supported OS.
Sept. 2016 If you use some Canon software (especially printer drivers) and Macs, think carefully about updating to MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) for the time being. Canon have published info about software incompatibilities
September 2016: Firmware V2 – “Head Replacement” menu is added on the operation panel menu – Some small failures are modified.
Should be available via local Canon support sites, or (as described in the review) directly via your printer.
August 2016: Our Canon PRO-2000 review is published. Well worth a read, since paper handling apart, it’s very similar in print performance to the PRO-1000
July 2016: A page length increase is included with the latest firmware.
“Feature: (1.1): ROM: The maximum printable height of custom paper size will be lengthened to 25.5-inch (647.70mm) with specifying in the printer driver.” The actual version is, I’m told, V1.11 and you need to update drivers as well (to have the size available)
It’s a long review…
I’ve had questions about this printer for many months since its launch in 2015, and now that they are shipping (Spring 2016) I’ve taken a long hard look at what it can do.
I use Apple Macs for all my work, so the review is entirely based on using them, but apart from some screen layout differences, the functionality is essentially the same for Windows users.
The basic specifications: [Full Specs at foot of article]
- 11+1 pigment ink system
- Gloss optimiser
- A2 – 17″ Max. width sheet paper
- Vacuum system for holding paper flat
It’s a big printer – you will want someone to give you a hand getting it out of the box. It comes in a plastic bag that -is- strong enough to lift it out of the box.
I tried this several times and it really is strong enough – so keep the bag (I’ll have more to say about moving the printer later).
Our PRO-1000 was supplied already set up and working. This giant sheet of paper looks intimidating, but is actually very clear about the setup process.
Don’t rush it and set aside an hour or so to get things running – there are several times where you just need to leave the printer for a while as it does its stuff.
A new PRO-1000 needs setting up, which consists of installing the print head and 12 inks.
PFI-1000 Matte Black (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Photo Black (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Cyan (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Magenta (80 ml.)
PFI-1000 Yellow (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Photo Cyan (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Photo Magenta (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Gray (80 ml.)
PFI-1000 Photo Gray (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Red (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Blue (80 ml.), PFI-1000 Chroma Optimiser (80 ml.)
If you’re coming from a small desktop printer, the size and quantity of ink carts looks impressive.
The print head unit just slots into the carriage, and once everything is ready to go it will be filled with ink.
You also need install a Maintenance Cartridge (MC-20)
This slots into the back of the printer.
I’ll refer to ink usage during the course of the review, but it’s worth noting the ink levels shown on my computer, right at the start of my testing.
One welcome addition to this printer (compared to other smaller PRO models) is the colour LCD screen.
In artificial light it looks a little blueish, but as you can see in this shot, where I’ve not white balanced for the halogen lights in the room, the colour and detail is quite good.
The symbols in the top corner refer to the active printer connections – this was when the printer first turned up, with wireless activated, just after I’d plugged in an Ethernet cable.
The printer will want to run a head alignment check after initial setup.
There are some sheets of paper supplied with the printer that will suffice for this.
You can run the head alignment at any time from the front panel.
Once set, you don’t need to make any more adjustments until the head needs replacing…
It’s one ‘consumable’ that you’ll have to consider for the printer at some point. The print head is a ‘user replaceable’ part i.e. it will need replacing eventually. I’ve no idea how long it will last (quite a while I’d hope) or the cost.
Connectivity and software setup
The printer incorporates both USB and Ethernet wired connections.
Wireless works as both part of an existing network, or you can establish an ad-hoc network for connecting phones/tablets.
- Hi-Speed USB 2.0
- 100Base-T Ethernet
- WiFi (b/g/n)
The physical connectors are at the back on the right hand side – be sure to remove the plastic plug from the Ethernet socket if you are using it.
The printer can connect to all sorts of cloud and remote sources for print data too, but I’m limiting this review to printing of photos from a local computer.
Installation and setup can be via the CD for Windows, but for Macs there is a link to an on-line installer.
This is pretty straighforward to use.
I plugged the printer into our Ethernet network.
The software looks for printers connected via whatever method you select.
It quickly found the printer, which has already picked up an IP address from our DHCP server.
If you don’t see your printer at this stage, check with the giant setup sheet…
After the printer driver is installed, the setup software can add the printer to your active printer list.
When setting up on a Mac, be sure that you don’t accidentally select the AirPrint option (it was a default) This is not what you want for high end printing from your computer.
If you find after installing your printer that all kinds of driver options are missing, then do check again. It’s an easy mistake to make…
Many options are available directly from the control panel
As with most printer settings, if you don’t know what it does, best not to tinker…
The install process points you to lots of other Canon software that may be of use.
The installer will by default install the manual and utilities.
You might also want to install Canon’s PSP printing software which I’ll cover briefly later.
As with any printer that’s just been shipped here, I produced a nozzle check test print to see all was well.
This can be instigated from the front panel or your computer (via the printer settings).
The printer produces blocks of patterns from each colour ink.
However, note the CO panel for the gloss coat. I really can’t see any way of knowing if the nozzle check is OK, but it’s far less likely to show any problems in prints.
Canon printers will automatically map out faulty nozzles behind the scenes, so don’t expect to see faulty versions of such prints very often.
The printer has a range of maintenance options.
The control panel asks if the test was OK
If not you can start a cleaning cycle.
I didn’t need to run a cleaning cycle once during the few weeks I had the printer. Nor did I need roller or bottom plate cleaning…
System and Deep cleaning sound like rather more ink is going to be used up…
I’ll come back to cleaning when discussing details of ink usage, but it seems that the printer will run some quick checks before any print, and if the printer has been switched off for more than a few days, then a more thorough test is carried out. I’d note that I didn’t have the printer long enough to test how long the printer needed to be off before it wanted any longer checks. Always remember that inkjet printers -of any make- dislike extended periods of disuse.
Whilst looking at the driver settings, there are a few other things worth noting.
I prefer to leave both these paper detection options unchecked – mismatched paper and print settings are a great way to waste expensive paper if the printer is not right next to your computer.
You also don’t want someone accidentally printing out a spreadsheet when you have a heavy A2 Baryta art paper loaded…
The printer has a vacuum feed system for keeping the paper flat and makes a bit more noise compared to smaller office printers (but less than my large format iPF8300).
There is also a third option for adjusting various setings, in that the printer has its own built in web server.
Watch out for the admin. password on the web interface to the PRO-1000. The default is the printer serial number, found on the back of the printer or at the foot of the nozzle check print. If you’re not concerned about people accessing the printer, you can set it to an empty password.
Before using the printer you need to run a calibration check on it.
Note that although the printer prints a range of coloured patches and then measures them, this is -NOT- the same as making an ICC profile for a paper.
You should run the calibration check on initial setup and certainly after any print head change.
The calibration can be managed for multiple printers using some of Canon’s utility software, but that’s a bit beyond what most people would have any use for.
Not long after I’d set up the printer, it informed me that new firmware was available.
So, it had found its way onto the internet via my network.
I don’t specifically block devices I’m testing from ‘phoning home’, but it’s something a corporate IT department might be interested in. Most aspects of the printer’s network setup, such as cloud based services can be configured via the front panel, or more easily from the web interface.
Firmware updates often worry people. There is something about the stern warnings that often accompany them that make you wonder if you’re going to end up with a dead device.
Fortunately, like hire (rental) cars, review printers don’t come with such worries…
Ten minute later all is well and I’m running V1.08 (from v1.06)
The next time the message popped up was a day or two before the printer went back to Canon, and the firmware was promptly updated to V1.1
This turned out to be very useful, since it finally allowed me to use the printer accounting software, for monitoring paper and ink usage costs. It would be useful to know what changes there are in firmware – there is some information if you download from Canon, but not much.
I’ll look at the accounting in more detail later.
I’m printing from Photoshop (CS6) which is my tool of choice for my print work (I don’t use Lightroom at all).
Printing a particular image starts with a choice of paper and size.
The printer needs you to set the paper type and size that you are using. Just opening the cover of the rear slot will trigger this, and you can’t print before closing it.
As ever, there are guides available via the printer screen.
The printer remembers previous settings, so you don’t need to specify things anew every time you send it a print.
If you do change settings, it’s only the size and/or type of paper you need to select.
There are additional settings but they are generally not things to be concerned with.
In its idle state, the printer shows what it thinks is loaded. I leave size and paper checks enabled so that if I’m in another room and try to print to a different paper or size I’ll get an alert. You don’t waste too many A2 sheets of paper before the importance of this sinks in.
Once printing starts, the print job name appears at the top of the screen. In this case it’s one of my profiling target files for 13″x19″ paper.
If you’ve selected the manual feed tray, a notice will come up asking you to load the correct paper.
The paper type is set at the computer end by selecting it in the printer dialogue
If you’re using different types of paper, it can be helpful make use of things like Presets for printer settings.
In this case I’m printing a test image on an A3+ sheet of lustre paper, using the Pro Lustre paper setting with the gloss coat set to auto.
As you can see, I created rather a lot of presets during testing. I know that without this it is all too easy to make mistakes.
If you’re only used to a smaller printer you may find some aspects of the PRO-1000 a little sluggish. The gap between hitting print and ink reaching paper can be over 30s if the printer decides it needs to run a minor cleaning check (many such activities run in the background without notice).
The printer will also decide it needs to agitate the ink tanks every so often. My own iPF8300 wakes up every 24 hrs. or so do this so it didn’t come as a surprise.
However, if you’re not expecting it, the rising sound of the agitation mechanism (a bit like plastic gears in the process of shredding) could be alarming. Fortunately it stops after a minute or so.
Printing with Print Studio Pro (PSP)
I normally print directly from Photoshop and have generally found that printer manufacturer’s print software is less than excellent for high quality print. Not usually from a print quality POV, just the software often feels rather clunky.
The version of PSP installed with the printer is much tidied up and feels easier to use. PSP is a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Elements, Adobe Lightroom and Canon Digital Photo Professional software that exports files directly to the printer.
The on-line manual for PSP is available if you’ve used it before and want to see what’s changed.
I used it to print from within Photoshop (via the File>Automate menu).
I’ll not go into its use in detail, but do have a few observations.
I’ve opened one of my usual test images. On the left are summaries of current image and print information.
On the right are the print settings, which you can save as a preset if you want to use them again.
PSP can also make use of the printer’s B&W print mode, although for some reason it won’t open greyscale images, unless you convert them to RGB first (this curious limitation seems to be inherited from the Photoshop print plugin I’ve used for years with my iPF8300)
B&W images can be toned if you like.
The example below shows ‘Warm Tone’ but you can fine tune it via the tint panel, and also apply an adjustment curve (to open up shadows for example).
I’ll look in more detail at B&W printing in the profiling section later,
If you use the B&W print mode (this applies to printing colour and directly from PS as well) you can print test sheets that vary tone settings across the page. Note how I’ve selected just part of my original image for the repeat.
Be sure to print this test print with only the default print settings (not any presets you may have created).
You can turn up the tonal variation quite a bit.
Here’s a photo of such a test print on a matte art paper. I’ve white balanced the diffuse daylight image on the grey card.
The variation is slight, but visible
Upping the vibrance of the image makes it clearer.
Whilst printing B&W on the matte paper worked fine, colour images revealed a significant potential issue.
When I print from Photoshop, I’ll often select BPC (Black Point Compensation) for using matte papers with my custom ICC printer profiles. It’s a useful feature that can make a real difference with shadow detail on matte papers.
There is no BPC setting available in the PSP print settings. Well, actually there is but it is greyed out.
Why is this? It seems that you need to install the Adobe CMM software to enable BPC.
The only problem is that Adobe stopped supporting the Adobe CMM software several years ago. It still works for old 32 bit Windows systems, but Adobe has shown no signs whatsoever of updating it.
Of course if you use a Canon supplied profile and paper, then it isn’t a problem.
The difference from using BPC can be quite pronounced, such as the examples below, on a heavy white cotton rag paper.
Essentially, PSP is of limited use if you want to print colour images on matte papers (such as greetings cards) with anything other than Canon media and profiles.
I’d note that you can do the conversion of your image to the printer profile (with BPC) in Photoshop, and then print in PSP with no colour management, but then I’d wonder why I’m using PSP?
Note: Canon build their ICC profiles in a way that may not benefit from the use of BPC for matte papers (if you were printing from Photoshop for example). In some of their notes, they specifically suggest turning BPC off. This is not the same way that I create my profiles, or for that matter, almost any profile you’ll get from a paper supplier.
Print quality settings
The different print quality settings available in the driver include terms such as ‘higher’ and ‘highest’ – it’s not immediately clear what these mean.
I decided to print a small version of a photo taken recently (for a property developer) with my 50MP Canon 5Ds.
At the size shown above (on an A4 sheet of glossy paper) I have an impressive (but excessive) 1800 ppi of real resolution in the image.
Here’s a magnified view of the print at ‘High’.
Here’s a 100% crop from the image.
Zooming in even more – ‘High’
Not sure of the differences?
Here are three shots taken with a small USB microscope – standard, high and highest – or is it the other way round?
So, have I got them in the right order?
After a few initial test prints the first low ink warning appeared on the printer
How few? Not much more than a few A3 profiling targets for this lustre paper (Pinnacle Lustre 300) that I use quite often with our larger iPF8300.
and these, some quick checks of the profile quality
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t best pleased, since the printer had shipped with no spare inks (quickly rectified – thanks Canon UK)
Printing continued and gradually more and more warnings appeared.
Lots of ink warnings.
Lots more printing
And finally, we get to “The ink may have run out”
You release the front panel covering the ink carts via the control panel
It just flips down to reveal the 12 carts.
Whilst taking some photos, I shut the panel, which started a bit of whirring, and at last some certainty.
The light black (GY or grey) ink (the first to show as low) finally needs replacing.
Lightly pressing the cart causes it to pop out.
The screen shows how to change carts if it’s not clear.
This is the view inside where the carts fit.
The central black pin is where the ink is drawn from the cart.
Here’s the empty cart, and I just wanted to see what’s inside…
The white section just levers off.
Inside it is a black section containing the chip for the cart.
Next up is a small white cap. Lever this off and a spring propels the ink valve several metres.
The valve unit needs cutting off
Inside the cart were no more than 1-2ml of ink. Yes, it was indeed finally empty.
Here it is with the next cart to empty (many prints later).
If you look carefully at the grooves along the side of the white bit, you can see physical tabs which help prevent you inserting the wrong cart in the wrong slot
The screen reminds me to close the access panel.
There’s plenty of whirring noises whilst the new cart is checked and the ink system set up.
At the end of this I have a new notice.
I know that ink is running low – but now we have the almost mystical.
“The maintenance cartridge becomes almost full”
I hate to say this Canon, but you do have many employees with an excellent command of English – why not ask them to check warning and informational messages?
The screen messages abound with such idiosyncratic examples – can we have some fixes in a firmware update please?
I noted that you can set up the display in several different languages, and wondered how they read?
Looking at the Maintenance cart, I see it’s low.
By now I’m used to Canon ink warnings and didn’t ask Canon for a spare.
I carried on printing – probably some 200 prints in all my testing and the cart never did reach full.
Here’s the ink level display after the first cart was replaced.
Once I’d got over the initial shock of the sudden low ink warning I realised just how conservative the estimates are.
They should be taken as a reminder to have spares ready, not some imminent halt to printing.
In the past I’ve criticised Canon’s approach to ink level displays, where they have only a few large steps on any display. This has been improved in the PRO-1000, but still caught me out to start with.
The nine ink warnings above indicate that with a range of colour and B&W printing, ink levels go down fairly evenly. I’ll look at this in more detail when addressing ink usage, but it’s an interesting observation.
Transporting the printer
At the foot of the Maintenance menu there is a selection marked:
“Prepare to transportation” [sic.]
Unless you seriously want to use up all of the ink in the head/lines and several maintenance carts (perhaps three) do not try this.
If the printer is to be shipped, it needs draining of ink from all the internal reservoirs and tubes.
That goes into one-off maintenance carts.
When the printer was sent to me and collected, it was in its box in the back of a van for a ~100 mile journey.
It worked fine – just don’t put the box on its side…
Don’t move the printer when turned on.
There is a sensor underneath which detects if the printer is not on a flat surface and I’ve seen reports of ink draining (into the maintenance cart) initiated by moving the printer a short distance without turning it off.
The printer has two means of feeding paper into it.
The rear feed slot loads sheet paper at the top of the printer, and can accept a stack of sheets. The maximum number of sheets depends on the size and type of paper.
The photo shows an A2 print (on a heavy lustre finish Baryta paper) and a second sheet ready to use.
Note the rather large space required for larger paper behind the printer, and in front for the print tray.
An additional single sheet manual feed slot is available for some media types at the rear.
Compared to the PRO-1 I looked at a while ago, the paper feed process is much smoother, with no misfeeds at all when loading via the rear slot.
With many older printers feeding paper in manually was always a bit hit and miss until you’d got a feel for how the paper felt as you pushed it into the slot.
With the PRO-1000 the feel gives a much more reliable indicator of how much to push the paper in.
Once the paper goes through (from either source), the printer has a vacuum hold system to keep the paper flat as it is printed.
The diagram below (from Canon) shows how air pressure keeps the paper flat.
In practice I had no head strikes or smudging at corners, typically the issues associated with paper curl.
I was using papers with relatively little curl to start with though.
Two tests with cut sheets of canvas (from rolls) were much more likely to show problems, but there were none.
The sheet here is a 13″ length cut off a 17″ roll of Innova IFA-37 canvas (polycotton canvas).
I printed this profiling target without problem.
One of my biggest gripes with the previous PRO range printers was the enforcement of huge margins on some paper types.
My first print without large margins drew this error.
Fortunately there is a box you can tick in the print driver settings
You’ll still get this warning, but ignore it.
Here’s a borderless A2 print on a heavy matte paper fed via the manual feed slot – no problems at all.
An A2 borderless print on a Canon lustre paper, fed via the rear slot. Printed directly from Photoshop.
An A2 print really shows the detail you get from a camera like the 50MP Canon 5Ds.
These greens from a nearby wood really bring out the intensity of colour on a sunny spring day, and to a great extent removed any concern I had for the loss of the green ink found in my iPF8300 (its ‘slot’ now has the gloss coat CO).
When I’m printing on the Mac, I like to create preset collections of settings. It just makes it a bit more difficult for me to waste paper and ink…
In this case it’s ‘A3+ Heavy fine art bw borderless’, so I know it’s set up for printing A3+ (13″x19″), using the heavy fine art paper setting, and set to borderless printing.
There are several ways of creating borderless prints from images – here, I’m just expanding the image size beyond the edges.
Using custom paper sizes
You can define any arbitrary custom size you like, however you won’t get anywhere beyond 594mm
I’ve chopped a 17″ length off a 24″ roll of light canvas, and wanted to see what you could print.
The canvas is quite thin so I’ve used an old profiling target print (A2) to support it .
As you can see, the maximum print size won’t fill the 24×17 sheet.
Even so it’s not a bad print, and has fed perfectly evenly.
So, I have a printer that prints absolutely perfect A2 borderless prints, but it won’t let me go much longer.
Canon are to be applauded for getting rid of the annoying margins for some papers that plagued their older printers, but deserve plenty of ire from anyone wanting to print panoramic prints.
From a quality POV there seems to be absolutely no -good- reason for this page length limit.
I have heard that when this printer was reviewed at Luminous Landscape, Canon Canada said that the matter might be addressed in future firmware update. I’ve updated the firmware of the test printer here twice, but no change… (yet?)
Unfortunately no one from Canon was able to give me any additional information relating to this issue.
Custom Media types
A facility I’ve made use of with our 44″ iPF8300, and tested in many of my Canon large format printer reviews, is the ability to create custom media types.
I use these to create a printer paper setting for my favourite papers, so for a particular lustre paper I may create a setting that appears in the printer paper types list, and in the choices available via my printer driver.
These are created using the Media Configuration Tool or MCT, a Canon utility program you can install.
If you want to create your own media types, then a read of the MCT manual is important, however I’ll quickly go through the process where I created a custom setting for a pack of ‘Rex’ glossy photo paper. This was just the ‘best selling’ cheap photo paper at a local store. I’ve no specs. for it at all.
I need to connect to the printer via the MCT, where it offers to check if there are any updates available.
I note that there are already 17 media types registered, from a maximum of 25.
I can also add media types via special media definition files.
First up – can I make some space for more by deleting useless settings? The four types of paper selected are ones I’ve never seen in the UK.
Clicking ‘Next’ lets me examine the selected papers.
Unfortunately ‘Canon knows best’ and I’m lumbered with useless settings filling up the rather low 25 ‘slots’ I’m allowed.
OK, I’m just going to create a new type from scratch.
You start by specifying a base paper type to build your new custom setting on.
I’m going to use the Light Photo Paper setting, which also lets me create a paper calibration target (remember, calibration is NOT ICC profiling)
I’ll name it after the paper type.
If you’re unsure what paper to use, there is some additional info. available.
There are several stages involved in creating a custom paper type. I noted this section of the manual with some important info.
Don’t get your hopes up, the mention of ICC Profile does not mean you can make them with this software.
The feed adjustment prints a fine test pattern and measures it, epitomising the paper feed for this particular paper.
Drying time is not something you usually need to change for photo papers.
Now comes the part that printer perfectionists will love: Deciding the best ink loading for the paper.
This option lets you (broadly) choose the levels of ink used for you custom media type.
I think I’ll try all of the options – I’m not using my own test image for this, but I’m reminded of when I first looked at media settings with my old Epson 1190 printer and third party inks (original article about the importance of media settings)
A handy warning for what you’ve selected.
Once printed, you select the setting you want to use and print a calibration target.
Now you get to specify a default ICC profile for the paper.
Only problem is that I need to use the media setting to create the profile later.
You can skip over this if you don’t have a profile.
Finally I’ll update the printer with my new setting.
I can save my custom file and share it with others if I want.
A quick check shows the basics of my custom paper.
I’ve not gone into the details of making media types, but it seems that black ink type and gloss coating options are set from your base media. Whilst the manual gives quite a lot of help there is still a lot you’ll need to experiment with to try out.
Here’s the paper I used up in the process.
The feed adjustment print is at the back, the five ink density prints at the left, and the calibration print at the right.
You may also notice ‘Rex Glossy’ showing as the paper type on the printer display
Whilst I’ve created a setting on the printer, it’s not yet available on my computer.
An option in the printer utility lets me update local driver info., so that the new setting can be use for printing.
Once the media is registered in the driver, it appears in the printer settings
Custom media settings are a useful way to refine certain aspects of how a paper is handled by the printer, but note that as it stands, it’s only available to use from the computer I’ve updated the driver for. You need to repeat this for any other computers.
I can see some paper suppliers providing media files to go with their paper profiles, but in my own testing I have to say that the differences were negligible.
This is a feature that will give endless hours of fun to printer perfectionists, but for most people wanting just to make great looking prints, just using a good paper and custom profile is as far as you really want to go.
The limit of 8 custom settings seems rather low, particularly when the printer is loaded with ones you might never need and can’t delete.
The MCT user manual is available on-line
I used rather a lot of papers during the testing of this printer.
Here’s just a few of the test prints I made with Hahnemuhle Photo Pearl 310 and Hahnemuhle Baryta Satin 300.
Both absolutely superb papers, which I’m covering in a short paper review of their own.
The papers I used
I started testing with some Canon papers
- PM101* – Heavy matte paper (A2)
- PT201* – Platinum Glossy (A2)
- I also had a few A3 and A3+ sheets of Canon Fine Art Photo Rag* (FAPR) – this is pretty much the same as Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
- After this I tried two Innova Canvas samples IFA-37 (380 gsm) and IFA-32* (280 gsm)
- My standard general purpose ‘lustre’ paper on my iPF8300 is Pinnacle Lustre 300* (A3)
- The largest number of different images were printed with Hahnemuhle Photo Pearl 310* and Hahnemuhle Baryta Satin 300* (A3+)
See also some additional notes I’ve written up covering the two Hahnemuhle papers
- A bright white cotton baryta paper Pinnacle Fine Art Baryta 300* (A2)
- For a lightly textured Matte cotton paper I used Innova IFA-26* (review) (A3+)
Once I’d created profiles for the papers I printed off some of my ‘standard’ test images to get a feel for how the printer lays down ink on different papers.
I also tried printing with the B&W print mode, and have more details about this in the B&W profiling section below.
The images (and many others) are available for free download on this site.
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.
In addition I looked at this set of test images (Roman16) which contain large areas of colours that challenge the gamut of almost any printer. The examples below are using the Innova IFA-26 cotton rag paper (printed using RelCol and Perceptual rendering intents).
Unfortunately these images come from my copy of i1Profiler and I can’t include them on our download page.
The images helped confirm the excellent gamut of the new ink set in the PRO-1000.
The gloss or Chroma Optimiser coating
One feature of the 12 inks of the PRO-1000, compared with my own iPF8300 is the appearance of a clear coating ‘ink’.
This replaces the green ink of my iPF8300
“The new series of LUCIA PRO inks include a Photo Black, Matt Black, Grey and Photo Grey, and together with a specialist Chroma Optimiser ink, ensure professional quality monochrome prints with increased black density and uniform glossiness.”
Canon explain it’s purpose as reducing gloss differential, and when it’s available with a media type, you have the choice of applying it to the whole page, or just parts with ink.
These photos are underexposed to show reflected highlights from the room lighting.
The paper is Canon’s PT-201 gloss
With clear coating set to ‘Full’, the coating is applied almost to the edge of the paper
Remember that I went to some trouble to get photos that show this – that and picked a really glossy paper that showed it the most.
Looking at the edge between ink and no ink shows that even with the clear coat you can still see the ink on the paper.
I can imagine that some people would be concerned over this – however I know how much effort it took to notice this effect.
My standard test is to ask unsuspecting visitors what they see in real prints using full and partial (auto) application of the gloss coat. As expected most found it difficult to see any difference, even when it was pointed out.
I also don’t use ultra smooth high gloss paper very often…
One of the problems with the way the gloss coat is applied at the ‘Auto’ setting is that any near paper white areas of your image won’t get any coating. This exacerbates any slight gloss differential on some papers. You could of course print the whole sheet with gloss, but that leaves a border and to my mind wastes coating. It would be useful if there was an option to only apply the coat to the image area (or even turn off the coating all together).
These two test prints (HM Baryta Satin 300) have coating set at auto.
I have some profiles produced at full and auto settings – if you are really curious, let me know and I can send some. They contain all the measurement data (using i1Profiler).
The printer’s web server includes job data which has the amounts of each ink used for a print.
Here are two A3 profiling targets printed on an A3 sheet with gloss coating set to full and to auto.
Note how a bit of MBK ink is used for a lustre paper
I’ve not been able to confirm how and where it is used though.
I’ll come back to ink use when looking at the accounting software.
You need to print with colour management turned off. One way to ensure this is to use the free Adobe Color Printer Utility or, on the Mac I use the Apple ColorSync Utility, which has a ‘Print as color target’ setting in the printer settings.
Just be careful with the scaling – I noticed it had a tendency (OSX 10.10) to expand your target to fit the paper – not good on an A2 sheet, if you don’t ensure that scaling is set to 100.
For a few papers, I used i1Profiler’s optimisation function to see if any more patches would improve profile quality.
As expected, they made no useful difference (they do work for smaller initial target sizes).
The printer firmware and driver makes a good job of mixing inks and on none of the papers I looked at was there any real non-linearity of note or obvious gamut limitations beyond what you’d expect for paper type.
One series of prints, of a Pacific sunset, let me explore strong bright colours and how you need to take real care with editing to get smooth gradations and a feel for the luminosity of the scene.
For images like this you really do need to appreciate how the printer/ink/profile/paper combination works together.
The key thing is to let go of the idea that the best looking version of an image on your screen will make the best print. Soft proofing has a part to play in this, but in my print workflow, a relatively minor one compared to test prints, masked adjustment layers and a feel for what looks right.
I’m generally not a big fan of matte colour prints, but get the right image and they look fine.
The dark oranges of the tree push the gamut on a cotton rag paper like this, but with a little care in editing the print (and checking with soft proofing) there are no obvious issues visible.
I almost feel I don’t need to mention it, since for the last few years the abilities of higher end printers to produce good reliable accurate results has easily exceeded the (initial) abilities of most people using them. If you can find problems in the print quality of a printer like this, you should already have more than enough skill and knowledge to deal with them.
A printer like this should easily meet the requirements of any competent photographer wanting stunning reproduction of their work.
If you were using Canon papers then the quality of supplied ICC profiles is quite good, and in the only direct comparison with one of my own profiles (Canon PT-201 paper) good enough that I couldn’t immediately tell them apart. I’d still prefer my own custom profiles, but if I used a third party paper and they supplied profiles, I’d probably give them a try first.
If your printer is calibrated, then profiles shared between printers are likely to be very consistent.
Canon printers like this one have a specialist black and white print mode.
I have a specific test print for evaluating B&W print performance, which is one of the first prints I’ll make with any new paper. There is much more about B&W printing and setup in my many other printer reviews and articles.
The example below is from when I’d created a custom media type (Rex Glossy) and wanted to see if custom media settings caused problems with the B&W print mode (as they can on my iPF8300).
The print came out fine, which bodes well for when we see PRO-1000 features in the upcoming new Canon large printers (PRO-2000 and PRO-4000)
I use the step wedge in the image for measuring printer linearity and create ‘correction profiles’ using the QTR software if I feel a paper warrants them.
You also have a means of fine tuning the tint of your prints (see the discussion of the PSP print plugin earlier for some more details).
I tend not to use this for adding a colour to images, but more for correcting any residual tints that may show on a print when viewed under certain lighting conditions.
On my iPF8300 (and the iPF6450 I tested) a slight tint was needed for neutral B&W prints on some bright papers under tungsten lighting. Not much, but it made a difference. Whilst I’ve not been able to compare it in detail, I believe the new ink set in the PRO-1000 is a touch more neutral under such conditions.
A few example curves from the QTR software shows the overall linearity of the B&W print modes for a number of papers and settings.
Canon FAPR (Mk ink) shows a good linear curve that would need little adjustment for many images. Maybe a curve to slightly boost the shadows, but likely only needed if you were viewing the print in dimmer lighting (room lighting makes quite a difference to how print contrast is seen).
Pinnacle silk baryta 310 (Pk ink) is measured here both with full and auto coating
The auto coating option show a slight difference in the first few measurements, where you are seeing just the paper, not paper and gloss coat as above.
Just before the printer had to go back to Canon, updated firmware allowed me to install and try out the accounting software for the PRO-1000
Before this I could go to the printer’s web pages and see a few recent print jobs, along with some details of the amount of ink used in printing that page.
The Accounting Manager software is simple to install and set up.
Note the important caveat – it records ink used for making prints.
I need to select the printer to connect to. For some reason the software sees two versions of the printer (using two different networking addresses)
The software can handle a whole room full of compatible printers if need be.
I’ve cleared any password on the printer, so I get a warning (which I ignore).
The software pulls down job info. from the printer, and will do this regularly once initially set up.
There are a lot of features in the software, but I’ll just cover the main ones.
First, I set the cost of inks (I took a look on-line and £44 seemed OK for a cart)
I can add paper unit costs by size and by type.
If you’d like more info., the Accounting Manager manual is on-line.
Here are all the costs I’ve entered (UK prices in pounds)
I can pull up costs for any particular print job as needed.
You can export the data as a CSV format file and open it in a spreadsheet.
Now I’m sure that some of you are just itching to see that data…
Well, I’ve put the two different exported .CSV files into a zip file and you can download the accounting data.
When looking at the files, do note that I only downloaded the accounting software a few days before the printer went back, so it only had data for some of the more recent prints I’d made in the printer.
Actual ink use
Remember that the accounting software only shows ink for prints. Indeed there is this note in the manual
“Accounting Manager displays estimates for the amount of ink consumed per print and paper consumed. The actual consumption may be different. The average error for estimates based on the Canon ink cost measurement conditions is ±15%. Canon cannot guarantee the accuracy of these estimates. These estimates will also vary depending on the conditions of printer use.
Note also that these estimates do not include ink consumed in procedures such as forced nozzle discharges by the cleaning mechanism.”
I’m sure some will complain, but I applaud Canon for making this bold step in providing relatively detailed costing information for a desktop printer.
I don’t feel I had the printer long enough (it was sent already set up) to give a reliable estimate of how much ink went into the maintenance cartridge. For my own iPF8300 I have a rough idea of total ink use – I triple the cost of this figure as a basis for working out my print costs and profits – any inkjet printer has a cost for running it. If it’s too much for you, get someone else to print for you or charge more for your prints.
If you are really bothered about the amount of ink used for cleaning, then I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the number crunchers get to work with the accounting tool and how long the ink carts and maintenance cart last in real life use.
One thing I did note when looking at ink usage figures for prints, is that a small amount of matt black ink is used for glossy prints and vice versa. I cannot say from my testing just how this is applied, but it is interesting to note.
I appreciate that there is a lot of information in the review, so I’ll try and summarise different aspects for some concluding remarks.
First of all, the printer is extremely easy to use, to my mind a very distinct improvement over the smaller PRO-1. The printer is solidly built and although more noisy than smaller printers, no problem for an office environment.
The display screen is well laid out and gives suitable guidance for any process you might not do very often, such as changing the maintenance cart. Whilst it’s well laid out, the text displays rather more grammatical errors than I’d expect from a large international company like Canon in 2016.
The images I produced on the range of papers look great, both colour and B&W – I took the chance to print out much of my architectural and commercial portfolio images at A3+ size, where the general vibrance and colour quality is something I’m happy to use to promote aspects of my photography business.
The new ink set, with the gloss coat pushes the depth and intensity of prints to levels where it’s definitely the skill of the photographer that’s more likely to limit the quality of the print. If your images are great, then your prints can match them.
There was but one mis-feed during my testing and that was where I didn’t slide the paper guides close enough when adding a sheet to the rear feed – definitely my fault.
The supplied printing software feels a step up in design and capability, although I was somewhat dismayed to see the lack of support for BPC in that software. That and a suggestion to install some software (the Adobe CMM) that Adobe stopped supporting several years ago.
If you want BPC for a matte paper that you have a non Canon profile for, then BPC is essentially missing from the Canon plugin. It still works perfectly well though printing directly from the Photoshop print dialogue.
It really is time that Canon updated this, since it’s been an issue with their large format print plugin for several years.
Canon have an increasing range of profiles supporting 3rd party media – see the list at Canon US.
The inclusion of software to account for ink and paper costs is a welcome step forward, and should allow people to establish their own true costs of ownership and unit print costs over time.
On-line Manuals FYI
Print speed varies with paper size and the amount of print area. It’s slightly longer at higher print quality settings.
For standard and better quality the fastest A4 was just over a minute, while some A2 prints managed to push 10 minutes.
I couldn’t be more precise than that since many prints were started or completed whilst I wasn’t near the printer.
Margins and paper sizes
The biggest and most welcome step forward is the removal of margin limitations and the availability of borderless printing for any paper. This was a constant source of annoyance for some users of smaller Canon printers, enough to push a sale elsewhere.
The vacuum paper feed system contributes to the improvement, and I never had a single issue with paper curl or smudging with any of the media I tried.
If you never print larger than A2 size, then the next issue is irrelevant.
If like myself you produce panoramic images at say 30″ x 15″ it’s a big problem. I raised the maximum page length issue earlier, when looking at a print on canvas, where there is a hard limit to custom page length of 594mm. For a printer that can print borderless A2 prints with no problem at all, this limit seems entirely arbitrary. I know that at Luminous Landscape they had hints from Canon Canada that it would be fixed in a future firmware update … I’ve asked and can add no more information.
For a printer that has produced some utterly stunning prints, the page length limit seems absurd – I’ll leave it at that and hope someone at Canon takes notice.
Ink and consumable costs
We make a specific point of not selling hardware, but if you found the review of help please consider buying the PRO-1000, or any other items at all, via our links with Amazon.
Amazon UK link / Amazon Fr / Amazon De
Amazon.com / Amazon Canada link
It won’t cost any more (nor less we’re afraid) but will contribute towards the running costs of our site.
If there is one area that generates heated debate on some forums, then it’s ink used in cleaning and general maintenance of inkjet printers.
With the PRO-1000 both black inks are continuously connected, with no need to swap.
The Accounting Manager software is a welcome move in letting you work out how much your printer is costing to run. It doesn’t do everything, so you’ll need to keep notes on ink and maintenance cart use.
In the course of my testing, the fastest ink used up was the CO gloss coat, closely followed by the grey (GY) ink and the Photo Black (PBK). All other inks seem to be used up fairly evenly, but will depend on what you print.
If you just get two spare inks when you get the printer, I’d suggest CO and GY, but as I found out, the low ink warnings appear so far in advance that you shouldn’t have any problems.
For prints up to A2 size a desktop printer that performs like a large format printer. The current maximum page length limit is an issue if you want to print large panoramic prints.
The 80ml ink carts definitely help bring down ink costs, whilst the accounting software lets you spend time with spreadsheets when you really ought to be out taking more photos.
Usability is a key feature, which along with the improved (vacuum) paper feed made the printer one of the easiest and most reliable I’ve tested in a while.
A printer that I feel really can do justice to my own professional photography.
A 17″ (A2) pigment ink printer, using 11 inks and clear coat optimiser on some paper types. Ink carts contain 80ml.
Excellent print quality on a full range of media. Software includes printing utilities and an accounting package that records ink and paper usage for printing.
Buying a PRO-1000: B&H | Amazon.com | Adorama
A note… I write these printer reviews in my spare time, I don’t get paid and have no business connections with Canon or Epson. The site and my time really are supported by adverts and the links to buy stuff – so a big thank you to everyone who helps us out!
|Printer Type||Wireless Professional Inkjet Printer|
|Printing Method||FINE: Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering|
Canon PRINT app5
Greyscale Photo Printing
Pro Gallery Print8
PIXMA Cloud Link9
|Print Speed (up to)||17″ x 22″ Bordered Photo (Colour):
Approx. 4 minutes 10 seconds3
13″ x 19″ Bordered Photo (Colour):
Approx. 2 minute 30 seconds3
|Number of Nozzles||1,536 Nozzles x 12 Inks, Total: 18,432|
|Nozzle Pitch||600 dpi x 2|
|Print Resolution (Up to)||Colour: Up to 4800 x 2400 dpi4
Black: Up to 4800 x 2400 dpi4
Up to 2400 x 1200 dpi
|OS Compatibility||Computer Operating Systems:
Mac:16 Mac OS X v10.7.5 – 10.10.x
Windows:17 Windows® 10, Windows® 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Vista® SP1, Vista SP2, Windows Server 2012,2012 R2, 2008,2008 R2
Mobile Operating Systems: iOS®, Android™
|Standard Interfaces||Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Ethernet (10/100Base -T/TX)
PictBridge (Wireless LAN)6
Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g/n)7
|Ink Droplet Size||4 Picoliters per Ink|
|Ink Droplet Size||Type: Pigment Based LUCIA PRO Ink Technology
Tank Fill Volume: 80 ml.
|Paper Sizes||17″ x 22″, 14″ x 17″, 13″ x 19″, 11″ x 14″, 10″ x 12″, 8.5″ x 11′, 8″ x 10″, 5″ x 7″, 4″ x 6″|
|Maximum Paper Size||17″ x 22″|
|Media Thickness||Rear Tray: Maximum 0.3 mm
Manual Feed Slot: 0.1 mm – 0.7 mm
|Maximum Roll Print Length||Maximum:
Rear Tray: 23.4 in.
Manual Feed Slot: 23.4 in.
Rear Tray: 5.0 in.
Manual Feed Slot: 10.0 in.
|Paper Feed Method||Rear Tray and Manual Feed Slot|
|Output Tray Capacity||Auto Sheet Feeder: 150 Sheets of Plain Paper
20 sheets Photo Paper (4″x6″); 10 sheets (Letter/8″x10″); 1 sheet (A3+)
Manual Feeder: 1 sheet of Photo Paper (all sizes)
|Languages||Printer Languages:Printer Language: Swift Graphic Raster
Job Control Language: IVEC
Status Reply: IVEC
|Noise Level Approx.||Approx. 41.0 dB(A)12|
|Power Consumption||Maximum: 37 W13
Standby: 2.5 W
Power Off: 0.4 W
|Operating Environment||Temperature: 59 – 86 F° (15 – 30 C°)
Relative Humidity: 10 – 80% (No Condensation)
|Warranty||1-Year limited warranty with InstantExchange Program. 1-Year toll-free U.S.-based technical phone support.19|
|Software Included||Setup Software & User’s Guide CD-ROMimagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Printer Driver
Print Studio Pro v 2.018
Quick Utility Toolbox
Media Configuration Tool
Device Management Console
Colour Calibration Tool
|General Features||12 Individual Ink Tanks, Advanced Pattern Print, Index Print, Fine Art Paper Support, L-COA PRO Image Processing Engine, Non-Firing and Compensation Function, Real Time Control of Ink Ejection, Air Feeding System, Colour Density Sensor, Calibration Link, Contrast Reproduction|
|Certifications||Rated EPEAT Silver
Energy Star Certified
RoHS Directive Certification
|Printer Memory||1 GB (Standard)|
|Head Configuration||12 Ink Integrated Type (4 Ink Chips x 3)|
|Storage Environment||Temperature: 32 – 104 F° (0 – 40 C°)
Relative Humidity: 5 – 95% (No Condensation)
- Ink droplets can be placed with a pitch of 1/2400 inch at minimum. Results may vary depending on printer driver settings.
- Photo print speed is based on the default setting using ISO/JIS-SCID N2. Print speed may vary depending on system configuration, interface, software, document complexity, print mode, page coverage, type of paper used etc.
- When using Canon Photo Paper Pro Luster (LU-101).
- AirPrint functionality requires an iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, or iPod touch 3rd generation or later device running iOS 4.2 or later, and an AirPrint-enabled printer connected to the same network as your iOS device. A printer connected to the USB port of your Mac, PC, AirPort Base station, or Time Capsule is not supported.
- Requires an Internet connection and the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app, available for free on the App Store and at Google Play. Compatible with iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, and iPod touch 3rd generation or later devices running iOS 7.0 or later, and Android mobile devices running Android 2.3.3 or later. Your device must be connected to the same working network with wireless 802.11 b/g/n capability as your printer. For users of compatible Apple mobile devices, document printing requires Apple AirPrint, which requires an AirPrint-enabled printer connected to the same network as your iOS device. A printer connected to the USB port of your Mac, PC, AirPort Base station, or Time Capsule is not supported.
- DPS over IP compatible device required.
- Wireless printing requires a working network with wireless 802.11b/g or n capability. Wireless performance may vary based on terrain and distance between the printer and wireless network clients.
- Requires an Internet connection and the Pro Gallery Print app, available for free on the App Store. Compatible with iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2 or later and devices running iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with SmugMug and Zenfolio web services.
- Requires an Internet connection.
- Based on accelerated testing by Canon in dark storage under controlled temperature, humidity, and gas conditions, simulating storage in an album with plastic sleeves. Canon cannot guarantee the longevity of prints; results may vary depending on printed image, drying time, display/storage conditions, and environmental factors.
- Acoustic Noise is measured based on ISO7779 standard.
- When printing ISO/JIS-SCID N2 pattern on Photo Paper Pro Platinum (PT-101) using default settings.
- When printing ISO/JIS-SCID N2 pattern on A4 size Photo Paper Pro Platinum (PT-101) using default settings.
- For the temperature and humidity conditions of papers such as photo paper, refer to the paper?s packaging or the supplied instructions.
- Support Programs are subject to change without notice.
- Internet Connection required during software installation.
- Operation can only be guaranteed on a PC with pre-installed Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP.
- Print Studio Pro v 2.0 plug-in software is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS5/CS6/CC/CC(2014)/CC(2015), Adobe Photoshop Elements 11/12/13, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3/4/5/6 and Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.12 or later.
- Warranty programs are subject to certain conditions and restrictions. See www.usa.canon.com/support for details.
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:
- Digital Black and White
- Tutorials and 'How to' articles
- Colour Management
- Printer test images
- Why do your prints look wrong?
More of Keith's articles/reviews (Google's picks to match this page)
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! [Amazon UK]