Canon imagePROGRAF W8200 offers pigmented ink for decor and giclée
The 20th Canon printer off the Japanese assembly line arrived at the FLAAR evaluation facilities over a year ago. The FLAAR report is thus the first available on this innovative 44" Canon imagePROGRAF W8200 44".
We are also currently testing their dye ink predecessor, the Canon imagePROGRAF 7250. The in-depth report on that printer should be available by the time you read this. The report on the 8200 is already available as well.
Since Canon makes some of the better digital cameras, it is logical that their new printer will be oriented to the photography market. Since piezo is rather slow, and sometimes suffers from horizontal banding defects, anyone who already owns an Epson will probably be surprised to see how fast and productive a bubble-jet technology can be.
Canon imagePROGRAF W8200 using pigmented ink together with Canon imagePROGRAF W7250 featuring dye ink being tested at FLAAR labs at Bowling Green State University. Nicholas holds his photos from Malta done with dye ink on photo glossy media. Jennifer holds the same photos done on canvas with the 8200. Quality is superior to any other thermal printheads machine and equal to any Epson or Roland printer with piezo heads. The FLAAR Reports are the first outside documentation of the capabilities of this remarkable Canon printhead. With 7680 nozzles you get speed faster than any other printer we have tested in our lab (significantly faster than any Epson printer).
Superior BubbleJet printhead technology
Canon cleverly placed all six colors in a single high-tech printhead. This means that the individual printheads (what you get on other printers) can't become unaligned and result in banding tracks which ruin your print. Banding is caused by more than one factor, but at least here is one potential cause removed.
Tests so far document the Canon W8200 has the highest quality of any thermal printhead machine in either of the FLAAR evaluation labs. The Canon is faster than any printer of its size or class. The ink costs less than Epson.
Our ratings of this printer's image quality is phenomenal. The specs alone don't tell the story. You have to see the resulting prints, and then compare this output with all the other brands such as Epson, Encad, and so on. We have over a dozen printers in the same room and the consensus was that the output from the Canon W8200 (and Canon W7250) was as good as the Epson and better than anything else in the entire university. This is how a printer gets our recommendations: actual output, compared and contrasted with its peers.
We have tested the w7250 (dye) and w8200 (pigmented, 44"). We did not receive a 24" w6200 (pigmented ink printer). This is the first, and only 24" printer in the world with pigmented ink that can challenge the well entrenched Epson 7600. That's because neither Kodak, Encad, nor HP have any 24" printer with pigmented ink. But now (summer 2005), Epson has produced their Epson Stylus Pro 7800 and Epson Stylus Pro 9800, so competition is getting tough.
Every several years there is either a new Canon iPF printer or a new Epson or a new HP water-based printer that is made for giclee, decor, or fine art photography. It is hard to keep track of the advances in improved inks and color management features. FLAAR is keeping track by visiting giclee ateliers around the world that have these various brands. Each brand has its good points and a few issues and an occasional deficiency.
Since FLAAR itself does not sell printers, for you to find out information on prices and availability of each model that can print fine art giclee well, we suggest you contact a company that offers all three brands: Canon, HP, and Epson. This way they are not going to push just one brand because they offer all three. Plus you need a company that has plenty of experience with fine art photographs, photo labs, and giclee atelier.
The advantage of a place that offers both Epson, HP, and Epson is that they can provide some tips on the differences. If a store sells only one brand or the other, they will understandably push the brand they sell. One value-added retailer that we have visited several times is Parrot Digigraphic. They know each of the brands and models. Contact info is 978.670.7766.
First posted Sept. 26, 2006.
The complete FLAAR Reports are in full-color PDF format. Our institute has comprehensive FLAAR Reports on over 73 different wide format inkjet printers, RIP software, color management, scanners, digital cameras and on countless markets such as wide format inkjet printers for photography, giclee, proofing, CAD, GIS, graphic design, signs, and specialty applications too. All FLAAR Reports by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth and his team are available on wide-format-printers.net
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