i950 Color Bubble Jet Photo PrinterThe Canon i950 is an incredible printer, it's fast and quiet and there's no denying that the replaceable ink tanks are more economical than having to replace a multi-color cartridge when only one of its colors runs out. You'll go through 2 to 3 of the light magenta and light cyan ink tanks for every one of the other colors so stock up on these. The Canon i950 is a color photo printer and has been optimized for this task. Everyday text & color graphic printing is accomplished much faster on the 4-color Canon i850 which also prints a very respectable photo. To producing the best possible photos those two additional "photo" inks make a noticeable difference and you won't mind a little slower text printing. Installation on my Windows XP Pro machine was quick and simple, the printer was good to go within minutes of taking it out of the box. The driver software is designed so that even novice users can be cranking out photo-quality prints quickly. The key is simplicity, instead of numerous print time options like selecting an output "dpi" resolution or enabling or disabling microweave or high speed ... All you really need to select is the proper paper type and the rest of the settings will be matched to produce the best photo. Print after print came out looking exactly the way they did on the screen in Photoshop or PhotoImpact. The inability to get the printout to match the screen is probably the #1 complaint of most digital printing neophytes. There are advanced driver options to produce more Vivid blues and greens and to help eliminate the "blotchy" look of blue sky scenes. We've tested a number of different papers and as expected, the i950 makes the best prints on its own "Photo Pro" paper. Canon's Photo Paper Pro has the same "look and feel" of the best heavy-weight conventional photo paper. I have tested several other papers that deliver prints equal in brilliance and color to Photo Paper Pro, one of the best is Konica QP Photo Gloss and Silk paper. Canon is now making their own matte paper and it's the equal to the Epson Double-Weight Matte that I have loved since it first came on the market. Canon now offers 5 x 7 inch size glossy photo paper as well. The i950's print quality is the equal of anything that I've ever had printed by pro color labs in my film days. I've been most satisfied with my Canon S9000, my living room wall is covered with mounted 13 x 19-inch prints from this printer. Comparing S9000 prints and i950 prints side by side with the naked eye reveals little difference. You need to go in for a closer look to see how much smoother 4800dpi prints are than 2400dpi prints. See the 600dpi scans of the actual prints below.
Canon i950 on the left ------- Canon S9000 on the right
The 2400dpi technology used in the S900/S9000 printers creates photo-quality prints that will satisfy most users. However, if you're one of those people (like me) that just isn't happy unless you have the absolute best -- I'll see you at the checkout line. I don't see any real speed increase but remember that the S900/S9000 are already two of the fastest photo inkjet printers on the planet. If these things pushed the paper through much faster there'd be no time to spray the ink on it! Price, performance and economy, the Canon i950 Photo Printer is an excellent value. And in today's world where your time is the most valuable commodity, the i950 can literally pay for itself in increased productivity. If you have a need to make larger prints then look at the new Canon i9100, it's Canon's wide carriage photo printer and prints borderless 13x19" prints and has added the new 5x7" paper to its list of media types. The i9100 features the same, fast print speeds and photo quality of the i950 but with a slightly lower, 2400 dpi resolution using 4-picoliter size ink droplets.