The Canon Pixma Pro-10 is a printer aimed at professionals and dedicated enthusiasts who value beautiful photographic prints and want to make them themselves. Sending your prints out to a pro lab will probably cost less and give you more options (like very large prints). But doing it yourself is much more satisfying. It can even produce better results, especially if you're using a printer like the Pro-10.
Hardware and software setup
The Pro-10 is big and heavy — it weighs over 40 pounds and measures 27.2 by 15.2 by 8.5 inches. With the help of a strong assistant, I managed to get the printer out of the box and on a table. The rest of the hardware setup was a breeze, thanks to a easy-to-follow quick setup sheet.
Installing the software was not so easy. The installer on the bundled CD said the software was not compatible with OS X Mavericks and it suggested I go to Canon's website for the latest versions. But then I faced the problem of figuring out what I needed. I finally figured out that the main progams I needed were the driver, Print Studio Pro, and the Canon IJ Network Tool.
When using the IJ Network Tool to setup Wi-Fi printing, you need to have the printer connected via USB, or you'll get an error message, an instruction I would've like to have seen at the start.
The good news is that, if you're lucky, the setup will only have to be done once. Canon should do a better job helping users with the installation of the software by making it clear what items are needed.
Printing with the Pixma Pro-10
For the last couple of years, I've been printing to a Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II from either Lightroom or Aperture. Printing from these apps to the Pro-10 presented no new challenges, once I installed the right ICC profiles for the papers I use. Soft proofing inside Lightroom and Aperture also worked as usual.
But the Pro-10 has introduced me to a new and possibly better way to print. Canon's Print Studio Pro installs as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom (sorry, die-hard Aperture users), and works with all three of Canon's current Pro-line printers: the Pro-1, Pro-10 and Pro-100. When printing from Lightroom, I have to make some decisions (for example, ICC profile, resolution, watermark, print border) inside Lightroom, and some decisions in the standard printer dialog. Some of those decisions (for example, paper size) have to be made twice. Print Studio Pro lets me do everything in one place. It is full-featured and well-designed.
Especially if you are using Canon's own excellent papers, Print Studio Pro has one big advantage: Pro Mode color management. Experienced photographers know that maintaining color fidelity — from reality to camera to computer to paper — is a major technical problem. You are still going to have to worry about white balance and calibrating your display; but using Pro Mode in Print Studio Pro, you can forget about ICC profiles and "rendering intents", at least a lot of the time. Print Studio Pro will analyze your image specifically for printing to the target Canon printer and paper, then map the color gamut for optimum balance of brightness, saturation, and color fidelity.
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