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New Canon A3+ printer uses 12 inks

Canon has released details of its new flagship A3+ printer, the Pixma Pro-1, which is due to go on sale next month.

The Pixma Pro-1 is the first A3+ printer to use 12 inks and will appeal to professional photographers, and serious enthusiasts who want exhibition-quality prints. The new model also boasts larger ink tanks, with 2.5x the ink volume of previous Pixma Pro printers. Front-opening panels enable easy access to the tanks either side of the main printer body. Paper handling has also been improved. The rear tray takes up to 20 sheets of photo paper, while the manual feed slot accepts photo paper up to 356mm (14 inches) wide and heavier fine art papers.

The new printer uses ‘next-generation’ Lucia pigment inks for which Canon claims a photo-album archival life of more than 200 years. The 12-ink system significantly expands colour gamut in most areas and features new Chroma Optimizer for increased black density and uniform glossiness. Five monochrome inks produce professional quality black-and-white prints with excellent detail in shadow and highlight areas, as well as smooth tonal gradation and suppressed graininess.

The new printer provides double the input resolution of previous Pixma Pros, supporting 1200 pixel-per-inch (ppi) to match the higher pixel counts of today’s DSLR cameras. On the output side, 4800 x 2400 dpi is available – for those who feel they need it!. The new Optimum Image Generating (OIG) system analyses the photo colour and precisely calculates the optimum ink combination and volume of ink droplets, which are then accurately placed on the paper by Canon’s FINE print head with 12,288 nozzles.

Smooth tonal gradations in colour and monochrome prints are achieved through 16-bits-per-channel printing capability. The new Pro-1 also features three colour modes. A new Photo Colour print mode reproduces fresh blues and greens ‘to match people’s memory of colours’. The Linear Tone mode reproduces colours with a linear tone curve, while the ICC Profiles mode means users can utilise paper-specific colour profiles or create their own for added convenience.

The Pro-1 can produce a gallery-quality A3+ print in approximately 2 minutes 55 seconds, down from 7 minutes 55 seconds for the Pixma Pro 9500 MkII. Reliability in a commercial environment is bolstered through the use of features commonly found on large format professional printers, including a mist fan with an air circulation system and a tubular ink supply system separate to the print head for faster print speed.

Bundled software includes the Easy-PhotoPrint Pro plug-in, which simplifies printer settings and allows batch printing. Support has now also been expanded to the full Adobe Photoshop family, including Lightroom. The printer can also automatically select the correct ICC profile for each Canon paper, and an expanded range of ICC profiles is available for Fine Art papers from well-known manufacturers.

Canon’s Colour Management Tool Pro software supports X-rite colour management tools, including Colour Munki Photo and Colour Munki Design, and enables users to create custom ICC profiles to ensure optimum output quality. It also includes an ‘Ambient Light Correction’ feature so that users can select the type of lighting under which a print will be displayed. The print colours are then automatically adjusted to ensure the very best colour reproduction under different viewing conditions.

The Pixma Pro-1 will be available nationally in Australia from early November 2011 at an RRP of $1499. For more information, visit

– Photo Review

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