imagePROGRAF iPF5000

imagePROGRAF iPF5000

Big printing requires a big (and we mean big) printer.

 

Bigger may not always be better, but in the case of Canon's imagePROGRAF iPF5000 inkjet printer, bigger will get you beautiful images and the flexibility of output that you can't achieve with most inkjet printers available today.

 

The iPF5000 is a beast of a printer, weighing 108 pounds and taking up about a 30-by-40-inch chunk of desk space. The iPF5000 uses 12 inks to create prints up to 17 by 22 inches. Along with the usual photo-inksets of so many photo-realistic printers, the iPF5000 inkset includes four black inks (photo black, matte black, gray, and photo gray) as well as red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, and photo magenta. The inks are available in 130-milliliter size only, priced around $65 each - pretty expensive, and Canon wouldn't give us any specifics on how long we should expect each cartridge to last.

 

Along with the expanded inkset, you'll find an amazing selection of media to print on - about 50 at last count. Media range from canvas to archival-quality fine-art papers to vinyl and backlit films. Some of these media types are available in roll form up to 17 inches wide (a roll feeder is a $289 option), as well as in cut sheets.

 

You can get gorgeous prints from the iPF5000, but the beautiful images come with a high price tag. The iPF5000 is not the printer for the novice or the dilettante, but if you demand pro-level quality for large media formats, you'll revel in the clarity and realism of the iPF5000's prints. The iPF5000 uses pigment-based inks, which tend to be more moisture resistant than dye-based inks, and offer more resistance to fading.

 

There is a hidden cost: Calibrating your display and the iPF5000 is key to successful color reproduction. The iPF5000 doesn't necessarily present you with the color you see on your monitor unless you spend time adjusting that color with a calibration device from a company such as ColorVision (www.colorvision.com) or X-Rite (www.xrite.com). It's not a deal-breaker, but it is a consideration.

 

The bottom line. Though it's an expensive proposition (both with its upfront price and long-term consumable costs), the iPF5000 is a solid (literally and figuratively) large-format printer.

 

COMPANY: Canon
CONTACT: 800-652-2666, www.canon.com
PRICE: $1,945
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 9.1 or later or Mac OS X, USB or Ethernet network
Beautiful images are your reward.
Gigantic footprint. Expensive.

 

 

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