Canon MG6400 replace - Epson or Canon?

MF5555

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Hello helpful people,

I wish everyone a good start in the new year!
I am a hobby photographer, doing art and nature photography. Not selling yet but maybe planning to participate in contests and exhibitions, so colors and quality of the prints (and their consistency) are very important. For the last four years I have been using Canon MG6400 with Canon ink cartridges, mostly on Canon semi-gloss 10x15 and A4 paper and sometimes on high quality art paper like Hahnemuhle. If needed I adjust colors and levels in Photoshop CS4 on Windows 10. It is not a super-pro setup but it suited my needs fine.

The problem started about two months ago. Suddenly my prints had a distinct magenta-reddish tone. I have not changed anything. The ink and the paper are the same, no software update, and still new prints look totally different in color from the old prints of the same image. My first though was of course a blocked nozzle, so I did all the usual cleaning (soaking in water and ammonia and so on). It did not help. I have done some research on the internet and found several people with the same problem, and it was typical for Canon. They tried to manually adjust colors and create custom profiles but...I don't like this solution, it feels wrong and unreliable. If I can't fix the bug I'd rather buy a new printer. I could also replace the printer head, but it is expensive, and it won't help if the problem is somewhere in the settings and the software.

If somebody can think of another fix to try, I would be grateful. If not, and considering my aims and the budget around $500 or a bit more, which model would you suggest? The usual choice is between Canon and Epson, and I would rather stay with Canon because I still have some stocks of ink and paper left. But what if I run into the same color bug with the new Canon too? What would you do in my place? What is new on the market for the "advanced amateur" level?
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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But what if I run into the same color bug with the new Canon too?
I wouldn't think there is a Canon bug or similar, there are several probable causes for sudden color shifts - e.g. using different inks - or a problem with the printhead - missing a nozzle row - and a few more.

So please print a nozzle check, scan it , crop it to size and good clarity and post it here - with the 'Attach files' function.

You are using 3rd party inks and do refill ?
 
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