Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

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Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:46 am

I'm trying to weigh-up which printer to buy and would like to enrol some help in making an informed purchase. My choices are the Canon 9500 or the HP B9180, both having good reviews, both being from well established companies and both having similar capabilities. The Epson's not really a choice - the black ink swapping is out of the question.

Whichever printer is used would be run through a Windows Vista 64bit machine.

The cost is academic really, it's going to take a bit of saving and juggling anyway.

The Canon's about £60.00 more expensive.

The Canon uses 10 inks compared to the HP's 8.

The Canon's newer.

Review Scores:
    Canon 9500 Reviewed: May 2007 Score: 461 - Recommended Print Quality Score: 90
    HP B9180 Reviewed: Nov 2006 Score: 478 - Highly Recommended Print Quality Score: 98
The HP got a higher review score.

Three Pigs review question "I am often asked if I were buying a printer, which model would I choose? " placed the HP at #3 and the Canon at #7.

The important question though is should I base my choice solely on review score? They are without doubt both excellent printers but if they both cost the same would the Canon be the better machine? If not then the HP's got to be the choice. If the answer's yes though, it's got to be asked that if the Canon gives better results, is it £60.00 worth of better.

My guiding limitation is going to be print quality - which one gives the best results? Specific paper unknown yet but fine arts and glossy for starters.

I look forward to any subjective thoughts.

Sean
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Costas L » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:46 pm

Not sure there are many people who own both of these printers so not sure that you will get an informed opinion

You need to look at the aspect of the review that compares the features that you are going to use, so if you rarely print gloss then the ratings for matte or fine art prints become far more important for you. I think it comes down to what paper you plan on using
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"How could I have been so mistaken as to trust the experts" John F Kennedy 1962
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:06 pm

Can someone please tell me if I'm missing something here: the Canon can print up to 200gsm non-Canon paper or 270gsm Canon paper whilst the HP B9180 will allow you to print on 800 gsm paper. I can't see that being too much of a problem but I would like to know if third-party papers between 200 and 270gsm - giving me some flexibility - or even greater gsm could be printed (should it be required, still in the hypothetical stage).

On another note, there have been a couple of horror stories regarding the HP B9180 (this one or this one) whilst the only real complaint regarding the Canon is the 35mm border on Fine Art papers (and my above question regarding paper weight). Does this seem about right that most people are happy with the machines whether HP or Canon?
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:36 pm

Sean wrote:...like to know if third-party papers between 200 and 270gsm...

I think I found the answer to my own question with "Front feeder: Thickness up to 1.2mm", but what's that? The 1.5mm on the HP is 800gsm so I'm guessing it's about 640ish gsm (80% of 1.5mm is 1.2mm...) if fed through the front feeder.

Does that sound about right?
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:03 am

bez wrote:Like some other printers, both these seem to have a straight-through path for printing on board etc. Board weight is more variable than paper, depending how fluffy it is; thickness is the important factor.
Usually the print head lifts to a fixed height to clear this extra thickness – if you put ‘normal’ paper through (300gsm=0.3mm) the print will be fuzzy.

The front feeder isn't really for papers then? Damn. Having said that, it's purely academic really - but having that leeway to use heavier stock would be good.

bez wrote:270gsm maximum through the normal feed in the Canon seems slightly limiting as many good papers are above this weight/thickness.

True (although the Museum Etching FA-ME1 by Hanhemulhe is 350gsm). Maybe a 9500 owner could confirm the feedpath of the FA-ME1 stock.

Do any 9500 owners use non-Canon stock that's heavier than 270gsm, which feed source do you use and do you have any feed issues?
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:43 am

bez wrote:...but I believe you have to tape down the leading edge of the paper to the board – experiments needed … :roll:

Where there's a will etc. but I prefer not to have to resort to a Heath-Robinson approach.

If I stick, in the short-term, to Canon brand stock then I should be ok. I'm only trying to sort out these points prior to making the investment.

If Canon do a 350gsm stock then you'd have thought that the maximum stock weight would be 350gsm :shock: or is that too much common sense?

In the review of the 9500, Vincent was very happy with the 350gsm print:
With a correct choice of media to match subject matter, this printer is capable of producing stunning looking photographs. The picture of Sophie on page 12a, using Museum Etching media looks stunning - I will get it framed and hang it on our wall, I don't often do that with prints produced for a review. The 10 inks produced very strong colours on Glossy media, I would even go as far as to say they are on par with most dye inks. I am sure with more perseverance and new profiles that I could achieve dynamic colours with the Fine Art media too.

I could see no mention of the choice of feed path though.

Thanks bez, hopefully we'll get a 9500'er to help us here.
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:10 pm

Well, after all that, I've gone for the Epson R2880.

The black ink swapping will be an issue, but taking in peoples issues in the relative forums I went for this.

Should be here in the morning, we'll see how it goes.
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:06 pm

bez wrote:I think you made the right choice, especially if you print b&w.

i must admit to thinking that if the canon's printing with more colour inks that it'd knock the socks off everything else - maybe why the epson's good at b & w - but it doesn't :shock:

there also appear to be more profiles from different paper mills for the epson. older model maybe?

bez wrote:Good luck ... from Sheffield 8)

thx :D
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby Sean » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:44 pm

bez wrote:I think Epson are still (always?) the quality printers of choice for many people…

So why oh why do they make a machine that has to manually swap black inks dependant on paper? Can't really complain if I've ordered one though!
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby brian1208 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:13 pm

if you don't support Epson (particularly the K3 inks) you're out of the game …


A bold statement?

I don't support Epson or their inks but seem to be firmly "in the game" of making money from my prints, on a variety of different substrates.

The best thing about the 9180 (apart from not having to swap / flush black ink changes) is the remarkable colour stability.

I re-calibrated a few weeks back - just out of interest and there has been no visible colour drift over the past 2+ years (comparing same A3+ print, paper and printer settings). I'm getting ready for a large exhibition in January so thought I'd better do the check just to make sure that there had been no loss of quality.

My fellow photographers in the area frequently bemoan their problems with keeping similar colour consistency with their Epson and Canon printers

So - I may be out of the game - but my question is - do I want to play it anyway! :)
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Re: Canon PIXMA Pro9500 or HP B9180

Postby gcrogers » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:51 pm

I think what Bez meant was from the perspective of the paper manufacturers, and thusly the supplier of corresponding profiles, that they would be out of the game, not you! :)

Bez is a true gentleman and he really knows his printers. He just can't write. :P :P :P

edit: Oops, I didn't see Bez's reply. I'll keep this here just to razz him.
Cheers,
-Greg
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