Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Consistent colour, better images

Cons

  • Profiles don't match the names of the papers that Canon sells

Bottom Line

The imagePROGRAF iPF6100 should put an end to talk that Canon can't compete in the professional photo printer market. With a better ink formulation and an improved printhead, this 12-ink printer produces excellent images on both glossy and fine-art media. Canon needs to clean up its profile management, but overall, the iPF6100 is a very good printer that fits in well in a competitive market.

Would you buy this?

Consistent colour, better images

Last year, when we looked at Canon's first professional-level 17in printer, the imagePROGRAF iPF5000, we felt that its prints were not as sharp and true as those printed on the top-level Epson printers, such as the Stylus Pro 4800. This was largely an issue with the profiles that Canon shipped with the printer. You needed to tweak them, or create your own profiles, to get the best possible prints, but there were still some issues, such as bronzing, that caused some people to dismiss the iPF5000.

Since that time, Canon has been hard at work. The company says that it has improved a number of problem areas in the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100 print engine, and all of those tweaks have been designed to improve print quality. For example, the black and grey inks have been reformulated to provide better coverage and scratch resistance; the print head has been redesigned, producing a tiny 4-picoliter droplet; and improved screening routines resolve detail much more finely than the iPF5000's printhead.

This all means significantly improved print quality. Last year, iPF5000 prints regularly came in at the bottom in our jury testing, but this year, prints from the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100 often tied or beat prints from the top Epson and HP printers. Colour fidelity was excellent, and fine detail, especially in the shadows, was reproduced exceptionally well. Black-and-white images were neutral, and looked good on every paper type we printed them on.

Going beyond the quality of the photos, the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100's print speed is quite good as well. Using the mid-level quality setting, which was more than adequate for most images, the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100 printed an 8x10in image in 1 minute, 30 seconds; a 16x20in image took 3 minutes, 36 seconds; and a 24in square photograph took 5 minutes, 36 seconds to print. (In contrast, the 24in square image took 7 minutes, 57 seconds to print with comparable quality on similar paper on our HP Designjet Z3100 Photo.)

Minor annoyances

While the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100 makes some significant strides over previous Canon printers, there is still room for improvement. The biggest issue is that many of the iPF6100's ICC profiles don't match the names of the papers that Canon sells, which means that you have to guess which paper goes with which profile. For example, the roll of Heavyweight Satin Photographic Paper sent to us by Canon was listed in the printer's settings when we loaded it, but not in the print driver. Instead, there were three different types of semi-gloss photo papers to choose from, and we had to print sample images with each profile to figure out which one came out closest to our image, and then put a note on our monitor to remember which profile was for which paper.

In addition, the documentation, while much better than that of the iPF5000, could still be better organised and presented. There are also a few places where the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100's plastics feel flimsy and cheap, which is something we hate to see in a printer of this class.

Fitting into the market

In the wide-format market, the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100 is up against Epson's Stylus Pro 7800 -- whose replacement, the 7880 is just starting to ship -- and HP's Designjet Z2100 Photo and Z3100 Photo printers. The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100's print quality and speed are comparable to all of these printers, although Epson says that the 7880 has a wider colour gamut than its competitors (we haven't yet tested this model). With the Epson printers, however, you have to physically swap the photo and matte black inks when you want to change paper types.

HP's Designjets, while more expensive than the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100, produce stunning images and have a much stronger set of features, including integrated profiling, thanks to their built-in X-Rite i1 colorimeters. In this quickly changing market, you can get a printer from Canon, Epson or HP that will produce excellent, long-lasting prints.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?