A2-Fineart Photoprints in Comparison

Which manufacturer builds the better Fineart photoprinter? We test the A2 devices Epson SC-P800 and Canon iPF Pro-1000. You can also find out everything about consumption costs and everything about photoprint.

The specialists in the inkjet printers put photos with up to twelve colors on the paper. This way, they achieve a unique, high-quality display quality with matching paper. We test two top devices from Canon and Epson , support both the A2-Plus format. The Epson SC-P800 uses eight colors, while the Canon iPF Pro-1000 uses twelve colors. But first we give an overview of the photoprint with inkjet printers and a Market overview of Fine-Art-Fotopruckern. 

Photographic printing with inkjet devices

Epson SureColor SC-P800 9 color inkjet printer (DIN A2 +, optional at Amazon

A normal color printer works with the four basic colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black.The mixture of these four basic colors results in all other colors. However, for a real photoprinter you need more than these four basic colors. Other colors such as bright cyan and light magenta are used here. This significantly expands the color space. In addition, fine color gradations can be represented. Especially in the case of human skin or in the sky, this can be seen clearly. These additional colors are also known as photocycles and photomagenta.

If you look at the Internet pages of the manufacturers, there are printers for home users so some printers, which are praised as a photoprinter. On closer inspection, however, they use only the four basic colors and an additional black cartridge for printing documents on plain paper. Canon grabs now at its PIXMA MG7750 – Serie additional gray cartridge in the printer, which just enhances the monochrome printing significantly.

The results of such printers can be quite impressive, a comparison to a full-blown photo printer with six or more color cartridges but they do not withstand. A cheap photo printer with six colors for A4 prints provides as Epson with the Expression Photo XP-55for Around 120 euros.

Photographers usually reach a number larger with A3 + paper size. These are considerably more expensive from 400 euros, but they also have larger cartridges. Where the expression Photo XP-55 only 9.8 ml packed in its cartridge, there are bigger brother Epson SureColor SC-P600 already 25.9 ml.

These different inks are available

Two types of ink have been used in photo printers. Besides the water-based dye ink – also called dye ink – the pigment ink. The gross difference is that the dye ink is not light, so that an expression lying in the sun will become faded after a short time. In contrast, the promise of the pigment ink is that it keeps its color even for 200 years depending on the paper used. This is already an extreme value, more important here are the minimum values ​​and as the pigment ink with at least 40 years is pleasingly durable.

For this reason, printers with dye ink are only used in entry-level devices. For the high-quality photoprint – also called Fine-Art-Druck – the manufacturers used exclusively on pigment ink. Their color stability and durability are not only a prerequisite for long-lasting pleasure in their own pictures, but also important when you want to sell pictures or exhibit them in a gallery or a museum. For this reason, the classic photo removal from the laboratory is out of the question, because this is only a few months on the wall.

Requirements for fine-art printing

In addition to the six colors for photoprint cyan, photocyan, magenta, photomagenta, yellow and black, the Fine Art printers also include other special colors such as two gray inks. This allows the printers to produce the finest grades of gray as required by the black-and-white print. But not only there, but also in color motifs, they provide more depth. Now only one specialist is missing: the black ink for dull papers. Thus, there are two black inks in fine-art printers, one for glossy, one for dull media.

This combination of nine inks uses, for example, Epson in the SureColor SC-P600. At a price of less than 700 Euro you get here a universal device of the A3 + class with excellent print quality. Epson is the number of inks only topped by its competitors Canon and its competitor Pixma Pro-1. He also has dark gray, red and a Chroma Optimizer. The latter provides shiny differences in the brightness of the printed media. The effort also drives the price of the A3 + printer to about 800 euros.

These A3 photo printers are available

In addition to the two top-of-the-line A3 + grades from Canon and Epson, the two manufacturers offer six printers in the A3 + class:

– Canon Pixma Pro-10s for 650 euros

– Canon Pixma Pro-100s for 500 euro

– Epson SureColor SC-P400 for 530 euros

– Epson Stylus Photo 1500W for 300, – Euro.

The two cheap printers Canon Pixma Pro-100s and Epson Stylus Photo 1500W use a dye ink instead of pigment ink. Therefore, prints with these printers are not light-resistant.

In the middle class, Canon and Epson have reduced the number of inks compared to the top models to reduce costs. The entry into the Pixma Pro-10s with Canon offers a color-matching equipment with only one gray ink, a red ink and the Chroma Optimizer – a total of ten inks. The more affordable SureColor SC-P400 dispenses with all gray inks as well as Photocyan and Photomagenta, but has Red, Orange and a Gloss Optimizer (the same as Canon’s Chroma Optimizer). The SureColor SC-P400 is therefore recommended for friends of colorful prints.

In the equipment, Pixma Pro-10s and SureColor SC-P400 need not hide, thanks to WLAN, USB and Ethernet, they are very versatile and can even print CD and DVD blanks. Printing with a suitable smartphone app is very handy. IPhone and Co are now so good that you can make great prints from the pictures. The Epson can come with the special feature of roll paper – this is great for panoramas.

The lower purchase costs of the medium class models have, besides the smaller number of colors, another disadvantage: small ink cartridges and thus associated higher ink costs. The rule of thumb is that the larger the ink cartridges, the lower the ink costs.

This is the hour of top-of-the-range devices in the A3 + class with Canon Pixma Pro-1 and SureColor SC-P600. With their approximately twice as large cartridges the photographer comes a lot cheaper. Due to their extensive ink supply, they are predestined for the highest demands on print quality. In our test lab, both printers have proved their worth.A single review of the Canon Pixma Pro-1 can be read here , the test of the Epson SureColor SC-P600 can be found here .

In comparison: Canon iPF Pro-1000 versus Epson SureColor SC-P800

The Profiliga among the desktop devices is the class of the A2 photoprinter. The offer on the market is manageable, the newly introduced this year on the market Canon iPF Pro-1000 would do everything better than the top dog Epson SureColor SC-P800 and delivers with this head-to-head race.

Blocking instead of smut

Starting with the ranks of new releases Epson had his perennial Stylus Pro 3880 ( current price ) donated an update. To make the generation jump clear, the name was changed.

In the look of the small brother SC-P600 prints now also the large with the new ink generation UltraChrome HD and and as usual with 9 inks. (Vivid Light Magenta, Vivid Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Cyan, Matte Black, Photo Black, Light Light Black, Light Black). The improvement is particularly noticeable with the black density of 2.86 (on Premium Glossy Photo Paper) and ensures deep and rich black shades. We tried that out right away and in direct comparison to the predecessor that is also visible. What has not changed is the necessity of flushing the ink channel when changing the photopaper from matt to glossy and vice versa. The inks Matte Black and Photo Black still share the system.

Here is the Canon Pro 1000 ( current price ) a clear advantage. Its printhead has separate nozzles for the two black ink. Canon also has a number of inks to choose from, plus Red, Blue and a Chroma Optimizer, which is designed to provide a uniform shine on shiny media. Canon also has a new Lucia Pro ink generation with more powerful colors and a deeper black, but does not give any values. Whether the more colors make a positive impression, we come later.

Professional is in any case the filling quantity of 80 ml of the cartridges of both printers. However, with a new SC-P800 you have to make small reductions as the cartridges for initial filling are about 25 percent smaller. Professional is also the other equipment of both printers. In addition to Ethernet and USB, WLAN is also one of the connectivity options, and as an iPhone and iPad users, I am happy about Apple AirPrint. Those using an Android device, Google may cloud print use.

That is no gimmick, show us the perfect prints with an iPhone 6. Canon and Epson deliver simple to the barely reduced apps. This means that only one image per page can be printed. Scaling is very limited only the Epson app. It is possible to zoom in, only to the side width. For simple tasks it is enough for those who want to use it more often, wants much more possibilities.

The Canon Pro-1000 and the Epson SC-P800 differ significantly in the fact that an A2 printer is not small. While the shelves with 72.3 x 43.3 cm to 68.4 x 37.6 cm are still in the frame, the Canon with 32 kg compared to the Epson with its 19.5 kg is significantly heavier. In operation, you also notice this; The Canon is more robustly designed and the more weight is also due to the paper suction. It ensures a smooth pass through the paper sheets. This minimizes the risk of contact with the print head. A great thing, which is otherwise only with the large format printers with roll paper knows.

Another professional feature of the Canon printer can be noticed directly when switching on: the ink cartridges are shaken. This is very loud and frightened at the first moment, but ensures the even distribution of the pigments in the cartridge. This does not make the device every time, but always when it is necessary, which is usually the case after a longer pressure pause. Optionally, the printer also cleans the jets.

This is how the printers are handled with paper

In the case of paper formats, the two counterparties are not chosen. From 10×15 cm to A2 each format is accepted, most of them also in borderless printing. The papers are fed via an automatic single sheet feed or via a manual feed. The latter is mainly intended for heavy fine-art papers. However, this also shows differences. While the Canon “only” 0.7 mm paper thickness can be processed, it is with the Epson gigantic 1.5 mm. This is also reflected in the maximum paper weight: Canon accepts 400 g and Epson 1000 g. This is due to the absolutely straight paper feed from the front of the Epson, while with the Canon the paper from the rear slightly curved through the printer.

This great feature of the Epson one is unfortunately bought by the disadvantage of time-consuming handling. First, the single-sheet feed is extended by finger pressure, then insert the paper to press the “Insert” button on the control panel. Then press the single sheet feed again. Due to the user guidance in the display this is easy, but takes a long time. For the whole action you need about 50 seconds. This can be especially annoying when printing on fine-art paper. Another disadvantage is that the SC-P800 does not always feed the paper correctly. If the sheet is not flat and has slightly curved corners, the paper may be fed obliquely. The only solution is to smooth the paper before printing.

The trick is, however, to avoid the problem: create your own profile based on the Archival Matte and increase the paper thickness in the print settings. This is what Ilford does. But this is not without risk, since the roles of the move can leave traces.

In addition to the straight paper feed, the SC-P800 still has an advantage over the Pro-1000, the option to print from the roll. For 247 euros, Epson offers as an accessory a holder for roll paper. Thus you can print panoramas up to 15 meters. The Pro-1000 is the end of the last firmware update at 64.7 cm.

Epson has, of course, to do without a cutting unit like a professional roll-up printer.However, this can be hurt as a hobbyist because the paper is transported far enough to cut off with a pair of scissors.

simplified operation

In times when products are getting more and more complex, and manuals are only digital, it is important that the devices communicate with users. Of course, the language input does not work yet, but both Canon and Epson have taken the trouble and integrated a very good display. The Canon operates with buttons, while Epson has even a touch-screen and a foldable display. A very practical point.

Both convince with a very good readability and user guidance, which one quickly internalized. This is important because you can configure the printers via the displays.Examples include integration into your own WLAN, the shutdown timer, so that the printer turns off after a certain time, the language of the user guide, maintenance tasks such as nozzle testing and cleaning or the printer settings.

Software for printing services

Do not want to get up and walk to the printer? Also no problem, the included printer utilities can make many of the settings also from the computer. As for the included programs, Canon is particularly evident. For example, there is PrintStudio Pro, a plug-in for Canon Digital Photo Professional, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. It is intended to simplify the expression and provides simple layout functions.

Very interesting is the Accounting Manager, which reads the logs of the print jobs. In addition to the paper settings, these protocols also include ink consumption. And with this information the printing costs can be calculated. In the Accounting Manager you can save the cost of ink and paper and thus get the exact printing costs. A great thing.

Which A2 photo printer is better: Epson or Canon

After countless pictures – from 10×15 cm to A2 for an exhibition as well as three photo books – both printers show first-class results at the highest level. The printing quality is without any blame. Color intensity and a very good tonal value gradation inspire both color and black-and-white photographs. For this purpose, we have printed on various papers from the printer manufacturers as well as from third-party manufacturers. These included the very good standard papers for portrait photographer with a Pearlescent surface Canon LU-101 and the very similar Epson Premium Luster. For bright colors the Glossy media Canon PT-101 and Epson Premium Glossy . From Ilford we have on the cheap studio series printed. As photo books, we have a Tecco Book with fine-art paper and two self-bound photo books, once with Ilford Semi Gloss Duo and once with Ilford Smooth Fine Art (one-sided) printing.

Something special are fine-art media, ie papers with a matt surface, for example based on cotton. Here we have tried from Hahnemühle the thick Bamboo and Photo Rag and the thinner Photo matt Fiber with the printers.

Both printers have fed the papers easily. The Epson has just annoyed with photo books on fine-art paper the complicated single sheet feed. But also the Canon had an Achillesferse: With small papers in 13×18 cm had the automatic single sheet feeding so its problems. The papers were not always drawn in cleanly. Larger formats did not worry.

The more colors at the Canon does not make itself noticeable. In direct comparison, there are small differences in the colors. So the Canon shows stronger blues and the Epson a more powerful red on our testcharts. For skin color the Canon is a little more neutral and brighter.

In print speed, both opponents do not need anything and take about five minutes for A2 printing. An A4 is placed in the output tray after about two minutes. Both times with the second highest quality setting and an uncovered narrow edge for the Passepartout.

Recommendation: Canon iPF Pro-1000 and Epson SC-P800 both have their advantages

If you want to print mainly on glossy media and also like times panoramas from the roll, the grasps to the Epson SC-P800. The more universal and somewhat more robust printer is the Canon iPF Pro-1000. When changing black ink between matt and shiny media, it does not need to flush the ink channels and does not use unnecessary ink. Also, its manual single-sheet feed for fine-art media is much better. For this, the Epson has a straight pass and can process very thick media up to 1.5 mm. Both photo printers have the special format A2 + with 43.2 x 64.8 cm. The paper is available pre-assembled almost entirely from sales Photolux in Schwabach. The print quality of both devices is close to each other. At first sight, they both impress with a perfect print quality, both on shiny and fine-art media. In detail, the Canon iPF Pro-1000 shows a bit more sharpness in the print image. The price is almost the same, so the application decides the purchase recommendation.


Almost more important than the acquisition price of the photo printer are its maintenance costs. There is no simple statement. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that no information is available for the customer, and on the other hand, the ink consumption depends on the image motif and the printer settings.

Canon Pixma Pro-10s

Canon Pixma Pro-1

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF PRO-1000

Epson SureColor SC-P400

Cartridge Size (ml)





Price per cartridge





Price per liter





Epson SureColor SC-P600

Epson SureColor SC-P800

Epson Stylus Pro 4900

Epson SureColor SC-P6000 STD

Cartridge Size (ml)






Price per cartridge






Price per liter







Canon iPF Pro-1000




1129 euros



Parking: parking uncovered Advantages:

Tadellose print quality, excellent black-and-white printing, very good manual paper feed, versatile connections, robust mechanics with paper suction


No roll paper, maximum printing length 64.7 cm

Technical specifications:

12-color Lucia Pro ink set 2 Gray inks, 80ml cartridge size, AirPrint, GoogleCloudPrint, USB, WiFi, Ethernet

Paper formats:

A5, A4, A3, A3 +, A2, B5, B4, B3, 4×6 “, 5×7”, 8×10 “, 10×12”, 14×17 “, 17×22”, LTR, LGL, LDR

Epson SC-P800




1069 euros



Parking: parking uncovered Advantages:

Tadellose print quality, excellent black-and-white printing, versatile connections, roll paper option, straight feed for very thick papers


Start cartridges small, cumbersome manual single sheet feed, ink rinse with change mat / glossy

Technical specifications:

9 color Ultrachrome HD ink set, 2 gray inks, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet

Paper formats:

DIN A3, DIN A3, DIN A3, DIN A3, DIN A5, DIN B6, DIN C4 (cover), DIN C5 (cover), DIN C6 (cover), Letter , Letter Legal, 10 x 15 cm, 13 x 18 cm, 13 x 20 cm, 20 x 25 cm, 100 x 148 mm, 17 “(43.2 cm), Customized

Paper Settings Canon

Anyone looking at the paper settings at Canon and comparing them with the label on the packaging will not always find it. Our small list is here to help.

Professional Photopapier Platinum -> PT-101

Fotoglanzpapier Plus II -> PP-201

Professional Fotopapier Hochgl. -> LU-101

Photo Paper Plus, Silk Gloss -> SG-201

Fotopapier Matt -> MP-101

Fotopapier Pro Premium Matt -> PM-101