Canon Pixma MP800R

The MP800R's driver lets you quickly setup the printer by simply choosing the Media Type (Plain Paper, Photo Paper Pro, Photo Paper Plus Glossy, Photo Paper Plus Double Sided, Glossy Photo Paper, Matte Photo Paper, High Resolution Paper, T-Shirt Transfer, Transparency, Envelope or Other Photo Paper), the Paper Source (Paper Feed Switch, Auto Sheet Feeder, Cassette or Paper Allocation [if Paper Allocation is selected, the printer switches the paper feed automatically according to the settings that you manually enter]) and the Print Quality setting (High, Standard, Draft or Custom). The optimum Quality is automatically selected depending on the Media Type but you can manually select it using the Custom option. By default the driver is set for Auto color adjustment or that can be manually selected as well. The default options produce the best quality printouts at the fastest print speed. The "Grayscale Printing" box if checked will cause a color image to be printed in grayscale. The "Preview before printing" box will enable the Print Preview feature.

Clicking on the Custom button for Quality lets you manually select the printing speed from Fast to Fine. You can also select the desired Halftoning options. By default when using the Standard quality setting this slider is at the "3" position, the High quality setting is "2" and you can manually select "1" by clicking on the Custom button. The lower the number, the longer the print time -- but on this printer even printing with the "1" setting was incredibly fast.

Clicking on the Manual button for Color Correction lets you manually adjust the individual colors as well as the intensity. Here you can enable/disable ICM ( Windows Intelligent Color Matching), select a Print Type (Auto, Photo, Graphic, None) and Brightness (Light, Normal, Dark) setting.

Clicking on the Print Advisor button brings up this screen. It's kind of a built in FAQ to educate you on what settings are best for what media and etc.

The Page Layout options let you select the Page Size (see below), Orientation (portrait or landscape), Printing Type (normal-size, fit-to-page, scaled, page layout printing, poster, banner), borderless printing with an adjustable amount of extension, duplex printing, number of copies, printing order and collate options. The Stamp/Background option lets you select an overlay stamp to print on your pages. Choose from Draft, Important, Confidential, Secret or define your own. You may also select a background image.

    Standard paper: From A5 size (148.0 x 210.0 mm / 5.83 x 8.27 in) to legal size (215.9 x 355.6 mm / 8.5 x 14.0 in)

  • Non-standard paper: From 54.0 x 86.0 mm to 215.9 x 584.2 mm (from 2.13 x 3.39 inches to 8.5 x 23 inches) in the sheet feeder; from 89.0 x 127.0 mm to 215.9 x 297.0 mm (from 3.50 x 5 inches to 8.5 x 11.69 inches) in the cassette.

  • Others: Envelopes (European DL and US Com. #10) Photo Paper Pro (A4, Letter, and 4" x 6" / 101.6 x 152.4 mm)

  • Photo Paper Plus Glossy (A4, Letter, 5" x 7" / 127.0 x 177.8 mm, and 4" x 6" / 101.6 x 152.4 mm)

  • Photo Paper Plus Semi-gloss (A4, Letter, and 4" x 6" / 101.6 x 152.4 mm)

  • Matte Photo Paper (A4 and Letter)

  • Glossy Photo Paper (A4, Letter, 4" x 6" / 101.6 x 152.4 mm, and Credit Card)

  • Photo Paper Plus Double Sided (A4 or Letter, and 5" x 7" / 127.0 x 177.8 mm) 

    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, there is also has a Bottom Plate Cleaning option. There is 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 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.

    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.

    The Canon PIXMA MP-800R Photo-All-in-One can do everything that other "multi purpose" photo devices can do plus it can also scan and print 35mm slides and film too. It's a 1200dpi flatbed scanner, a one-page color copier and a high quality photo printer. You can make digital prints directly from flash memory cards, PictBridge-enabled digital cameras or from a computer. The only thing it doesn't do is transmit and receive faxes. 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 both a top and bottom paper source. Printing from a flash memory card is quick and easy. Just insert the card, view and select the pictures on the large 3.5-inch color LCD, set your printing preferences and print - it's just that simple. You can also crop photos before printing, just press the Trimming button and follow the on-screen prompts. It also has options for brightening faces and removing red-eye in "people" photos. Printing directly from memory cards isn't much slower than printing from a computer. That says a lot for the MP-800R's internal processing power as older standalone devices often took 2-3 times longer to print than when connected to a computer. The MP-800R is not the equal of a $1500 or more dedicated slide or film scanner, but considering its lower cost and versatility, it's more than sufficient for most non- professional users. 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 it corrects color fade and minimizes dust and scratches too. Canon iP4000 (which also uses the ContrastPLUS 5-color ink system) -- I wondered why most people would need a 6- or 8-color photo printer. These printers have a higher initial cost and per- print cost due to the extra ink tanks. Unless you're someone who has to have "the best of the best," I feel that you'll be more than pleased by the MP-800R's print quality. The vast majority of photo prints made are 4 x 6" size prints and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between one made by the MP-800R and one printed on the 8-color Canon 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 isn't a slow printer. 8-megapixel JPEG image, Canon Photo Paper Pro glossy media and the different printing modes. Prints from computer were done using Canon's Easy- Photo Print, its "Quality priority" setting seems to be even higher quality than the "Fine" setting for flash cards as the print times are dramatically longer.

    And printing from a PictBridge-enabled digital camera was as easy as it is supposed to be. Just connect your camera to the front-mounted USB port with your normal USB download cable, turn your camera on in play mode and folllow the PictBridge screens on the camera's LCD monitor. In case you missed it on page 1, here's the PictBridge screens from a Canon Powershot S410:

    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 from their cameras made since 2004.