Steve's Digicams

Canon

S900 Color Bubble Jet
Photo Printer



Review posted 3/29/02



Canon S900 Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer


The Canon S900 - A Professional Photo Lab for Your Desktop

The Canon S900 uses the same printhead and ink tanks as the wide-format S9000 photo printer and enables you to print photos that rival those from professional labs, from 4" x 6" up to 8.5" x 11". All at incredible speeds - would you believe a borderless 8.5x11" in two minutes?  Believe it!   The S900 Photo Printer from Canon features out-of-the-box performance for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts that makes photo printing incredibly fast and easy.

The S900 employs a sophisticated print head with 3,072 nozzles for faster printing and much greater detail. Advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology™ combines cutting-edge achievements in ink-droplet size, accurate ink application, consistent droplet quality and ink composition. The result is spectacular 2400 x 1200 dpi print resolution, 49 gradation levels, reduced graininess and breathtaking detail and color reproduction. Plus, Canon gives you the ability to print borderless 4" x 6" and 8.5" x 11" photos, just like a photo lab.

The S900 Photo Printer features the Canon Think Tank System™. Six individual ink tanks, one for each color, make it easy to replace just the color that runs out, rather than the entire cartridge. Plus, a unique optical low-ink sensor warns you with an on-screen message when an ink tank is low, giving you plenty of time to replace the tank before it runs out.


S900 Features:

  • Prints 8.5" x 11" in two minutes!

  • 3,072 nozzles for exceptional speed and quality

  • Borderless 4" x 6" photos in approx. 37 seconds

  • 6 individual ink tanks,

  • Photos light fast for approx. 25 years

  • Exif 2.2 compatible when used with the Canon Easy Photo Print program

  • 1-year limited warranty with InstantExchange warranty available



Canon S900 Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer

The S900 is compatible with USB-equipped Windows 98SE, 2000, Me, XP PCs or Macintosh OS9.x, OS X computers, sorry no parallel port connection, only USB.


Mechanics & Performance

The S900 is a stylish looking, gray and silver colored printer that should easily fit into your computer workspace. Setup is straight forward and can be accomplished by following the steps outlined on the included big page of directions. You unwrap and install the six ink tanks into the removable print head carriage, then install that into the printer, plug in the USB cable, install the software and then turn on the printer. Windows then loads the drivers and within a minute or two you're up and printing.

I was quite impressed with the Canon S800 photo printer that we reviewed last year. It was the first of the speedy Canon printers and I'm happy to report that the S900 is even faster. Compared to the likes of other photo printers like the Epson Stylus Photo 890, the Canon S900 is just about the same size and weight but it's a lot quieter and much faster. Perhaps the most significant feature besides the speed is the ThinkTank ink system which we will cover on page two. You can now replace the individual colors rather than tossing the whole cartridge out when any one color runs empty. The user can also replace the print head assembly if needed without requiring a trip to a service center.

In actual use the S900 is so quiet that you almost don't notice that it's working if your PC and its fan are as noisy as mine. I printed a borderless 8.5 x 11 inch photo using the glossy photo paper and "High Quality" print settings in the driver. I was amazed to see the finished print ejected only two minutes later and looking nearly the same as a 1440-dpi print that would take about seven and a half minutes on my Epson 890.

I was used to being overwhelmed by printing choices in the Epson driver (360dpi, 720dpi, 1440dpi, 2880dpi, High Speed on or off, Microweave on or off), so it was enjoyable to see less choices in the Canon driver. I'll go into more detail on the driver software on page three -- you basically just choose your media type and away you go.

You can click on the Custom buttons if you want to manually change the Fast-to-Fine (speed vs quality) setting or enable or disable the Image Optimizer or the Photo Optimizer PRO enhancements. Depending on the paper type and image type these "enhancements" don't always produce the most optimum results. They are designed to smooth the pixel "jaggies" out of low-res images or to create prints with a lot of "punch" (color, contrast, sharpness) to them. Sometimes they are a bit too much, good images don't need them.




US visitors 8.5X11 Photo Paper Plus Glossy I320 S200 300 500 750 800 900 9000

$ 11.83 at DiscountOfficeitems.com
$ 12.60 at Amazon Marketplace





Continue To
Page Two







S900 Photo Printer Specifications

Long Lasting Color * Approx. 25 years
Color Photo Print Speed** 4" x 6" Borderless-approx. 37 seconds
8.5" x 11"-approx. 1 minute
Number of Nozzles 3,072 nozzles (512 x 6 colors)
Print Resolution 2400 x 1200 dpi in black
2400 x 1200 dpi in color
Compatibility Windows® 98/2000/Me, Windows® XP and Mac® OS (8.6 to 9.X) and Mac OS X (native) via Web
Standard Interfaces USB
Buffer/RAM 80KB
Paper Sizes Letter, legal, A4, A5, 4" x 6", U.S. #10 or European envelopes, banner paper
Paper Handling Built-in sheet feeder-100 sheets @ paper weight 17 lb.
Banner Paper-(up to 6 connected sheets)
Glossy Photo Card-20 sheets
Glossy Photo Paper -1 sheet
High Gloss Photo Film -1 sheet
High Resolution Paper -80 sheets
Envelopes-10
Photo Paper Pro 4" x 6"-20 sheets
Photo Paper Pro For Borderless Printing 4" x 6"-20 sheets
Photo Paper Pro (letter)-1 sheet
Transparencies-30 sheets
T-shirt transfers-1 sheet
Noise Level (approx.) 37 dB(A) at Best quality mode
Physical Dimensions 17.4" (W) x 12.6" (D) x 7.3" (H)
Weight Approximately 13 lb.
Power Source 120V AC, 60Hz
Warranty 1-year limited warranty with InstantExchange warranty program ***
Software Included Setup Software and User's Guide CD-ROM, including: Printer drivers, PhotoRecord™ (Windows), ZoomBrowser EX (Windows), ImageBrowser (Mac) and PhotoStitch (Windows/Mac), electronic User's Guide and electronic Photo Application Guide
* Based on Canon Inc. studies conducted using Canon Photo Paper Pro, under glass, utilizing industry-standard lighting conditions and controlled temperature and humidity. Results may vary based on individual environmental factors. See www.usa.canon.com/consumer/lightfast for details.
** 4" x 6" photo print speed based on default mode driver setting using Canon Photo Paper Pro For Borderless Printing 4" x 6". 8.5" x 11" photo print speed based on default mode on Photo Paper Pro. Print speed will vary depending on system configuration, software, document complexity, print mode and page coverage.
*** InstantExchange warranty program is subject to certain conditions and restrictions. See warranty information in the Quick Start Guide.




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