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Canon Pixma Launch Event

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Category: Inkjet Printers

Canon Pixma Launch Event - Gary Wolstenholme took a trip to The Future Gallery in London, where Canon were holding a launch event for their new Pixma range of multi-function printers.

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Canon Technical Expert, Kim Noakes
Canon Technical Expert, Kim Noakes demonstrates the Canon app for the iPad and iPhone with the new MG5250 WiFi enabled multifunction printer.

Canon's new range of Pixma photo-quality multi-function printers were showcased in London's Future Gallery near Leicester Square and Gary Wolstenholme went along for a sneak peek at what the new range have to offer.

The event revolved mainly around their three new flagship A4 multifunction printers, the MG5250, MG6150 and MG8150, all of which sport WiFi connectivity, one picolitre droplet size, individual ink tanks and resolutions up to 9600dpi for lab quality prints. On top of this each model can be used independently of a computer, allowing images to be scanned straight to, or printed straight from, a memory card. Those of you who are swanky enough to own a fancy new iPad or an iPhone will also be pleased to know there is an app for you too, allowing printing straight from your device.

Canon Technical Expert Kim Noakes was on hand at the event to demonstrate what the new printers have to offer and to give me an insight on the main areas which Canon have improved their range. Kim had the following to say about the design of the new range: "The new design is sleek and sexy, designed to suit almost any environment, whether that be at an office, or at home."

He also confirmed the thinking behind the control layout on the new range: "The idea of the new range is to make things easier, and as a result each process has a heavily reduced number of steps. Most tasks can be completed in a two step process."

I have to agree. The shiny black exterior of the new range looks very sleek and high quality. The controls are lit up from below the surface when they are available to be used, making it easy to follow the menus for most processes. The rest of the time many of the controls aren't even visible.

Prints can be produced via a PC or Macintosh computer, or via connecting a camera directly to the printer, from a memory card taken directly from a camera or over the air via WiFi from a number of devices, including WiFi compatible mobile phones or even via Bluetooth, although for this you will need to purchase Canon's optional BU-30 bluetooth adapter.

Other features that may appeal are the HD movie print function, that allows a single frame to be extracted and printed from HD movie clips, and a customisable web printing option that allows you to select the bits you want to print from a web page, so you don't waste valuable ink printing adverts and banners. Each of the printers will also print directly on compatible DVD, CD and Blu-Ray media, which is great for that professional touch.

The MG8150 also includes film scanning capabilities at resolutions up to 4800 x 9600dpi. The film scanner can be operated via a computer, or for convenience the images can be saved directly to a memory card, or printed without having to use a computer. This will suit those with an archive of old film, but don't have a computer especially.

The MG5250 uses five separate ink cartridges, while the MG6150 and MG8150 use six. The reason for the difference is an additional grey cartridge, which should produce black and white images with a much greater tonal range, all without the risk of the horrid green or magenta casts normally associated with black and white prints produced on inkjet printers. When asked about the ink system in the new models Kim Noakes said: "Canon's ink monitoring system is incredibly accurate allowing every last bit of ink to be used. The ink monitoring is so accurate that the printer can tell if there isn't enough of one colour to complete the next print, only then will it ask you to change the cartridge. We are also one of the only manufacturers to provide a set of full cartridges with each new printer."

Canon Pixma MG6150
A Canon Pixma MG6150 multifunction printer prints one of my black and white images at the event. This printer sports a grey ink as well as the standard black.

For a quick, informal test of the printer's abilities, I took along some of my own images to see how well they would reproduce the images. I had access to the mid-range MG6150 and printed the images from a Macintosh laptop loaded with Canon's Easy Photo Print software.

Each of the images below were printed at the event and then scanned later for comparison on a Canon LiDE 50 scanner at 300dpi. The process of scanning will reduce the quality so the images below should only be taken as a rough indication of print quality. The images were printed on Canon's professional semi-gloss paper.

Canon LiDE 50 scanner at 300dpi.   Original file
A slightly warm tone is visible in the print, but otherwise this is a very good black and white print. A decent range of tones have been produced.   For comparison, here is the original file.

To test the black and white print quality I used an Infra-red black and white image of the war memorial in St. Peter's Square in Manchester. The finished print has a slight warm cast to it, but otherwise I am very impressed by the range of tones reproduced. The blacks are deep where they need to be and the subtle tones in the lighter areas of the monument have been reproduced well.

Canon LiDE 50 scanner at 300dpi.   Original file
Overall the image has been rendered little lighter than the original and warm tones appear slightly more orange, otherwise the print quality and range of tones is impressive.   The original file for comparison.

To test the colour print quality I used a landscape image of the shipwreck at Saltwick Bay. Again the range of tones produced is impressive, with smooth graduations of colour being handled well. Overall the image came out lighter than on file leaving the sky in the image looking a little pastelly by comparison. Warm tones seem to take on a distinct orange hue, which isn't too disturbing in this image, but may be in others.

As these images were printed using the basic software, form standard, unprofiled sRGB JPEGs, I imagine more accurate colour results will be possible with a little profiling and tinkering.

New Pixma Range – Specifications:
  Pixma MG5250 Pixma 6150 Pixma 8150
Functions Print, Scan & Copy. Camera, Memory Card, Mobile phone and direct disc printing Print, Scan & Copy. Superior quality 6 Single Ink All-In-One with Intelligent Touch System and 7.5cm (3") colour TFT display. Print, Scan & Copy. 6 Single Ink photo All-In-One with 35mm film scanning, Intelligent Touch System, 8.8cm Colour TFT screen, Wi-Fi and Ethernet
Resolution Up to 9600 x 2400 dpi Up to 9600 x 2400 dpi Up to 9600 x 2400 dpi
Print Engine Inkjet, 5 Single Inks, 5-colour system with minimum 1 pl droplet size Inkjet, 6 Single Inks, 6-colour system with minimum 1 pl droplet size Inkjet, 6 Single Inks, 6-colour system with minimum 1 pl droplet size
Photo Quality Print Speed Borderless 10 x 15 cm: Approx. 20 seconds Borderless 10 x 15 cm: Approx. 20 seconds Borderless 10 x 15 cm: Approx. 20 seconds
Mono Print Speed Approx. 11.0 ipm Approx. 12.5 ipm Approx. 12.5 ipm
Colour Print Speed Approx. 9.3 ipm Approx. 9.3 ipm Approx. 9.3 ipm
Separate Inks Yes Yes Yes
Number of Inks 5 6 6
Media Size Up to A4 Up to A4 Up to A4
Borderless Printing Yes Yes Yes
Compatible Memory Cards (without an adapter) USB Flash Memory, CompactFlash, Microdrive,
Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo,
SD,
SDHC,
MultiMedia Card , MultiMedia Card Plus
USB Flash Memory, CompactFlash, Microdrive,
Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo,
SD,
SDHC,
MultiMedia Card , MultiMedia Card Plus
USB Flash Memory, CompactFlash, Microdrive,
Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo,
SD,
SDHC,
MultiMedia Card , MultiMedia Card Plus
Camera Direct Print Compatible Yes Yes Yes
Scanner Type Flatbed CIS colour scanner Flatbed CIS colour scanner Flatbed and FAU, CCD colour scanner
Film Scanning No No Film Adapter Unit (FAU) for 6x 35 mm (neg/pos film), 4x 35 mm mounted slide
Scanner Resolution Up to 2400 x 4800dpi Up to 4800 x 4800 dpi Up to 4800 x 4800 dpi for reflectives
Up to 4800 x 9600 dpi for Film Scan
A4 Scan Speed Approx 17 seconds Approx 10 seconds Approx 7 seconds
Colour Depth 48 bit input / 24 bit output 48 bit input / 24 bit output 48 bit input / 24 bit output (Film scan 48bit input / 48 bit or 24bit output)
Greyscale Depth 16 bit input / 8 bit output 16 bit input / 8 bit output 48bit input / 8 bit output (Film scan 48bit input / 16 or 8bit output)
Compatibility TWAIN, WIA TWAIN, WIA TWAIN, WIA
Effective scanning width 216 x 297mm 216 x 297mm 216 x 297mm
Optical Character Recognition Yes Yes Yes
LCD Screen 6cm colour TFT LCD screen 7.5cm colour TFT LCD screen 8.8cm colour TFT screen
Interface PC/Mac Hi-Speed USB
Wi-Fi: IEEE802.11b/g/n Set-up: WCN, WPS (Push-Button Configuration, PIN code method), Security: WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP64/128bit
Hi-Speed USB
Wi-Fi: IEEE802.11b/g/n Set-up: WCN, WPS (Push-Button Configuration, PIN code method), Security: WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP64/128bit
Hi-Speed USB
Wi-Fi: IEEE802.11b/g/n Set-up: WCN, WPS (Push-Button Configuration, PIN code method), Security: WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP64/128bit
Interface Non PC Over Wi-Fi: Android devices, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Sony Playstation 3 Over Wi-Fi: Android devices, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Sony Playstation 3 Over Wi-Fi: Android devices, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Sony Playstation 3
Supported Operating Systems Windows 7 (32 and 64bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64bit), Windows XP SP2, SP3
Mac OS X v.10.4.11 - 10.6
Windows 7 (32 and 64bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64bit), Windows XP SP2, SP3
Mac OS X v.10.4.11 - 10.6
Windows 7 (32 and 64bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64bit), Windows XP SP2, SP3
Mac OS X v.10.4.11 - 10.6
System Requirements PC Windows 7: 1 GHz or faster cpu, 1 GB RAM (64 bit requires 2 GB RAM)
Windows Vista (32/ 64 bit): 1 GHz or faster cpu, 512MB RAM
Windows XP SP2,3: 300 MHz or faster cpu, 128 MB RAM
Browser: Internet Explorer 6 or higher
CD-ROM Drive
Display: 1024 x 768 or better
Windows 7: 1 GHz or faster cpu, 1 GB RAM (64 bit requires 2 GB RAM)
Windows Vista (32/ 64 bit): 1 GHz or faster cpu, 512MB RAM
Windows XP SP2,3: 300 MHz or faster cpu, 128 MB RAM
Browser: Internet Explorer 6 or higher
CD-ROM Drive
Display: 1024 x 768 or better
Windows 7: 1 GHz or faster cpu, 1 GB RAM (64 bit requires 2 GB RAM)
Windows Vista (32/ 64 bit): 1 GHz or faster cpu, 512MB RAM
Windows XP SP2,3: 300 MHz or faster cpu, 128 MB RAM
Browser: Internet Explorer 6 or higher
CD-ROM Drive
Display: 1024 x 768 or better
System Requirements Mac Mac OS 10.6: Intel Processor, 1 GB RAM
Mac OS 10.5: Intel or PowerPC Processor (G4, G5, 867 MHz or faster)
Mac OS 10.4.11: Intel or PowerPC Processor (G5, G4, G3), 256 MB RAM
Browser: Safari 3 or higher
CD-ROM Drive
Display: 1024 x 768 or better
Mac OS 10.6: Intel Processor, 1 GB RAM
Mac OS 10.5: Intel or PowerPC Processor (G4, G5, 867 MHz or faster)
Mac OS 10.4.11: Intel or PowerPC Processor (G5, G4, G3), 256 MB RAM
Browser: Safari 3 or higher
CD-ROM Drive
Display: 1024 x 768 or better
Mac OS 10.6: Intel Processor, 1 GB RAM
Mac OS 10.5: Intel or PowerPC Processor (G4, G5, 867 MHz or faster)
Mac OS 10.4.11: Intel or PowerPC Processor (G5, G4, G3), 256 MB RAM
Browser: Safari 3 or higher
CD-ROM Drive
Display: 1024 x 768 or better
Included Software Canon Multifunctional drivers, Canon MP Navigator EX (including OCR and PDF file creation), Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX with HD Movie Print function, Canon Easy-WebPrint EX, and Canon Solution Menu EX Canon Multifunctional drivers, Canon MP Navigator EX (including OCR and PDF file creation), Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX with HD Movie Print function, Easy-PhotoPrint Pro, Canon Easy-WebPrint EX, and Canon Solution Menu EX Canon Multifunctional drivers, Canon MP Navigator EX (including OCR and PDF file creation), Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX with HD Movie Print function, Easy-PhotoPrint Pro, Canon Easy-WebPrint EX, and Canon Solution Menu EX
Size 455 x 368 x 160mm 470 x 368 x 173mm 470 × 392 × 199mm
Weight Approx. 8.1kg Approx. 9.2kg Approx. 10.7kg
Power Consumption Standby: Approx. 1.6W (when scanning lamp is off),
Off: Approx. 0.4W,
Copying: Approx 21W
Standby: Approx. 2.0 W (when scanning lamp is off),
Off: Approx. 0.5 W,
Copying: Approx 24 W
Standby: Approx. 2.0 W (when scanning lamp is off),
Off: Approx. 0.5 W,
Copying: Approx 24 W

For the range of features on offer, these new Pixma printers are priced reasonably competitively too.

The Canon Pixma MG5250 costs around £135 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Canon Pixma MG5250

The MG6150 costs around £180 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Canon Pixma MG6150

And Finally, The MG8150 costs around £280 and is avaialble from Warehouse Express here:

Canon Pixma MG8150


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