Seeking advice on a suitable Canon printer for home photo printing

stratman

Printer VIP
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
6,866
Reaction score
5,002
Points
373
Location
USA
Printer Model
Canon MB5120, Pencil
Does the quality of photo print from a 5/6-ink photo printer change a lot with compatible ink in an obvious way?
Regardless of how many different colors of ink used by a printer, using an aftermarket ink can significantly impact your percetion of the quality of the print.

There are good aftermarket inks and each brand will demonstrate different amounts of faithful color reproduction, or issues such as fading and bronzing, for a given paper and printer. Yes, paper can make or break a print - definitely all not created equal., though this difference may be less important for casual printing, particularly text, an article or a web page.

Many aftermarket inks are crap. Avoid inks that are marked "Universal" as there is likely no effort to match the ink to your printer to give good color reproduction and will probably fade fast.

Some issues can be resolved to one's satisfaction with a custom ICC printer profile or tweaking of the color settings in the printer. More on this below.

FYI - Color reproduction is a measure of how well a particular printer, inks and paper get along together. A printer uses software - the printer's drivers - to manage these three separate factors. When you select Glossy photo paper in the printer, you are using a set of software instructions called an ICC or ICM Printer Profile. This Profile file has been custom created to specifically match printer model, specific brand ink and specific brand and type of paper. Each manufacturer's printer has its own created ICC Printer Profile and it is designed for their printer , their OEM inks, and their OEM papers. Change any of these three factors and color reproduction may suffer, sometime greatly. You may not notice or care, but others may find it intolerable, and will try to compensate by using another different ink or paper, tweak color settings in the printer, or make/purchase a custom ICC Printer Profile matched to their printer and desired ink and paper combination. It's up to you what your tolerance level for using Non-OEM inks and paper may be.

Since you are in England, if you are considering refilling, then you might want to investigate OctoInkjet in England. They have quality inks and refill supplies. The owner is a trusted member of this forum and his inks are of high quality. Nothing is as fade resistant as OEM, but Octoink inks perform as well as expected being aftermarket inks based on discussions on the forum.

Precision Colors is in Canada. I have happily used their inks extensively. I am in the USA, but if I lived in Europe then I would have bought from Octoink due to shipping expense.

There are other European aftermarket bulk inks that perform well - forum members will need to advise you. There are also aftermarket single use prefilled ink cartridges, some better than others, which the forum might be able to identify for you once you select a make and model printer.

Again, your satisfaction is the only thing important in the end.
 

maximilian59

Getting Fingers Dirty
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
23
Reaction score
34
Points
48
Location
Germany, Schwabmünchen
Printer Model
Canon Pro-1000, Pro-100s
If you want to go further on with photo printing, I give you the advice not to go smaller than A3, better A3+. Personally, I can can go over A2+ (Canon Pro-1000). Only for first impressions I still print A4. It is too small, after you can have the larger format. So in your position look for an XP-900 and start refilling with Epson 105/106 inks. That is a very good compromise between quality and costs. And it will be hard to see any difference to printers with more ink. Later if you want to go big, save money till you can afford a 17" printer with pigmented inks.
 

Ink stained Fingers

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
3,661
Reaction score
4,064
Points
283
Location
Germany
Printer Model
L310/805/1800, P400, Pro7600
I give you the advice not to go smaller than A3, better A3+
I only can support this advice, a larger print much better tells the story of an image - or it does not at all - you'll get feedback for your photographing methods to improve your shooting , but there is a risk as well that a larger print shows imperfections much more - unsharp edges, camera/lens/printer problems/limitations etc - e.g. shutter speed - washed out highlights - limited contrast range - but it's a fun exercise to go through that.
We may adress questions around printer/monitor profiling/calibration etc in a separate thread since those questions can get very much in detail then.
The Canon 100s is about the only serious A3 photo printer and comes with cartridges - with easy refill.
Epson offers more A3 models with photo capability - the ecotank printers ET7750 (with 2 complete sets of ink bottles) and the L1800 as the A3 companion to the A4 XP-55 photo printer and the mentioned XP-900 with cartridges or the XP-15000. The XP-900 let you only feed single A3 sheets manually. The XP-15000 is the successor to the 1500W which was the Epson companion to the Canon Pro100s for some time. The rear bin of the ET7750 takes about 10 sheets at a time, that's o.k. for a lower usage level , and comes with an A4 scanner which makes it more universal.

All these are dye ink printers, and you can create perfectly looking prints with them , all of them; we are not addressing special issues for black/white prints here . I would not like to get into pigments inks at this time which may require more attention to specific combinations of inks and papers and other effects.
 

techblink

Newbie to Printing
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
Points
5
Printer Model
Canon
I think should write up a wish/decision list for yourself - are you interested/willing and capable to do refill ? Is A4 or A3 your target format ? Would you prefer a combo unit with scanner over a printer only ? And there are probably a few more of such decision points.
So, I gave it a good thought and have come up with a wish list :
  1. Document printing - 30-40 colour text prints every month with occasional graphics
  2. Photo printing - 30-40 photo prints (including around 5-10 A3 prints, 15-20 6x4, and the remaining A4s. The split is purely a guess.)
  3. Quality - Good picture quality. Mostly for personal use.
  4. Costs - Affordable running costs. After your advice yesterday, I checked a few videos on Youtube about refilling. Upfront it looks simpler than I had earlier imagined. I am sure I’ll make mistakes when I start doing it. But hopefully with advice of members of this forum, none will be major enough to break the printer or cost me a crucial part. :fl
Since you are in England, if you are considering refilling, then you might want to investigate OctoInkjet in England. They have quality inks and refill supplies. The owner is a trusted member of this forum and his inks are of high quality. Nothing is as fade resistant as OEM, but Octoink inks perform as well as expected being aftermarket inks based on discussions on the forum.
5. Inks - Going to start with OEM inks, followed by a set of third-party refills. Once I get a hang of the printer (2 sets of inks later), I’ll try refilling my own cartridges for a long-term solution. Just wanted to check about the refilling kits. Are the good ones quite expensive?​
If you want to go further on with photo printing, I give you the advice not to go smaller than A3, better A3+.

I only can support this advice, a larger print much better tells the story of an image - or it does not at all - you'll get feedback for your photographing methods to improve your shooting , but there is a risk as well that a larger print shows imperfections much more - unsharp edges, camera/lens/printer problems/limitations etc - e.g. shutter speed - washed out highlights - limited contrast range - but it's a fun exercise to go through that.
6. Format - For all the above reasons, I’d very much like to go for a A3 format.​
7. Low ongoing maintenance on printer parts.​
8. Ability to refill easily, and or easily available quality third party cartridges.​
9. Scanner - Good to have for the occasional scanning. But I won’t mind its absence as mobile scanning apps are fit for my purpose too.​
I have a few specific questions related to the specific printers suggested in this thread :

Canon 100s, Epson XP-15000

a) Would it make economic sense for printing documents (from #1) from these printers?
b) If I intend to refill cartridges later, will I need to buy the OEM XL cartridges first, empty them, and then start refilling?
c) Which of the two is easier to maintain?

Epson XP-900, Epson XP-55
d) Which of the two has better print quality? I am inclined towards Epson XP-900, so just wanted to check if XP-55 has any major advantages over XP-900.

Epson ET-7750
e) Probably the best model with good balance between photo quality and running costs. However, it is bit of a stretch for my budget. The only reason it would make sense for me is if based on my wishlist, there is a big difference in 3 year cost of owning this printer vs other non-tank printers.

Epson L805
The L805 is available here at a lower price
https://www.alza.co.uk/epson-l805-d3913094.htm?o=1
f) That’s a great option. They also stock XP-900 which is difficult to find elsewhere. Just wanted to ask about your after sales experience with the website. Have you had to make a warranty claim on a printer bought from them?
g) How does the print quality compare to XP-900?

Canon Maxify 5120
However, photo image output will not be as good as with a photo printer like the Canon Pixma ip8750 you mentioned.
h) This is definitely a more efficient machine for home office printing. But, from my wish list, I would give prefer getting better photos at the expense of lesser documents, if that makes sense. Are there any other Canon photo printers sub-pro-100s which I could consider for my requirements?


Thank you for your patience in going through all the above questions. There are a lot of them. But with the help of the advice I have received on this post, I have made much progress since yesterday towards finalising the printer. Many thanks!:)
 

Ink stained Fingers

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
3,661
Reaction score
4,064
Points
283
Location
Germany
Printer Model
L310/805/1800, P400, Pro7600
I would recommend you to read some reviews of some of the printers listed above, a good source is here
www.northlight-images.co.uk/canon-pixma-pro-100-printer-review/
www.northlight-images.co.uk/epson-expression-photo-xp-960-printer-review/
You can find more reviews elsewhere, they should give you additional information, as well about the general handling, some issues here and there and the likes and dislikes of the reviewer/author.
All printers in discussion would to the job - there is no difference in 'quality' you can see even at a close-up view, there are other differences between printers than just hardware parameters - the acheivable color space - gamut - with one printer may be different to the gamut of another printer - larger or smaller - or wider in just one color range, but judgement here would require some understanding of color management, color perception and how colors are rendered by the printer. And colors, the acheivable gamut is not just a mattter of the inkset but as well of the paper in use - only both together can deliver the appealing colors in your printouts. I would not prefer one printer over the other just for this reason alone.
Alza is a major electronics distributor from Czechia with sales offices in various Western and East Europe countries, I purchased from them in Germany several times - priners - inks - supplies - and returned a printer as well w/o issue, but you may inquire some customer satisfaction web sites as well.
A model like the ET7750 with the additional black pigment ink (and a built in duplexer) would be more suitable for printing documents, but all printers can do it. It's up to you whether you run (expensive) OEM inks, or use 3rd party carts, or do refill or use an ecotank printer - you'll get very different levels for your running cost.
 
Last edited:

maximilian59

Getting Fingers Dirty
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
23
Reaction score
34
Points
48
Location
Germany, Schwabmünchen
Printer Model
Canon Pro-1000, Pro-100s
Canon 100s, Epson XP-15000
a) Compared to a cheap printer for office documents, I would say no. Printing on normal office paper with the Pro-100 gives prints with deep blacks and a big risk for overinking the paper. Double sided printing means to manually turn the paper with a big risk, that the opposite side shines through. I tested it and would not recommend this printer for the task. Of course it is possible. Also, I couldn’t figure out why it takes some time very long for the start with printing and sometimes only long. I would say, it is not a point of view to look at the economics here, when you plan to use third party ink. It is just some sort of is it the right printer for the task.
by the way, if you spill some water on the print, you the know what water based ink means.
b) I have three sets of OEM cartridges for my Pro-100 filled with PC inks. That is just to not run out of ink when printing with friends. There are no XL cards for the Pro-100. Compared to lot of other cartridges they are already XXL.
c) What you mean with maintain? As long as I print at least every three to four weeks no cleaning is needed. I only make a nozzle check after this long period with intensive examination.
Epson XP-900, Epson XP-55
d) I only have a XP-55 for comparison. They share the same inks and the same (?) printhead. In my opinion for print quality there is no difference.
Epson ET-7750
e) Never had this printer, but maybe it is comparable to the XP-7100. had this printer on the desk to repair it for a friend. Very good print quality with the advantage of a pigmented black for non photo prints. You can use the inks from ET-7750 in this printer.
f) g) No knowledge, therefore no answer
h) For A3/A3+ no other printers from Canon I would recommend. The Pro-100 is build like a tank with a very robuste printhead, affordable inks compared to all other Canon printers. And if you ever plan to print in really good quality in black and white, there is no other dye ink printer here with two additional grays. Even in color prints the gray inks are used for subtle gradients.

Ask Octoink for profiles for your favorite papers.
 

Ink stained Fingers

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
3,661
Reaction score
4,064
Points
283
Location
Germany
Printer Model
L310/805/1800, P400, Pro7600
Refill - it is my understanding that you typically do it with the original Canon cartridges for the Pro 100s, it is different with Epson printers - it's the easiest with the Ecotank printers - fill up is part of the setup, it's just as convenient as it should be.
Epson cartridges cannot be refilled, you yould need a set of refill cartridges, the refill ink suppliers have those as well in their offering, Epson stores the ink level on chips at the carts, and these chips need to be reset , either automatically once they drop to the empty state and you take them out for refill and reinsert them , or with a resetter. And there are some types of carts for which you need one time chips - that resetting does not work on those (yet). Or you buy some 3rd party carts to have time to get familiar with the printer, driver settings , papers and switch to refill at a later time.
 

stratman

Printer VIP
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
6,866
Reaction score
5,002
Points
373
Location
USA
Printer Model
Canon MB5120, Pencil
wish list :
  1. Document printing - 30-40 colour text prints every month with occasional graphics
Generally speaking, if you want black text printing that approaches or approximates Laser printer quality text then you must use Black Pigment ink. Of course, what you subjectively find acceptable is your choice. If you use highlighters then you must use Black Pigment ink or else Dye-based inks will smear.

Choice of paper can affect the quality of output. This is true for inexpensive copy paper to expensive photo papers. The right tool for the right job. What you find acceptable is the only thing that matters.

2. Photo printing - 30-40 photo prints (including around 5-10 A3 prints, 15-20 6x4, and the remaining A4s. The split is purely a guess.)
This is an ambitious goal and will cost money no matter what route you take, both in your initial printer purchase and then in inks. You can save money with aftermarket ink cartridges or by refilling. It is your comfort zone. See my previous post for comparisons on Dye-based vs Pigment inks.

Some people find Pigment inks to be less vibrant than Dye-based inks. A good image printed with high quality inks and paper, appropriate printer settings, with or without Photoshop enhancements can look stunning regardless of ink type.

If possible, find a store or someone with the printer you are interested in and see the printouts for yourself.

Like so much you have asked or may ask about is personal choice. We can give you opinion but your eyes are the only ones that count. As ISF's said, read reviews. Use Google and query on the make and model of the printer with the added word "review", such as "Canon Pro 100 review".

Quality - Good picture quality. Mostly for personal use.
Any of these printers will give "good" image quality results. Some can do amazing. Your results will very based on the quality of your image, the paper and ink used, ICC printer profile used, printer settings and any image manipulations done prior to printing.

Depending on your desire, printing can be much more than sending a file to the printer and feeding it a piece of paper. Or not. The waters run deep with a Pro-Am printer if you want more than floating along.

Costs - Affordable running costs.
The holy grail - inexpensive and high quality. Cost, like everything else here is a personal opinion. OEM inks will be the most expensive but will perform best in every area of function without any tweaking or custom ICC printer profiles when compared to aftermarket inks. Similar can be said about OEM paper when matched with OEM printer, inks and ICC printer profile. That said, as discussed, there are high quality aftermarket inks - see my previous posts. What you need to do is use Google to look up the costs of OEM cartridges, aftermarket ink cartridges and refilling bulk ink. You know about Octoinkjet for refilling ink and supplies. Look at their prices and then compare costs of OEM and aftermarket ink cartridges. Make sure to factor in the ability to refill (some printer you may not be able to do), cost of supplies, and if you are prepared to perform refilling. Some people don't want to. Also, know that refilling costs are higher initially but over time you will recoup that money in all the $$$ saved. In other words, it's a commitment, though much easier to break than a marriage (and less expensive, too).

I cannot advise on Epson printers, and there are certainly Epson printers that you could be very happy with.

Concerning Canons, the Maxify is NOT the printer for you as it does not do A3 paper. The Canon Pro 100 will give great image quality and you can grow into it, however, it uses all Dye-based inks. There is no Pigment Black for black text and no water resistance for highlighting. Both the Maxify and Pro 100 are easily refillable with high quality aftermarket inks (cost less than OEM ink!).

Maybe the solution is TWO printers, one for office and casual printing and one for higher image quality prints. Ask Ink Stained Fingers how many printers he has. ;)
 

techblink

Newbie to Printing
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
Points
5
Printer Model
Canon
Thank you all for providing your valuable insights and responses to my questions. I have decided to go the Epson way. However, I still need a bit of your help to finalise between the three models - Epson L805, Epson XP-900, Epson XP-960.

After comparing the specs between L805 and XP-900, I can see that the latter has almost the double no. of nozzles in the print head for each colour. I would like to understand how it translates on the paper. If I was going to use the recommended ink and paper with both the printers, to print the same pictures, what kind of differences would I see because of the above mentioned nozzle configuration?

To confirm my understanding with regards to refill, L805 is a tank printer so hopefully that should be straightforward. For XP-900 and XP-960, I will need to buy refillable cartridges, refilling kit and ink. The OEM inks themselves for XP-900/XP-960 would be slightly (?) better than those of L805 with better fade resistance. Have I missed a key point here?

Lastly, if you had to rate the three printers on a scale of 1(low) to 5 (high), what no. would you give?
 
Last edited:

Ink stained Fingers

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
3,661
Reaction score
4,064
Points
283
Location
Germany
Printer Model
L310/805/1800, P400, Pro7600
you got very much all details together, let me just highlight a few differences between the models

- the L805 is a A4 only photo printer, no A3 single sheet bypass option, and no scanner

- you may look as well for the XP-960 which uses the same inkset as the L805 - 6 inks - the XP900 uses 5 inks - with a pigment black which makes it slightly more universal to give regular corrrespondence a crisper look, it's cosmetics, some people prefer it - These models support A3 via a single sheet bypass into the printer.

- Would you see a difference between prints with the L805 or the XP900 - no - you don't. I had an ET7750 which uses the same inkset as the XP900. I didn't like the rear paper handling if you print some more volume - I got an L1800 instead, and still run an L805.
- The number of nozzles directly influences the printing speed but not the printing quality otherwise.

- I'm very happy with the convenience of the L... and ET.... ecotank printer models, no empty cartridges during print jobs.

- L805 inks are already quite good in regards to fading, better than most other 3rd party refill inks, the T106 inks of the ET7700 are a tad better in this respect, all those inks deliver a pretty good gamut, but the gamut is not just a matter of an ink alone but depends very much as well on the paper you are using , you only can measure the gamut in combination of ink and paper - never alone
 
Top