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Now pigmented ink is available for Canon wide format imagePROGRAF 8200 Print E-mail

The Canon IMA was prese nted at CeBIT computer tradeshow in Germany in March 2003. This new pigmented ink printer was shown to American audiences at Graph Expo in October. A FLAAR team was there in person to report what we learn about this printer (get Graph Expo Report).

Canon imagePROGRAF 8200 printhaeads BGSU
Checking Canon wide format imagePROGRAF 8200 printheads at FLAAR facility at BGSU.

Canon has a good name in desktop-sized inkjet printers, but lacked pigmented ink before now. Once loaded with pigmented ink, the new Canon imagePROGRAF 8200 has become immediate competition for Epson and for what's left of Encad. Encad totally lacks its own patents in printhead technology. Canon is world leader in bubble-jet printhead patents so its printhead is light years ahead of those of Lexmark (which is what Encad has to use, since it has no other options).

Canon provided a W8200 printer to evaluate (indeed it was 20th off the assembly line). This helps because other printers straggle in up to a year after they are introduced, which does not help the many readers who come to FLAAR for fresh reviews and pithy commentary.

We concentrate on the printhead since this is what sets the Canon apart from its competitors (price sets it aside from Encad; Canon W8200 is seemingly quite a bit more economical than a comparably sized Encad with six or eight colors).

Besides, with the Canon the RIP is included in the price. That’s right, the PostScript RIP is included. The Canon solution is not intended to be a fancy recreation of Adobe Photoshop or other design software.

A further benefit of thermal technology is that effectively you get a completely new printer quality whenever you change the printhead. With Encad, HP, ColorSpan, and Canon you just pop out the head and put in the new one. Changing an Epson head (claimed to be permanent but admittedly just long-lasting, and definitely not permanent), can cost about $1200 up to $2000. This is because only a service technician can make the change. Almost all large format printer service calls start at about $1200 before you even start paying for the parts. Printhead is about $530 more or less (whether Epson or Canon). Canon has one head (with gazillions of nozzles). Epson has fewer nozzles due to limitations of piezo technology, hence requires two or more heads.

Canon imagePROGRAF 8200 printer evaluations
Canon imagePROGRAF 8200 printer at GoA trade show, 2004.

Anyway, changing a Canon head is pop out, pop the new one in

Based on tests over the last three months, the output from Canon has surpassed our expectations. Indeed in terms of appearance (image quality) it is the first printer that can match Epson's output (which is very pretty to the eye). The difference is that the Canon printers are much faster and ink for Canon is more reasonable price. We also estimate that the Canon printers will prove more robust and may have a better resale value in future years since they hold up well. Another plus for Canon is their new RIP software is available at no extra cost.

Canon is introducing two new printers in summer 2005: Canon imagePROGRAF W8400 and Canon imagePROGRAF W6400.


Canon wide format imagePROGRAF 8200 printer reviews
Canon wide format imagePROGRAF 8200 printer showing some samples at Graph Expo trade show 2003.



Last updated February 2, 2004.
Previously updated Oct. 28, 2003. First posted Jul. 22, 2003.



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