Canon Pixma Pro9000 Review

A few months ago, I was fortunate to grab a Canon Pixma Pro9000 at an unbeatable deal. What follows below are my experiences with my new found printer over these past few months.

Color Reproduction

One thing I always do before printing is to use (read: convert-to) the Canon ICC profiles to get accurate colors from my files. Once I did that, my color prints are spot on to what I see on my screen. Also, remember to turn off color correction in the printer dialog box! And let Photoshop operate the color management.

Speed/Performance

So far as speed, I can print a 13×19 print in about 1.5 minutes and that blew away the performance of my dated Epson 2000p. Plus, since I don’t regularly make prints, I’ve noticed no clogging of the print heads in between prints, over a time span of 4-5 weeks. My old Epson would have to cycle through the cleaning of the heads (of course after making a bad print to realize the heads needed cleaning, I remember that I needed to clean the heads) for 5-8 cycles, wasting a ton of ink, between print times like this.

Driver Support on my Macintosh

The Canon drivers have given me no problems on OS X (so far, and AFTER I figured out that, just like when printing to any printer, I needed to convert my working colors to the Canon’s ICC profile) and I get many more options from the print dialog within Photoshop than I ever got with the Epson. In my experience with my old Epson 2000p, it seemed like Epson didn’t really write a native driver for the Macintosh, but rather they did a minimalist attempt at providing a driver for the Mac. I’ve had numerous problems with my 2000p, to the point that I’ve taken it down to an uncle’s digital darkroom, hooked it up to his PC-based systems and have gotten better results with it than I ever got with it being attached to my Mac-based darkroom.

Paper Experiences

Regarding print papers, I’ve pretty much stuck to the Canon super-glossy photo paper, so far. I did buy some matte paper from Canon and my prints on that paper appear to be OK, but I’ve not scrutinized them as deeply as I have the glossy. Plus, the matte prints are 8×10 and smaller right now. It’s so sweet to pick up a 13×19 glossy print and gaze/scrutinize it as opposed to the smaller, matte-based prints I’ve done to date. More testing is needed here though, on my part.

Bottom Line

Overall, I’m quite happy with my Pro9000 printer. I felt Canon really released a driver that at least implements everything as you’d find on the PC printer drivers. Not like my Epson 2000p driver’s set of limited features. (This really was a sore point for me, when I took my 2000p to my Uncle’s darkroom and discovered all these other features were in the PC driver. And those were needed features on my Mac to fix some of the problems I was having with that printer.)

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Posted in Reviews and tagged , , by with 5 comments.

Comments

  • Scott says:

    Printed an 11×14, it took about 14 minutes from the time I pressed the Print button till completion. Gregg, who do you have doing the Color Handling? Printer or Photoshop? I have my printer profile set to sRGB and Photoshop Manages Colors. The print seems flat – not vibrant, I used fine art premium matte paper. I think I’m doing something that could be better. I’m a little frustrated with this, but at least Canon support pointed me in the right direction with the Paper Size setting…

  • greggl says:

    Strange. Very strange. I know these printers are not speed daemons, but I can get a 13×19 print on super glossy in about 2 minutes, maybe a little less.

    Color handling is always done by Photoshop — that’s how I’ve been taught. I have my working color space in Photoshop set to ProPhoto, and then I convert the finished image to the Canon SG3 profile before printing. I wish Canon would explain what all their printer profiles are for, I must have about 6 or 7 that installed with the Canon driver installation.

    I’ll have to try things on that fine art matte paper. I bought a bunch of the photo matte paper the other day from CompUSA on sale.

  • Scott says:

    I’ve got three examples of the same file printed on semi-gloss, photo rag, and premium matte. All have a different appearance, semi-gloss being the most vibrant. I’d sure like to get together with someone who would be willing to talk basic printing. I thought that with specify the proper media in the dialog, was adequate and negated the need for ICC profiles. I could be wrong.

    When I installed the driver for the 9500, I’m not sure if the profiles were included with my install. I do recall that the driver in the box was obsolete and I downloaded the current driver from the Canon website.

  • Scott says:

    As far as the ink name goes, I think it’s Lucia, at least for the pigment inks and that’s another archival discussion — dye based vs. pigment based inks.

    Anyway, I called Canon… My gawd, I attend the Church of Nikon and have defected to a Canon printer!!! I’m not sure what this means, but do ya’ll think I’ll be going to purgatory when my last compact flash card is full??? ;)

    Okay, back to Pixma printer issue.. My being unable to print on the fine art papers, I’m just off the phone with Canon support. Great experience. I pressed the #1 button for printer support and briefly explained my dilemma. The voice on the opposing end informed me that there was a “special group” handling the Pro9000/9500 printers. He volunteered to transfer, I said fine, thinking it would be 1/2 hour before I heard a voice on the other end or was inadvertently disconnected. Neither, it was a matter of seconds when Bob picked up. He zeroed right in, knew Macs, I was impressed. To make a long story short, and Gregg take note, if you’re using fine art papers, you need to select from the Paper Size setting A3+ 13 X 19 in > Art A3+ 13 x 19 (Margin 35)

    That wasn’t very clear, and I read 9500 doc. I’ll test this tonight with a sheet of A3, but I’ve got a good feeling it’s going to work.

  • greggl says:

    Another good article on ICCs at Breathing Color

    I’m looking into printing on this companies canvas paper and have asked them for a Canon Pro9000 ICC profile. My uncle is using their canvas papers on his Epson 2200 and getting fantastic results. It sort of inspired me to try the same thing with my Canon. Looks like they only sell roles of this stuff, so I might have to cut a roll down from 17″ wide to something more manageable by my Canon printer. Plus they have the liquid overcoats to further enhance/painterize these prints.

    I should get going on these so I can show FRPS the results. Really nice painterly results too.

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