Digital Photography Now Printer Reviews
Printer review: Canon S900
By Ian Burley
For a detailed illustrated tour of the S900, click here.
All credit to the S900’s print head?
Until recently mutually exclusive, the Canon S900 is a photo ink-jet printer built for speed as well as print quality. Much of these abilities are down to one important asset, the print head.
With a record 3072 nozzles, the S900 has the widest print head in its class. That much width enables it to cover significantly more paper during each print pass.
Like the S800 before it, droplet sizes are as small as 4 picolitres and maximum print resolution is 2400dpi. Below you can see a comparison between the print head of the S900 and the S800:
Single ink tanks
Another characteristic feature of the S900 is its use of individually replaceable ink tanks for each ink colour; six in all, including black.
While most other manufacturers use various methods to estimate when an ink tank is almost empty, Canon’s Think Tank System employs foolproof design features to let you know how much ink you have remaining. To start with, the ink tanks are transparent, so a visual inspection of the ink level can be made.
Secondly, a tiny prism in the transparent plastic casing is used to physically detect when the ink level has fallen below a critical level. When the tank is relatively full, the illuminated prism doesn’t trigger a photoreceptor. When the ink falls past the critical level, the optical characteristics of the prism change, diverting light onto the photoreceptor, triggering the low ink warning. There are no Epson-style ink tank droplet logging chips.
A new feature for Canon is borderless printing. All this means is that the image being printed is enlarged slightly beyond the boundaries of the paper, in the S900’s case you can select 6x4 inches or A4 and a small amount of excess ink is sprayed beyond the paper, through a special gap in the platen and on to pads designed to catch this over-spray.
Apart from the above features, the S900 is a fairly conventional ink-jet printer design, employing a top-loading paper path with a relatively small angle of turn for the paper to negotiate. The bottom paper rest can be telescoped and folded up to save desk space, but the top paper rest is simply a clip-on accessory.
Here are the S900’s detailed specifications:
Canon UK - www.canon.co.uk