Highlights from Canon, EFI, HP and Nur.
Both printers feature imageProGraf Printer Driver 2007, compatible with Windows as well as Mac; Digital Photo Front-Access software, which lets users view and arrange multiple images from a digital camera and import them into editing software applications; and export print modules for Adobe Photoshop and Digital Photo Professional (DPP), which allow users to directly process and print raw image files from DPP or Adobe Photoshop. Optional is Canon's new PosterArtist 7.0 software, which supports the company's 'Kyuanos' color-management technology for Windows. In addition to producing consistent color tones, Canon reports, Kyuanos technology can optimize the output by taking into consideration factors such as the lighting conditions under which the graphic will be displayed, dramatically affecting the image's appearance. Using one of the six supported media, Kyuanos enables users to specify the output to match the final lighting conditions-be that indoors, outdoors, or under warm or cool lighting conditions.
Price: iPF6100, $3495; iPF5100 price has yet to be set. The iPF6100 is currently available; the iPF5100 is expected to be available in Q3 2007. Canon reports that the 17-in. iPF5000, which debuted in 2006, will continue to be marketed.
In addition, Canon introduced two new large-format substrates that are compatible with dye and pigment aqueous inks-Universal White Film and Adhesive White Film. The Universal White Film is a 7-mil polyester with a glossy microporous coating to provide quick drying and water-resistance. Applications include trade-show graphics, high-impact photo printing, and point-of-purchase materials. The 4.6-mil Adhesive White Film offers an ultra-smooth surface, high-gloss finish, and permanent-adhesive backing. In addition, it features a special back coating that minimizes curl for easy application of the film to a variety of surfaces.
Also on the scene was Canon's latest high-speed press, the imagePress C7000VP (introduced earlier this year), which was operating in two different configurations. One was producing on-demand camera instructions booklets; the other was printing 4-color 11 x 17-in. posters (in fact, the brochure touting the C7000 VP's capabilities was also produced on that same press). Canon realizes that key in driving the acceptance of high-speed presses by commercial as well as digital shops is the adoption of a different set of business tools. To this end, Canon announced its new Business Builder Program to help high-speed businesses be successful. It includes a business self-assessment tool, gap or weakness analysis tool, application tool set with marketing tools for 24 vertical markets, and a sales strategies tool set.
The event encompassed more than just the host company's wares. More than 50 Alliance Partners were invited-EFI, Ergosoft, Onyx, GEI, PosterJet, SAi, Quark, Pageflex, and others-to present their solutions in conjunction with Canon products. For example, GEI demonstrated the new combination of the Colortrac smartLF Scanner 4080E with the Canon imageProGraf W8400D; the matched pair can scan and print, as well as scan and upsize the original image. And Ergosoft matched its RIP to a large-format Canon printer and was outputting 4-color graphics.
Canon is also starting a mentoring program through which customers will have direct access to business and printing experts in business planning, sales, marketing, production, and workflow. And the company will create a Customer Maintenance Program so end-users can do more of the routine maintenance and simple repairs, thus increasing productivity and optimizing image quality.