With so many different printer options, it can be difficult to figure out which is right for you. The Canon Pixma Pro-200 and Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 are both brand new models that seem similar in appearance but feature some essential differences.
Here is our comparison guide of these new printers, designed to help choose the printer that fits you best.
Canon Pixma Pro-200
Part of the Canon Pixma Pro line, this printer retains the Pixma ease of use but adds professional features for top-notch quality.
Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300
Loaded with features that will make any professional photographer drool, this new ImagePROGRAF PRO printer has it all.
Pixma vs ImagePROGRAF
Canon has divided its printers into several different lines, each intended to serve different users. To start off our comparison, let’s talk about the Pixma line versus the ImagePROGRAF line.
Canon’s Pixma printers can be considered a best friend to anyone who needs printing done, from artists all the way to the everyday office worker. Originally, the Pixma series was a varied line that offered a slew of well-rounded features to appeal to most general users. Eventually, the line began dividing into divisions such as the MG/MX/TR/TS Series, which are all-in-one printers (fax, scan, and print), and the iP Series, which are single-function printers. The Pro division of the line was designed specifically for photographers to print their work professionally at home.
The ImagePROGRAF line was always designed for imaging professionals such as photographers and graphic designers, and never really catered to anyone else. These printers tend to include features heavily coveted by artists and that cater to their needs. The line is known for its large format printers and use in art galleries, but the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 breaks this stereotype with its A3 size.
Both of these printers are fairly new additions to the Canon market, so you can rest assured that they are both equally powerful improvements over predecessors. Both are A3 and are touted as excellent photography printers!
It’s All About the Colors
When looking at printers for photographs, color accuracy becomes of the utmost importance. You want to ensure that the colors you see on your computer screen translate accurately to the printing medium. Color is also where these two printers differ the most, as the Pixma Pro-200 and ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 use different types of ink.
The Canon Pixma Pro-200 uses dye-based inks. Dye ink is a type of ink in which a color substance is dissolved into a liquid, which provides a wide color space. The caveat, however, is that, if your print comes into contact with water or moisture, the ink will come out. Dye inks are known for being vivid and colorful – hence the quality of the Canon Pixma Pro-200 prints.
The Canon Pixma Pro-200 uses FINE (Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering; what a mouthful!) printhead in order to carefully place dots of color into the correct places, making for a brilliant color array in your photo prints. There are eight ink cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow, black, photo cyan, photo magenta, light gray, and gray, which make for a great range of hues, tones, and saturations.
The Pixma Pro is missing Canon’s Chromatic clear coat, which lets you adjust how glossy or matte your prints are. As such, your prints do come out in only one type of sheen (which impacts how color is perceived by the viewer).
The Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 uses pigment-based ink, a bit different from dye-based ink. Pigment-based ink works by suspending small color particles in a liquid, kind of like sand in water (where the sand particles float and do not dissolve). Pigment inks tend to be lighter than dye-based inks, but at the end of the day, both produce the same level of gorgeous vibrancy and consistency. The advantage of pigment ink, however, is that it will not falter in water. Pigment ink also produces a much more solid black, essential for black and white prints and images with lots of contrast. Generally speaking, pigment-based inks are considered significantly higher quality than dye inks.
The caveat here is that pigment inks are much more expensive than dye-inks. As such, the Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 is more expensive to own; remember how I said that it’s oriented towards the professional photographer? There are ten ink cartridges in total, two more than the Canon Pixma Pro-200.
The Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 does have the Chromatic clear coat, which allows you to make prints from matte all the way to ultra glossy (and everything in between!). As such, the colors tend to be much richer and brighter compared to other printers. This printer also uses the FINE printhead.
The differences between color rendering in these two printers would very likely fly right over the average person’s head; they won’t see a difference. But for us professional photographers who like to pixel peep even on physical mediums, the difference is noticeable. Bottom line: the Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 generally has better color rendering than the Canon Pixma Pro-200.
Although printing time doesn’t seem too significant when you just consider one sheet of paper, it makes a massive difference if you are printing multiple images at once!
The Pixma Pro-200 is significantly faster than the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300. For comparison, the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 prints a standard 8” x 10” print size in approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds, while the Pixma Pro-200 prints the same size in 53 seconds. The Pixma Pro-200 takes 1 minute and 30 seconds to do an 11” x 14” print, while the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 takes 2 minutes and 50 seconds to do the same thing.
Say you have to do a batch of twenty 8” x 10” prints for a client; with the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300, you’ll be sitting on your hands for nearly an hour! With the Pixma Pro-200, it’ll take you a little over 17 minutes. Not bad, right?
Now, going back to the color rendering topic: there is a reason why one is significantly longer than the other. The ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 spends a lot more time on rendering proper colors and details than the Pixma Pro-200. That’s not to say that the Pixma Pro-200 does a bad job (it definitely doesn’t!) but the discerning professional will notice a difference.
Features and Ease of Use
Canon is known for packing as many features as possible into their products, and these printers are no different.
Both printers have built-in features to help prevent, or remedy, clogged nozzles. Clogged nozzles are the bane of any printer user’s existence, so this nifty feature is very helpful!
Both printers are touted to be easy to use, but printers are never without their headaches. The Pixma Pro-200 is supposed to be difficult to set up but easy to use, and the ImagePROGRAF Pro-300 is said to be easy to set up but more complicated to use. You win some, you lose some, I guess!
Both printers have large screens to help navigate between menus and options. Both printers can also be controlled wirelessly.
However, the Pixma Pro-200 is lacking in actual printing features. The ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 has the ability to create much deeper and move prominent blacks (helping your prints pop) and even features a Black and White monochromatic mode. The ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 can also handle far more paper types than the Pixma Pro-200, as the Pixma cannot print on canvas or thicker papers.
For extra fun, the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 even has a tray to print CD tops!
Price and Running Costs
As with all printers, it’s not just the price of the unit you have to factor in; it’s the running costs, as well. These include the ink cartridges you will have to continuously purchase.
The Pixma Pro-200 is priced around $599, give or take, with dye-based inks that run about $1.05 per milliliter. You can buy the entire eight ink set for about $105.99, or each individual tank for $13.99.
The ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 is a different story. With a starting price of $899 and pigment-based inks, the cost adds up fast. The inks run at around $122 for the full pack on a good day.
Which Printer Is Right for You?
As for what printer is right for you, it really depends on who you are as a photographer! Both are excellent printer choices that will serve most photographers quite well, and the layman likely won’t notice much of a difference in the final product.
However, it is clear that the Canon Pixma Pro-200 is more oriented toward the enthusiast or hobbyist photographer who also appreciates quality, while the Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 is suited for professional photographers and photography studios. The Pixma Pro-200 has a lower base price and much lower running costs, yet it still produces beautiful prints to enjoy.
Thanks to its higher level of control plus better detail and color rendering, the ImagePROGRAF PRO-300 is more of a pro photographer’s dream. With the increased running costs in comparison to the Pixma Pro-200, a professional is more likely to make the money back and justify the spending.
There are five common A paper sizes:
A0 is 33.11 x 46.81 inches.
A1 is 23.39 x 33.11 inches.
A2 is 16.53 x 23.39 inches.
A3 is 11.69 x 16.53 inches.
A4 is 8.27 x 11.69 inches.
In the editing room, convert your images to CMYK color format and change the resolution to 300 dpi or higher.
If the printer has a monochromatic mode, that would be the best one to use for black and white prints. If not, make sure to adjust the image file color to black and white.
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