Canon Pixma MP760If you're an at-home or small business user that has a need to scan and/or print 35mm analog film, slides and prints as well as make digital prints from flash memory cards, digital cameras and your computer -- the $299 Canon PIXMA MP-760 may be exactly what you've been looking for, and at a very affordable price. As a bonus, it's also a very capable 1200dpi flatbed image scanner and single-sheet color copier. Equipped with Canon's FINE printhead and 5-color individually-replaceable ink tanks, it's an economical photo inkjet printer with exceptional print quality. It's also a very speedy all-purpose printer with advanced features like a built-in duplexer and top and bottom paper sources. Printing from a flash memory card is quick and easy. Just insert the card, view and select the pictures on the 2.5-inch color LCD, set your printing preferences and print - just that simple. You can also crop photos before printing, just press the Trimming button and follow the on-screen prompts. And as you can see from the table below, printing directly from memory cards isn't much slower than printing from a computer. That says a lot for the MP-760's internal processing power as older standalone units often took 2-3 times longer to print than when connected to a computer. The MP-760 will not produce results the equal of a $1500 dedicated slide or film scanner, but considering its lower cost and versatility, it's more than sufficient for the average user. In fact, it's really quite impressive as the entire process of scanning a slide or negative is made simple with the included ScanGear software. Not only does it scan quickly, it also automatically adjusts the image color, brightness and contrast and for old slides and film it does a pretty good job of correcting color fade and minimizing dust and scratches too. Here's a 1200dpi scan of a 24 year old 35mm slide that suffers from color fade and surface dirt. It did quite a nice job of restoring the colors and removing the majority of dirt and abbrations from it. The "people" in this picture were almost completely magenta tinted rather than the healthy skin colors you see now.
Click on the thumbnail image above to see the full-size (1560x1024 - 257Kb) image as scanned and completely unretouched. As I said when we reviewed the Canon iP4000 (which also uses the ContrastPLUS 5-color ink system) -- many people will wonder why there is a need for 6- or 8-color photo printers. Unless you are a real perfectionist or just someone who has to have "the best of the best of the best," I feel that most consumers will be more than pleased by the MP-760's print quality and colors. The vast majority of photo prints made today are 4 x 6" (aka Jumbo) prints and I defy most people to tell me the difference between one made by the MP-760 and another printed on the 8-color i9900. Even the borderless 8.5 x 11" prints I made on Canon Photo Paper Pro looked simply amazing and as you can see from the chart below, this is no slow printer either. Average print times using the same 3-megapixel JPEG image, Canon Photo Paper Pro glossy media and the different printing modes.
Remember that it's this simple with -any- PictBridge compatible camera, not just those made by Canon. All major digicam manufacturers have added the ability to direct-print to PictBridge compatible printers to their cameras made in the last year.