An evolutionary development of the three-year-old i9950....
Canon’s latest A3+ photo printer, the Pixma Pro 9000, is an evolutionary development of the three-year-old i9950, using eight single-colour ChromaLife 100 dye inks, including red and green.
Canon says ChromaLife 100 is a significant step forward in dye technology with a claimed 100-year print life when your images are stored in albums, in the dark.
Apart from the improved inks, there doesn’t seem to be a lot separating the Pro 9000 from the older i9950. Both share a similar spec, and both are very fast; A4 borderless photo prints in as little as 49 seconds and A3 standard quality borderless in just 110 seconds.
The two differ considerably in size and appearance though, and the Pro 9000 is substantially heavier and bulkier, suggesting it should last longer. A straight-through paper path allows you to print on stiffer papers and card.
Print quality on Canon’s Pro or Plus glossy papers is generally excellent and the lowest-quality super fast mode is perfectly usable, though some break-up of very fine lines and sharp edges can occasionally be seen. Colours are rich, without being over-saturated, but with maybe a hint of pastel skin tones in some circumstances. Good, consistently neutral greyscale tones are delivered, though slightly warmer than you’d expect from Epson or HP. Prints on photo rag fine art papers are, as expected from dye inks, poor, so the Pro 9000 is no threat to pigment ink models in this respect.
What you get with the Pixma Pro 9000 is a supremely fast, refined and sturdy A3+ printer that excels when used with high gloss papers. My main concern is that the latest pigment ink rivals are similar in price and more versatile, while Epson’s new Stylus 1400 should deliver similar dye-based strengths for substantially less money.
If you need a printer for fast glossy print turnaround and in relatively high numbers, the Pixma Pro 9000 is worthy of consideration, but it isn’t the cheapest option. It’s not really suitable for fine art papers either – one of the increasing numbers of pigment ink printers would be a much better choice for that.