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Exploring the Width and Breadth of Canon

A summary of the 2005 Canon Expo tour.

Held every 5 years, the Canon Expo tour allows the company to show off its complete range of products. The 2005 Expo was no different, and included a stop at New York City's Javits Convention Center in September, as well as Paris and Tokyo.

In the Big Apple, Canon showcased its graphic-arts products and its consumer goods, and also launched a new digital color-printing brand, Canon image- PRESS. Aimed at the commercial print and graphic-arts markets, the imagePress brand was developed to expand the company's presence in the production color market"?creative-services companies, ad agencies, design firms, and marketing divisions. The new brand joins Canon's portfolio of imageRUNNER, imagePROGRAF, and imageCLASS products.

The company previewed the first color press technologies under the imagePress brand: "imagePress X" for commercial production environments, and "imagePress Y" for graphic arts and proofing. Both units are expected to be available for customer delivery in the second half of 2006.

"As the market shifts dramatically toward the adoption of digital color, the introduction of the imagePress brand clearly announces our intention to expand our superior value proposition to commercial print and graphic-arts customers"? and further our influence within the digital color space," says Tod Pike, senior vice president of Canon USA's Imaging Systems Group. "We expect imagePress will transform the production marketplace, allowing commercial and quick printers, as well as in-plant and central reprographic department customers to grow their client base, volume, and profits."

Canon also introduced a new corporate slogan for the Americas, "Canon image- ANYWHERE." The slogan "underscores [our] commitment to being the leader in total networked, digital imaging solutions for business and consumers."

Importantly, the company used this exposition to not only display its current products, but also to introduce new products and even offer previews of some products and technologies that are still on the drawing board. Of particular note on the Expo show floor:

  • Dye-based imagePROGRAF W8400D: Based on the pigment-based W8400 released earlier this year (see our September review, p. 25), this 44-in. printer utilizes dye inks. Other features remain the same from the W8400: it's a 6-color printer (CMYKcm); offers print speeds up to 307 sq ft/hr at 1200 dpi; has a maximum resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi; and features PosterArtist, Digital PhotoPrint Pro, and PhotoPrint Select software. Note: Canon is now referring to the pigment- based W8400 as the W8400Pg. The W8400D will be available in Q4 2005; estimated MSRP is $5995.
  • ImageProGraf 60: This was a prototype machine, referred to by Canon as a "product preview." A 60-in. rollfed printer, it utilized pigment-based inks and had a larger color gamut than the W8400, although the exact number of colors were not specified. Nor were speed and resolution specified, although a Canon representative reported that both of these would be equal to or greater than the W8400. It likely will make its debut in the first half of 2006.
  • 10-Color Desktop Printer: Geared toward the fine-art, photography, and proofing markets, this pigment-based printer had yet to be provided with a monicker. It could handle a variety of media sizes, including 14 x 17 and 13 x 19 in. Likely to have a price tag in the $900 range, a Canon representative said, this printer should be introduced in the first half of 2006. Its 10-color inkset could migrate to the ImageProGraf 60, above.
  • Kyuanos color-management software: Allows for better color matching across all applications, from clothing and textiles to screen/display and printed output. The software also compensates for the on-site lightings. Canon announced that Kyuanos will be incorporated into Windows' upcoming Vista (formerly "Longhorn") operating system as its color-management system.
  • ImageRUNNER 2016/2020 Series: Multifunction devices with operating speeds up to 20 pages/min, these units allow copying, network printing, and faxing. Also available as 2016i and 2020i models, which add network capabilities "?color scanning, scan-to-email, scan-to-file, and scan-to-fax. Both models support Canon's PDF High-Compression mode. The base models are available now; the "i" models will be made available in early 2006. MSRP: $2500 (2016) and $3000 (2020).
  • SED display technology: A joint venture between Canon and Toshiba, SED (surface-conduction electron emitter display) panels for video and digital images are based on flat-panel display technologies. SED displays merge Canon's electron-emission and micro-fabrication technologies with Toshiba's CRT technology and mass-production capabilities.


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