Isn't one of the design mantras of technology that things keep on getting smaller? There's no shortage of tiny and thin tech products, from microscopic phones to super-thin music players, speakers that can fit into your pocket, and any number of gadgets that can be quickly lost behind the sofa. Clearly, there's a market for technology to find all this tiny technology once it's been lost, but I digress. Canon clearly didn't get the memo about all good technology being small technology when it came time to design the i9950 printer.
The word that more closely describes the i9950 is "gargantuan". Or perhaps "monolithic". Then again, as a photo printer capable of printing photos at up to A3 sizes, there's not much that can be done to make the i9950 that much smaller. Just be prepared to clear some serious desk space when you're installing it; with dimensions of 577 x 334 x 182 mm and a solid carrying weight of around 9.5kg, this is a serious chunk of printer. For such a large printer, it's perhaps surprising that it's very limited when it comes to on-board controls; there's no LCD for picture viewing or complicated button arrays for queuing up print jobs; just a power button and a resume button, both suitably huge, make up the entirety of the i9950's controls.
Although it's pitched primarily at the professional photography crowd, the i9950 shares Canon's usual simple approach to setup, which is based around a single CD software install, followed by the installation of no less than eight photo ink tanks -- Photo Magenta, Red, Black, Green, Photo Cyan, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow -- which sit above the print head itself, and then the connection of the i9950 to your PC or Mac. The unit's support trays fold out quite easily, and a tray is provided for CD/DVD printing onto compatible media.
Forget about printing out spreadsheets, web pages or invoices with the i9950; this is a dedicated photo printer, and while it'll print whatever you tell it, you're wasting your time and money if you're pumping anything through it that isn't photographic in nature. Amusingly, though, Canon still provides page rates for the i9950 using standard benchmarks, and if you care, they claim up to 16ppm in black and 12ppm in colour. Once again, though, this is a photo printer, so those specifications are fundamentally useless unless you're masochistic.
Canon rates the i9950 as supporting a top resolution of 4800 x 2400dpi with a droplet size of only 2 picolitres using Canon's MicroFine Droplet Technology. The claim that Canon makes with the i9950 is that the two additional green and red inks have high saturation and contrast rates, leading to brighter and clearer photographs; as this is a product aimed more at the professional end of the market you'll be able to work out if that suits your photographic style better than competing photo printer products.