Canon PIXMA PRO-100 review
The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is not the successor to the Canon PIXMA 9000 MK2, but it does supplement the Canon printer program. This makes for a very comprehensive A3 printer program of Canon with which you can choose between printers that use dye ink and pigment ink. Additionally, not the least, you can choose as a consumer between the cheaper and more expensive Canon A3 printers. Regardless of the test results, Epson has no similar printer like the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 on paper.
What is different compared to the Canon PIXMA 9000 MK2?
What are the differences with the Epson R1500W?
Canon PIXMA PRO-100 review
Printer type: A3 +
Test paper: Canon Luster 260 grams
MSRP test paper: € 17.99 per 20 sheets A4 size
Ink set: Canon ChromaLife100
Test method: see FAQ
Dimensions: 685 x 215 x 385 mm
Print time A4 maximum quality: 1 min and 50 sec.
Ink costs A4 size: € 1.07
MSRP, Mar. 2012, NL: € 499
Ink and ink costs
As with the Canon 9000 MK2, we encounter an ink set of 8 cartridges at the Canon PIXMA PRO-100. When you look at the printer slide, you will see that there is still room for 2 cartridges on the left side. I wonder what Canon has in store for us. The green and red inks of the 9000 are redeemed for light gray and dark gray. We have not encountered this before in a dye ink printer, so this is promising for the black and white workers among us! It seems that with the Canon PIXMA PRO-100, Canon has found a hole in the market with the grey inks. After all, if you wanted to buy an A3 printer with gray ink, you immediately had to buy an expensive A3 printer that uses pigmented ink. The size of the color space is 688,641, which is not a bad value and the red and green ink is not missed at all. The content of the cartridges is only 9 grams. If you want to work hard on your print job, you often have to stop to change cartridges. The ink cost per A4 print is € 1.07, which is a high value.
The printer software
It is a child's play if you are talking about installing the Canon PIXMA PRO-100. If you print from Photoshop, you will immediately see that Epson has made the printer software slightly easier. With Epson, you namely look at 1 display with all the important settings, while Canon needs different tabs for this. And while we are on the subject of Epson, in many Epson printers you can easily and precisely adjust the color of a black and white photo with the software. I miss that opportunity, as black and white photographer, here.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is large and feels solid due to the high weight. The print speed is very high; with the highest quality, an A4 photo is finished after just one minute and 50 seconds. If you print in a lower quality (in many cases, this quality is high enough), the printing time is only 65 seconds. This turns the printer into a speed miracle. Other files like PDF can be processed quickly too. However, if you print only 1 file, the print time of it is longer and only at the next file, that short time is realized. The printer is a top loader, but Canon calls it the "rear tray." If you use thick paper, think of fine art paper, you need to fill the machine one sheet at a time at the (real) rear. This is much easier than with many other machines. There, you often have to fill thick paper in the front trays, with which the alignment of the paper is very precise. I do miss the possibility to print from roll. Lovers of panoramic pictures will see this as a shortcoming.
In the review of the Canon PIXMA PRO-100, we use the new Canon Luster photo paper. Canon handily uses this surface name. After all, the Epson Luster paper is the standard in the professional sector. Canon offers a number of ICC profiles and there are now ICC profiles for Ilford photo paper on the Ilford website.
Test result color on Canon Luster photo paper
It is tempting to compare the test results directly with those of the Canon PIXMA 9000 MK2. We were then struck by the natural color reproduction and the very beautiful display of yellow. That sparkling yellow I do not encounter at the PIXMA PRO-100, but some colors, especially green and brown, are faithfully displayed. Overall, the color reproduction of the PRO-100 is a little more beautiful than the already high-performing 9000 MK2. Moreover, if you compare the Canon PRO-100 with the Epson 1500W, you see that the color reproduction of the Canon is significantly better. Nevertheless, it is not just roses. The maximum density to be achieved with the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is somewhat limited.
Test result black and white on Canon Luster photo paper
The uniqueness of the PRO-100 is the combination of dye ink and gray inks. However, how does this translate into practice? The black, unfortunately not so deep, is displayed very neutrally and the display of the grayscale is about the same. This is the first A3 dye ink printer that we, using Canon Luster paper, can heartily recommend for black and white photographers. If you want a deeper black, you will still have to choose a printer that uses pigmented ink. You should then take the disadvantages, risks of bronzing and gloss differential, for granted.
Gloss and surface of Canon Luster photo paper
The Canon Luster paper is a 260 grams photo paper and does not feel as sturdy as the glossy Canon Platinum paper. However, that does not matter if you glue and frame the picture. The surface can be best described as "luster" and thanks to the use of dye ink, I encounter no bronzing and gloss differential. For explanations of these terms, see the frequently consulted FAQ. If you put a Luster print next to a Platinum print, you will see that the contrast on the latter is slightly higher. The Platinum paper is lighter in color and gloss always provides greater contrast.
Conclusion Canon PIXMA PRO-100 review
The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is a unique printer due to the combination of dye ink and gray inks. The color range is wide, bronzing and gloss differential are completely absent, and the colors are displayed faithfully. The grays are displayed neutrally but the maximum density is somewhat limited. I also miss an easy adjustment of the color tone in black and white printing. The ink cost per print is high and if you take panoramic photos, you will miss the possibility to print from roll. Despite my observations and comments, to cut a long story short, the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is 60 Euros cheaper than the Canon PIXMA PRO 9000 MK2 but on almost all points the better printer. Highly recommended, even for the black and white photographer!