P800 vs Pro1000 My thoughts after having owned both
I initially bought the P800 a few months ago. I had always casually printed on an R2880 and liked it. Have some prints from it that still look great. Initially I was stoked with the P800. The quality of print seemed to improve and the color accuracy and profiles impressed me. It felt great to be able to print what I saw on screen accurately, something I struggled with years ago on PC ( using a retina display now ) at least in color.
The bad news started with the pinwheel or pizza wheel lines. I initially saw them on prints with Canson Bartya pg. They stood out on the page and were visible head on. This pattern continued on all of the soft / thicker papers I tested. Further scrutiny revealed these lines on every paper I printed on, including Epson PL. I called multiple times and even sent them photos of the lines head on. As expected they were only visible in areas of deep grey and blacks. I ended up on the phone with one of the Epson troubleshoot department heads. He told me he had never heard of this issue. Epson ended up sending me two more printers and the problem persisted. Other issues I had with the paper were smudge lines on the corner of some pages which I didn't consider a deal breaker.
I ended up selling the P800 and buying a Pro1000. After two+ months I haven't had a singe misprint that could not be attributed to user error. There are pinwheel lines using some papers ( yes the Canon uses the same pinwheel array ). The lines are never visible head on and they tend to disappear after a day. Strangely on some of my favorite thicker papers there are no lines at all and the standard papers under 12mil are flawless. The Pro 1000 is also a borderless machine. If you print a lot of borderless stuff Id say go with the Canon.
Upon receiving the Pro1000 the number and price of inks was a source of stress. Filling up to zero will cost you 900+ dollars ( around 4 chroma optimizers per full tank from what Ive read ) The epson would be around $430 if you don't use matte ink. Im lucky in that a refill would last me the better part of a year. Considering the Pro1000 has not yet had a paper issue ( not a single one ) I could see how the real cost of printing on the Epson would increase.
The print quality feels superior on the Canon as well although its not worth discussing as you can get stunning results out of both. I can't speak much for the Epson matte performance as I don't print that much matte and Ive read Epson has always excelled in matte printing. The Canon also uses matte black on photo prints at almost the same rate as the photo black. I conducted a blind print off when I had both printers in house and people almost always chose prints from the Canon. If I had to describe the print output I'd use the word intense which is similar to how Id describe the Canon camera line. Some people love it, some people hate it.
Some other points of interest Epson technical was more knowledgeable and consistent but also kept saying the same thing over and over. Canon reps ranged from clueless to very knowledgeable and personable. If you are on the phone with Canon keep requesting a transfer until you are connected with someone who knows what they are talking about.
I found myself printing black and white using perceptual rendering intent on the Epson frequently. The Canon I tend to stick relative colorimetric and on most papers there isn't much difference from the soft proof between the two. The Pro 1000 appears to purge after every print and it periodically shakes itself to keep the ink suspended. The Canon is constantly doing stuff to itself and I feel like over time I may actually figure out what its doing. Between photoshop, print studio pro and the driver, printing can become a bit confusing for some settings. In order to initiate unidirectional printing you have to essentially disobey Canon's Print Studio Pro message not to deviate from the driver default settings. There are also settings on the printer itself which at times can feel like its conflicting with what you've told the printer to do through software. In reality this is always overriden and its confusing at first.
It feels like I've thrown Epson under the bus and maybe I have. The technology in the Pro1000 just seems superior and I haven't even thought about the possibility of a print exiting the printer with flaws or foibles which is nice as I can focus on other things. It is more expensive to buy and probably more expensive to refill although I think the real cost of printing versus the Epson will be known over time. Heck the Canon could fall apart next month but up to this point it has been a much less stressful printer to own.
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