Canon Pixma Pro9500 Photo Printer Review
A serious printer for serious photographers at a serious price.
The Canon Pixma Pro9500 is a simple printer for the professional photographer and designer. With ten pigment inks, it produces high quality prints in either color or black and white up to 13-by-19 inches. Setup takes about 20 minutes and just involves following simple instructions.
Drivers make printing an easy process, with various selections in easy to navigate tabbed windows, which cover basic printing, editing, and maintenance tasks. Users can perform some editing functions through the drivers, such as color adjustments, brightness and contrast settings, and monochrome effects.
Minimal color management can be performed through the driver by selecting the driver or Windows ICM. Specific paper profiles can be set in Photoshop or in the useful Easy-PhotoPrint Pro software that ships with the printer.
Ink tanks are easily installed and replaced. The printer drivers keep the user apprised of the ink levels, and the cartridges themselves have small lights to indicate their status as well. Individual tanks allow the replacement of single colors.
Canon provides several paper choices for the Pro9500, including their Photo Paper Plus glossy and semi-gloss surfaces as well as fine art papers. We found the Museum Etching paper, their thickest media, to be an exceptionally nice paper, rendering very deep black tones and detail without interference from the paper tooth, despite the very nice, smooth, fiber texture.
The Canon Pro95000 scored very well in our quality tests, earning the highest score for color gamut (the range of reproducible colors) of any printer yet tested, just slightly better than the Epson R2400. Color accuracy was also quite good, with skin tones and dark gray tones reproducing very well. Tonal range of black-and-white prints was good, with an excellent dmax value (densest black), but the Epson R2400 reproduced a wider tonal range. We also noticed a slight warm cast on the Pro9500 black-and-white prints.
The Pro9500's sleek black design will appeal to its target audience. It has very few controls and well designed paper trays. A separate input path for thicker media (up to 1.2 mm) adds to the printer’s versatility. (See the Paper Trays section on the Tour/Components page for more details.)
This printer is designed to print from either a computer or PictBridge-enabled device. There is a noticeable lack of media card slots, and no options for wireless or network connectivity.
The Pro9500 can be compared to two other pigment-ink printers on the market from the other two major manufacturers. The Epson R2400 sells for the same price as the Pro9500 and has four black/gray inks dedicated for black-and-white printing, but the matte black has to be manually switched, while the Pro9500 switches automatically. The HP Photosmart B9180 uses eight colors, the same number of black/gray inks as the Pro9500, but it lacks the red and green inks of the Canon. More info on these other printers can be found in the Comparisons section of the Overall Impressions/Ease of Use page
Pro-photo printer preference usually comes down to individual tastes, as photographers and designers are a picky lot, and many are dedicated to their brand of printer or camera. Although we have to hand it to the Epson Stylus Photo R2400 for its rich black-and-white printing capabilities, the Pro9500 presents an excellent alternative for those interested in printing color. Black-and-white prints are very rich, but they do have more contrast than the R2400. Color printing is exceptionally vivid and punchy, with excellent color accuracy. Users wanting more subtle prints will want to steer toward the R2400, while those wanting strong colors and increased contrast will be more interested in the Canon Pro9500.
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