Canon Pixma MP610

The Canon software CD installed the printer driver and 3 applications on my computer. Three shortcuts were created on the Desktop: My Printer, Easy-PhotoPrint and MP Navigator. Macintosh drivers and software is provided on the CD also, however this review covers only a Windows Vista installation.

Clicking on the "My Printer" icon opened a menu used to configure the MP610s Printer Settings (the Windows driver), Paper Source Settings, a Printer Status window and a Troubleshooting guide. Selecting Printer Settings brought up the MP610's Printer Properties. The Windows driver helps you setup the printer by choosing the Media Type, the Paper Source, the Print Quality (optimum quality is automatically selected depending on the Media Type but can also be set manually). By default the driver is set for Auto Color/Intensity. The default choices are designed to produce the best quality prints at the fastest speed possible. Checking the Grayscale Printing box will cause a color image to be printed in grayscale. The "Preview before printing" box enables the Print Preview feature.

Clicking Custom under Print Quality lets you change the printing speed from Fast to Fine. You can also change Halftone options. Standard quality setting is the "3" position. The lower the number higher the quality (and longer the print time).

If you select the Manual button for Color/Intensity you can choose from the Canon driver color correction, IMC (Windows Image Color Management), or no correction. You can manually adjust individual colors, intensity, contrast and brightness.

Click on the Help button you'll call up Canon Printer Help, an onscreen guide. Here you can learn what settings are best for what media and other tips on using the MP610.

The second tab of the Printer Properties menu is for Page Layout. These options let you select Borderless printing, Page Size, Orientation, Printing Type (normal-size, fit-to-page, scaled, page layout printing, poster, banner),Duplex printing with staple side and margin, number of copies and collate options. The Stamp/Background page lets you select an image to overlay on your prints. Choose from Draft, Important, Confidential, Secret or define your own graphic. You may also select a background image.

In Effects tab you can turn your photo into a simulated color illustration, sliding the lever will increase or decrease the effect. You can also tint images in Sepia, Pink, Blue, Green or a custom color. The Vivid Photo option enhances green and blue colors and raises contrast. You can also enable 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 colored areas. It has two settings: Normal and Strong.

From the Profiles tab you can 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 or a "deep" cleaning cycle. There are options for aligning the heads, checking the print nozzles, setting the Auto Power Off time and other Custom Settings.

Easy-PhotoPrint is a small application to help create prints, albums, calendars, stickers and special print layouts from your images.

MP Navigator EX gives you an easy way to control the scanner on the MP610. You can save images you scan as a file to your PC or as a PDF file, attach files to an e-mail or run the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program to convert scanned text to a work processing file.