Canon S820The S820's driver lets you quickly setup the printer by simply choosing the Media Type (Plain Paper, High Resolution Paper, Photo Paper Pro, Glossy Photo Paper, High Gloss Photo Film, T-Shirt Transfer, Transparency or Envelope) and the Print Quality setting (High, Standard or Draft). 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.
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 High quality setting this slider is at the "2" position and I didn't notice any great improvement by using the Finest "1" setting.
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 color matching and select a Print Type and Brightness 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 paper size, 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 page 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.
The Effects page lets you turn your color photo into a simulated 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 enhances all of the colors and contrast and may be too much for most good images. You can also enable or disable the Image Optimizer or Photo Optimizer PRO enhancements.
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. 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. It also tells you the status of the printer and the setting of the paper thickness lever. 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 the low Photo Magenta ink tank after I finished the current print job. 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 very close to empty. I printed 42 full-page 8 x 10-inch and six 4 x 6-inch photos before I received a low ink warning for the Photo Magenta ink tank. I replaced it and then printed one more 8 x 10 before receiving a low ink warning on the Photo Cyan tank. It consistently ran out the "photo" tanks first so I think that fully justifies the need for these additional ink colors.
The newly updated drivers for the "S" series photo printers now includes this print preview option -- someone does read my conclusion comments :-) Print preview has saved me from printing the wrong size layout on the wrong size piece of paper I don't know how many times ... it gives you that last visual chance to make sure that all is right before you make the print.