Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880

Started Jul 26, 2012 | Discussions
jeffs7
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Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
Jul 26, 2012

Hello. I am investigating purchasing a "pro" printer for home office proof prints and I cannot decide between the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 and the Canon Pixma Pro-1. I have read as many reviews as I could find, but none of them talked about things like reliability, how finicky the printer is, how quickly it breaks or clogs/jams.

I know the printers have different paper size abilities, but that probably will not be too much of an issue for me. Most of my printing is 8x10 for my own use. I send larger prints and the ones I want higher quality out to a professional printer. If this were your money, which would you choose and why? Do you think the added flexibility of 17" printing worth the wasted ink during a photo to matte conversion (Epson 3880) or the additional inks in the Canon are a worthwhile compromise for smaller cartridges? What about ink consumption? I want to know about the user experience, which I can't get from most professional reviews.

I appreciate any and all information. Thanks!

Jeff

Howard Moftich
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to jeffs7, Jul 26, 2012

perhaps a better comparison is between the Pixma Pro 1 and the Epson R3000

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jeffs7
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Howard Moftich, Jul 26, 2012

Howard Moftich wrote:

perhaps a better comparison is between the Pixma Pro 1 and the Epson R3000

So you are saying that the 3880 is at a higher level than the Pro-1? The reason I am comparing them is because Epson is currently offering a $300 rebate that will make the 3880 actually less than the Pro-1.

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Petruska
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to jeffs7, Jul 26, 2012

No, Howard is saying that if you are not gong to print 17 inch, then the R3000, a 13 inch printer, is proably a better choice. It uses the same ink set as the 3880, so prints will look identical from the 3880 and 3000. Plus the 3000 allows roll paper feed and is wireless capable if needed. Also you can buy great refiiable cartridges and 3rd party ink that costs about 7 times less than OEM ink. The PRO-1 right now has no refillable cartridges or inks available, and may never will.

Bob P.

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jeffs7
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Petruska, Jul 26, 2012

While you are right the print sizes are not comparable, the two are both in my price range, which was the primary reason for the direct comparison. Plus, they are both physically the same size, and I wanted to leave it open to other people how much they used the 17" capabilities (that is, if they thought they weren't going to use it much but found that their needs grew to fit the printer's capabilities).

The thing I wonder about the other Epson is that I have heard their "consumer" printers are not made very well and have more problems (finicky paper loading, ink clogging, plastic parts not aligning correctly, etc.) than the larger printers or their Canon counterparts. Is this an accurate statement or based on old/bad information?

(For context, I currently have an HP that take forever to print. I send the job and it says "Printer preparation occurring" for like 5 minutes while it spins its wheels and does nothing. Then it will grab multiple pages, jam, give me low ink warnings, and require lots of tweaking each time to get it to print a good image.)

Jeff

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hermut
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Petruska, Jul 26, 2012

Petruska wrote:

No, Howard is saying that if you are not gong to print 17 inch, then the R3000, a 13 inch printer, is proably a better choice. It uses the same ink set as the 3880, so prints will look identical from the 3880 and 3000. Plus the 3000 allows roll paper feed and is wireless capable if needed. Also you can buy great refiiable cartridges and 3rd party ink that costs about 7 times less than OEM ink. The PRO-1 right now has no refillable cartridges or inks available, and may never will.

Bob P.

any refilabe cartridge and 3rd party inky suggestion?

thanks!

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Petruska
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to hermut, Jul 26, 2012

Many good cartridges and inks from Image Specialists (Precision Colors on Ebay), Inkjetfly, Inkjectcarts, Cone (Inkjetmall).

I like and use Cone inks and cartridges.

Bob P.

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rodbam
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The 3880
In reply to jeffs7, Jul 27, 2012

jeffs7 wrote:

The thing I wonder about the other Epson is that I have heard their "consumer" printers are not made very well and have more problems (finicky paper loading, ink clogging, plastic parts not aligning correctly, etc.) than the larger printers or their Canon counterparts. Is this an accurate statement or based on old/bad information?

You will find the 3000, 3880 & the Pro1 are all of comparable quality & the Epson 3000 & Canon Pro1 are the latest printers. I think you might find all three of these printers should give you prints as good as your custom lab prints if you learn about the ins & outs of getting a good print & profile your printer & monitor.

Also the reports are the Epsons do not clog as the older models were supposed too but they do say to use the printer on a regular basis even if you only do a nozzle check.

(For context, I currently have an HP that take forever to print. I send the job and it says "Printer preparation occurring" for like 5 minutes while it spins its wheels and does nothing. Then it will grab multiple pages, jam, give me low ink warnings, and require lots of tweaking each time to get it to print a good image.)

All three printers will be a lot quicker than your old HP from your description.

My advice would be to get the Pro 3880 as it has a very good range of after market inks especially from Cone inks & they have quality cartridges made for refilling. The Pro 3000 might have the same range of non OEM inks by now.
Regards Rod

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AusPic
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Petruska, Jul 27, 2012

I was really keen to go with the Pro 1, went as far as getting on a waiting list for one.

Then I got to speak to a Pro using the Canon as a product ambassador at a Photographic exhibition and he walked me through the paper sizes and printing option. In a nutshell you are paying premium price to get postage stamp size prints in Canons choice of supported sizes.....there are ways to 'fool' the printer but I just WILL NOT GO THERE!.

For A$1300 I will print in the sizes I choose thank you very much, saw some black and white done on the machine.......not impressed at all.

Agonised over the 3000 vs 3880 and settled on the 3880 as it has a better range in print size being a bigger machine. Full set of OEM inks here are A$800+. For a little over A$1300 I have two sets of Cone refill carts + syringes and 9 x 1Liter inks, do the sums. 9000ml / 80 ml = 110 carts, how cheap can you get OEM carts ? cos my 110 cost me A$1300!!!!!!!!OEM's are REALLY pulling on our chains BIG time.

Whatever you choose suggest an entry level try of 3rd party, Cone are really close to OEM and canned profiles are usable. If you are REALLY, REALLY picky you can easily do custom profiles for your papers, but all you will find out is the improvements you see in the 3rd party inks output doing your own profile will also be reflected in improvements to the OEM inks print output.

Following this and Bob P's input they (Brand ' OEM' plants) will fill
these pages with dire warnings of the world coming to an end.....its crud!

Copy for payment for the most part I believe. There are some genuine posters who just will not risk the switch for their own reasons, thats OK too, but they are hard to pick out from the Vested Interest brigade that tread these Halls!

-- hide signature --

Andrew G

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Petruska
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The 3880 and 3000 7use the same ink set...
In reply to rodbam, Jul 27, 2012

the Vivid Magenta K3, so all 3rd party inks for that ink set work with both printers.

Bob P.

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Dixa
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to jeffs7, Jul 30, 2012

the problem you will have with any consumer level printer is properly profiling it.

you will get different results with different copies of the epson 3000 using epson's profiles with the same paper than between different copies of the 3880.

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hermut
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Petruska, Jul 31, 2012

Petruska wrote:

Many good cartridges and inks from Image Specialists (Precision Colors on Ebay), Inkjetfly, Inkjectcarts, Cone (Inkjetmall).

I like and use Cone inks and cartridges.

Bob P.

I was checking Cone and Precision Colors. Both have the "same" kit but Precision price is almost half of Cone one's, and Precision gives you 1oz extra per tank.

In the other hand, ConeColor have color profiles for the R3000...

I don't know if it's worth to pay the double for ConeColor quality and color profiles ...

Thanks Bob !

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Petruska
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to hermut, Jul 31, 2012

I find IS ink to lack the gloss of the OEM ink and if you are not printing on gloss paper this this many not be a issue for you. I should have also mentioned Ink Republic ink as a source.

It depends on how picky you are withyour prints. I generate custom profiles for all my ink/paper combinations including OEM and see the differences.

Bob P.

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hermut
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Petruska, Jul 31, 2012

Petruska wrote:

I find IS ink to lack the gloss of the OEM ink and if you are not printing on gloss paper this this many not be a issue for you. I should have also mentioned Ink Republic ink as a source.

I should understand that this doesn't happen with ConeColor inks...

It depends on how picky you are withyour prints. I generate custom profiles for all my ink/paper combinations including OEM and see the differences.

Bob P.

btw, which hardware are you using for creating your own ICC's?

I have a Xrite i1Display 2, and I don't know if it could be user for that...

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Petruska
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to hermut, Aug 1, 2012

Yes, the Cone has the same gloss, or better than the OEM ink. I'm not saying that the other good 3rd party inks, such as, Inkjetfly and inkjetcarts don't have the gloss as I never tested them. Ink Republic had the gloss but their magenta was a little strange.

I use both the Xrite I1PRO Photo, and their Pulse Color Elite systems, their ColorMunki "Photo" does a very good job compared to the other two systems that cost $1K+.

The I1D2 won't do ICC printer profiles.

Bob P.

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hermut
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Petruska, Aug 1, 2012

Petruska wrote:

Yes, the Cone has the same gloss, or better than the OEM ink. I'm not saying that the other good 3rd party inks, such as, Inkjetfly and inkjetcarts don't have the gloss as I never tested them. Ink Republic had the gloss but their magenta was a little strange.

About IS inks and it's lack of gloss... I'm not so much "picky", so after IS confirmed to me that they also give color profiles, I think that I will go for IS.

I can buy a refurbished R3000 without OEM ink so, If I buy IS ink, I won't be able to compare with any other inks and I will be happy.

Thanks Bob

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Plini
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to jeffs7, Oct 23, 2012

I assume all 3 have more or less the quality required  - so no question here

The Ink costs is on par between Epson and Canon for original inks  (80 ml for 44 €, 36 ml for 22 €) and a clear win for Epson for OEM inks -

What about build quality (I am planning to print hundreds of 5x7 prints borderless and only a few 13x19). Borderless printing is always a pain for any printer. Which modell do you think wins here?

What about print speed? R3000 and Pixma Pro-1 seem to be substancially faster than the 3880. (imagine printing 200 prints 5x7 takes 3 hours or 6 hours?) and what about the paper feed. Does the Canon really only support 20 pages?

Many thanks for any hints here

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Dan Wells
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Re: Canon Pixma Pro-1 or Epson Pro 3880
In reply to Plini, Nov 1, 2012

All three will give you very nice quality prints, all three are well built machines. To my surprise (I've printed extensively on my 3880, on a very wide range of papers, and on the bigger Canon iPF Lucia ink machines, but not on the Pro-1, which has a slightly different inkset from the bigger machines), the 8 (9 if you count both Matte and Photo Black) ink Epson stands up pretty darned well to the 12 ink Canons. I'd say they have very similar gamuts, with the Epson having slightly better neutrals than the big Canons, and the Canons having an edge in the blues (the iPF series add a true blue to the two cyans, which nobody else does). The Pro-1 complicates this a bit, because it loses that lovely blue ink, but adds an extra gray, which should improve the neutrals. Imaging Resource prefers the R3000's neutrals over the Pro-1's, even with the Canon's extra gray... I have only seen a few samples from a Pro-1, which looked very nice, but have never the SAME sample (I'd really need same print, same paper) on a Pro-1 and a 3000 or 3880. They are pretty comparable, but I unfortunately can't say what the comparative strengths and weaknesses are, because the Pro-1 isn't QUITE the same as the larger iPF line I know well.

As for the 3000 vs. 3880, I'd say 3880 in almost all circumstances unless you need one of the 3000's special features. The 3880 is usually rebated to within $200 or so of the 3000's price (it's the middle of the night at the end of a month right now, and I can't tell what November's rebate will be, but the 3880 usually carries a rebate in the range of $250-300). The two printers have the same inkset, closely related heads and very, very similar print quality. The 3880's cartridges are three times the size and about half the price per ml of ink, and a 3880 comes with full cartridges, so it has an extra $250 or so worth of ink on top of what comes with a 3000. It's not really much bigger than a 3000 (and is, amazingly, both smaller and lighter than the Pro-1), due to the clever placement of the ink cartridges and despite the 4" of extra carriage width.

The 3000 has a somewhat more modern control panel with color ink indicators (as opposed to somewhat cryptic indicators on the 3880, which aren't in color and are labeled only with a number instead of a color name - you eventually get used to which ink corresponds to which number, but it is confusing at first). It also has (very) limited roll handling,WiFi, the ability to print CDs and DVDs, and the ability to direct print from a digital camera. Why anyone would direct print to this kind of printer is entirely beyond me! If you need to print a lot of CDs or the like, you need a dedicated CD   printer (despite the absurd prices of both printer and ink, anything else will be too big a pain!). If you only need to print a few, many $100 inkjets can print a respectable CD now and then, and it's not worth giving up the 3880's big cartridges for a CD or two every now and then.

The only three cases where I'd see the 3000 as the choice over its big brother are if you either  absolutely need the WiFi because the printer can't go anywhere near the computer or the router, and you're not willing to use an AirPort Express or some other print server (remember that a 3880 plugged into the Ethernet port on a WiFi router is perfectly visible over the WiFi network), print a ton of panoramas (really the only use for the 3000's roll feeder - roll paper isn't really cheaper than sheets until you reach 24" rolls - you can print panoramas on a 3880 by cutting sheets from rolls, but that's a bit of a pain) or need an occasional extremely high quality CD or DVD (if you need a lot, only a dedicated CD/DVD printer will prevent frustration, and if you don't need extreme quality, get a 3880 and some cheap inkjet for the CDs).

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RumpelHund
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Size might be an issue
In reply to jeffs7, Nov 1, 2012

I was in the same position and took a trip to photokina to get my mind up. Actually print quality is kind of the same between both for what I could tell.

The thing that made up my mind was the gargantuan bulkiness of the Pro-1, which reminded me of a washing machine rather than a printer. If I had that space I'd go for a used Epson 7900 rather.

As Epson won't come up with a 3900 any day soon (or would have for photokina) and prices are almost OK these days I will receive mine tomorrow. Had a Epsnon7900 offered to me used for 1800€ but the noise on choking nozzles made me too nervous, as did the size and the invest in inks (800€ for  the smallest set of 150mls) where the 3880 requires 550€ for 80ml inkset.

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