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The Entire Canon imagePROGRAF Range Explained

Updated: May 5

If you need to print documents larger than A3 in size, then you need a wide format printer.

But which printer model do you choose?


Chances are, you'll have a specific type of document that you'll be printing (i.e. plans, drawings, posters or banners etc.) and a specific size (i.e. A2, A1 or A0), so that's going to help you narrow down which model you should set your sights on.


All of Canon's wide format printers are capable of producing the same ultra-high resolution output (2400x1200 dpi), but they differ in terms of their production capabilities, colour gamut and running costs, so we've put together a handy guide which will help you choose the model which will suit your individual needs:


Canon TA Series

Entry Level Printing | Low Print Volumes.

Suitable for CAD drawings, office documents, posters, banners and occasional photos.

Available Widths: 24 inch / 610mm (A1) | 36 inch / 914mm (A0)


Firstly, it must be said that the Canon TA-20 and TA-30 produce very similar high-resolution images to the rest of the range. They are perfectly capable of printing all kinds of documents from CAD drawings and plans, right up to pin-sharp photographic images.


Features

They have however, been designed to be the entry level products in the portfolio. This means that they have been purposely engineered to have a lower capital cost, by scaling back some of the features and the size of the ink cartridges. Most notably: Neither machine can have the option of a bolt-on scanner, the stand is an optional extra on the TA-20 (and a basic catch-basket on the TA-30), and the cartridges are only available in one size - 55ml.


Besides those drawbacks, the Canon TA Series printers still sport some of the same great features which you'll find in the more expensive models such as: a touch-screen interface, full postscript functionality, ethernet and Wifi connectivity.


Cost per print

As with most products that are cheaper to buy up-front, the ongoing consumable costs for the Canon TA Series are higher than the other ranges. The TA-20 and TA-30 take 5 x 55ml PFI-030 ink cartridges and they retail for £40.28+vat each, which works out to be around 73p per ml.


A typical A1 line drawing on a Canon TA Series printer/plotter would use around 0.4ml of ink to produce (we tested this by printing the image shown), so 73p multiplied by 0.3ml would give you an ink cost of 22p per A1 line drawing.


Now you need to add the cost of paper - Our 80gsm plotter paper for example, comes in a box of 4 x 50m rolls, that's 200m in total.


At 610mm wide, it's ideal for producing A1 plans and is one of our most popular paper stocks. It retails online for £31.82+vat, so that's just shy of 16p per linear meter. An A1 plan is actually only 841mm in length, so that equates to roughly 13p for the cost of the paper, per A1 line drawing.


22p for the ink and 13p for the paper gives you a total cost per A1 line drawing of 35p. Remember that figure, as we'll be comparing it later to the cost of a TM Series printer...

But - It's all about volume...


Summary

The Canon TA Series printers/plotters are cheap to buy, making them perfect for home-users or businesses with very low print volumes.

If you only need to print wide format documents occasionally (i.e. a few times a month) , then the Canon TA-20 or TA-30 will be an ideal choice. They're better quality, faster and cheaper to run than competitor models from HP or Epson, and certainly cheaper and more convenient than using a print or copy-shop.


If you need regular use of a wide format printer however, then consider the Canon TM Series...


Canon TM Series

Business-Class Printing | Regular Print Volumes.

Suitable for CAD drawings, office documents, posters, banners and photos.

Available Widths: 24 inch / 610mm (A1) | 36 inch / 914mm (A0)


Just like the TA Series, the Canon TM-200 and TM-300 produce amazing high-resolution images. They are perfect for printing all kinds of documents from CAD drawings and plans, right up to pin-sharp photographic images.


Features

The notable advantages that the TM Series has over the TA Series are as follows:


Stacker-basket as standard - Most other wide format printers on the market have a stand and paper basket that just let prints roll up in the bottom. This can get messy, especially during large print runs. The Canon TM-200 and TM-300 include a unique basket as standard, that stacks up to 15 or 20 documents at a time, depending on the weight of the paper.


Optional bolt-on scanner - The TM Series models have the option of a wide format scanner that bolts onto the top of the printer. This effectively turns the printer into a fully functional MFP system that will allow you to scan and copy documents, in addition to printing them.


Larger capacity inks - The TM-200 and TM-300 are built for regular print volumes and have been built to take business-size ink cartridges (130ml or 300ml) which reduce the frequency of replacement and significantly reduces the cost per print from that of the TA Series. As such, the TM-200 and TM-300 remain our most popular A1 and A0 printers.

Cost per print

If we take the 300ml ink cartridges for example, these retail for £99+vat online which equates to a cost per ml of just 33p.


A typical A1 line drawing on a Canon TM Series printer/plotter would use around 0.3ml of ink to produce (we tested this by printing the image shown), so 33p multiplied by 0.3ml would give you an ink cost of 10p per A1 line drawing.


Again, you need to add the cost of paper - That same 80gsm plotter paper as before, comes in a box of 4 x 50m rolls, that's 200m in total.


At 610mm wide, it's ideal for producing A1 plans and is one of our most popular paper stocks. It retails online for £31.82+vat, so that's just shy of 16p per linear meter. An A1 plan is actually only 841mm in length, so that equates to roughly 13p for the cost of the paper, per A1 line drawing.

10p for the ink and 13p for the paper gives you a total cost per A1 line drawing of 23p. That's nearly half the cost of a print from a TA Series printer.

AGAIN - It's all about volume...


Summary

The Canon TM Series are the ideal choice for businesses with regular print volumes of plans, drawings or posters. They're fast, high quality and knock spots off the competition.

Pound for pound, they are the best value A1 and A0 printers on the market today.


If however, you anticipate your print volumes to be high (i.e. you need to print 100's of documents every week), then consider the TX Series printers which will reduce your print costs even further...




Canon TX Series

Advanced Business-Class Printing | High Print Volumes.

Suitable for CAD drawings, office documents, posters, banners and photos.

Available Widths: 24 inch / 610mm | 36 inch / 914mm | 44 inch / 1118mm

Just like the rest of the range, the Canon TX Series printers produce amazing quality prints.

They're suitable for plans, drawings, posters and photos, but have been specially geared up for production-level print volumes.

Features

Dual roll feeding unit - This allows you to load twice as much paper onto the machine or even two different kinds of media at the same time. The machines automatically switch between the two roll units which is a massive saving in terms of time and labour. It also doubles up as a roll-take up unit, so you can print unattended from one roll to another, ideal for large print runs.


Automatic media detection and loading - Simply drop the paper roll into the machine, press a button and the printer takes care of the rest. With sophisticated sensor technology and AI learning capabilities, the TX Series even learns what type of paper you are using and how much media is left on a roll.


High capacity stacker - This optional unit allows you to print up to 200 documents unattended. The printer outputs the documents and collates them neatly into a stack without crumpling them up. Again, this can save massive amounts of time and labour as the machines can be operated whilst unattended.

Optional bolt-on scanner - Unlike the simple scanner option available for the TM Series, this bolt-on scanner incorporates a huge 21 inch touch-screen controller that enables advanced editing and send functionality.


Huge capacity inks - The TM Series has big cartridges, but the TX Series has BIG cartridges. Mix and match 160ml, 330ml or 700ml cartridges and reduce your running costs even further.


Cost per print

If we take the 700ml ink cartridges for example, these retail for £195+vat which equates to a cost per ml of just 28p.


A typical A1 line drawing on a Canon TX Series printer would use around 0.25ml of ink to produce (we tested this by printing the image shown), so 28p times by 0.25ml would give you an ink cost of 7p per A1 line drawing.

Again, you need to add the cost of paper - That same 80gsm plotter paper as before, comes in a box of 4 x 50m rolls, that's 200m in total.


At 610mm wide, it's ideal for producing A1 plans and is one of our most popular paper stocks. It retails online for £31.82+vat, so that's just shy of 16p per linear meter. An A1 plan is actually only 841mm in length, so that equates to roughly 13p for the cost of the paper, per A1 line drawing.


7p for the ink and 13p for the paper gives you a total cost per A1 line drawing of 20p. That's the lowest cost per print so far.

Summary

The Canon TX Series printers will cost you more to purchase (probably double that of a TM Series printer), but are the ideal choice for businesses with high print volumes of plans, drawings or posters.


They are engineered to save time and increase productivity. One TX Series printer could likely handle the print volumes of 3 or 4 TM Series printers, by virtue of the fact that you don't have to change the inks or paper as often, and can be operated largely whist unattended. They are built to be kept printing.

Though the TA, TM and TX Series models can all produce photographic quality output that is more than suitable for a layman, they may not quite stand up to the scrutiny of a discerning photographer or fine-artist.


When only the very best quality output will do, then consider the PRO Series...



Canon PRO Series

Industry Leading Quality | When Only The Very Best Will Do.

Suitable for Giclee printing, fine-art reproduction and photography.

Available Widths: 24 inch / 610mm | 44 inch / 1118mm | 60 inch / 1524mm


It goes without saying that the more colours a printer has, the more colours it can re-create. Canon set a benchmark about 10 years ago by introducing the industry's first 12 colour devices and have continued to build on that technology ever since.


The Canon PRO Series have been built with business in mind. They share a similar chassis to the TX Series (to cope with super-high print volumes), but utilise a wider range of colours to ensure industry leading print quality and consistency.


Features

Dual roll feeding unit - This allows you to load twice as much paper onto the machine or even two different kinds of media at the same time. The machines automatically switch between the two roll units which is a massive saving in terms of time and labour. This unit also doubles up as a roll-take up unit, so you can print unattended from one roll to another, ideal for large print runs.

Automatic media detection and loading - Simply drop the paper roll into the machine, press a button and the printer takes care of the rest. With sophisticated sensor technology and AI learning capabilities, the PRO Series even learns what type of paper you are using and how much media is left on a roll.

Huge capacity inks - The Canon PRO-2100, PRO-4100 and PRO-6100 printers all take the same 'mix and match' 160ml, 330ml or 700ml cartridges which can be changed, even whilst the machines are printing.

Cost per print

We're not talking about plans and drawings anymore - These are photographic & fine-art printers, after all. For this exercise, we'll look at the cost of an A1 photographic image.


If we take the 700ml ink cartridges for example, just like the TX Series - These retail for £195+vat which equates to the same cost per ml of just 28p.

We printed the image shown here on a Canon PRO Series printer (a PRO-2100 to be exact) at A1 size and it consumed 4.7ml of ink to produce. So 28p multiplied by 4.7ml would give you an ink cost of £1.32.


Plotter paper won't be any good for a photo because it will saturate too easily and become wet, so the printer will know to lay down less ink and the resulting image will be...flat.


So for this exercise we'll need a nice satin or glossy product to show the image off. Our 200gsm Premium Lustre paper (which we used in the test) is 610mm wide, 30m in length and retails online for £47.73+vat. That's £1.59+vat per linear meter. As mentioned many times in this article, an A1 document is actually only 841mm in length, so that equates to roughly £1.34+vat for the cost of the paper, per A1 photo.

£1.32 for the ink and £1.34 for the paper gives you a total cost per A1 photo of £2.66. How much could you sell one for?

Summary

The Canon PRO Series printers are a must-have for any photographer, fine art company or printer that is serious about selling high-quality output. They are the result of decades of improvement and refinement and have attained a huge reputation in the market as being the best.


When only the very best print quality will do, choose the Canon PRO Series.

This article outlines the basic differences between the Canon wide format printer ranges, but if you need further help or have any other questions that remain unanswered, then feel free to give us a call and speak to a friendly member of our team!

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