I happened to come across some really beautiful public domain photographs and wanted to have them printed with the intention of framing them and selling them. It would be pretty costly to have them professionally scanned and printed so I decided to do some research to see if there was a printer in existence that would do the trick.
Choosing the right printer can be an agonizing task, especially for photographers and graphic designers. After all, photo printers do not come cheap. Sure, you can buy a photo printer for about $100-$200 but (here we go again) you get what you pay for. And if a thousand-dollar printer is too rich for your taste, you may want to set your sights a little lower like I did.
Take the case of the Canon Pixma Pro900 Mark II Inkjet Photo Printer. It has a list price of about $500 but you can find it for less (around $350) at many online stores. Definitely more affordable, but is it the right printer for you? It was the right one for me!
Choosing A Printer
It’s not an easy task choosing a printer. They come in different sizes and use different types of printing technologies. If you travel a lot you may want a small, portable printer to go with your laptop. On the other hand, you may need a big one for big printing jobs.
Many printers are designed for routine, everyday printing but some people need special printing features. For example, photographers need a printer that can bring their digital photos to life. In general, inkjet printers are ideal for printing photos while laser printers are best for printing text-based documents.
As a rule, high resolution printers produce the best-quality prints. You may want to strike a balance between resolution and printing speed.
Getting To Know The Canon Pixma Pro9000
Now that high resolution cameras are becoming more common, people have taken to printing their own photos at home. Most people do not need a professional-grade, high-resolution inkjet printer but they do want a reasonably-priced printer that will allow them to print larger photos.
With the Canon Pixma Pro9000, you won’t need a professional photo lab anymore. This medium-format printer will allow you to produce beautiful prints with vibrant, true-to-life colors. Despite its high resolution, the Pro9000 is amazingly fast.
Take a look at the features of Canon’s Pixma Pro9000:
- High resolution: A maximum 4800 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch) is achieved, thanks to Canon’s patented Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE). The higher the resolution, the higher the quality and detail of your photos.
- Incredibly fast: The printer can produce photo lab quality photos measuring 11” x 14” in approximately 1 minute and 23 seconds.
- 2-way paper feeding: Photo papers can be loaded in the back of the printer. Thicker, fine art papers are loaded in the front, allowing them to lay flat and travel in a straight path.
8 individual ink tanks: The printer uses 8 separate tanks: black, red, green, magenta, cyan, yellow, photo cyan and photo magenta. This results in prints that are vibrant and accurate over a wide range of colors. The Pixma Pro9000 uses dye-based inks that can last for up to 100 years when stored in an archival photo album.
- PictBridge allows you to print photos directly from a compatible digital camera, even without a computer.
- Uses papers up to 13” x 19” in size
- Auto Fix and Ambient Light Correction automatically makes adjustments for poor lighting conditions or color cast to get more realistic colors.
Dye-Based vs. Pigment-based Inks
Comparisons of inkjet printers often look into the type of ink the printer uses and their permanence ratings. Typically, dye-based prints, like the ones from the Canon Pixma Pro9000, have a permanence rating of 50 years. Most pigment-based prints last for over 100 years.
Before you start jumping to conclusions, keep in mind that color prints from film like those made with Kodak color paper would fade long before dye-based or pigment-based inkjet prints.
Despite the shorter display life of the Pixma Pro9000’s dye-based prints, this Canon inkjet printer is still an excellent choice.
Canon now offers a wide variety of printer paper including glossy, semi gloss, and matte. Different sizes are also available. Canon paper can be expensive, so you’ll be happy to know that you can use more affordable brands of photo and art paper on this printer.
- Colors are vibrant and accurate
- Fast and quiet printing
- Professional grade printing
- Accepts paper sizes up to 13” x 19”
- Saves on ink – cleans nozzles for subset of colors
- Large footprint; requires extra space in front and behind. This thing is huge!
- Dye-based prints do not last as long as pigment inks
- Black and white prints are not that good
- No built-in card reader
What Customers Say
For many customers, there are two things that make the Canon Pixma Pro9000 stand out. One is the professional quality of its color prints and the other is its printing speed. This is a huge improvement on its predecessor, the Canon i9900.
Its black and white prints may be disappointing to some, but the Pixma Pro9000 really shines when it comes to color prints. Customers say the colors are simply incredible especially when using genuine Canon ink.
This review comes from the Amazon website: “We purchased this printer for our daughter who is an art student and very critical of the quality of a printer because she is always printing schoolwork to be graded. She raved about how easy it was to set up this printer and how great the quality of the prints. I would recommend it to everyone based on her reviews.”
Another reviewer had this to say: “If you need professional quality color prints done in house you will surely love this printer. Canon outdid itself with this model…”
Perhaps the biggest drawback with this printer is the amount of space it occupies. However, customers say the good points far outweigh the bad, and they recommend it very highly.
The Canon Pixma Pro9000 may not be for you if you print infrequently or mostly text-based documents. However, for those who need to print a lot of high quality, medium-to-large format pictures this printer is an excellent choice. The Pixma Pro9000 is recommended for independent artists or small photography studios.
Where Can You Buy the Canon Pixma Pro9000 Printer?
The Canon Pixma Pro9000 retails for about $500 but you can get it for much less at many online stores including Amazon. Amazon also offers free shipping, which is definitely a good deal.