Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII Inkjet Photo Printer Review

by Mark Burnsworth

I’m an amateur photographer and I’m finally getting more serious about my equipment, so it was a no brainer to purchase a higher end photo printer, which gives me complete creative control of my images from the moment I take the shot to the moment it’s printed. After extensive research, I settled on the Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII Inkjet Photo Printer. Below I’ll go over the printer specs and capabilities in detail as well as my thoughts after using it to print hundreds of photos over the past few months.

Overview of the Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII

The Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII is an archival quality photo printer that produces beautiful borderless prints up to 13” x 19” at a maximum color DPI of 4800 x 2400. It uses Canon’s award winning LUCIA Ink system, which features 10 pigment based inks, including gray, black and matte black. It also features built-in auto correction technology, which instantly analyzes each image, categorizes it (snapshot with night scenery, snapshot with scenery, night scenery, scenery or portrait) and makes ambient light or color adjustments as needed. In addition, it supports a wide range of paper types including glossy, semi glossy, matte and thicker fine art papers. Finally, it supports PictBridge enabled devices, which allows you to print directly from cameras, DV camcorders or even camera phones.

My Experience with the Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII

As noted earlier, I’ve had this printer for a few months now, which has given me the chance to print hundreds of photos of all shapes and sizes, in both color and black and white. So far, I’m completely blown away by the results. Many of the printers in this price range perform well with color prints, but are weak when using black and white. The Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII performs equally well on both. I’ve used different paper types but my favorite so far is Canon’s Platinum series. One of my prints was even accepted into a juried show, and after my wife compared it to other photos that were on display, she said you’d never know I had printed it from home!

Feature wise I love the two way paper feeding, and the red LED lights on the ink cartridges are a nice touch too (they blink to indicate low ink). The speed is also very good considering the quality of the photos, even when you’re doing the large 13” x 19” size prints. Size wise it’s also fairly compact given the large prints it can produce so I had no trouble finding space for it in my home studio.

PROS

  • Inexpensive — produces similar quality results to printers in the one or two thousand dollar range, it’s also relatively cheap to operate (ink and paper costs)
  • Quality — the claim of producing archival quality prints is spot on, they look amazing
  • B & W — unlike comparable models, this one performs equally well in color and B & W
  • Ink usage — I was worried it might be an ink guzzler, but the cartridges actually go a long way

CONS

  • Fit-to-scale — for some reason it doesn’t have the ability to fit-to-scale, so you need to do this in Photoshop or another photo editor prior to printing
  • Mac installation — the included installation disk didn’t work on my Mac, so I had to download a software bundle from their site, just a minor gripe though

The Bottom Line

Overall I am very impressed with the Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII. As an amateur photographer, it offers the perfect balance between cost and quality. I may upgrade to one of those multi thousand dollar printers down the road, but for now this one absolutely meets all of my needs and produces stunning quality photos from the comfort of my own studio at home. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone that needs or wants the convenience of producing their own gallery/archival quality photos, rather than relying on photo labs.

Price Alert: Currently Amazon.com is offering a generous 19% discount for the Canon Pixma PRO9500MkII Inkjet Photo Printer. This is a massive savings of $161 from the usual retail price so be sure to take advantage of this offer.

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