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Just posted: Our first multifunctional printer group test

By dpreview staff on Jul 23, 2011 at 00:45 GMT

Just Posted: Our group test of the Canon Pixma MG8150, Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD and HP Photosmart Premium C310 multifunctional printers. Although we may not be able to publish printer reviews with the same frequency as camera reviews, we will be expanding our printer coverage significantly over the coming months. This group test, which kicks off our newly expanded printing content, was produced in collaboration with Vincent Oliver of Photo-i.co.uk.

Click here to read our group test of multifunctional printers

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Comments

Total comments: 62
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Aug 3, 2011)

Don't need a scanner, just a quality photo printer. Maybe this can be the next printer test.

0 upvotes
VENTURE-STAR
By VENTURE-STAR (Aug 1, 2011)

I've been using a Canon MP260 for around 18 months and I'm generally very pleased with it. However, it uses up cartridges at a considerable rate and the cost of replacements can only be described as something of a rip-off.

Unfortunately, there appear to be no substitutes available at present.

0 upvotes
Mr Gadget
By Mr Gadget (Jul 25, 2011)

I have been a viewer of DPReview for over eight years and have seen many changes here, some good, some not so good. The recent changes to the forums have really made DPReview a much nicer and much easier place to spend time at!

2 upvotes
shootr50
By shootr50 (Jul 25, 2011)

A couple of points regarding the Canon. I have owned the MG8120, the model # for the US, for a few months now and whereas I do like it, I have reverted to my old HP 722c for B&W text printing because this thing does love ink. I'm pretty sure it uses color carts when doing text printing (my perception) and replacements are expensive (about $75-$80 for a complete set @ Adorama). Also, as someone else asked, the US model does not print CD/DVD media.

Wanting to consolidate desk space, I bought this based on reviews on other sites because of it's photo printing quality and film scanner capability. I don't print many photos preferring to post them on a website, but when I do print something, this does not disappoint. I am also currently scanning negatives of pics I took in Vietnam 40 years ago and so far so good, so except for the ink issue which has been well documented, I'm very happy with my purchase.

1 upvote
The A-Team
By The A-Team (Jul 25, 2011)

I think printers are an over-looked aspect of photography, and as photographers we should probably be doing more actual printing instead of pixel-peeping and flickr-ing. Kudos on embracing and reviewing printers on your website!

1 upvote
Jim
By Jim (Jul 25, 2011)

I applaud your efforts to address another aspect of photo "production". Dismiss the naysayers/critics as this is the first review in this catagory type and it will (no doubt) improve with time...just as have the other product types that are covered by this website by the reviewers.

Jim

1 upvote
LibertyToad
By LibertyToad (Jul 25, 2011)

"Multifunctional" printer test? I've never heard of a "multifunctional" printer. The one I have is a "multifunction" printer. Not trying to be a grammar policeman, but a mistake like that cheapens the website. Sigh.

1 upvote
The A-Team
By The A-Team (Jul 25, 2011)

According to Merriam-Webster, (and my spellchecker) multifunctional is indeed a word. Even if it isn't the pinpoint perfect word for describing a printer, it's not a big deal, and doesn't cheapen the website. The review is still top-notch.

0 upvotes
artbarn
By artbarn (Jul 26, 2011)

word accuracy is impotant

0 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (Jul 27, 2011)

Is is just the name/label 'multifunctional' that you don't like?

If any printer does more then 'just' print of a paper surface, sureley it can be called multifunctional... I don't think scanning, copying and CD printing are insignificant additions to something that just prints.

BTW many model like this are/were designated as MFP(followed by model number) to diferentiate them from ordinary printers.

0 upvotes
LibertyToad
By LibertyToad (Jul 28, 2011)

I've been a software engineer for over 30 years--long before these printers even existed (I'm getting old, lol). The technical, industry term is "Mulitfunction". It's not a big deal but to someone in the industry, the term "Multifunctional" stands out and just looks strange. Not a big deal, just trying to keep things accurate.

0 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Jul 24, 2011)

I would very much like a test of the CD/DVD media printing with respect to speed, quality, etc. Too many reviews fail to test this function and therefore the purchaser has no reliable information upon which to base a purchase which includes the need to print on C/DVD media.

1 upvote
fotopixel
By fotopixel (Jul 24, 2011)

This review is far below DPR quality...

fotopixel

1 upvote
petepictures
By petepictures (Jul 24, 2011)

You guys are forgeting there are HITI printers as well of Toshiba etc.

0 upvotes
RickWo
By RickWo (Jul 24, 2011)

The most vexing thing about our Epson Stylus Photo RX500 is its ink consumption. We rarely use it for photo printing anymore, but it goes through huge amounts of color ink just printing pages of B&W text--and won't print at all if one of the color cartridges is empty or missing.

So, I would like to know: does a particular all-in-one printer consume color ink when printing text? Will it print text with color cartidges removed?

Rick

2 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (Jul 27, 2011)

+1

It seems like you're held to ransom when this happens!
It's ironic isn't it that it won't let you print a BW document but will let you ruin an A3 glossy print with a clogged up Cyan nozzle :(

0 upvotes
P Snowden
By P Snowden (Jul 24, 2011)

Review suits my purposes fine. Looking for a price at my best place, where else-- Amazon , no listing, go to Epson - no listing ----???????????????

0 upvotes
RJNedimyer
By RJNedimyer (Jul 24, 2011)

Interesting! Seems to be a Very unfair review. am I missing something???

You compared a [US street price] $109 HP against a Epson $171 and a Canon [indicated the best] at $390.

Why not compare a cheap Canon against an expensive HP and Epson and see what happens then.

1 upvote
EPPaar
By EPPaar (Jul 24, 2011)

According the Canon USA web site there is no such printer as a MG8150. There is a MG8120. If you click on the"Buy This Printer" button it is MG8120. Are they the same printer with different number in Europe or did you review a preproduction model?>

0 upvotes
Photo_AK
By Photo_AK (Jul 24, 2011)

Well, I guess "Canon USA web site" is not all there is to Canon's web presence ...:
http://www.canon.com.au/en-au/For-You/Printers/PIXMA-InkJet-Printers/MG8150

1 upvote
EPPaar
By EPPaar (Jul 24, 2011)

It appears that Canon, for unknown reasons, assigned different model numbers to the same printer. One number for the USA and another for Europe. As I mentioned, if use the "Buy This Printer" link in the USA you are offered the 120. Go figure.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jul 28, 2011)

The USA/Europe thing probably has to do with licensing the capability to print on CDs/DVDs. I have several inexpensive Canon printers (by cheap, I mean the printer costs the same as 2 changes of ink) and the CD/DVD printing is there but a "dummy" cover has been placed over the slot You have to buy the CD/DVD tray (a genuine Canon product) on eBay. I believe this has to be licensed from Epson and Canon doesn't want to pay.

0 upvotes
Ton Blom
By Ton Blom (Jul 24, 2011)

I like the printer test, but why didn't you try to calibrate two printers that came out best, or why test the prints under some intense UV-light. This is a bit superficial compered to your camera tests. Also the resolution is not real, but achieved by reducing droplet size. Which one has the best real world resolution and the least dithering. I missed a lot of information.

Anyway, congratulation with a good start

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jul 23, 2011)

Bravo for the printer test, more spotlight is needed on products that promote the rest of the art of photography.

C

2 upvotes
JEPH
By JEPH (Jul 23, 2011)

Where is Vincent?
It just struck me: Vincent is the master of the "interactive review," as anyone who has visited his site would know.

Would someone from DPR invite him to comment here? He is both diplomatic and matter of fact.

In short: perfect!

1 upvote
ProfessorJon
By ProfessorJon (Jul 23, 2011)

What a helpful review! Just as I was starting to think "Maybe I should get a photo printer..." dpreview has the best reviews out there. Very even handed.

Thanks!

2 upvotes
JEPH
By JEPH (Jul 23, 2011)

Addendum to previous post:

Also, since this is a "multi-function printer" test, the paper used for the text printing evaluations should be described. Essential is one is to use it as a *multi function* printer. (I know, this strays from a photo website, but still.)

In keeping with this sentiment, perhaps there should be information on stationary one might find from common (meaning: largest) suppliers. Yes-this would open a HUGE area, and not photo related. But still-you have waded into the waters of text printing. (For example, does all cotton stock work best for inkjet text printing, mixed stock, inkjet optimized stock, laid surfaces, the list goes on.)

A bit churlish, all of that, keep up the good work. More please.

2 upvotes
JEPH
By JEPH (Jul 23, 2011)

1. US Market and CD-R/DVD printing: Does the Canon offer disc printing? Generally, in the US market, disc printing has been pretty much exclusively available on Epson printers. There was an HP in the past that offered disc printing.

2. A requirement: We really need to know how color was handled:
A. Managed image software, and what it was
or
B. Managed printer supplied software

I feel this review was a little too basic to be of value.

However, I'm enthused about the reappearance of Vincent Oliver-and I think he is one of the ideal people to do scanner and printer reviews. Those unfamiliar with his work are encouraged to visit his web site, or look around here for earlier contributions (if they are still here, somewhere).

2 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Jul 23, 2011)

*Useless review*
This sort of rubbish is FAR below DPR standards.

You left off several rather important criteria.
How about print quality from a printer?
How about cost per page? This is the tie breaker for most printer purchases. For example, the Canon & Epson a3+ printers have nearly identical out put (edge to Epson), but the cost of ownership of the epson is 3-4 times as high.
Actual print speed vs claimed?
Speed in other areas (power on, etc)
Is there a power consumption difference? Might be useful for small shops/home use where the internet capable printer is likely to stay on 24/7.

All you covered was scanning. I mean.. yippy, skippy! Scanning is the least used function in the digital age. Nice to have for older stuff, but this is not "what to with old analog" photo review. It is *DIGITAL* Photo review!

ps: how about more reviews relevant to this title. Why even bother branching out when lens and camera reviews only cover 10-20% of available models?

10 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 24, 2011)

You bring up some good points, but why not use the Feedback form to make sure they don't go unnoticed?

http://www.dpreview.com/misc/feedback.asp

Simon said printer reviews aren't taking time away from camera and lens reviews. I have no reason to doubt him.

0 upvotes
Paddy5000
By Paddy5000 (Jul 24, 2011)

I agree with Bjorn. This is a great website.....BUT when it comes to reviewing lenses it appears to fall way short of the mark. Sure the dearer are reviewed, but I believe many people are like me and on a budget and cannot afford these lenses. However the lenses we can afford and " HAVE " to buy are almost never reviewed.

I do like that you are branching out to printers, but in truth this site should be concentrating on reviewing as many lenses as possible ( and cameras ) first before branching out to other things. There is an old saying there which says " One world at a time ".......meaning do one thing at a time. This site needs to concentrate on the needs of all photographers, and not just those who can afford the " Top Spec " gear. Poorer people have to live too..........just my 2 cents!!!

2 upvotes
greg57
By greg57 (Jul 25, 2011)

Paddy, for lens review, you have photozone.de. I believe here's is a generalist photography gear website with focus on cameras. I dıo agree, though, tyhat this review should have been more comprehensive...

0 upvotes
fotoliefhebber
By fotoliefhebber (Jul 23, 2011)

Nice review. I have used canon and epson printers and the only problem I had was the clotting of the printhead after not using the printer for a few days. It was so bad that in the end I switched from epson to canon. Of course something not mentioned in a test like this but a big spoiler in use I can garantee you.

1 upvote
segarci1
By segarci1 (Jul 23, 2011)

Epson PX720WD = Epson Artisan 725?

1 upvote
pacorramos
By pacorramos (Jul 23, 2011)

And what about more lens reviews? I think currently the number of lens reviews on this site is ridiculously low...

6 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 24, 2011)

I'll give Simon a hand:

By Simon Joinson (Jul 24, 2011 at 03:39:16 GMT)
"i guess you missed the bit about the printer reviews being done by someone else. This has no effect on camera reviews. If you don't like them don't read them, but make no mistake, our only review priority in-house is cameras and lenses."
http://www.dpreview.com/news/1107/11072211newforums.asp

Make of that what you will. It appears DPR is hosting outside reviews, not taking time away from their already full plate. Nothing wrong with that, and it seems a smart way to do business at this time.

0 upvotes
Barry Shiffrin
By Barry Shiffrin (Jul 23, 2011)

My HP C310A also came with a duplex attachment - your review says it won't do duplex. Your specs say it doesn't have an ethernet attachment - while this is true, it does connect via wifi.

In one place in your review you say it won't use compact flash cards but in another you say it does. It does not accept compact flash cards.

2 upvotes
John King
By John King (Jul 23, 2011)

Gidday Vincent

All round, a good review. Good to see printers make it onto the scene at last.

I have the Canon MG6150, and my only complaint is that the print cartridges are minute (9 mls?), and the printer drinks it like an alcoholic during happy hour. The cartridges are also very expensive here in Oz.

Ours is used as a general purpose network printer/scanner and copier.

We have an HP LaserJet 5P as the general B&W network printer, and an Epson R3880 for photographic printing.

The cost of the ink for the MG6150 is going to drive me to after-market inks, something I have never done before. Our old (dead) Canon iP4000R had cartridges with about 50% more capacity; costing only 68% as much as those for the MG6150 for OEM inks.

In summary, the MG6150 is very flexible and produces excellent quality photo output; but is as expensive as all get-out to run. I estimate about 40c/page for normal printing, compared with around 2c/page for the LaserJet ...

regards, john

1 upvote
sankos
By sankos (Jul 23, 2011)

What I miss in the review is some info on how the photos were printed -- using factory defaults, canned profiles, or maybe they were profiled individually? I can't seem to spot that bit of *essential* info.

2 upvotes
JEPH
By JEPH (Jul 23, 2011)

Yep!!!

0 upvotes
ballardio
By ballardio (Jul 23, 2011)

Nicely handled review... although cost should be a factor - my quick google shopping search indicates that the winning printer is also the most expensive!

2 upvotes
gardnergareth
By gardnergareth (Jul 23, 2011)

My HP C310a has double sided printing while the specs here says it doesn't.

I was also suprised by the verdict for the monochrome print. This week I had to make some "emergency" prints for an exhibition submission (my Epson 3800 has a blockage) and I was simply amazed at the neutrality and tonality of the prints that my C310a produced. Perhaps there is sample variation?

Anyway, I just wanted to provide a "user view" of this particular printer, which I bought because it supports AirPrint.

2 upvotes
Mustafa
By Mustafa (Jul 23, 2011)

Nice idea to have printer reviews. Also good that you seem to be editing Vincent's syntax, which can sometimes be a little wayward. That's not to say that his site is not well worth visiting, though.

1 upvote
JEPH
By JEPH (Jul 23, 2011)

Oh, his syntax was almost instantly recognizable to me!

Good to have him here again.

0 upvotes
Vibrio
By Vibrio (Jul 23, 2011)

Thought this was a great review. it was short, gave lots of information and was well written.

Would be nice to see other reviews in this style

1 upvote
TheRealLazarus
By TheRealLazarus (Jul 23, 2011)

It would be great to include the printing costs into the review.

7 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (Jul 23, 2011)

Thanks for including this horizon into dp’s field of view and also that you carry on your good traditional group tests in compacts.
Best,

Hynek

1 upvote
Paul in New Orleans
By Paul in New Orleans (Jul 23, 2011)

Why didn't you include any of the Kodak multifunctional printers? Kodak's claims sound good such as cheaper ink, pigmented ink that doesn't clog often, easy to change cartridges and print head. On the other hand, some user reviews posted on the Kodak web site are mixed. Some say they work well and others say you have to change ink cartridges too often, and some have had to change the print heads often and there were complaints about the Wi-Fi. What is the truth?

3 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Jul 23, 2011)

My parents have one of these printers. It's okay, except they've had some mechanical problems with it, and Kodak's tech support -- and their software/drivers -- are AWFUL.

1 upvote
Reinhard136
By Reinhard136 (Jul 23, 2011)

Excellent idea for reviews - but did i miss the key item of interest - Cost/page, i would certainly tolerate 10% less performance for 50% less cost.

10 upvotes
John Carson
By John Carson (Jul 23, 2011)

Excellent innovation. I bought a printer last year and, while researching it, I was disappointed at the lack of coverage of printers by photography sites in general. I look forward to more coverage in future.

I ended up buying a Canon, so I get some comfort from the fact that a Canon got the Gold Award this time.

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Jul 23, 2011)

After having Epson inkjets for a few years, and then Canon Pixma printers for the last couple, there's no way I'd go back to an Epson. Maybe they have refined their printers in recent models, but the Epson printers I had were messy, prone to blockages, and unreliable. The Canon printers have been the opposite and "just work". YMMV, obviously.

2 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (Jul 23, 2011)

my experience too

0 upvotes
CrashE3
By CrashE3 (Jul 23, 2011)

Ah, thank you for this. It is a logical expansion for you all as many of us like to print some of our own proofs and such.

I have the Canon Pixma MG5220 and was tempted, at the time of purchase, to go with the 8150. Cost was a factor and the 5220 was on sale at the time. I must say though.. wow! The output on the 5220 is already spectacular and I have many photographers asking me where I get my printing done. I can only imagine how much better the 8150 would be.

0 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Jul 23, 2011)

Incase anyone gets all puzzled by the cryptic words in the printout "example" image I found this bit of info: -
In spite of its basis in Latin, use of lorem ipsum is often referred to as greeking, from the phrase "it's all Greek to me" which indicates that this is not meant to be readable text. - Thanks to Wikipedia, I can now sleep without getting nightmares that I've been chased by the words I can't comprehend. ;-)

0 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Jul 23, 2011)

Excellent! How did you know I needed to buy one? Thanks for making my search a really well research one!

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 23, 2011)

because we're spying on you of course!

0 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Jul 23, 2011)

That's it ! I'm turning off my mobile !

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (Jul 23, 2011)

There is a problem with the link.

0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (Jul 23, 2011)

Should be fixed now!

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (Jul 23, 2011)

Many thanks.

0 upvotes
Tom Ferstl
By Tom Ferstl (Jul 24, 2011)

Wouldn't the cost of the cartridges be a factor?

2 upvotes
Total comments: 62