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Canon PRO-1000 printer review

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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.

canon pro-1000

Updates
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 2016Firmware 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…

Buying a PRO-1000:  B&H | Amazon.com | Adorama
In the UK we buy Canon large format supplies from www.ipfstore.co.uk

Canon PRO-1000

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).

bag to lift printer

What do you get with the PRO-1000?

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.

setup info for printer

A new PRO-1000 needs setting up, which consists of installing the print head and 12 inks.

Ink Tanks:
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.)

full set onf pro-1000 ink carts

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)

maintenance cart

This slots into the back of the printer.

maintenance cart slots into back of 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.

initial ink levels

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.

main LCD display

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.

head alignmentThe 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.

usb and ehternet sockets

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.

initial setup connection

I plugged the printer into our Ethernet network.

The software looks for printers connected via whatever method you select.

software looks for printer on network

It quickly found the printer, which has already picked up an IP address from our DHCP server.

printer IP address

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.

correct driver for printer on Mac OS X

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

top level menu for printer.LAN settings

lan setup.Lan detailed settings

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.

optional software installs

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.

installed software options

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).

utility options for printer

The printer produces blocks of patterns from each colour ink.

nozzle check pattern

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.

nozzle check option.results of nozzle check

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…

printer cleaning options

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.

custom media detection settings

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).

setting printer to run in quiet mode

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.

Calibration

Before using the printer you need to run a calibration check on it.

initiate colour calibration

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.

calibration test print

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.

Firmware updates

Not long after I’d set up the printer, it informed me that new firmware was available.

firmware update notice

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…

updating formware.update notes

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.

Printing with the PRO-1000

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.

choice of paper for printing

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.

feed slot cover warning.loading guide on screen

The printer remembers previous settings, so you don’t need to specify things anew every time you send it a print.

printing options on LCD

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.

select paper type.Advanced paper types

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.

printer ready to print

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.

printing underway, showing job name

If you’ve selected the manual feed tray, a notice will come up asking you to load the correct paper.

manual paper feed info

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.

print options when printing from photoshop

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.

PSP main interface for printing

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)

non detection of greyscale image

B&W images can be toned if you like.

toning options for BW

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).

light toning of BW print

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.

sample test images

Be sure to print this test print with only the default print settings (not any presets you may have created).

print settings for samples

You can turn up the tonal variation quite a bit.

stronger colour variations

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

test sheet

Upping the vibrance of the image makes it clearer.

test image sheet - stronger colour

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.

BPC option in PSP

Why is this? It seems that you need to install the Adobe CMM software to enable BPC.

Adobe CMM module information

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.

printing with and without BPC

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.

different print quality settings

I decided to print a small version of a photo taken recently (for a property developer) with my 50MP Canon 5Ds.

industrial building

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.

resizing image to very high resolution

Here’s a magnified view of the print at ‘High’.

print at high

Now ‘Highest’

print at highest

Here’s a 100% crop from the image.

original image at 100%

Zooming in even more – ‘High’

print at high - ink dots

‘Highest’

print at highest - ink dots

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?

standard setting

and

high setting

and

highest setting

So, have I got them in the right order?

Changing ink on the PRO-1000

After a few initial test prints the first low ink warning appeared on the printer

low ink warning

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.

making an A3 test print

and these, some quick checks of the profile quality

testing printer profile

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.

several inks showing low levels

Lots more printing

collection of test prints

And finally, we get to “The ink may have run out”

ink out warning

You release the front panel covering the ink carts via the control panel

It just flips down to reveal the 12 carts.

access to ink carts

Whilst taking some photos, I shut the panel, which started a bit of whirring, and at last some certainty.

warning of empty ink

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.

removing ink cart

The screen shows how to change carts if it’s not clear.

screen showing ink change procedure

This is the view inside where the carts fit.

ink cart holder detail

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…

empty ink cart for pro-1000

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.

dismantled ink cart

The valve unit needs cutting off

parts of ink cart for pro-1000

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).

ink cart design

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.

shutting the ink cover

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.

lcd warning notice

I know that ink is running low – but now we have the almost mystical.

“The maintenance cartridge becomes almost full”

maintenace cart level warning

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.

maint cart level

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.

low ink levels indicated

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.

preparing printer for movingTransporting 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…

Paper Loading and Media handling

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.

space needed for A2 size paper

An additional single sheet manual feed slot is available for some media types at the rear.

manual feed slot for paper

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.

print vacuum system

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).

testing with canvas sheet

I printed this profiling target without problem.

test print on canvas

Borderless Printing

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.

border size warning

Fortunately there is a box you can tick in the print driver settings

turning off size limit

You’ll still get this warning, but ignore it.

wide print notice

Here’s a borderless A2 print on a heavy matte paper fed via the manual feed slot – no problems at all.

borderless print on manual feed art paper

An A2 borderless print on a Canon lustre paper, fed via the rear slot. Printed directly from Photoshop.

borderless printing from photoshop

An A2 print really shows the detail you get from a camera like the 50MP Canon 5Ds.

A2 glossy borderless print of trees

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.

using printer settings preset

There are several ways of creating borderless prints from images – here, I’m just expanding the image size beyond the edges.

borderless test print BW mode

Using custom paper sizes

You can define any arbitrary custom size you like, however you won’t get anywhere beyond 594mm

page length limit for custom media

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 .

printing 24x17 canvas sheet

As you can see, the maximum print size won’t fill the 24×17 sheet.

test print on 24x17 canvas

Even so it’s not a bad print, and has fed perfectly evenly.

Print of Seattle building on canvas sheet

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.

MCT media tool

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.

paper media types

Clicking ‘Next’ lets me examine the selected papers.

media types info

Unfortunately ‘Canon knows best’ and I’m lumbered with useless settings filling up the rather low 25 ‘slots’ I’m allowed.

built in media types not removable

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)

building a new media type

I’ll name it after the paper type.

naming new media type

If you’re unsure what paper to use, there is some additional info. available.

using weight of paper to choose base media

There are several stages involved in creating a custom paper type. I noted this section of the manual with some important info.

usage instructions for making media types

Don’t get your hopes up, the mention of ICC Profile does not mean you can make them with this software.

stages for making a new media type

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.

prin drying options

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.

ink usage settings

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)

test levels for ink settings

A handy warning for what you’ve selected.

test print notice

Once printed, you select the setting you want to use and print a calibration target.

calibration option for new media type

creating media test calibration

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.

setting a default icc profile

Finally I’ll update the printer with my new setting.

updating printer with new media type

I can save my custom file and share it with others if I want.

exporting media settings file

A quick check shows the basics of my custom paper.

reference info for new media type

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.

test prints for media

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.

updating printer driver

Once the media is registered in the driver, it appears in the printer settings

custom media appears in 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

Printer testing

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.

large collection of test prints on bed

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+)
*Many of the ICC printer profiles I created are available on request, for non-commercial use, if you’d like to experiment.

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.

printer test image for black and white printingdatacolor test image for 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.

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).

roman16 test images

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

Canon notes:

“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.

chroma optimiser function

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

edge of print with gloss coat

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.

ink showing gloss differential

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.

two test prints with partial gloss coat

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.

ink usage full coating

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.

ink usage part coating

I’ll come back to ink use when looking at the accounting software.

Colour profiles and profiling

I like to make our own colour profiles for papers and printers I’m testing, using i1Profiler from X-rite and an i1iSis XL scanning spectrophotometer.

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.

print setup for profiling target

For a few papers, I used i1Profiler’s optimisation function to see if any more patches would improve profile quality.

profile optimisation prints

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.

test images of a sunset

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.

two trees

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.

Black and White

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)

using the B&W print mode

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).

toning BW prints

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).

measurements for FAPR

Pinnacle silk baryta 310 (Pk ink) is measured here both with full and auto coating

measurements for full coat of gloss

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.

measurements for auto coat of gloss

Ink use for printing

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.

web interface showing ink use

The Accounting Manager software is simple to install and set up.

Note the important caveat – it records ink used for making prints.

setup for accounting manage software

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.

selecting printer to use

I’ve cleared any password on the printer, so I get a warning (which I ignore).

printer password

The software pulls down job info. from the printer, and will do this regularly once initially set up.

downloaing info from printer

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)

setting costs for ink

I can add paper unit costs by size and by type.

setting costs for a paper

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)

specified unit costs

I can pull up costs for any particular print job as needed.

data for one individual print

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.

My suspicion is that you’ll find that you need a maintenance cart for every 2-3 sets of ink carts you get through. Given that some small amount of ink is always used for any print for priming/initialisation it would seem that if you only printed A5 photos, you would lose a bigger proportion of ink than just A2 prints.

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.

Conclusions

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

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.

At the moment, if you wanted roll paper support at 17″ from Canon, you are limited to the ageing iPF5100  (130ml ink carts and still very useful – see review)

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

Buying a PRO-1000: B&H | Amazon.com | Adorama

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.

Overall

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.

Summary

A 17″ (A2) pigment ink printer, using 11 inks and clear coat optimiser on some paper types. Ink carts contain 80ml.

USB/Ethernet/WiFi connectivity

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!

Specifications (from Canon)

Printer Type Wireless Professional Inkjet Printer
Printing Method FINE: Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering
Features AirPrint4
Borderless Printing
Canon PRINT app5
Greyscale Photo Printing
Photo Printing
Wireless PictBridge6
Wireless Printing7
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 Capacity 12
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.
Minimum:
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
Management Tools:
Quick Utility Toolbox
Media Configuration Tool
Accounting Manager
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)
Display 3.0″ LCD
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)
PRINT LONGEVITY10
PT-201 LU-101
Gas Fastness Approx. 60 Years Approx. 60 Years
Light Fastness Approx. 60 Years Approx. 45 Years
Longevity in Photo Album Approx. 200 Years Approx. 200 Years
  1. Ink droplets can be placed with a pitch of 1/2400 inch at minimum. Results may vary depending on printer driver settings.
  2. 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.
  3. When using Canon Photo Paper Pro Luster (LU-101).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. DPS over IP compatible device required.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Requires an Internet connection.
  10. 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.
  11. Acoustic Noise is measured based on ISO7779 standard.
  12. When printing ISO/JIS-SCID N2 pattern on Photo Paper Pro Platinum (PT-101) using default settings.
  13. When printing ISO/JIS-SCID N2 pattern on A4 size Photo Paper Pro Platinum (PT-101) using default settings.
  14. For the temperature and humidity conditions of papers such as photo paper, refer to the paper?s packaging or the supplied instructions.
  15. Support Programs are subject to change without notice.
  16. Internet Connection required during software installation.
  17. Operation can only be guaranteed on a PC with pre-installed Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP.
  18. 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.
  19. 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:

 


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]

 

 


  • KarimFilm

    Question. If a fresh set of ink cartridges runs around $720, exactly how many color 17×22″ prints can one make off one set of cartridges? I was watching a Jared Polin video about this printer and he showed that each 17×22″ color print he made cost a little over $1 in ink. This made me think okay, so you can print around 700 17×22″ color prints off one set. But that cant be right, impossible even. Any idea how many full size prints you can make on one set?

    • Keith Cooper

      ‘Exactly?’ – no-one can say ;-)

      The amount used varies from print to print and how often the printer is used. Also some inks get used faster than others, so some carts might need replacing more often.

      Have a look at some of the data shown here and on the PRO-2000 review – that gives an idea of overall usage for prints – you can make some guesstimates from that, but it’s a guess.

      Given the types of testing and setup I did with the review, my own print figures don’t mean too much – remember too that a chunk of ink is used for initial printer setup.

      Sorry there’s no definite answer, but I’d argue that anyone giving a precise number without explaining their test methodology in some detail probably doesn’t know either ;-)

  • Andrew Morris

    Hi Keith, thanks for another great review.

    I have a quick question if I may, regarding the maximum print length for this machine. I’ve read reports that the firmware for the Pro 1000 allows for a maximum print length of 129 inches. Firstly, is this true and if so, is there a workaround that would enable me to use it? I’m thinking of taking the next step up from A3+ (pro 9500 mkII). I tried the P800 which, on the face of it, seemed ideal, but the colour gamut was limited (in my humble opinion!) In terms of panorama sizes, I would only be looking at 90cm, so would not necessarily need a roll feed option.

    • Keith Cooper

      Thanks – As far as I know, the page length for the PRO-1000 is still that from the summer firmware update at ~65cm.

      I’ve not seen any mention of a longer page length actually working – if you have, please let me know since the page length limit is for me a show-stopper with a machine like this (it’s the sort of thing that either matters a lot, or not at all)

      Latest firmware (V2.2 feb 2017) does not mention this

      • Andrew Morris

        Hi Keith, thanks for the quick reply.

        The 129 inch limit had just been mentioned on the odd forum and can be found within the ‘additional info and specs’ of retailers, Design Supply. Unfortunately the information must be incorrect, as the Canon’s own website quotes a maximum printable paper length of just 647.7mm – which is a shame. Will keep my ear to the ground and let you know if I find anything more positive. As you say, I suppose I now need to decide just how much it matters and, if so , whether I can find the required space for something larger.

  • Mark Coulson

    Thanks keith

  • Mark Coulson

    Do you have to leave this printer on all the time I had the same problem with the inks all showing low plus maintenance tank showing full, I only printed about 12 a4 sheets of permajet semi gloss

    • Keith Cooper

      This doesn’t sound right at all – if a new printer I’d definitely contact Canon about it

      Not an issue I had during testing – you can see how much printing I did.

  • Sabin Kolarov

    Thanks for the great review!

    Regarding ink usage, it seems to me that the main problem is with the power on/off and not using the printer very often. You managed to print a lot of prints with the inks provided with the printer, not to mention that half of them went in the printer for priming the system. Can you recommend power on/off strategy for least ink usage with this printer technology?

    • Keith Cooper

      Whilst this is only based on my period of using the printer, I would agree with Canon that it is best to leave the printer plugged in and let it go into its sleep/shutdown mode of its own accord.

      That said, I’d check printer forums at Luminous Landscape and DPReview, to see if anyone has any actual data. I realise that this is not always an easy thing, since such places have rather a lot of guesswork and speculation, but at least you may find some info from someone who’s used the printer for some time?

  • Thomas Stewart Helms

    You may have a faulty printer (There was a recall on models with a certain serial number prefix.) As far as I have experienced, I have had the printer since November, and after 20-30 A3 bordered prints 20-30 Letter bordered prints, and a handful of ANSI C prints I am still on the starter cartridges with the Color Optimizer just recently warning Low Ink. with the printer shutting off when it wants and turning on for use with a week to three weeks in between prints. I’d suggest contacting Canon again and seeing if there is another issue here.

    • ipdouglas

      Update. Checked the registration email july 2016 AEHW00222 but I believe the recalled printers are AEGL? Perhaps the faults affect more than AEGL? Or perhaps UK uses different serials fromrecalled USA machines?

      • Thomas Stewart Helms

        That is correct it was AEGL, I just couldn’t remember off the top of my head. Still I would check with Canon Support again. I say this because, as noted in many reviews, my printer used approximately 60% of the ink to fill the lines and print head and do it’s initial calibration and alignment, and everything else I have printed since then is still on those initial cartridges without any issues or noticeable drop in ink levels between power cycles. Hope this helps and you get the issue resolved.

  • mark schippers

    Hi Keith,
    i am an amateur. I mostly print when I am returning from holidays. That is about 3 to 6 times a year. Then I print in larger quantities, about 100-300 A3 prints. In the mean time the printer will only be occasionally used. My Epson 4000 recently gave up on me. I was very happy with it except for the clogging. The only way to make it work properly again was a “power clean” which drained about 100 ml of ink. The roll paper option is not really an issue. My father owns an epson 10880. So if I want big and/or long pictures I can go to him. I’ve read both reviews carefully. I know both printers can produce great quality printouts. Prices of printers and consumables are very similar. If you consider ease of use and durability, I use lightroom and photoshop for my canon 5Ds pictures, the kids use apple photo’s an iPhones , which one would you recommend ? The p800 or the prograf 1000 ? Is the vacuum paper hold function something one would miss in the P800 ? The canon is about 10 kg heavier than the epson. Does that mean that the canon is more solid and durable ?

    • Keith Cooper

      I’m afraid there is no easy choice (one reason I never do comparative reviews! ;-)
      The Canon is indeed heavier – as yet I’ve no knowledge as to whether this means anything though.
      For myself, the paper length limits of the Canon are an issue, but not for all (as you mention). It’s almost down to what price you can get one for.
      I might -just- prefer the ink set of the PRO-1000, but I’m inclined to say the differences are such that most people couldn’t spot the difference if it fell on them…
      Sorry I’ve no easy answer…

      • mark schippers

        Tx for your reply, what about ease of use ?

        • Keith Cooper

          Difficult term to use – means something different to everyone
          Neither are difficult, PRO-1000 has good sheet handling

  • CSwinton

    How does the ink cost / utilization compare with the Epson P800? I’m still on the fence between these two and since quality seems so close I’m trying to differentiate them somehow. With the extra cartridges, including the use of the CO, does the Canon cost a lot more to run than the Epson? I read in another review that the Canon also uses a small amount (0.3ml) of ink from each cartridge that gets wasted to the maintenance cartridge with EACH print, making runs of smaller prints much more wasteful. Does your experiences suggest a higher ongoing ink cost?

    • kacoooper

      The ink usage question is a tricky one and whilst I’ve heard of that ‘cleaning usage’ suggestion, I’ve seen no evidence for it. More ink carts essentially means just that less of each is used.

      Ink costs are just not a serious distinction for printers of this size (unless you swap blacks on the P800 every other print).

      The biggest difference is in paper handling/max. length – in many ways, this is the major difference

      I don’t know of current prices, but I’d be happy with either for most work. I do print some long pano shots, so if I didn’t have roll paper support somewhere else it would be an issue for me, but that’s just my own print usage.

      Sorry not to have a clear cut answer…

    • ipdouglas

      Get the Epson (I own a Canon Imageprograf 1000 – see my comments below). The Epson can support excellent refillable inks from top quality manufacturers. This makes printing far cheaper! Also (in my case) Canon Customer support is non-existent!

  • Canon recommends turning off Black Point Compensation when printing http://www.canon-asia.com/fineart/settings/psd.html. However, you suggest inferior prints are produced without BPC checked. How do you resolve this discrepancy?

    • kacoooper

      This is for using a Canon supplied profile – their profiles sometimes work better with BPC turned off for matte papers
      However, my profiles (and almost certainly any a paper supplier will provide) behave ‘normally’ wrt BPC

      I’ll ask Canon again about this, since I’ve still not had any information about the ‘install AdobeCMM’ question.

      Thanks for mentioning this – I’ll look into it further and add a note in the review.

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