Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6100
- Consistent colour, better images
- Profiles don't match the names of the papers that Canon sells
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.
Price$ 5,445.00 (AUD)
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.)
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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
- Why won’t my printer connect to my wireless router?
- 3D printer owners rate the best 14 machines
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSenior Citrix Engineer / LeadNSW
- FTLooking for Software TestersACT
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTMid Level .Net DeveloperVIC
- FTEnterprise Security ArchitectQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- FTSupport OfficerSA
- TPEOI - JAVA DeveloperACT
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- CCIT Systems Administrator-Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTSenior Front End Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- FTSenior Software Developer (x3)WA
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Intelligence and Analytic Solution DesignersACT
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- FTReport Developer and Visualisation AnalystQLD
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTTechnical Solution ArchitectSA
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW