A3+ Printer - The Canon Pixma 9500 shows us exactly what it's made of.........
The baby end of the fine art photo printer market – where the necessity of pigmented inks for print live and matt print quality rules – has been the preserve of Epson and, more recently, HP, but now Canon’s longexpected A3+ pigment ink printer has arrived. On paper, things look good – no less than ten inks, including green and red, which we have seen in some earlier Canon dye-based A3+ printers and there is no need to swap out matte and photo black cartridges like you have to with one of the Pro9500’s main rivals, the Epson Stylus R2400. An optional straight through paper path is provided. More good news is that the Pro9500 is very refined and quiet in use, and like most Canon printers, the print head is replaceable even though it’s designed to operate for the lifetime of the printer. It’s constructed extremely well too.
But now the bad news. Canon’s reputation for being the speed demon of inkjet printers is sadly misplaced here. An A4 borderless print on premium Plus glossy paper takes over eight minutes to print – four times as long as some of Canon’s dye-based photo printers. An A3+ print can take almost 20 minutes. Happily, you can almost halve the print times by not choosing the best quality mode and there is little impact on the final result. Print quality is not as good as it needs to be in order to compete with its main rivals, the Epson R2400 and the HP Photosmart B9180. Colour is quite good, but prints on various Canon papers turn out contrasty and heavy looking. Prints on fine art papers exhibit cockling where the moisture from the ink is excessive, too.
The Canon Pixma Pro9500 is a fabulous item of hardware, but it’s £100-£150 dearer than the competition and until Canon makes it print faster and better, Epson and HP won’t be losing sleep over this one.
The Pro9500 is beautifully designed and built but slow and expensive, and print quality fails to match that of Epson and HP.