We may have some seriously pricey gear yet so miser when it comes to professional printers. It only does one job and is very expensive when compared to a 3-in-1s that can print, scan and fax. The imagePROGRAF PRO-300 prints a maximum of A3+ and comes with ten ink cartridges which costs about 250 dollars a set which is the very reason why I didn’t go all the way for a PRO-1000 where a set costs 800 dollars. On top of that, a lot of ink will be wasted to clean the range topper’s nozzle although it prints A2 which is a respectable real estate.
Wasy to use
Professional printing learning curve
W: 639mm D: 379mm H: 200mm
Pigment 10 colors LUCIA PRO ink
Before things get even more numerical let’s go back to the 300, A3+ paper is slightly bigger than A3 but costs a third more and looking for a frame at this size can be a challenge. Not doable on the 1000, this prints panorama which made it even more difficult to frame. It does look like there is more value to go for a 200 or go all-in with the 1000, That’s true and the 200 is not likely to upset enthusiasts like us but if you have to have that extra shimmer, the Pro 300 is the way to go so make of what your happy middle is.
At a reputable lab, printing A3 itself on Baryta paper will cost 33 dollars on this side of the world. Add in the cost for 50 sheets of paper, breaking even will take 36 prints at home. Thing is, this very printer can be had for less during promotional periods less which means break even is at 30 prints and that’s before factoring shipping that your local lab charges. So for all things that depreciate, I bit the bullet.
Lifting this printer out of the box requires strength from the core as it weighs 14 kilograms, fortunately setting up was a lot easier. Hiccups may surface nevertheless things are fairly easy to rectify plus the printer is quick to respond to input. Having done some experiment, there really is no need for a wired connection given how strong the wifi signal is on the Prograf 300. Furthermore, settings can be tweaked via an app which is not beautifully designed, at least it works well.
It has never been easier to operate a professional printer be it an Epson or Canon because their software coupled to the paper company’s ICC, what you see is what you get so screwing up is not likely. Take my word on it because it took me a lot of effort and time to get to know the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. On what paper to go is stressful because they are named in such a jargon manner. My advice is to start with lustre or matte and the all-time favourite Baryta, try them out and from there move towards the result you personally are trying to achieve.
At the end of the day, seeing the print realised in your hands does give an indescribable satisfaction. There is just no better time to experiment with prints since going out is currently not recommended. Sure, the lab is still the place to produce larger prints however the calibration side of things have already been mastered. Even though professional printers have come down a lot in price because it is a very niche product so it is absolutely okay to call this a pass.
After 5 months of owning a Canon Pro-300, the included ink cartridges tapped out after 14 A3+ prints warning that it had run low on gray and yellow which fell short of my expectations. Although my excitement for printing has worn off, this isn't a regretful purchase because I find it to be an interesting area for photographers to explore. As most enthusiasts do not print all that much, it will be good to share this printer with another occasional shooter.