Hands on: Canon Pixma Pro-1

Before we saw Canon's new 12-pigment ink Pixma Pro-1 printer we were told that it weighs over 27kg and this made us fear what size it might be.

It was with some relief that we saw that it still qualifies as a desktop printer. At 695 x 462 x 239 mm, it does have a reasonably large footprint, but it wouldn't look out of place next to an Epson R3000.

The weight, it seems, comes from the solid chassis that is designed to make the printer survive heavy use at the hand of a professional (or dedicated enthusiast) photographer. It also means the Pixma Pro-1 doesn't rattle or wobble about as it produces prints. Although we were using it in a noisy area, it seems to help keep the volume down as well.

Canon has put the ink cartridges on either side of the printer instead of on top of the print head. This reduces the weight on the head and helps boost speed as well as reducing vibration.

Because all of the cartridges are in the printer there's no need to swap between matt and photo black – the printer does that automatically. And if you do remove a cartridge for any reason, the printer prevents ink leaking or ari bubbles entering so there are no costly purging cycles.

We tried swapping the cartridges around, but its impossible to push a cartridge into the wrong bay.


With a volume of 36ml each the Pixma Pro-1's cartridges contain around 2.5x the amount of ink that the Pixma Pro9500 Mark II's cartridge hold. Economy of scale means that this should be good news, but at around £28.99 each buying a complete set is still an eye watering affair, setting you back almost £350.

Canon estimates that the new printer will operate at a cost of around 83pence per ml of ink. Of course the amount of ink that is used on each print varies depending upon the image and sadly unlike Canon's Prograf range, the Pixma Pro-1 doesn't have a usage monitor.

At almost £800 the Pixma Pro-1 isn't cheap, but it's worth noting that the price includes a full set of cartridges that would retail for almost £350. Of course a little of the first set of inks is consumed in priming the print head.

Print quality

We used a pre-production Pixma Pro-1 and we weren't able to print our own images, just Canon's. Nevertheless, we were able to print both colour and black and white images on glossy and matt media.
We are told that there could still be changes, but the results from the Pixma Pro-1 are very impressive.

Colours are faithfully reproduced and there's a rich range of tones and the contrast is just right.
We were particularly impressed with the results on glossy paper, which is traditionally a problem area with pigment inks. The Chroma Optimizer appears to do its job well and prints have even glossiness with no bronzing that we could see.

via techradar


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