Planet Photoshop

imagePROGRAF iPF5000

Printing proofs or one-off images can be both time-consuming and costly when using a local copy or print shop. Results can vary and you may not get the quality you’d hoped for at the given price. Canon has introduced a new medium-/large-format inkjet printer that not only delivers excellent output quality, but it also does it quickly and relatively affordably. No need to add costs for transit and handling fees for the copy center when you can print superior images from the iPF5000 color inkjet.

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Let’s start with the quality of the output because that’s paramount. Images are color accurate, with minimal setup time and effort. Users select the appropriate paper, profile, and desired application (for example, poster graphics, digital photo, etc.) of the final print in the normal print dialog, saving time. The edge detail is incredible, although selecting the best paper for the job is important for stylized text. Color saturation is spot-on, and accuracy is incredibly realistic (depending on your source) from this 12-color behemoth. Certain third-party papers may be slightly heavy in terms of contrast and overall black level output, but a quick fix was easily done from within the print-setting dialogs. It’s something worth noting though as the black output levels are a very rich black and images with dark backgrounds can appear a bit dark in some cases. Paper feeds come from either the cassette storage or an optional roll feeder with output up to 17″ wide.

On the downside, as with printers that produce output of this size, it’s a very large item that won’t sit just anywhere in your workspace. Measuring nearly 40x30x13″ and weighing in at around 100 lbs. (without the roll feeder), the iPF5000 is enormous compared to Canon’s professional Pro9000 or Pro9500 models, but for a good reason. The roll feeder initial setup is a bit tricky and the unit didn’t respond well until the paper was in exactly the one-and-only position that will allow it to work.

A feature-rich model, the iPF5000 is a 12-color inkjet printer with more than 30,000 nozzles on its dual-head print system. The latest LUCIA inks print images at a maximum resolution of 2400×1200 with a 4-picoliter droplet size. Each ink container holds 130 ml and, even after testing through dozens of letter, A3, A3+ and roll sheet prints, I have yet to replace any one of them. The iPF5000 responds to any clog, sheet-feed error, or paper jam instantly, saving both time and waste, although clearing the paper path can be a bit of a challenge.

One of my favorite things about the iPF5000, aside from the excellent results, is that it’s quieter than several other large-format printers of this type. Canon’s specifications measure 49 dB; however, I measured a reasonably quieter 45 dB (at 6′ in an already quiet office environment). The controls and navigation on the printer are easy to configure and it uses plain language for the setting controls and operations. The iPF5000 is also Energy Star-compliant. Add to all of that a nice suite of software (that may or may not be of use to the end user—not for me, but it’s a nice addition) and you have yourself an excellent large-format printer.

Given the quality, the features, the operating costs, the simplicity, and huge range of options included, the Canon iPF5000 is an outstanding choice if you want fast results that are color accurate and sharp.

Money Sign1945 PlatformMac/Windows