Wednesday, December 7, 2016

REVIEW: Canon PRO-2000 Part I - Device Features & Thoughts

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000Review-12
Canon PRO-2000 after a couple weeks of heavy use
It's a sexy beast, but it will show fingerprints despite being very durable otherwise

Welcome to the first of my multi-part review of the Canon PRO-2000. This is a large format photo ink jet printer that supports up to 24" wide rolls. It uses the best archival pigment ink that Canon has ever made, called Lucia Pro, so under the right conditions your prints can in theory last well beyond 200 years.

If you've read my eBook or followed my Printing Series, you know that I have a lot of passion for printing and that I'm a long-time owner of Canon large format printers dating back to the iPF6300 and most recently the iPF6450. I can easily say up front that this printer blows its predecessors away in so many ways which is why I had to do this early sneak preview review which I encourage you to read if you haven't already.

I've got a lot to say about this printer so with this article I tried to limit my scope to features on the printer itself. Again, I covered a little of this in the early sneak preview review so I try to avoid duplicating content as much as possible.

Touch Screen Control Panel

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000_ControlPanel

One of the nice features of this printer is that it offers a touch screen control panel which is great, but if you also own a PRO-1000 like me which does NOT have that feature, it can be a little frustrating going back and forth.

Loading Ink

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; Canon PRO-2000 Misc-3

This printer supports 11 Lucia Pro pigment archival inks + Chroma Optimizer in three different ink sizes: 160ml, 330ml, or 700ml. It comes with a full set of starter 160ml ink cartridges but this ink goes much faster than any you'll ever use later due to the need to filling all of the print head lines (shown below) with ink):

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000Review-46
Loaded ink lines coming from the print head

When using the 160ml these big 700ml capacity reservoirs swallow the ink cartridges as shown here:

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; Canon PRO-2000 Misc-25

Paper Handling

Paper handling on this printer has been the best I've had the pleasure of using. My printer is also equipped with the optional multifunction holder which allows you to have two rolls at one time. I've also heard that you can use it to automatically wind up your long prints as come off the first roll, but I haven't tried that feature yet.

Here's what the control panel for this device looks like:

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000Review-19

It's worked brilliantly so far, BUT my biggest complaint is that there's no cover for the second roll so I worry about my paper attracting dust which can destroy a big print. Fortunately that hasn't happened so far.

I'm also pleased to report that both rolls can be loaded at the same time, but as far as I can tell you can only print to one at a time.

Another small but significant improvement is the new lever that locks and unlock to make removing the left portion of the roll holder off the spindle very easy:

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000_RollClasp

It's a little thing, but I've really loved how much easier this has made changing rolls. I should also note that the locking mechanism for the smaller core adapters is significantly easier to add and remove.

Manual Paper Loading

I'm thrilled to report that paper can be manually loaded WITHOUT you having to remove your roll paper - this is a huge improvement over previous roll model printers I've used which didn't support this simple concept. I will admit that loading paper is a bit tricky since you have to manually aligning it to an orange line as shown here:

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000_ManualPaperLoading

However, if you are careful with your loading then it works quite well. If you make a mistake it will generally just give you instructions to try again, although once I did have my paper ejected out the back which was annoying.

Video Demo

Here's a crude video that demonstrates how the touch screen control panel works plus how to load paper manually and change inks:

Printing from USB

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000-3
Direct view JPEG's on the touch screen LCD

While I suspect most people won't use this feature, surprisingly this printer supports direct from USB printing. In the animated image below I demonstrate how you go through the menu to do a standard color print of an unedited in-camera JPEG from my Canon 1DX Mark II shot using the SIGMA 85mm Art lens: 

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000-PrintFromUSB
An quick animated walkthrough of print from USB

Surprisingly you can't direct connect your camera and have it read the USB storage, but if you put your memory card in a supported reader or use a flash drive then it works just fine. For those who are wondering, RAW files are not supported.

After a quick few minutes the print comes out as shown below, but if you have a landscape image like I did here you'll want to use the rotate menu option so that it fills the page.

Ron Martinsen Photography: Canon PRO-2000 &emdash; PRO-2000-39

More to come

I'm quite excited about this printer and have so much more to share, but I need to go to bed tonight. Stay tuned for more info and a vide very soon.

Where to Buy?

Here's where you can learn or buy your own:

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