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Canon has made its foray into the production photo printing market after unveiling the DreamLabo 5000, an inkjet printer it claims will "revitalise" the photo printing market.

The launch forms part of Canon's strategy to claim the top spot in the digital photography sector and the manufacturer is confident that inkjet can offer a viable alternative to silver halide technology.

The launch forms part of Canon's strategy to claim the top spot in the digital photography sector and the manufacturer is confident that inkjet can offer a viable alternative to silver halide technology.

Canon is pitching the machine, which can output up to 20-page A4-size photo album in 72 seconds or print 40 102x152mm photo prints in one minute, at both production businesses and on-demand printers looking for new revenue streams.

The seven-colour DreamLabo 5000 features a newly developed high-density print head offering 305mm wide printing output that only requires a single pass of the paper.

The machine also incorporates Canon's full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) technology.

Ryoichi Bamba, president and chief executive of Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the launch signifies a new business direction for the company "as we are proud to announce not just a new machine, but the technology that can revitalise the entire industry and open up substantial new business opportunities".

"With the DreamLabo 5000, Canon is setting a new standard for the production printing of high quality photos and high definition text," he added.

The DreamLabo 5000 will be available from early 2012. Pricing is unavailable at present.