Pros: Best output quality on the market; 16-bit output; innovative Ambient Light Correction feature.
Cons: Messy software with one tool missing from the box; Ambient Light Correction is Windows-only; pricier than main rival.
The software’s main purpose is to avoid a clash of colour management between Photoshop and the printer driver, but it also provides access to the new Ambient Light Correction. This allows you to print images to look ‘correct’ under different types of fluorescent lights with colour temperatures from 3000K to 6500K. We tested this by comparing a standard print under a GrafiLite daylight lamp with a corrected print under our bright office lights and found a much nearer match than with the standard print under the office lights. The key problem with this feature is that it’s not available on Mac OS X, the platform that most designers who want to use the technology will be using.
The latest version of Easy-PhotoPrintPro also runs as a plug-in for Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software for EOS camera users – but unfortunately not as a plug-in for Aperture or Lightroom.
Also new, apparently, is version 2 of Canon’s Colour Management Tool Pro, which allows you to profile specialist papers from the likes of Hahnemühle and Ilford if you own a high-end spectrophotometer such as X-rite’s Eye-One Pro. For some reason Canon hasn’t included the software in the box, and at time of writing it wasn’t on the company’s website. We’ve seen the first version, which is easy to use but not available for Mac OS X 10.4/5 or Windows Vista. Canon says that the new software will be online by the time the printer starts shipping in May.
The Pixma Pro9500 Mark II is an excellent printer that photographers capturing Raw images will prefer over the HP B9180 due to the quality of its 16-bit output. Illustrators and designers working in 8-bit may prefer the B9180’s price tag – which is £140 lower – built-in calibrator and network connectivity.
We used Colour Confidence's Print Profiler to measure the colour gamuts of the Canon Pixma Pro 9500 Mark II (left) against the HP Photosmart Pro B9180 (right). These graphs show range of colours its possible to output from each printer against the colours that the human eye can see.