Canon Ink - A Quiet Revolution Jan 13, 2010 14:24 by Matt Bird

Whilst we trundle along each day providing our quality customer service and products, we frequently come across new printer ideas that are of an ingenious nature, but implemented poorly with a feeling of being rushed. Occasionally though, an idea comes along that is sickeningly simple, but wonderfully effective. Canon have been quietly using one of these ideas in the vast majority of their inkjet printers, with people seemingly unwilling to stand up and acknowledge the brilliance in its simplicity. But no longer! Here at StinkyInk we consistently rave on about how good Canons Inkjet printer range is, with 2 of their models being recommended as the top of their categories in our Printing Guide, and we feel we must tell the world of one of the aspects that so enamours us to their range.

Canon Inkjet printers utilise BOTH pigmented inks and dye-based inks. Simple, yet brilliant. We realise not many general printer consumers realise the difference, or better yet, care about the difference. However we suggest, nay – insist, that you do.

Pigment and dye-based inks are essentially tailored towards 2 different kinds of printing, text and image based respectively.

Typically pigment based inks are used for text printing. Made with a resin that aids resistance to light, the longevity of your text prints will be unmatched and not fade. Additionally, pigment inks absorb water, but do not dissolve like Dye-based inks. This gives a handy resistance to water for your home and office related text prints. Now I do not mean this as a challenge to go read your meetings minutes in the shower, but it does mean:

  • Printing onto envelopes will be hassle free for the post
  • You can use highlighters on the text with no smudging
  • The prints are immediately touch dry.

Especially pleased with the essay or report you just printed off? You can immediately caress the hardcopy from the printer, whilst a dye-based print would have to wait for your love. Additionally, they typically come in bigger cartridges as well, so that essay/report you so adore can be printed even more times and the joy can be shared to many others. Ultimately, pigment inks love text documents (invoices/reports/essays), greyscale, all things colourless.

Sitting on the other side of the printing fence however, dye-based inks are bathing in their colour rich world. Made with optical brighteners, they have vivid colours with superior  brightness and colour scales. Whilst having a slightly lower gamut (potential colour range of the image) which is unavoidable due to the nature of the ink, the images printed will still be visibly superior and much more satisfying on the eye. However, due to the small dispersion of ink when the print request is applied to the page, the image is more susceptible to chemical and light reactions, meaning a lower image life. The difference in quality between the images means this is a knock worth taking though, and with evolutions in the dye-based world towards making them hardier to nature’s assaults, should hopefully be less of an issue in the future.

So now you know the main differences between the inks. One is amazing for text. One is fabulous for image printing. Just imagine if a printer had the ability to hold both types of cartridge, and only use the superior type of ink for the required job. Cast your mind’s eye back to the beginning of this article, they exist! Canon have been using this ink segmentation for a while, and not been thanked for it.

With printers now being used for countless operations, with the introduction of PictBridges for camera printing, card readers for document and photo printing, the ability to provide a quality output no matter the print request is fantastic. Being able to print a word document and know you are not using your valuable black reserves for images, or a photo print and know your supply of text-ink is sitting safe and sound, is a brilliant peace of mind, and can help you save a bundle on printing costs.

We really do love this simple application of different inks, and coupled with Canons reliable products it really is a great base for home and small office printing. We hope this article has been of interest for you, and you can start demanding such a great idea from other brand manufacturers. Canon are leading at the moment, the rest must now play catch-up.

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7 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What a wonderful post!

  2. Charlotte says:

    Your information on the difference between original and compatible cartridges was really interesting. I’ve been trying for ages to get information I can understand about cartridges.

    I use a canon pixma printer and often wondered what the difference was.

    Still don’t know what a chipped cartridge is and if I could use that type

  3. charnmahi says:

    i am looking for cannon ink c cannon 6 and 3a

  4. Denna Jones says:

    I wasn’t motivated to complete my due diligence before buying a new office printer. Nope. My sole motivation was price. I looked on ebay and bought a new Canon MP190 for a tenner. No inks, but still a bargain. Got my ink packs from StinkyInks. And then something strange happened. I became intrigued by the StinkyInk articles on pigment and dye based inks. Which made me wonder, what exactly IS an inkjet printer? Wkipedia’s inkjet printer entry mentions piezoelectric ink. The ability to generate voltage when mechanical force is applied. Cool! I’ve heard about piezoelectric dance clubs where people power triggers a light show beneath the dance floor, but I didn’t know something similar was happening in my printer! The piezoelectric entry mentioned Lord Kelvin. Who? Oh right, his laws of thermodynamics! Hmmm. Conservation of energy. What’s that? Ah, right. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. But what’s an isolated system? Ok the only truly isolated system is the entire universe! Which made me think ”hmmm, time to start re-watching my box set of Battlestar Gallactica (the new series – not the 1970s one!). Who knew a humble ink cartridge could spin off into a universe of possibilities?

  5. Alan Winser says:

    I’ve been a fan of canon printers for a while. According to Which they cost less over time than others. I’m interested to see why I have good results.

  6. David Field says:

    Yes I agree that Canon printers are the best – I use them. But they seem to use up ink cartridges a lot faster than the Epsons and HPs which are also part of our office armoury. And the cartridges are very expensive – so you pay a lot for the privilege of Canon’s technology. We have to buy on price and for me, the jury’s out: the Epsons don’t print such crisp text but for basic office documents they’re perfectly satisfactory.

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