This has been a useful revue of what is obviously a very interesting product and sets the scene for the bigger versions, the 60" 9000 currently appearing in Europe and Japan.
We still equire further analyses from experts in specific fields.
Mark is the obvious person to give a tight cost analysis. So far this aspect appears promising.Less clogging is a major plus.In both production and domestic situations it is the time wasted , more than the inks which is a real pain.
It will take a colour management expert like Bruce Fraser to thoroughly investigate the inkset linearity which high end users require. This has been a Canon weak point in the past.
Speed advantages over Epson appear somewhat marginal, which is disappointing for commercial users.
The increase in PhotoBlack DMax is very welcome , but the more serious Matte Black issue has not improved. This may be an area in which Epson can hit back.
The slight deficiency in reds, which Epson greatly improved with the K3 inkset , may well be addressed with custom profiles. This too, remains to be seen.
What is clear is that Epson have a formidable challenger. There is little brand loyalty now and with influential people like Michael moving to the new machines , there will be a strong following.
Epson will be aware that their complacency is over and they must respond, and do so very quickly.
Flushes of glossy advertising and cash backs will not work.
It is becoming progressively harder to pull rabbits out of the hat. Lowering ink costs will help, but I think speed (especially) and that matte DMax problem must be on the agenda.
The high end of the market is hotting up too. With the finish of the Epson-Roland agreement that Epson not enter the over 44" area the gloves are off here . Canon has played the first big card with the 9000, and rumours of Epsons 60" are becoming sounder. Rolands very expensive and buggy 12 colour pigment printers will be severely challenged. Canon and Epson have their huge consumer base to finance R&D.Roland may not survive in the fine art market. That could go for the others like Mimaki and Mutoh. Countering this is their concentration in the lucrative and cashed up signage area. Epson may well move in that direction to counter lost sales in the fine printing pigment area .
As I'm flowing with cliches this morning, I might as well do it again.