The more you look at today’s large format equipment the more you can’t help but think this market is about to undergo some radical changes in its channel makeup. Watching Canon’s new imagePROGRAF iPF8000, a 44” large format printer, crank out prints only confirms those feelings. Among the many impressive features of this unit is its ability to drive down the cost per print without compromising quality. Canon claims the unit uses less ink due to its new 12-color LUCIA pigment ink system, which emphatically drives down the cost per print. They tell us that the unit’s twin, high-density print head enhances printing speed as well as the unit’s durability by cramming 30,720 nozzles into two 1-inch print heads.
Paul Hinkins, European Marketing Manager, for Large Format Printing (LFP), Canon Europe, spoke at the show about the explosive possibilities in the LFP market. “The potential that LFP has within the photographic industry is colossal. The simplicity of large format ensures ease of use and with the onset of digital becoming a reality – both in terms of printing and photography – large format printing has never been more accessible. Moreover, LFP offers a visible return on investment – after all, an image is only captured and sold once but can be reproduced any number of times.”
It appears that Canon, Epson and HP are revving their LF engines as recent new product from all three seems to speak to this new frontier the market is headed into. We chatted about Epson’s new 3800 in last week’s Clique and HP’s new Designjet Z models (the Z2100 and Z3100) only add to the frenzy of activity. What was once the sole domain of commercial print shops, large format printing is now a wide open market with a variety of retail channels now a part of the mix.