i9900 Color Bubble Jet Photo PrinterEverytime I think that it just can't get any better - it does! Canon has improved the color gamut, the output resolution and made it print even faster. I personally own the Canon i9100 and the output from the new i9900 is noticeably more impressive, especially the reds and greens. It's not the same as using the vivid printing effect or increasing the overall saturation, these prints just have more visual "punch." There's no doubt that the addition of the Red and Green inks have expanded the already photo-realistic output of Canon's 6-color printing system. The only downside is that you now have to buy more ink tanks, eight versus six, but thankfully they're replaced individually and only when needed.
Top is Canon i9100 -- Bottom is Canon i9900
The above 320x240 clips (100%, no post-editing) are from a side-by-side 600dpi scan of two 4x6" prints made on the Canon i9100 and i9900 printers. Both printers were set exactly the same, using the best possible print quality, default auto color control, no enhancements enabled for either print. It's visibly apparent the difference that 4800x2400 dpi makes versus the 4800x1200 dpi of last year's i9100 printer. And that's not to say the i9100 is a poor printer, quite the opposite, the i9100 is a great printer - the new i9900 is simply better.
This really doesn't do it justice but, the above image shows the two 4x6" prints as scanned at 600 dpi and then reduced down to 379x500 (120Kb) to make it reasonable for downloading (click to see it!) It will give you the general idea of how much more colorful the i9900 prints are than those from the i9100. This scan is totally unretouched, exactly the way it was captured by my Canon 5000F scanner. I'm sure that I won't have to tell you but, the top image is from the i9100, the bottom is from the i9900. The i9900 does not make you wait -- it cranks out 4 x 6" borderless prints in about 40 seconds, 8.5 x 11" borderless prints in about 85 seconds and when you really want to impress your friends -- it can pump out a huge, borderless 13 x 19" print in an amazing two minutes and fourty seconds! That's a full two minutes faster than the i9100 which is (was) the fastest wide-carriage inkjet printer in its class. If you look at page two of this review you'll see how they were able to do this. They doubled the number of print nozzles, the i9100 has 3,072 and the new i9900 has 6,144 - that's two 3,072-nozzle heads sitting side by side. If you're using the i9900 to make prints for your customers it will pay for itself in increased productivity -- time = money! And there's no waiting on your data input either. Windows PC users can connect to either the high-speed USB 2.0 port or the standard USB 1.1 port. Macintosh OS computers can use these ports too or they can make use of the IEEE1394 FireWire port. If you're like me and have two or three computers sitting in your work area -- you can have a computer plugged in to all three of these ports simultaneously. And speaking of input ports, the i9900 like all the other new Canon printers and cameras is PictBridge compatible. You can directly plug any PictBridge- enabled camera into the front USB port using the camera's regular USB download cable. Now you can make prints without need of a computer, simply select the images on the camera's color LCD and any printing options and then press the appropriate button. For many users this is the simplest and easiest way to make perfect photo prints as you needn't know anything about graphic or photo-editing programs. You just print exactly what you see on the LCD. Many different manufacturer's cameras made in late 2003 or 2004 support PictBridge, it isn't a Canon-specific standard. Canon does not have any special "photo black" or "photo gray" inks for their printers like some of the other printer makers. I don't do much b&w printing myself but I did make some monochrome prints on matte paper and they looked quite nice. The Canon s9000 was terrible at this, it seemed to use some blue/green colors even if you had checked the "grayscale printing" option in the driver. I am happy to report that the i9900 did not exhibit this tendancy at all, I even sent it a color image and printed it using only black ink. I did try another print using the sepia effect but I wasn't very impressed with the result. To be honest, I have probably taken one picture in the last ten years that would look right if sepia toned so I certainly don't see this as any big deal. I'm sure it is handled much better if you do it in Photoshop with a real sepia filter and then print it as a color image.