The Canon PIXMA Pro9500 MkII has the same full range of coloured inks as the Pro9000, but adds grey and matte black cartridges.
As with Epson printers, the matte black and photo black inks aren't used simultaneously, as the printer switches between the two to suit matte or glossy photo media. The grey cartridge is used in both cases and, while it has the potential to add smoothness to areas of graduated colour, its main use is for black-and white printing.
This cartridge reduces the risk of unwanted colour casts in black-and-white prints because there's less reliance on coloured inks.
However, when switching to the greyscale printing option in our tests, to ensure that only black and grey inks were used, we experienced a drop in contrast and bite similar to that of the Pro9000, which has no grey ink at all. At least regular printing speeds were maintained in greyscale mode – unlike on the Pro9000, but in keeping with all the other printers in the group.
Canon printers are usually very quick, but the Pro9500 proved the slowest in the group, at least in high-quality print mode. A3+ borderless prints took 8m 22s to produce, but at maximum quality settings, speed proved similar to the Epson A3+ printers on test, at 11m 15s.
That's still less than half as fast as the Pro9000. Colour accuracy and contrast are very convincing on matte photo media, with good results for landscapes and portraits.
Our tests using Canon's glossy papers, including Photo Paper Pro Platinum and Photo Paper Plus Glossy II, were comparatively disappointing. Colours took on a faded appearance and contrast was poor, giving a slightly insipid look to prints. It's nowhere near a match for Canon's Pro9000 Mark II for glossy output.
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