Canon Pixma MG8120
Overall, the Pixma MG8120 offers a lot of features, and this, coupled with its excellent print quality makes it a great choice for everyday printing and producing quality photographs. The only real downside is the poor construction of the media tray and rear media holder. Thanks to its built-in WiFi support, this printer is well suited to a home environment, but for office use you may find that you need something more substantial.
If you are short of space on your desk though the Canon MG8120 may be the answer, it's a great multifunctional device that performs well and offers more features than most. Besides the USB port the MG8120 also has an Ethernet port, so the printer can be networked for the entire family to use (make sure you have sufficient paper in the printer!)
Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD
The PX720WD is a very capable multi-function printer that delivers on many counts. Indeed for the home user it may be the only printer/scanner combination you will ever need. Although not aimed squarely at the dedicated photographer, the PX720WD nevertheless produces excellent quality photographs. The scan/copy feature performs well, and produced very accurate colors in our test prints.
The MG815's WiFi Networking ability makes it a potentially attractive addition to a family home or home office. For heavier office use, the PX720WD may not stand the test of time. The media and CD trays especially leave a lot to be desired - both would benefit from a more solid construction.
HP Photosmart Premium C310
Throughout this review I have struggled to be positive about the HP Photosmart Premium C310. It does have some things going for it though - the touch-sensitive LCD screen display is excellent and easy to navigate. The printer as a whole is very simple to operate and is capable of producing acceptable results for occasional or non-critical use.
I am surprised though that HP are marketing the C310 as a Photo printer, especially given its limited support for memory card types and digital cameras. The C310 is more suited as a photo capable small office printer: for text and copying work it works very well. The inclusion of WiFi and e-print should satisfy many users who use their mobile devices to capture photos.
In summaryAll three of these printers are more than capable of producing quality photos. Both the Epson and Canon units give you plenty of printing options including CD/DVD label printing. Multifunction or All-in-One devices shouldn't be regarded as 'compromised' designs, in fact far from it - as our test prints show. They satisfy a market which may just want a simple uncomplicated approach to producing quality photographs without all the clutter that individual components take up.
Of the three printers I used for this review, I was disappointed with only one - the HP Photosmart Premium C310. I have always had excellent prints from previous photo printers (B9180 etc). but the C310 doesn't quite stack up with the best of its competition. For image quality and features there is little to choose between the Epson and Canon printers, but we'd place the Canon Pixma MG8120 at the top of this group, by a whisker.
© 2011, www.dpreview.com & Vincent Oliver of www.photo-i.co.uk