The Pixma Pro-100 would dominate your living room even if you tried to hide it in a corner. It's the 747 of home inkjets, swallowing up eight ink cartridges and ingesting giant-size photo paper with abandon.
Starting our fourth decade: Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously online for 30 years
THIS GUY IS BIG, about the size of a New York Knicks picnic cooler. But it's also a superbly competent photo printer.
Wide-format pro photo printer for $99
November 10, 2013
By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2013, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2013, The Post-Standard
Printing your own photos is one thing. Printing them like they came from a $50-a-pop photo lab is something else.
Ordinary printers won't do. Especially if you want BIG prints. Maybe 11 inches by 14 inches. Or 13 by 19.
It just might be time to go pro. I did that a decade ago. I switched over to a wide-format Epson pro printer for all my important photos. I had three exhibitions showing some of my Vietnam war photos printed on the Epson, and the prints were spectacular.
But my Epson has been telling me, as only mechanical objects can, that it wants to retire. Ink for that model is very hard to find, and a few of its parts have fallen off, never to be seen again.
So I started looking for a replacement. Professional printers aren't cheap. I know guys who paid more for their printers than their cars.
So you can imagine my surprise when the replacement turned out to be a bargain. I found a Canon professional printer, the Pixma Pro-100, designed to sell for $499 -- not a bad price at all these days -- that was on sale for $399.
Nice deal, right? But wait, as Ron Popeil used to say on TV, there's more. This one had a $300 rebate.
You read that right. The cost after the rebate was $99. I lost no time ordering the printer from Adorama, a photo products store that works through Amazon. It arrived in a couple of days in a box the size of Montana. (I ordered from this link, which I've shortened for clarity: http://tinyurl.com/pbt3nqf.)
No one would accuse me of stinting on a printer. The Pixma Pro-100 would dominate your living room even if you tried to hide it in a corner. It's the 747 of home inkjets, swallowing up eight ink cartridges and ingesting giant-size photo paper with abandon.
Unlike any pro-level printer I've ever seen, the Canon can print photos from 4 by 6 inches all the way to 13 by 19. I was amazed the printing speed: Even when printing mega-size pictures the Pro-100 is faster -- at its normal-quality photo settings -- than my old Epson printing a regular-size photo at low quality. It would be ideal for a gallery that needed a bunch of big photos fast.
Paper handling is outstanding. You can drop a sheaf of photo paper into a multi-sheet bin or position single sheets in a slide-in slot at the rear. It's wireless, but after reading a couple of cautions on how finicky the Pro-100 could be getting its Wi-Fi working, I just plugged in a USB cable. (I can't imagine printing wirelessly from my iPad or Android tablets to such a fancy printer. I have a standard wireless printer for those devices.)
Unlike my old Epson and most current pro printers, the Pixma Pro-100 bravely goes where others fear to print. It uses dye inks, long reviled for their tendency to fade. Canon's new dyes resist fading for a century or more and show none of the bronzing of pigment inks. (When viewed from an angle, pigment-ink photos sometimes shimmer with an unsightly bronze effect.)
Ink isn't cheap, however. Canon's price is $136 for a full pack of eight cartridges. I saw discount prices of about $120. Individual inks can be ordered if you're low on just some of the carts. Ink usage seems on a par with other high-end printers. AS for paper, I stuck with Canon's recommended paper and got incredible results.