PRO-1000: color mode and black&white mode compared

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theninth Regular Member • Posts: 160
PRO-1000: color mode and black&white mode compared


A couple of days ago I posted a question regarding the difference between printing black and white images using the color mode with an ICC profile or the Black and White Photo Mode available in the printer driver and Canon's Professional Print and Layout and Print Studio Pro.

Most people responded that it comes down to preference, so I decided to run my own tests and see what differences I can discern from that.

For that I did test prints on two different papers, the matte Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 and the glossy FineArt Baryta. I compared those prints visually and in more detail via high-resolution scans. And finally I took a look at the ink consumption via the Canon Accounting Manager.

My results are:

  • There is a tonal difference, slightly noticeable for the matte paper, more pronounced for the glossy paper.
  • I do not think the actual differences observed in my test can be generalized - using different paper and ICC profiles will produce a different outcome.
  • In my specific case for the matte paper, the color mode actually seems to produce more neutral results, while for the glossy paper, the Black and White Photo mode produces more neutral, even blueish tones with the color mode's tone being warmer.
  • In terms of ink consumption, both modes actually use all twelve inks with only slight differences in the amounts, so any notion that the Black and White Photo mode uses only black and grey inks is not correct.

You can find my detailed results in the blog post below, with scans of the prints and details on the ink consumption results:

Regards, Robert

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Fujifilm X100T Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM +3 more
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