The Pro9500 photo printer features the Canon Smart LED Ink Tank System, an intelligent ink-management system that uses individual ink tanks for each color. In theory this is less expensive since you replace only the color that runs out rather than the entire multi-color cartridge.
This is the sight that greets you when you lift the cover on the Pro9500 printer. When properly installed a red LED lights up inside the ink tanks. The 10-color, pigment ink system consists of the standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks plus photo-cyan, photo-magenta, red, green, gray and matte black for a wider color gamut and very photo-realistic colors. The gray and matte black inks provide much wider gray scale printing than using just regular black ink. The Pro9500 uses Canon's Lucia pigment ink in conjunction with the FINE (Full-photolithography Ink jet Nozzle Engineering) print head technology for gorgeous photo printing. When using select genuine Canon photo papers and inks, prints can resist fading for 100 years when stored in an archival quality photo album. The 100-year-lifespan rivals or exceeds that of many traditional film based photos, long considered by consumers to be the benchmark for image permanence. Prints produced on Canon Photo Paper Pro have a ten-year gas fastness when exposed to open air and up to 30-year light fastness when displayed under glass.
The Pro9500 features the PIXMA print head which employs Canon's FINE technology. This advanced print head is one of the keys to the impressive speed and high photo quality in PIXMA photo printers. FINE technology uses a ground-breaking high-performance, multi-nozzle print engine that ejects consistent and microscopic (3 picoliter) ink droplets. The results are high-resolution (up to 4800 x 2400 dpi) photos with great detail and clarity in less time. You replace the individual ink tanks and you can also replace the entire print head, if necessary. (Replacement print heads are available from Canon Service after it is determined that a replacement is necessary). This is a great boon for any photographer since many printers use permanent printheads and must be sent in for service.
Canon's optical ink sensors automatically monitor all ink color levels and communicate with the computer, giving a pop-up message indicating exactly what colors are running low. You can also check the status of the ink tanks at any time using the Status Monitor of the driver as shown above. The optical low ink detection system prevents wasted printouts by notifying you via the Printer Status Monitor before any ink tank becomes empty, so you'll never unexpectedly run out of ink in the middle of a job again.
A light beam shines through a prism located at the bottom of each ink tank. When there is sufficient ink, the light is detected by the sensor. When only about 20% of ink is left in any of the ink tanks, the light beam is refracted, triggering the sensor which tells the printer driver to display a low ink tank notification for that ink tank.