Advice Wanted Printer purchase advice


After a bit of research, it sounds like tank style printers are less prone to the ink drying out than cartridge style, score one. The nozzles can still clog as has been alluded to in this thread. Just about everyone recommends printing something small every now and then to avoid that. They're also a heck of a lot cheaper to run, for instance, one set of bottles (4) for a lower priced Pixma tank printer will churn out thousands of pages for not much more $ than a single set of carteidges.

Also learned that Canon's lower priced Pixma models use a pigment based black and dye based colors. They say the images will last 100 years behind glass or in an album.

I really like the G5020 and was ready to bite until I realized it's not an all-in-one, and I do need to scan once in a while. It looks like all of Canon's stuff is currently on sale for $100 +/- off, so probably getting ready for new models. Will probably end up with the next model up that scans too.
read the reviews on B&H... not so good.
All of the reviews read like that until you start spending real money.

I think I'm off this for now anyway. I don't have the need for an $800 printer. I'm afraid if I buy something on the low end I'll be disappointed, and it will end up being an overpriced household printer. I'm stuck in in-between land. 🤷‍♂️
My Pixma Pro 100 was only something like $50 with a rebate and has been going strong for years without a clog and I sometimes go months between printing. The Pro200 is around $500 now I think but wait for sales/rebates. Yeah the ink is expensive but it works. It's dye ink but the OEM inks are archival quality and I believe that dye inks are less likely to clog. Or you can try some of the better 3rd party inks or refill your own. I found the ability to print bigger is great and I don't have to send out for the larger prints anymore. It's wide and takes up more desk space but with the wifi I just put it in another room out of the way.
Pigment black combined with dye colours sounds like guaranteed gloss differential problems on glossy papers. The cheaper printers probably use pigment black because it's better for document printing. I tried printing an excel table with my Pro-200 and to say the output is subpar compared to a laser is an extremely diplomatical way of putting it. But for pictures on a high quality paper the output is gallery quality. It really compares favourably even with prints made on the highest end of Epson pigment printers. There are differences, but I can't say one is definitively better than the other.

I don't want to endorse what I have, but my rationale for that particular printer was that it stood by itself in a niche that for me as a hobbyist seemed like the sweet spot. Not too expensive to buy, not any more expensive to run compared to the next higher up printer and due to the dye inks not as prone to drying and clogging up if I left it sitting for some time. So far it's had a couple of light clogs, but nothing that wouldn't resolve with a cleaning cycle or two. Usually they've been gone with a single print, I've never had streaks in two consecutive prints, and they are a rare occurrence alltogether. I haven't had print fade on framed prints so far, even though I usually frame without glazing. The ability to use the finest of fine art papers is a big plus.

So thus far my two year experience with the Pro-200 has been mainly positive, apart from occasional WiFi-issues probably partly due to my router. The ink costs are bearable, but not cheap. An A3+ print on a Canson Baryta paper is around 7-8€ total, so less than half of what my reduced price at a photo lab charged on a comparable paper. And that was half of what they really charge. For me the thing has been absolutely worth it's price.

But owning a printer and printing yourself - IMHO - is about more than just the costs. Having the final control over the end result and getting a touch on how things print out in time produces much better end results. And I believe - and I stress this is just my belief - a picture is never really finished until it's on paper, and that seeing the results in print usually improves almost everyone's photography in the midterm.

So, even if I don't want to push the product I own - though it is a competent device - I do want to endorse the magic of print.
The Pro 200 is a dedicated printer, I don’t have space for a second printer or dedicated scanner, so need an all in one. Given that I’ll be stuck with lower quality machines when it comes to photos.
The Pro 200 is a dedicated printer, I don’t have space for a second printer or dedicated scanner, so need an all in one. Given that I’ll be stuck with lower quality machines when it comes to photos.
That does limit the options, indeed. The Pro-200 isn't just a dedicated photo printer. It's also a substantially space eating device. Funny thing, a Pro-1000 won't take up much more space other than in height compared to the 200. Yes, I've been thinking (of the 1000), luckily I'm also broke.

Shame that the 6-ink ecotanks are too pricey. Probably the best bet for an allrounder that's also cheap to run currently. At least based on what I've read from knowledgeable sources. Canon has some similar devices, no idea about their respective pricing.

Also, if you don't need the ultimate longevity in prints, you're probably better off with the longer lasting dye ink sets, since - at least based on general knowledge - are less prone to clogging up due to less use. A Pro-1000 needs at least a print a week to keep the heads going without spending most of the ink on cleaning routines.
I print very infrequently, often with months-long breaks between prints. My six-ink Epson XP8500 hasn't had any issues with dried-out cartridges.

According to the marketing material, it uses the same six "Claria" inks as the ecotank variant.
Based on our experience with our Canon TR8620 printer, I'd say the PIXMA 620 would be a contender for being our next printer, if/when this one wears out.
Basing this on the PC Mag review of it.
Some quotes from PC Mag re: G620:

Canon rates the G620 at a meager 3.9 pages per minute (ppm) for both monochrome and color prints. Frankly, I can't remember reviewing an inkjet with a lower rated speed; even the $159.99 Pixma G1220 is considerably faster. Compared to the other printers mentioned here, this Pixma is at best half as fast...

For the first test, I clocked the G620 as it printed our 12-page Microsoft Word text file. It churned out all 12 pages at an average of 6ppm, actually 2.1ppm quicker than its rating. Even so, all the machines talked about here save for the Pixma G1220 (8.9ppm) were at least 4ppm faster...

Most important, however, is how quickly the G620 prints photos. By my stopwatch, it printed our very colorful and highly detailed 4-by-6-inch borderless snapshots in an average of 46 seconds each. That's slightly faster than several of its competitors, and 10 seconds or more faster than a few...

The good news is that the Pixma G620's output quality is worth waiting for, especially photos. In all the years I've been testing six-ink Pixmas, I can't recall coming across one that didn't print well. I challenged this one with high-res test images ranging in size from 4 by 6 inches to 8-by-10-inch and letter-size, all borderless. And while the larger images took some time to print, they all came out brilliantly and accurately colored with impressive detail...

No matter what you're printing, however—text documents with 5% to 10% ink coverage, or photos with 100% coverage—this is one cheap-to-use consumer photo printer, at around 0.3 cent per monochrome page, or 0.9 cent per color page (and, according to Canon, 2.5 cents per 4-by-6 snapshot)...

Canon says the G620 comes with enough ink in the box to print up to 3,800 snapshots (4 by 6 inches each). By contrast, cartridge-based Pixmas such as the TS9120 and Epson Expression Photo machines like the XP-8600 (six-ink models both) can cost as much as 15 to 20 times more to use.

While there are plenty of consumer-grade photo printers available, few are as inexpensive to use as the Pixma G620, and it's half the price of its closest competitor, the Epson ET-8500. To be sure, the EcoTank model is beefier and faster, supports SD cards and USB thumb drives, and prints two-sided pages automatically. And the G620's lack of an automatic document feeder makes it (like the ET-8500) inefficient as an all-in-one. But the bottom line is that, like the Epson, the Canon is a terrific photo printer, though much the slower of the two. If you don't mind a little waiting, the Pixma G620 will save you a bundle up front while offering comparable output quality and operating costs.

Interesting to note too, it has a replaceable maintenance cartridge, which I assume means the absorption pads. I also like the fact that it has both wired USB connection plus wireless to almost any platform.

This is more than I was planning to spend but I think it's the right one. Because of the shelf it sets on, there are a few things I wanted like a front control panel and front paper drawer that are missing. It's a bit of a pain but I've been dealing with it for several years now with our current printer.

Output though is the most important, followed by cost to operate. Based on those it'd be less costly in the long run to pay more up front and enjoy the considerable savings in operation.

"Oh honey...?"
I think the only one around here that'd be upset with the 'speed', or lack thereof, would be my wife. I'm pretty sure she'd be good with it if they were nice prints and easily obtained, ie easy to use.
Shame that the 6-ink ecotanks are too pricey. Probably the best bet for an allrounder that's also cheap to run currently. At least based on what I've read from knowledgeable sources. Canon has some similar devices, no idea about their respective pricing.
They're a good replacement for dedicated photo printers like the Pro-100s, 200s, etc., though. If it's just conversion from a soft-copy/digital to analog/print, they're very economic.

It came and I have no time to set it up! :cry:😭
Good one!

For optimum printing life, you may have heard that the borderless printing isn't the way to go with any consumer-grade printers. The ink collection pads may be useful for borderless printing, however, overspay may also hit other components and render them useless in the long run. Pro-level printers have a vacuum to tackle with the overspray, hence they can handle borderless printing better.

For everyone's reference, here is a site, in NZ though, comparing printing cost per page: Cost Per Page. The ecotanks are most efficient in terms of cost.
FINALLY got it set up tonight. Fairly easy process, took some time but connected no problem. Filling the ink was very simple and no way to make a mistake since the bottles are keyed to their respective tanks.

First thing did was print a 4 x 6 glossy of a car that a customer had ordered in 8 x 10 and 16 x 20. Since I still have them I thought it'd be a good chance to compare directly.

I can see two very minor differences. The print from Nation's Photo might be slightly brighter, but considering I haven't even tried to identify a profile for soft proofing (and not sure I even can), it's pretty close. There is also a bit more blue in the tire smoke.

Neither of the differences are offensive or would even be noticeable without the other versions to compare it to. The print is sharp with good contrast, colors are fantastic. It was pretty satisfying (and even a bit exciting!) to see the high-quality print coming off the machine.

Knee-jerk recommendation: For about half the price of its nearest competitor, I would recommend this. Check back in a few months and we'll see how I feel after some use.
Ok, I'm sold. I have an order for 3-8 x 10's, all different photos. Good chance to test.

Affinity Photo had already recognized the Canon ICC so I used it to soft proof the photos. They turned out great. No bluish cast or brightness concerns this time. The photo I printed last night was standard quality, gloss, using MS' photos, the 8 x 10's tonight were printed from Canon's software app using high quality and on semi-gloss. Very satisfied with the results and gaining confidence in the output.