The Effects page lets turns your photo into a simulated color illustration, slide the
lever to increase or decrease the effect. You can also create a monochrome effect like
Sepia, Pink, Blue, Green or select a custom color. The Vivid Photo option enhances
the green and blue colors and contrast and may be too much for some images. You can also
enable or disable the Image Optimizer or Photo Optimizer PRO enhancements which help
produce better enlargements from lower resolution images.
The Photo Noise Reduction option helps reduce speckle noise
often found in blue areas such as the sky. It has two settings: Normal and Strong.
The Profiles page lets you load, create or save custom sets of printer parameters for
the type of printing jobs that you do frequently.
The Maintenance page lets you clean the print heads with options for a regular
cleaning cycle or a "deep" cleaning cycle for really clogged heads. Because of the
lower paper cassette, the iP4000 also has a Bottom Plate Cleaning option. There is
also an option for aligning the heads or checking the print nozzles. You can
also set the Auto Power Off time, Custom Settings and the Quiet Mode. From here you
can also start the Status Monitor (see next frame.)
The Status Monitor shows you visibly the level of ink in each of the ink tanks. When one of the tanks is low the Status Monitor will pop-up to alert you. The low tank(s) will have a yellow exclamation mark over it to let you know that it needs to be replaced soon. The ink warning first comes on when there is still some ink remaining so you won't run out in the middle of a printout and waste a sheet of costly photo paper.
The Status Monitor is an animated window, the paper will be shown coming from the
lower cassette (as shown here) or from the top auto sheet feeder if selected.
Here's what a "low" ink tank looks like. The
chamber on the left side is full of ink when the tank is new. As you can see it
drained the left chamber completely and the foam-filled side that feeds the head is
half empty. Unlike those opaque Epson and HP cartridges, you can actually
see the ink level thanks to the use of clear plastic
For your everyday text and color document printing tasks the Pixma iP4000 is an excellent printer and it's very fast. It's also very quiet and one of the most versatile printers that I've used in some time. The built-in duplexer (two-sided printing) is great for web page or document printouts and will save lots of wasted paper. It's also great for printing your own professional-looking photo albums, sales flyers, catalogs or whatever. The top and bottom paper trays are really slick and highly useful too. Use the auto sheet feeder on the top for plain paper and put your photo paper in the cassette on the bottom where it's kept neatly tucked inside of the printer and away from dust, moisture and etc. If you're on a printing spree, both the top and bottom trays can be loaded with up to 150 sheets of plain paper each and the printer can be set to auto-switch trays when one goes empty.
The iP4000 cranks out 4 x 6" borderless prints in about 36 seconds when connected to the computer. When connected to a camera in Pictbridge mode it makes the same 4 x 6" print in just 1:20 compared to 2:10 for last year's i860 printer. It makes a full-size 8.5 x 11" borderless glossy print in 2 minutes flat!
The iP4000 has both a USB and bidirectional parallel port so it's compatible with the new Windows and Mac operating systems and it's also useable with older Windows 95 and Windows NT machines as well.
And the iP4000 like all the other new Canon photo printers and digital cameras is PictBridge compatible. You can directly plug any PictBridge-enabled camera into the front USB port using the camera's regular USB download cable. Now you can make prints without need of a computer, simply select the images on the camera's color LCD and any printing options and then press the appropriate button. Switch paper trays easily with the paper selector switch on the front of the printer. For many users this is the simplest and easiest way to make perfect photo prints as you needn't know anything about graphic or photo-editing programs.
There's no doubt that the $499 8-color Canon i9900 printer is superior but for the vast majority of today's digital camera users who print mostly 4x6" size prints with the occasional 5x7" or letter-size print, the $149 iP4000 is going to be more than satisfactory. Looking at the printed output it's difficult to justify buying a dedicated 6- or 8-color photo printer, it's amazing what Canon is doing with just three colors. I printed a number of black & white prints and the output was good but not the equal of the Epson 2200 or HP 7960, both of which have special photo gray and black inks. Using double-weight matte paper the B&W prints looked their best.
Unlike most of the other "photo printers," the Pixma iP4000 is also an incredibly fast general purpose printer and its text output is brilliant. So while your buddy's expensive photo printer is just sitting there doing nothing 99% of the time, your iP4000 is printing letters, web pages, spreadsheets and making marvelous photos too.
US visitors Canon BCI6BK Compatible Inkjet Cleaning Cartridge Black for Canon i965/Pixma iP4000/MP750 Printers
Note: All photographs and page content
Copyright © 2004 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.
Nothing on this page may be used, distributed or
copied without the author's prior permission.