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It’s fair to say that dig­i­tal inkjet print­ing tech­nol­ogy has cer­tainly plateaued and may even have come as far as is pos­si­ble, so if you’re in this busi­ness, you have to start think­ing out­side the square if you want to sell more prin­ters. Canon set its en­gi­neers the chal­lenge of pack­ag­ing up a im­agePROGRAF pro-grade A2 printer in a desk­top-sized ma­chine. If you’re think­ing ‘how hard can it be?’… the an­swer is ‘very hard’, even for a com­pany that’s as good at build­ing photo prin­ters as Canon is.

Hard enough, in fact, for the im­agePROGRAF PRO-1000 to have a few un­char­ac­ter­is­tic (for Canon) teething prob­lems, but with these ironed out, this is the inkjet printer for the print­ing con­nois­seur… a pro-level pow­erhouse that doesn’t take up half the room and, given its con­sid­er­able ca­pa­bil­i­ties, is very af­ford­ably priced.

The big deal with the PRO1000 is, of course, big­ger prints, but we’re talk­ing ex­hi­bi­tion qual­ity here – colour or B&W on what­ever medium takes your fancy. If an ex­hi­bi­tion is on your radar, the PRO-1000 is a far more cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion than us­ing com­mer­cial ser­vices… plus you can re­ally make this printer sing and, of course, you’ll still own it at the end of the project. If you’re a bit ho-hum about print­ing – and a lot of pho­tog­ra­phers are – the PRO-1000 will con­vince you oth­er­wise. It gives your favourite im­ages the re­spect they de­serve, and you’ll sim­ply want to see more of them at this size. It lever­ages Canon’s pro print­ing ‘smarts’, has an im­pres­sive 11-colour pig­mented inkset (plus a gloss op­ti­miser) and can han­dle 16-bit files for those in the pur­suit of op­ti­mum qual­ity plus there are pro-level con­ve­niences such as a ‘Job His­tory’ log which helps to keep tabs on ink con­sump­tion and hence costs. In­ci­den­tally, this printer is at its most eco­nom­i­cal mak­ing big prints so it is, in some ways, a more spe­cialised piece of equip­ment than any A3+ for­mat ma­chine, but then it’s built to work hard so there’s a real com­mer­cial po­ten­tial here too.

The im­agePROGRAF PRO1000 is an ex­tra­or­di­nary piece of hard­ware be­cause it’s more than just a printer… it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of print­ing with the added ex­pe­ri­ence and the sheer en­joy­ment that this can bring to an im­age. It moves the photo printer into a new era, and turns print­ing from a mere process into some­thing much more com­pelling as the re­al­i­sa­tion of vis­ual cre­ativ­ity. No other printer has been quite such the per­fect com­ple­ment to the cam­era.

DIG­I­TAL PHOTO PRINTER – THE FI­NAL­ISTS Canon im­agePROGRAF PRO-1000, Ep­son SureColor SC-P405

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