A 5-Year Late Review of the Canon Pixma Pro-10

A 5-Year Late Review of the Canon Pixma Pro-10

Canon released the Canon Pixma Pro-10 around 2014 and changed prosumer printing. Even though it was released over five years ago the Pro-10 (and the Pro-10S) is still one of the the flagship models until you reach into professional level territory.

The Canon Pixma Pro-10 is a monster of a printer. It has ten different ink cartridges, including nine colors and a Chroma Optimizer. At about $15 each they may not be cheap, but they aren't super expensive either, especially with the amount of paper you can chew through. The biggest difference between the Pro-10 and the cheaper Pro-100 seems to be the addition of the Chroma Optimizer and two different blacks and, if you ask me, it's totally worth it.

The Chroma Optimizer is interesting, as it seems to be that as the ink dries, something happens and the images you take just look... better than when they first come out but it is difficult to say exactly how. It's almost as though the blacks are blacker, and the colors are more accurate with a more even gloss. It's not something that really comes across through the internet but it's definitely worth the extra cost. Canon claims that the Chroma Optimizer is supposed to minimize glare and maximize color vibrancy and I have to say, it works.

From a financial standpoint, the printer is about $450 after a mail-in rebate which is a good price for something like this. Able to print out gorgeous 13x19 prints in a few minutes, and 8.5x11 prints in about 3 and a half minutes depending on paper and quality setting. this is a fantastic printer to use on set to give a gift at the end of a long shoot day.

With some slight tricking of the software you can print out longer than the 13x26.61 the printer recommends if you have the paper that is longer, but 14" wide is as wide as it goes, sadly. Anything else and you're looking at real big bucks. But you can cut from a roll of paper to get big panoramas to hang/sell/giveaway.

One issue with the printer, I've noticed, is that if your monitor isn't perfectly calibrated, and you are not great at nailing down skin tones, you may end up with some very pink looking prints, so it's recommended to get a few smaller papers to double check your accuracy before printing on anything larger. I personally use a spyder5elite to ensure that everything is properly calibrated. 

The Canon Pro-10 is a sort of middle of the road Printer, with the next step up being the (now discontinued) Pro-1 and then next step down being the Pro-100 so the question is, what are the differences? 

The Pro-100 uses 8 inks instead of ten, missing out on the Chroma Optimizer and  it only has one black instead of the pro-10's photo black and matte black inks. The Pro-100 also uses dye based ink compared to the Pro-10's pigment inks meaning that the Pro-10 is better designed to resist against fading, but the Pro-100 is faster to print, sometimes twice as fast!

The Canon Pro-1, on the other hand, has an extra two ink colors, adding a light gray and dark gray, and the ink tanks are much larger. The Canon Pro-10 ink cartridges hold about 13ml worth of ink, compared to the Pro-1's 36ml at $35.99. Meaning you are paying about $1/mL for the Pro-1 compared to $1.15/mL of ink for the Pro-10. All three printers can print the same sizes, up to 13x26.61 (but you can trick it into 13x36) totally borderless. The Pro-1, the Pro-10, and their Pro-100 all have similar limitations, it just depends on just how much you plan on printing and how accurate you need them to be.

When it comes to printing, the question arises, how much does it cost? Well, thankfully, our friends over at Red River Catalog have our backs as they did a big long test on this printer and found these numbers. This is only when considering the cost of ink, not the cost of ink and paper, mind you, as that varies by paper type.

4x6 - $0.34

5x7 - $0.49

8x10 - $1.12

11x14 - $2.16

13x19 - $3.47

A photo printed from my printer at 13x19

What I Liked

Prints quickly and accurately

Prints come out exactly the same every time

Looks nice on my desk

A good price to quality ratio

What I Didn't Like

This is expensive, and prints are a bit of a tougher sell than they used to be

Ink is a little expensive but it could be worse.

What do you think of the Canon Pixma Pro-1? Ever think of picking one up? What do you think of yours if you already have one?

David J. Fulde's picture

David J. Fulde photographs people. Based in Toronto, ON, he uses bold lighting and vibrant colours to tell people's stories. His work in the film industry lends a cinematic energy to his photographs and makes for an always-colourful studio -- whether he's shooting portraits, fashion, or beauty.

Log in or register to post comments

Id love to get a decent printer but i know it would get a bunch of use, then get stuffed in a closet for a frw months, dry up all the ink, and when i want to use it again ill be scrambling to find ink.

OTOH, if I let the ink go south in my Canon, I only have to buy more ink--sometimes. When I used Epsons, it meant tossing out the printer.

Don't buy a pigment printer if you don't print regularly. It will clog, and you'll be using more ink to clear out the nozzles instead of using the ink to make prints

It's not that bad. I abuse the s out of my pro 1000 it still loves me for now

What's considered "regularly" in regards to a pigment printer?

The latest iteration of inks, including Epson, make clogging much less of a problem. If I go more than 6 or 7 days without printing with my P800, I'll print a nozzle check then a 3X5 of the cat. A 3X5 print uses very little ink.

But, if all you're going to do is print once in a while, it's not really worth having your own printer. I sell prints, so I print fairly frequently. The one foible with the Epson is the fact that it uses one ink path for both matte and photo black ink. When changing over, there's about a 3ml loss of ink due to purging the line. And if one doesn't change inks every so often, there may be a problem with the switching mechanism seizing up from lack of use.

While the P800 makes very nice prints, if I move up to a 24" printer, it'll be a Canon. I chose the P800 over the Pro 1000 because of the roll option that Epson offers. That's not a concern with Canon's 24" printer.

I own the Pro-10 and the Pro-4000, and I am FAR from having my printers fired up on a regular basis. I have only had 1 issue with my Pro-10 after sitting for over a year (prob much more than 1 year) w no use, had to reload new ink and run a few test calibration passes to get it back to normal.

The Pro-4000 gets fired up about once a month and no issues. The 4000 is cheaper to use (per sq in COG), but MUCH higher setup cost in ink. Around $1200 for a full set of medium size ink if I remember correctly.
The nice thing about the 4000 is that you can swap inks on the fly before they go empty, and not a lot of this wasted ink in "calibration" when you change 1 ink cartridge, like the Pro-10.

I totally agree with you on needing to print regularly, otherwise just pay to get prints made for you (if you can find someplace that you are happy with on rsults).
I did it mainly at first so I had control of the color calibration. I tried 6 different print suppliers on the same test photos, and they were all garbage coming back.

I love my Pro-10 but I have three complaints with it that are common to much of the Pixma Pro lines: it goes through a lot of ink (I keep a lot of replacements on hand), Canon has some weird paper size choices (would it kill them to offer 11x17?), and occasionally I run into a bad batch of paper that doesn't like my printer (and having used a bunch of Pixma printers to print for work, I found this to be a somewhat common occurrence). Still though, compared to the Epsons I used in the past, it's easier and the prints are beautiful.

Moab Entrata is availabe in 11x17 is quite gorgeous. Just printed out about 8 11x17 pages for my portfolio with my Pro-10

I tried setting up third-party papers with Canon Print Studio Pro and it was a laborious process. Would you mind sharing how you set yours up for the Moab 11x17? I'm super interested.

I print straight from capture one and it's pretty great

Downloaded the paper/printer profile from Moab and right click to install the profile. Then in whatever application you in print in - C1 in my case - set the profile to the paper profile you just installed. Press print. Then select printer preferences and select the right paper type - matte paper - and check manual color/intensity - which pops up a new screen. Select the 'matching' tab and select the 'none' option. Then press ok. At this point I recommend saving the setting based on the paper type. Then just press print.

Key thing is making sure to set the printer to 'none' for color matching and set the profile in your print program - PS, LR or PS.

Long winded video someone did that shows the process.

Use Red River paper, I have had excellent results with their products. They also have profiles for all of their paper, if you don't want to make your own profiles.

As mentioned, I also have the Pro-10 and agree on the excessive ink usage, which is mostly due to it going through a calibration process of using ALL the ink when you only need to replace one.
Jose Rodriguez on youtube has great videos about printing, and has addressed this issue i -depth. He found that by doing his own refilling, when he needs to change one cartridge, he replaces the full set (having a spare set fully refilled and ready to go). This way you will only waste one single calibration per set of ink, which saves you a lot of ink.

Love the images from the Pro-10, but I wouldn't say that these are the most user friendly printers on the market....

I would like to describe my ownership of the pro 10 like it was getting a small rodent or fish as a pet. When you first get it, it is everything that you'd imagined it would be and it looks really cool. But starting from two days in you realize you've essentially took on a hobby that requires your attention all the time. Sure you can neglect it or cheap out and get some really cheap food and figure out ways to do the very minimum to keep it alive but it'll develop a disease and you will have to ponder whether you should take a big loss or fix it properly so that you can start over and do everything that everyone told you that you should be doing when you first got it. If that seems like too much work for you, whenever you feel like looking at a hamster, bird, or fish go to a pet shop and enjoy it momentarily and come home to where you don't have to deal with such things so you could put that time elsewhere.

But to be fair I really like my pro 10. I'm more than $1,000 in at this point of acquiring a second set of carts, matte cutters, printing papers, and a refill kit from Precision colors. But most importantly it has improved my understanding of colors, dynamic range, and post processing which I thought I mastered many years ago but it has show me that I have a lot more learning to do and that is the real reward in all of this.

Does anyone know the "trick" to print 13"x36"?

Looking for this, too...

We've had this printer about 2.5 years. It's only used for my wife's card making (all personal use) - and photo prints are rare. But even with this kind of use in draft mode, we're using a full set of inks about every 8-9 months. I just purchased our fourth set of replacement inks at a cost of $135 each, so in 2.5 years I've spent more on ink than I spent on the printer.

Print quality is good - and it does a nice job with photos.