Canon Pixma MP500

I suppose this was inevitable, really. Once you’ve got a decent camera, there comes a point where you need to see your pictures on paper. It’s only when photos are printed that you can really see how good they are, no matter how good your screen might be. My old colour printer wasn’t really up to the job – it was a pretty standard HP DeskJet, which was good enough in its time[1], but isn’t really capable of printing good photos. And its paper feed has developed an intermittent problem. So, a new colour printer seemed like a good idea.

Now I’m not planning to print large numbers of pictures – even though running costs of inkjets are a lot lower than they used to be, it’s still a lot cheaper to get prints from Photobox or some such service. But it is useful to be able to print out a few glossy pictures. Not to mention anything else that needs to be printed in colour.

So, I did a bit of research, read some reviews and so on. And I was led towards this little beastie. I decided that a multifunction thingy would be appropriate – putting the scanner in the same case as the printer saves a bit of space, and makes copying a bit easier.

My old printer used two cartridges with built in printheads – one black and one three-colour, which tended to be wasteful as one colour always ran out first. And the cartridges tended to be expensive. This uses a single printhead and five ink tanks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and a bigger pigmented Black), which are cheaper and don’t have the nasty waste factor.

It has two input locations – a feeder at the back and a cassette at the bottom, so I can have normal paper and photo paper loaded at the same time. One feature it shares with the old HP is the automatic duplex, which is nice.

All that, and it can also print directly onto CDs and DVDs. You have to get special disks, which cost a bit more than normal blanks, but it might just be worth it.

First impressions are very good – build quality is better than you might expect at the price, and the first few photos I’ve printed look at least as good as I was hoping for. If you shop around, you can get it for about £100, which is not bad at all.

Nice kit.

[1] I can’t quite recall how long ago I bought it

3 thoughts on “Canon Pixma MP500

  1. Les Post author

    Just a quick update. I used the supplied software to print an index page for the pictures I took on my York trip a few weeks ago. I set it to print 80 thumbnail images to a page of A4. And on standard office paper (not nice photo paper or anything like that – just cheap copier paper), the results are actually rather good. Very clear tiny images which are sharp enough to give a good idea of what’s in each picture. It was also a test of the duplex feature, which works nicely. And it’s also remarkably quiet. Definitely good kit for the price.

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