View Full Version : Canon i9900 vs Epson 2200

Yves Gauvreau
6-Jul-2004, 17:52
Hi every one,

I recently saw a Canon i9900 printer and I wonder what you think of it compared with the Epson 2200 in terms of print quality, resolution, droplet size, all other technical aspect and of course value for the $$$?

Thanks in advance. Yves

Dave Moeller
6-Jul-2004, 19:20
The best place to ask this question is probably www.dpreview.com. There are lots of threads in the forums there on each of these printers, and even some comparing these printers. Having said that, here are my thoughts...

I don't own either printer, but I've seen prints from both and I've talked to people who use them. My take on this is that the Canon beats the Epson hands down on speed, the print quality on the Canon is ever-so-slightly better (but you're into an area of diminishing returns here, as the Epson produces fantastic prints so there's no place to make a radical improvement in image quality). For the technical specifications (droplet size, resolution, etc.) you can check the Canon and Epson web sites.

Print longevity on the Canon is questionable at best. If the prints aren't framed, expect color shifts in a matter or months (or even weeks if you're unlucky).

If you're planning on framing everything, the Canon's probably a better printer just based on the speed. If you're planning on displaying pictures unframed, or if you're planning to sell prints, the Epson's probably the better choice.

Frank Petronio
6-Jul-2004, 21:02
DP Review is a great website for digital imaging news, and the author's reviews are the best in the business, but the forums are a mess of gibbering, ignorant folks arguing over petty details or absurd points. I'd welcome a good discussion of the merits of the Canon versus the Epson HERE, from intelligent photographers I respect!

W K Lam
7-Jul-2004, 00:22
I am using Canon i9100 and when i decide to choose between this and Epson 2200, the cost is a major factor. At that time, Canon is nearly 45% of an Epson and to myself, I won't like to afford a nearly USD800 Epson 2200. However, i regret to my decision when I compare the same A4 size printout with my old Epson Photo Stylus 750 . The printing output , e.g. details and colour, is not too satisfactory. When i think again, it seems Canon does not have any flatship large format printer for commercial use whereas Epson already has so many large printer. If feasible, I will suggest you to test print a sample file to two printers in their showroom before you made the decision. Unlike Epson, Canon photo grade inkjet large size glossy paper is expensive and rare to find as well.

Yves Gauvreau
7-Jul-2004, 04:38
The main reason I ask here instead of DPReview is because I appreciate the member experience, intelligence and clear opinion on many matters about photography.

Thanks to all.

Dave Moeller
7-Jul-2004, 06:05
My intent with mentioning dpreview was not to infer that this was an improper question for this board; rather, it was to steer Yves to a place where a significant number of people with experience with these printers gather. My apologies for having phrased my comments in a way that inferred otherwise.

Also, Frank, you're right that there's a log of "pixel peeping" going on over at dpreview (and a lot of "My printer can beat up your printer" posts). It takes a lot more digging than at a site like this.

Having said all of that, I'd like to point out to Yves that it's going to be hard to find someone who has significant experience with both of these printers. Given the cost of each, I'd think it would be rare for someone to invest the money in both. The two printers do have some obvious advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages for the Canon:<ul><li>Greater color gamut<li>Higher resolution (4800x2400 vs. 2880x1440)<li>Handles glossy paper better (the Epson is very prone to bronzing with glossy papers, and the effect is pretty ugly in prints I've examined)<li>2 picoliter drop size versus 4 picoliter drops on the Epson<li>Cost (US$499 vs. $699 for the Epson)</ul>

The advantages for the Epson:<ul><li>More flexible paper handling (including a straight-through paper path for thicker papers)<li>More 3rd party support<li>Archival prints</ul>

The last point is the kicker for a lot of people. Many feel that a print that's sold should last a long time. The Epson prints should outlast anything that's currently available in the digital world. If you intend to sell your prints, you have to figure out if this is an important factor. If you're going to hang your prints on your wall, you can always print another copy in a few years with whatever technology is available.

I personally own four printers. The two I use primarily are the Epson 2000P (the predecessor to the 2200) and an HP 7960 (for black and white). If I was buying today, I'd pony up the extra money for the Epson because of the archival qualities.I don't sell my digital work, but I often make gifts of prints. I don't mind that the Epson prefers matte paper. I print all of my color work on Epson Archival Matte.

Either of these printers will produce outstanding prints. What you plan to do with the prints is an important factor in deciding between them.

Frank Petronio
7-Jul-2004, 06:52
Sorry for sounding harsh Dave, not my intent.

I too would favor the Epson 2200 over the Canon because of archival reasons. But I'm curious about your HP 7960 - how has that worked out for you? I haven't found any decent reviews or experienced user comments about that printer either... The HP site is worthless.

I am am the cusp of buying a 2200 and I do a lot of B&W. I really hate the notion of spending another huge hunk of money for a software RIP - I've bought several RIPS in the past and they all have been trouble.

Ted Harris
7-Jul-2004, 07:18
I'll throw one mor eprinter into the soup, the Epson R800. I just got one and have been using it for about 10 days now. I can't compare it to anyhing exceot the 2200, the Epson 4000 an dhigher end Epson printers and Fuji Pictography printers. My initial impression is that it matches the output of all of the mentioned 'higher end' printers. I've spent the past week reprinting 6x6, 6x9 and 4x5 chromes, color and B&W negatives that have been printed before on Epson 7600/9600 and Fuji machines to compare the output.

here is a learning curve as with any new piece of equipment and I am no tthrough with that curve by any means but I am well satisfied with most of the output I am getting. In two instance I have produced prints that come very close to the LightJet output from my lab. In on einstance where I could jsut never get the lab to get it right I have the print I have been looking for.

Yes, yes, the size is limited to 8.5 x 11 sheets or 8.3 inch rolls. Doesn't bother me. I thought and thought and realized that over many years I have probably printed and sold more 8x10 and smaller prints than larger prints. larger color prints still go to the lab and larger B&W are still done wet for the moment but I suspect there may be an Epson 4000 in my future (gotta solve my scanner issues first).

If you can live with the size don't overlook this printer.

Paul Kierstead
7-Jul-2004, 07:22
Besides the reasons above, another fairly compelling reason to buy the Epson is because of its larger brethren. If you really like your print but wish a larger one then 13x19 (or want higher production), you can send out your files to one of the many services that use a 7600 (or other larger format Epson) and get essentially identical results. This is -- IMO -- a pretty big boon, sort of being able to stay in the same process.

Dave Moeller
7-Jul-2004, 09:22

(Sorry if I was overly-sensitive about your comment above. I'll request that you take it as a sign of the drugs I'm currently taking for back problems...re-reading your post I see that you weren't in any way negative about what I'd written.)

The HP 7960 gets dinged a lot on the web for "pizza wheel" marks on the prints. (We've probably all seen those comments made about other printers over the years as well.) I think either I got lucky or the problem has been exaggerated, as my 7960 doesn't exhibit those marks under any circumstances I've run into. This includes both HP and Epson papers, printing both color and B&W.

I found the printer easy to set up and work with, and it produces the best B&W prints I've ever made. There are (as always) some caveats:

The paper path is a U-turn, so the thickest media you can use is the HP Premium Plus paper (which is a fairly thick paper as these things go). No chance of sending any sort of thicker media through this one, and certainly no chance of using any sort of stiff media.

The prints emerge from the printer with a decided brown cast. The cast settles quite a bit in about an hour and is gone in a day, leaving a truly neutral print. (Truly neutral in the sense that they look neutral under every lighting situation under which I've examined them.) This isn't so much a disadvantage as a warning about the surprise you get the first time you print B&W with the printer. I spent ten minutes reassuring myself that I'd not accidentally printed with all of the colors rather than just the Photo Gray cartridge.

The printer can handle any of the HP papers, as well as Epson ColorLife, very well. It's awful with Epson Archival Matte. I have some other papers laying around, but haven't had time to test them yet.

The HP cartridges are expensive for the amount of ink that you get because they have an integrated head. The advantage to this system is that you can replace the head by replacing the cartridge should something go wrong, as compared to buying a new head for a Canon or sending an Epson in to have someone else replace the head. The ink cartridges cost about the same as other brands, but they don't last quite as long.

And finally, the biggest disadvantage: It only prints up to 8 1/2 x 11. If it was a 13x19 printer, I'd seriously think about retiring the Epson 2000P.

Color prints and B&W prints from the HP are stunning on the HP glossy and matte (more of a pearl finish) papers, and on Epson ColorLife. It's faster than the Epson 2000P sitting on the other side of my desk (which isn't saying much as the 2000P is a slow printer) and faster than my Epson 785EPX. It's been much easier for me to achieve great results with the HP.

I've gotten better B&W results from the HP than I did when I tried out Quadtone inks on an Epson printer. Deeper blacks and a better tonal range, which surprised me as the HP uses three shades of gray as opposed to the four tanks in the Epson Quadtone set I tried.

Unfortunately, neither the HP 7660 or 7760 use HP's PhotoRet Pro. If they did, then one of those printers with the HP PhotoGray cartridge would achieve the same results without the expense of a card reader. (Two of my printers have card readers and I've never used them.) When I bought the 7960 I looked at the other HP's and decided to go with this one to get their best software; the results I'm getting give me comfort that I made the right decision.

I have a number of prints hanging on my office walls without any protection as a casual test of the archival qualities of the HP printer. There are flourescent lights on in the office all day, and a couple of the prints are directly above an HP LaserJet 4 (a notorious ozone producer). So far the prints look like the day I printed them, so I'm starting to believe that HP prints under glass will last longer than I will. (I've done the same thing with prints from the two Epsons: 2000P prints don't shift, but 785EPX prints start to shift in a matter of weeks in the same circumstances.)

Good luck with your decision.


Yves Gauvreau
7-Jul-2004, 10:16
Thank you all for your replies and I hope I didn't offend anyone with my previous reply about DPReview. I hate to loose my time and here I always get quality answers. My mind is made-up I wanted to know if the Canon prints would last amoung other things since I want to ("I'll try") sell my work when I'm setup properly and I want to be able to make larger prints if needed.Many thanks to allYves

Frank Petronio
7-Jul-2004, 10:18
Thanks Dave. I am still leaning towards the 2200 myself, as I like Archival Matte color prints. And I think - without any RIP or sheenaigans - it will make a decent warm or cold toned monochrome print so long as you don't expect it to hit a perfect grey neutral.

Yves Gauvreau
7-Jul-2004, 17:57
Frank wrote earlier the acronym RIP. I saw this before but could someone tell me what it is and what it means?

Thanks. Yves

Dave Moeller
7-Jul-2004, 19:45

RIP stands for "Raster Image Processor". Think of it as a printing method that bypasses the printing engine in the software you're using (i.e., PhotoShop), the printer driver included in your operating system, and the printer profiles that are on your system, all in favor of software that's specifically tuned for your printer, ink, and paper combination (and DPI setting, and a bunch of other possible stuff).

Take a look at http://www.outbackphoto.com/printinginsights/pi015/pi015.html for a review of ColorByte ImagePrint; this review should make it pretty clear to you what a RIP can do. You might also look around the rest of that site, as there's a lot of good information there on digital tools that are specific to, or touch on, digital printing.


20-Jul-2004, 08:05
Hello. I am new here and also am looking at the Epson 2200 and Canon's i9900. I have no experience with Canon printers but have about 8 years experience with various Epson models. Epsons print very nice images and their supplies are easy to find. On the downside, they clog quite often and there is a lot of ink waste. Banding and paper jams are also frequent problems.

I went to Amazon.com and found buyer reviews for both printers. Of course there were many more for the 2200, as it's been out for two years. The i9900 has only been out four months I think. Anyway, there were many complaints about the Epson, the most common being that "bronzing" effect, which makes the prints look ugly when viewed at even a slight angle. There were also complaints about paper jams, banding, and lack of support. Of course, there were many laudatory comments as well.

The i9900 had 16 reviews, with only one being bad. This person's complaints were the CD was defective upon arrival and there was no printer cable included in the box. The remaining reviews were all four or five stars (five being the best).

I also checked dpreview and the guy who runs it (can't remember his name) said in a thread about these two printers that he has prints from the Canon i9000 hanging on his wall in the Florida sun and has noticed no fading after a year. I'm trying to find the thread again but no luck so far.

I still haven't decided but, based on what I've found so far, I'm leaning towards the Canon. I want my prints to last also, but I don't want ugly prints, either.

20-Jul-2004, 08:15
Okay, I goofed. The reason I couldn't find the thread I mention above is because it wasn't from dpreview. It was from Steve's Digicams, and it was Steve who has the prints from the i9100 on his wall. Here's a link to that thread:


7-Aug-2004, 05:30
I have owned both the 2200 and the i9900 (or rather, the i9950 as it is called outside the US). The 2200 is bulky, akward to use and very expensive both to purchase and to operate. The i9900 performs magnificently right out of the box, is much much faster and prints look much better. I can't comment on the respective archival quality of the prints, as I haven't used either printer long enough. But the Epson prints show very disturbing metamerism, while the Canon's prints are superb. If you compare prints from the two printers on glossy paper, the Canon wins hands down. B&W is not satisfactory with both printers, as there is a significant colour cast. I am sure that for "serious" photographers, the Epson may offer advantages, but for average users, it is an awkward, expensive and slow thing to use. The Canon has much better software, is easier to operate and the speed makes all the difference. Most importantly, it doesn't use microchips on the inkjet cartridges, which makes it much more robust. After a mere 6 months, the Epson refused to recognize genuine Epson cartridges, and I was stuck. I've thrown away (yes!) the Epson and am happily using the Canon. There's no looking back.

9-Aug-2004, 15:52
Thanks for that info, Matt. I'm convinced now to the get Canon. The only thing holding me back now are new rumors of Epson coming out with a replacement for the 2200...supposedly incorporating the improvements in the R800 into a large format printer. I want archival prints, glossy prints, and large prints. I want it all!!!! So far, my research indicates:

1: The 2200 will give you archive and large but not glossy. 2: The i9900 will give you glossy and large, but not archival. 3: The R800 will give you glossy and archival, but not large.

Jeeze, does it ever end?

BTW: I read that color cast problem can be caused by using two print profiles at once: your print program's and the printer's. They say the best thing to do is disable the printer's profile and use your print program's. Another possible problem is the green channel of the file. A slight adjustment of that channel using Photoshop's Curve function can fix it. (Or so I've read.)

Ted Sapphire
13-Aug-2004, 21:24
I just purchased a Mac G5. Now I am trying to figure out which printer to get without going too nuts in the process. I see I have some company. Thank you all for the spirited discussion. I am leaning towards the Canbon i9100, or i9900. Paul, like every good American, I want it all too. It's come down to that I suppose. I don't want complicated heads that clog up, and controls I need to put on a lab coat to master. I'm just a guy who paints, & photographs.

In my search I noted that Printers are pitched to businesses and to peopole with a digital cameras. I never hear about great printers for visual artists...have you? Why not? I want to print my transparencies, and other photos. I also want to print my other imagry. I have been experimenting with programs like Painter, and PhotoShop, to create computer generator based art. I save them as high-resolution files. I would like to find a professional computer capable of printing these type of files on 'art' paper, like a Fabriano, or some other etching paper. Can I do that with a Canon?

I vote for everyone putting the screws on Canon to fill their 'Think Tanks' with archival inks. That is a major issue for myself and other artists who would like to sell work. It is fascinating how these companies are willing to keep tweaking their products in hopes of outdoing the other guy, ( what's so new really?) I feel the dust has yet to settle in the printer development dept. If Canon keeps hearing that they look so good next to Epson,... speed, quality, ease of use,...Except for Archival Inks....Don't let it go to their heads.... Insist that they just have to come up with long lasting economical inks if they want to continue eating into Epson's share of the market. In order to afford to get going I will forgo super sizing it till it is warranted. Instead of buying a large format printer now that costs a bundle, I could farm those high-resolution folders out to RIP studios for clients who want larger works. Of course selling a few pieces would be an auspicious sign. www.tedsapphire.com Comments, Suggestions, Input much appreciated! - Ted

Kirk Gittings
13-Aug-2004, 23:35
At the view camera conference George deWolfe said "it is not a question which printer to buy but which Epson printer to buy". He has no ties to Epson. I have been waiting for a 4000 to be available. In the meantime I was considering a 2200 but....My sources who do consulting for Epson say that the 2200 will be discontinued relatively soon (that is why there are rebates available-a sure sign!) and replaced with a model that has more and larger quantity inks and a final clear "coating" inker or something, which will increase archivability. I would rate this info as slightly better than a rumour.

14-Aug-2004, 13:21
Ted --

Yes, I'd forgotten about Epson's clogging problems...they are a real pain. You can find a lot of info on this topic and many others concerning printers at http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1003. It's dedicated mostly to inkjet printing and there is a wealth of information there.

As far as printers and line art go: you're right, you don't see much info on the two. I can only guess it's because if a printer can do decent photos then it can probably handle line art with ease. About that paper, I don't know but I bet you can find out at the above link.

About archival inks, there's one other thing to consider: everything I've read says that pigment-based (archival) inks aren't as vibrant as dye-based inks. I don't know myself as I've never been able to compare. If you have a CompUSA near you, I understand they'll let you print one of your files on both the i9900 and the 2200 so you can compare yourself. Archival isn't much good if you're unhappy with the print.

BTW: Very nice site and great artwork!

Kirk --

Who is George DeWolfe? I've read that same opinion from other printing experts, but only when talking about prints for sale. I've also read opposing views, stating that the stories of fading problems with dye inks are overblown and that dye ink prints, when treated properly, will last as long as photos.

The additional ink you're talking about is what Epson calls their "gloss optimizer," which is another ink cartridge that adds a clear coating to the print, supposedly fixing the bronzing problem the 2200 has with glossy paper. This was implemented in the R800, which is what I meant above when I said the R800 will give you glossy prints. The replacement I heard about and you mention above is probably the 2200 with that cartridge added (and hopefully other improvements).

Is it possible to find out from your sources what they mean by "relatively soon?" I need to do something quickly: my print service charges $6.75 for an 8x10.


16-Aug-2004, 08:45
The Epson 2200 will be discontinued and replaced with the R800 insides and printing technology. Sometime Next Year is the only thing Epson Rep. he couldn't specify a quarter for release either. I would assume it will be soon as the R800 is already out with the technology.

Kirk Gittings
16-Aug-2004, 22:48

George is a photo instructor who lives in Maine but teaches workshops all over the country including Maine and Santa Fe and by email. he is the most knowledgeable digital guy that I know personally. He is currently doing a series on "The Digital Fine Print Workshop: 16 bit workflow" for Camera Arts.

17-Aug-2004, 16:33
Thanks Wes & Kirk. I did find a lot on George via Google.

But is there *no* further info on a release for the new Epson? I just paid over 26 bucks for two 8x10's and one 11x14. And the 11x14 stunk.

I know when they'll release it: 31 days after I buy the i9900.

Kirk Gittings
17-Aug-2004, 21:56

That is the way of things these days. I bought an Epson 3200 scanner two months before the 4870 came out which is a far superior machine and cheaper. The 3200 is now a paper weight. Anyone want to buy it? Make me an offer.

adam rethlake
22-Mar-2005, 09:29
We have the 2200's here at school. The big difference with Canon and Epson is the whole archival ink issues. I do know that if you spray your non archival prints they will last for years 30 plus. Most color prints RA4 won't last 30 years.

Paul if your paying 26 dollars for 8x10's and 11x14's your going to the wrong lab. I pay about a 2 bucks a print for 10's and 4 for 14's. You can even get cheaper if you have a costco around. costco has their profiles up on the net and I have had really good luck with them. I currently use a little lab in San Antiono... www.saphotoexpress.com. Most consitent prints I have seen.

for my needs I can't see printing with an ink jet. The inks are to costly and your using a printer that cant be fixed if something goes wrong. Normal life of a printer is 3 to 5 years if your lucky.. Now for special paper and fine art prints I would have to go with the Canon and spray the print. The spray is non glossy or you can get a glossy. I have used retouching spray on prints and did some pencil work then sprayed the print with a matte spray. Looks great. I have also heard from the Canon Guy that Canon is in the works with an archival ink. Or is it really a dye? =]