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Printing with the Canon PIXMA Pro 100

Back in July, I ordered the Canon PIXMA PRO-100. Effective price after rebate: $100. And the deal is still good through September 30 (now effectively $139 after rebate). The rebate card came within a few weeks.

Today I finally set the PIXMA Pro-100 up and printed a stack of 13 X 19 inch prints, 24 of them, including some with a lot of dark or near black background. With a new printer, it’s not clear how much of the ink is in ink lines; perhaps very little given the design of the print head.

Update: I’ve now made about 40 prints. The print quality is really gorgeous, with excellent tonality and gamut. Most prints on the SG-201 Semi Gloss, but I’ve also made some on high-gloss Pictorico (not as nice).

The PIXMA Pro-100 is amazingly quiet even though I did not enable quiet mode. I am so used to noisy Epson photo printers (maybe the latest models are better?) that this was a nice unexpected bonus.

By the way using AirPrint (wireless) is a bad idea (very slow). Ethernet works a lot faster.

Ink usage

Ink levels after making 24 prints of 13 X 19 inches
(Canon PIXMA Pro-100)

After making the 24 prints at 13 X 19 inches, the gray and light gray inks are nearly gone (I made several black and white prints and that might explain it).

The eight ink cartridges are small and this of course is the drawback to most printers of reasonable size (form factor): as a rule only the larger format ones have the big ink cartridges.

As shown, some color inks are still at 100% and others are in between. So as a rough estimate I might say that the prints cost $3.00 each (excluding paper cost), since not all the ink has been used, and a whole new PIXMA Pro-100 eight-ink cartridge set is about $120. Which is more than what I paid for the printer with its inkset, but “offer limited to 1 per household”.

Print quality

Beautiful, very pleasing on both color and black and white prints. Though I did not assess critically for exact color as some pros might demand, the prints look terrific and as far as I’m concerned are ready to mount and hang.

Even more impressive was the fact the Ricoh GR images at 13 X 19 are stunningly good: sharp as nails, great color, terrific tonal range. Prints from the Sigma DP Merrill are also fabulous, and the D800 images are beyond reproach as well.

Back in my college days when I tediously printed Cibachrome from my slides, there was no way in Hades that I could make anything near the quality I am seeing: contrast, color, detail are all light years ahead. I still have those prints, and well, they suck compared to what emerges at the push of a button from the PIXMA Pro-100. Times have changed dramatically for the better.

Which leads me to another point: the Ricoh GR, the Sony RX1R, the Sigma DP Merrill and so on all produce fabulous 13 X 19 inch prints. We are in a golden age for photography. The issues that really matter are how good a camera the camera is in use and how large you really care to print and whether the camera reliably delivers the goods under a range of conditions while getting out of the way, including practical usage details such as accurate and consistent autofocus and subtly excellent features like high speed fill flash sync. In short, quality on top of excellent usability under all conditions (especially no weird glitches!). Which is where many cameras, even expensive ones, are really design failures, and why I adore the Ricoh GR and Sony RX1R in particular and am not so fond of certain others.

NOTE: the price is now $439 for the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 with 50 sheets 13 X 19 paper and free shipping. Still a very good deal.

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