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Canon ImagePROGRAF IPF50 ReviewCanon ImagePROGRAF IPF50 Printer

Reviewer: Tim Benson  
Printer Type: Photo, Laser 
Overall Rating: 4/5  
Despite its age (relatively speaking, of course, as a piece of technology), the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF500 Large Format Inkjet Printer still stands up to the professional demands placed upon a large format printer, and now, due to its relative affordability, it could be considered a good option even for non-business users.  
It’s also still available from Amazon, for a seriously reduced price, which makes it well worth considering for anyone, business or otherwise, who’s in the market for a still serviceable large format printer.  In fact, the iPF500 does some things that even newer and more expensive competitors still don’t do.
Large format printers have a very specific purpose are aren’t appropriate for all users; their most common purpose is CAD, although they can still be used for a very wide variety of purposes, including posters, maps, art reproduction, and more.  It’s versatility where the iPF500 has stood out since its introduction.  The iPF500 can print on the widest variety of media types of any current large format printer, including more obscure types, such as: self-adhesive synthetic paper, heavy-weight glossy photo paper, proofing paper, translucent film, and high resolution paper, which is a bit of a rarity for a large format printer. 
You have four media feeding options with the iPF500, each of which is fairly easy to do, especially with help from the software print modules that Canon includes with this unit.  The iPF500 also has an automatic media switching function, which, when set up properly, can save you a lot of time, as anyone who’s dealt with older large format printers can attest. 
The iPF500’s print quality still stands up in just about any format it handles, even up to professional demands.  Its loaded RAM is still more than adequate, and actually still exceeds some newer large format printers.  The iPF500 can also still be considered fairly quiet when printing, and it’s not overly large, as far as large format machines go, though you shouldn’t be under any illusions as to how “little” space you’ll need to accommodate it. 
There are some aspects of the iPF500 that are a little bit outdated by now.  The bundled software doesn’t really stand up to newer iterations and competitors, for the most part, although it’s generally alright if you haven’t had the chance to be spoiled by some of the more recent printing software packages. 
The iPF500’s print speed now lags decidedly behind those of other large format options.  Its print quality isn’t spectacular either, particularly the larger and more detailed the graphics being printed get.  
Unfortunately, its text print quality also suffers somewhat by comparison, and its max resolution doesn’t stand up to what’s on offer from newer large format printers.  Generally speaking, the iPF500 certainly isn’t as powerful as some of the other large format printers that have come along since, but this is something that users up to a certain level might not even really notice. 
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal on a competent large format printer than what you can get for the iPF500.  The iPF500 does everything you should need to a good enough level that it’s well worth considering.  In fact, if you anticipate needing to print on a large variety of media, the iPF500 might just suit you better than even some of Canon’s more recent large format units 

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