Canon PIXMA PRO-1 Review

4.0
April 17, 2013 | Jon Canfield | Printer Reviews |

Introduction

The Canon Pixma PRO-1 is the world’s first A3+ printer to feature 12 separate inks. Five monochrome inks produce professional quality black-and-white prints with smooth tonal gradation and suppressed graininess, while the manual feed slot accepts photo paper up to 356mm (14”) wide and heavier fine art papers. Priced at £799.99 / $999.99, read our Canon Pixma PRO-1 review to discover if this is the best A3 printer for photographers...

It's not often that a company brings out a totally new product in an existing category where they already have at least one offering. In the case of Canon, and 13x19 printers, there were two models - the dye ink 9000, and the pigment ink 9500, both of which were on their second revision with a Mark II designation. But, Canon realized there was a market for a higher duty printer in this popular form factor - one that could handle more print volume in an economical way. Hence, the new PIXMA PRO-1. Rather than an incremental upgrade of the 9500 Mark II, the new Pro-1 is an entirely new product.

Ease of Use

The first thing you're going to notice is that you're not dealing with a typical 13x19 size printer here. The box is huge! Side by side with the Epson 3880 (a 17” printer), you'd be hard pressed to say which has a bigger capacity. Much of this size is due to the new 12 ink system that uses significantly larger cartridges (36ml vs the 9500's 12ml). There are 11 tinted inks including a trend setting 5 monochrome inks, and a chroma optimizer for uniform gloss and improved blacks. These larger print cartridges are about $39 each (chroma optimizer is about $29).

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

The printer weighs in at a bit over 60 pounds, so consider having some help unpacking and setting up. You have a choice of USB or Ethernet connections, the latter making it more than suitable for use in a shared environment.

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

The printer includes the ability to print on CD/DVD's and supports heavy fine art papers with an improved feed system. As you'd expect with a higher volume printer, speeds have been dramatically improved as well. Where the 9500 Mark II took over 7 minutes to produce a 13x19 print, you can now have the same print in less than 3 minutes.

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Along with the printer drivers, you have Canon's Easy PhotoPrint Pro plug-in for Photoshop and Canon's own raw converter, and Easy-PhotoPrint EX for printing projects like albums, CD/DVD labels and case covers, and calendars. To be honest, the target user for this printer is unlikely to use Easy-PhotoPrint EX for anything beyond CD printing. It feels very basic for such a high performance printer.

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Also available as an optional download is Color Management Tool Pro, available on Canon's website, that allows you to create printer profiles using a ColorMunki or XRite i1 (not the i1 Display).

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

After installing the software, you'll go through the standard install of the print head and installation of the print cartridges. The Pro-1 uses a front loading system for the inks, making them easier to access and replace. Thanks to the larger size, you won't be needing to replace very often though. Plan on spending about an hour setting up the printer and installing the software before you're ready for your first print.

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Canon PIXMA PRO-1

Entry Tags

review, test, canon, pro, printer, a3+, a3, 13 inch, pixma, 14 inch, 13x19, pro 1, pro-1, 1, 12 ink, Canon PIXMA PRO-1

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Your Comments

8 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Steve

As an owner of this printer I have to say that when you get things right, the prints are just gorgeous.

But for the professional, the instruction manual, online info leaves a lot to be desired.

I initially printed using paper companies printer profiles and wasn’t happy with the result. I switched to the profiles on Canon’s website and used their customized profiles and the difference in result was remarkably better. When you call Canon for technical support to get clarification on some of these issues they claim that they’re techs, not printers and didn’t know the answers.

When supporting a professional product these answers just aren’t acceptable.

7:52 pm - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#2 Dan

I too own this beast (yes it really is a beast) of a printer and if you get the profile and settings right then the prints will blow you away. I’ve got a Spyder4 Pro and have calibrated my screen. I read a few reviews saying that you can get results that match ‘exactly’ what you see on screen if you get it all correct. I’ve not managed that bit I have to say the prints I have got have been stunning. I’m glad I’ve moved away from Epson to Canon after owning this printer.

8:59 pm - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#3 BlackBox

What happened to the photo print shop on the corner? Or those online companies that print your digital photos? Is all this “sophostication” really worth it? And don’t the prints come out too expensive? I can imagine the price of the full set of those “12 separate colors”.

9:40 pm - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#4 Dan

Well, you can print out at your local shop but to get this kind of quality you’d pay quite handsomely. Once you have printed your own A3 photo on museum grade rag paper you really would struggle to go back to other printers. I got a full set of OEM inks on eBay for £199. Sounds like a lot but they last quite a long time and the quality is worth the cost.

11:12 pm - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#5 sam- wedding photographer

Having owned 2 pixma printers in the past, i can only say they work great for a while but once those printheads get clogged up there is no rinsing or shaking or blowdrying that will bring them back. And they are expensive replecements. Looking at one next to me right now (ip4850) which only scratches paper prodcuing no ink.

9:49 am - Thursday, April 18, 2013

#6 Digby Merry

I have just bought a Canon Pixma Pro 1 (yesterday)

When printing using Canon easy PhotoPrint Pro it gives me the option of printing borderless or with 2 sizes of margin.
I need to print my images centred on the paper the same size as the image in photoshop. These are invariably a little smaller than the designated margin will give so the software enlarges the image. How can I get over this? Surely there is a simple solution I have overlooked? PLEASE HELP

Otherwise the quality of prints is great

3:08 pm - Thursday, April 18, 2013

#7 Antonio Manuel López Silvestre

me la compré hace dos meses y es la impresora más mala que he tenido, para empezar cuando imprimes en brillo con papel brillo, sea canon o cualquier otro papel la impresión te la deja como satinada, es decir sin brillo, después es muy compleja a la hora de utilizar los distintos tipos de papel y gasta mucha tinta,, 4 pl, por eso han hecho cartuchos de 36mml por la gran cantidad de tinta que gasta siendo esta a la vez muy cara…

4:19 pm - Thursday, April 18, 2013

#8 Del

Canon Pro 1

Hi All

Canon anyone help, I have a canon Pro 1 and when printing on A3 it puts lines down side but not on A4. I called Canon not very helpful and bought a new printer head.
The fault is still on.

Any ideas?

Del

6:37 am - Tuesday, April 15, 2014