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Canon Pixma Pro-10: Professional-quality photo prints, right on your desk

William Porter | April 21, 2014
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.

However, the performance gaps between dye inks and pigment inks aren't as marked today as they were even a couple of years ago. Like other high-end pigment inkjet printers, the Pro-10 applies a clear coating with a "chrome optimizer" that is supposed to minimize glare and maximize color vibrancy. The Pro-10's automatic print head cleaning routine helps prevent nozzle clogs. And while cheap dye inks do still fade fairly quickly, good inks like those used in the Pro-100 are now expected to hold their color for a century or more; so the fact that the pigment inks used by the Pro-10 are expected to last even longer seems a bit less compelling, especially if you're not shipping your prints directly to the National Archive.

Bottom line

The choice is not an easy one. The Pixma Pro-10 costs more than the Pixma Pro-100 initially, and will continue to cost more with each print you make. And in most of my test prints, I found it hard to tell the difference between the Pro-10's prints and the Pro-100's. On the other hand, while the Pro-10 initially lists for about twice the cost of the Pro-100, we're still only talking about a few hundred dollars — about the cost of two complete ink cartridge replacements. Amortize that difference over the 100-plus year life of a print, and, well, what kind of cheapskate are you?

If you're on a tight budget, get the superb Pro-100 and be happy. But if you can afford it, I'd definitely say, go for the super superb Pro-10. It might be a little too much of a good thing. But as the late, great Mae West quipped, "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."


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