First, there is no doubt that both Canon and Epson produce excellent printers. They are THE brands currently at the top of the market in terms of the equipment we use for fine art digital printmaking. There are differences worth considering when deciding which printer to purchase and this article discusses some of the past concerns as well as the most up to date information. Yes, things have changed recently!
The current product range from each company are the Canon PRO Series imagePROGRAF and Epson SureColor® printers. Both will absolutely create fine art digital inkjet prints of the highest quality and are designed to meet or exceed the expectations of what we call “gallery/exhibition/museum” quality prints. Below are features and comparisons of each model to help you understand the functionality of each printer brand before making a final decision.
Switching Between Photo Black & Matte Black Ink
Up until recently the popular Epson Stylus Photo and SureColor® range of Epson pigment-based printers needed to physically switch between Photo Black and Matte Black ink based on the type of media you are printing on. These printers only have one channel for Black and the printer must purge one type of ink before it prints with the other. This is how they were designed to work and is necessary to maximize print quality on various media as Photo Black ink is optimized for glossy and luster inkjet papers, while the Matte Black ink is optimized for the coatings on matte inkjet papers.