Canon iPF6300 Review
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One of the features mentioned earlier is the larger color gamut of the new x300 printers. Obviously 20% is a large increase in gamut, but part of the equation is the quality of reproduction - being able to output a huge range of color isn't going to do you much good if the quality isn't there. In this area Canon excels. The prints from the iPF6300 are the equal to, and in many cases the best I've ever seen from any inkjet printer. Particularly in the more saturated blues and deeper purples the iPF6300 holds detail extremely well, and does better than the other printers in deep shadow details. I think Epson still has a slight edge in skin tone reproduction, in part due to the orange ink in the 7900, but for product and landscape photography, Canon has taken the lead in output quality.
Speed has always been a trademark of the imagePROGRAF line, and the x300 continues that with some of the fastest print times I've had with a printer. Epson is close behind with the x900 models, but Canon is the speed king this time around.
I printed a variety of color and black and white images using both Canon media and my preferred Moab papers - Entrada, Colorado Fiber, and Somerset Velvet. In all cases the prints reproduced color beautifully, while the black and white prints on Colorado Fiber are among the best I've ever created. The tonal gradations in the grays is stunning to see in person, and the depth of color in the saturated tones of my flower images is outstanding.
Paper feed is easy with the Canon. The roll holder supports 2" or 3" cores, while single sheets can be fed from the top or front. The new Epson roll feed is the winner on ease of use, but I encountered no problems with roll or sheet feeding paper. The smallest paper size that can be used is 8x10, borderless prints can be done in sizes from 10" to 24" in width.
Customizing the iPF6300
As I mentioned earlier, the interface on the previous printer left quite a bit to be desired. Paper names didn't match up between printer and profiles, and there were a number of settings that were either cumbersome to use, or were poorly documented. With the x300, you can now easily customize the paper list to display only those papers that you use, and the new Custom section lets you add your own papers to the list via the included Media Configuration Tool. It takes about 10 minutes to add a paper type to the printer, including some test prints to set the head levels and ink density, but after that the paper will show up on your printer and in the list of papers available from the Print dialog.
Canon also includes a Light Source Measure Tool that enables you to customize the white point for your prints based on the lighting they will be displayed in. The tool requires the use of one of the i1 spectrophotometers to use (the ColorMunki, i1 Display, and DataColor Spyder products are not supported). If you're planning a gallery showing, this might be a useful tool for you.
Canon has made some significant improvements to their large format lineup with the iPF6300, 6350, and 8300 printers. Always a leader in speed, the new printers retain that feature and add a much larger color gamut that puts them back in the front of the pack. Along with this larger gamut, the printers are easier to use than before, and still among the most economical to own and operate. Print quality has improved with excellent color, no visible bronzing, and beautiful black and white prints.
With a retail price of $3695, and usually available for under $3,000, the iPF6300 isn't an inexpensive printer, but does come in at the low side of the available options for this price range. Ink runs about $79 per cartridge, and lasts a surprising long time.
While the user interface is still the weakest point of this printer, Canon has made good progress in making this easier to use, and the average user will not have a problem getting the printer up and running. And, once you've seen the prints from the iPF6300, you'll forget all about the learning curve.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4|