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 iP8500 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.
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
I always enable the Preview option (found on the Main driver page), this is displayed
just before the printer begins to actually print. Here you can visually verify your
image cropping, orientation, paper size, media type, paper source and the printing
type (borderless / bordered) -- before accidentally wasting a sheet of expensive photo
paper because a driver setting was incorrect.
PIXMA 101 - Canon has introduced four new PIXMA photo inkjet printers for 2004, see the press release for more info. In a nutshell the difference is the iP4000/4000R is a 5-color speed demon (iP4000R has 802.11g wireless capability) it also has both USB and parallel port so it's Windows 95 and NT compatible, the iP5000 has 1-picoliter size ink droplets for virtually grain-free photos, the iP6000D is a 6-color printer with standalone capabilities and the iP8500 is an 8-color letter-size version of the i9900 printer.
The printing quality is on par with Canon's top of the line i9900 because it uses exactly the same Canon print head and ink tanks. As we saw with the i9900, the iP8500's prints show a visibly wider color gamut than those printed with the 6- or 5-color photo printers. Noticeably more vibrant are the reds and greens and the ability to reproduce varying shades of orange that prove difficult to impossible on other inkjet printers.
The iP8500 is a very fast printer, here's some average print times using the same 4-megapixel JPEG image and Canon Photo Paper Pro glossy media (except where noted):
(All print times calculated from paper feed to paper drop in output tray so as to eliminate computer processing and data transmission delays.)
US visitors BCI-6 KIT SET OF 6 INK f/i9900/iP8500
UK visitors BCI-6 KIT SET OF 6 INK f/i9900/iP8500
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