Seeking advice on a suitable Canon printer for home photo printing

techblink

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Hello everyone,

I am a new member of the PK community. I have been a photography hobbyist for a while. But never had the discipline to pick up my camera regularly. In this lockdown situation, I have found my sanity behind the lens again. Now, I am planning to print some of my work, purely for my own personal use. I do this with the hope that tangible prints will be conclusive to my photography process and motivate me to pick up the camera more regularly.

So, I am looking to buy a new printer. I have never had one before. I don't want to spend too much on it as I won't be selling the prints or anything. With this new printer, I am also looking to do a good amount of document printing for my home office. Based on some of my research, I understand the ongoing ink costs are the ones I would need to consider carefully. At the moment, I am considering two models - Canon Pixma ip8750 and Canon Pixma G4511. While the former has better photo quality of the two (something I prefer), the latter has much more affordable running costs. Now, the G4511 is more common sense and will save me money which I can choose to spend on photo papers and learn more about the process, but it has a high upfront cost. So, I am torn between quality vs cost.

Apologies of the long-winded question. Still trying to learn brevity. Can the experts on this forum please provide their advice in choosing a suitable printer? Are there any other models that I should consider?

Many thanks!
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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You are focussed on Canon ? What max paper format are you looking for - A4 or A3 - 8.5" or 12" printing width ?
You mention a G series model - a combo with an integrated tank system, that offers you low running costs indeed but please be aware that all printers in this series use 3 dye colors CMY and a pigment black ink which implies that the black ink is not used for prints on glossy photo papers which is visible at a tinted black which is mixed from cyan and magenta. You would need to look for models with min 5 colors - with a pigment black for normal paper and a photo black for for glossy/photo papers. Since you mention the low running cost of the G-model you may consider that you refill the ink cartridges yourself or you buy lower cost 3rd party cartridges. The options here depend on the actual printer model.
But since I'm not familiar in detail with the newer Canon printer models in detail I'll leave it to the Canon specialists to recommend you a suitable unit.
 

techblink

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You are focussed on Canon ? What max paper format are you looking for - A4 or A3 - 8.5" or 12" printing width ?
You mention a G series model - a combo with an integrated tank system, that offers you low running costs indeed but please be aware that all printers in this series use 3 dye colors CMY and a pigment black ink which implies that the black ink is not used for prints on glossy photo papers which is visible at a tinted black which is mixed from cyan and magenta. You would need to look for models with min 5 colors - with a pigment black for normal paper and a photo black for for glossy/photo papers. Since you mention the low running cost of the G-model you may consider that you refill the ink cartridges yourself or you buy lower cost 3rd party cartridges. The options here depend on the actual printer model.
But since I'm not familiar in detail with the newer Canon printer models in detail I'll leave it to the Canon specialists to recommend you a suitable unit.
@Ink stained Fingers, thank you for your advice. I don't have much experience with Canon printers but I prefer their cameras and lenses. If there are better printers to consider in Epson and HP, I would definitely consider those as well. Just wanted to check if Epson printers work well with compatible cartridges. I saw a few 'don't update the printer software when using compatible inks' warning on a few forums. In terms of paper size, A3 is a good to have, as I can hang these around the house. But my focus would be on experimenting and learning about the printing process in general in a cost-effective way.

Would a 5-ink printer with compatible inks be sufficient for what I am planning to do, which includes document printing as well? Would refilling the cartridges myself require a lot of care? Is there a significant risk of the printer breaking if refilling is not done correctly?
 

Ink stained Fingers

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let me start to propose you these Epson models - ET7700/7750 or the L805, both are tank system printers for a high level of convenience, the ET7700/7750 comes with a scanner, the L805 is a printer only and availability depends on your region of residence.
Printers with 5 inks switch between two types of black inks - pigment or dye - depending on the type of paper selected in the driver
 

maximilian59

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If you life in the USA, then look for promotions for the Canon Pro-100, buy a refill kit from Precision Colors and start printing and printing and printing. You will also change your photographing.
 

stratman

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Welcome to the forum, techblink.

I am also looking to do a good amount of document printing for my home office.
How many pages per month do you print. Is it only text or a combination of text and color graphics? Blueprints?

How many photo images will you print per month?

While the former has better photo quality of the two (something I prefer), the latter has much more affordable running costs.
There's the rub: quality versus cost. Only you can decide what constitutes acceptable quality and cost. If possible, go to a brick and mortar store and examine demonstration print outs of printers on display. If you have a specific paper in mind then take it with you and print on it.

Some general points: You want Pigment Black ink for text printing. OEM pigment and dye-based inks have the best longevity (fade resistance) for whatever you print and are, of course, color matched for your printer - ie less likely to fiddle with color settings unless you use a third party paper. Aftermarket pigment inks may have excellent fade resistance. Aftermarket dye-based inks never approach OEM for fade resistance and can quickly fade. Fortunately you can make another print at low cost.

FYI - Aftermarket inks, whether Pigment or Dye-based, may require tweaking of color settings or using a custom ICC printer profile to get proper color output. Again, what is acceptable to you is the only thing that counts, not what anyone else says. Some want more precision and others not. Caveat -- use OEM inks if selling images as they are the most fade resistant.

I cannot comment on the two printers you mentioned as I have no experience with them. I have a Canon Maxify 5120 and it is an excellent small office / home office printer. It can be refilled or use third party cartridges for cost cutting, uses all pigment inks which has good longevity even with (quality) aftermarket inks as well as water resistance including with highlighters, have attached scanners (All In One printers) and the Maxify's are fast. It also has duplex printing and WiFi but no CD/DVD printing. It does exactly what Canon claims it will.

However, photo image output will not be as good as with a photo printer like the Canon Pixma ip8750 you mentioned. Our fearless Moderator, The Hat, demonstrated a comparison of image quality on photo paper here.

Again, it is best to go to a store and see print outs for yourself.

If you life in the USA, then look for promotions for the Canon Pro-100, buy a refill kit from Precision Colors
You are absolutely correct. The Pro-100 is an amazing all Dye-based printer that can be had for relatively little money on promotion and for which there are wonderful aftermarket inks. However, since it is all Dye-based inks, it is not designed for proper text printing which a Pigment Black ink provides (water and highlighter resistance and sharp resolution of text).

Like most things in life, the performance of a printer is in the eye of the beholder. What I find acceptable you may not. Vive la différence.
 

techblink

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let me start to propose you these Epson models - ET7700/7750 or the L805, both are tank system printers for a high level of convenience, the ET7700/7750 comes with a scanner, the L805 is a printer only and availability depends on your region of residence.
Printers with 5 inks switch between two types of black inks - pigment or dye - depending on the type of paper selected in the driver
Both of these models are available in the UK, where I am based. However, both are retailing at north of £500. Is that typical of a printer which yields good quality photos? Are there any cheaper alternatives if I go down the refilling route?
 

techblink

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If you life in the USA, then look for promotions for the Canon Pro-100, buy a refill kit from Precision Colors and start printing and printing and printing. You will also change your photographing.
Thanks. I am based in the UK, though. I checked the Canon Pro-100s which is available in the UK. But couldn't find anything about Precision Colours in the UK. Could you please share a link of its alternatives?
 

Ink stained Fingers

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The L805 is available here at a lower price
https://www.alza.co.uk/epson-l805-d3913094.htm?o=1
Please be aware that tank system printers generally come with a higher price, part of it is marketing to lure you with a lower unit price for cartridge type units to let you pay for expensive cartridges later, and consider that you get much more ink with those tank system printers - you just get cartridge type printers with setup cartridges with a reduced volume, but about 70 ml per color with those tank system printers - for Canon or Epson (or HP or Brother) alike.
You may compare that with the Epson XP-55, the only A4 photo printer with 6 colors and cartridges, eff. the L805 without the ink tanks - just compare prices for the inks - in bottles or in cartridges - there is a huge difference.

The Pro100s is def. a great printer - for A3 - and with cartridges - refill is easy as I understand it from other postings on this forum here.
Pres. Colors are located in Canada, and they don't ship directly to foreign destinations anymore, you would need to use a shipping intermediate which takes care of the int'l shipment - like viabox.com or other shippers.
You may start experimenting with refill with inks by octoink.co.uk instead. You can came back to the forum and discuss other Canon ink options here.
I think should write up a wish/decision list for yourself - are you interested/willing and capable to do refill ? Is A4 or A3 your target format ? Would you prefer a combo unit with scanner over a printer only ? And there are probably a few more of such decision points.
 

techblink

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Welcome to the forum, techblink.


How many pages per month do you print. Is it only text or a combination of text and color graphics? Blueprints?

How many photo images will you print per month?
Many thanks @stratman for the welcome. :). I appreciate your insights into the various types of inks.

I am looking to print around 40-50 pages per month which will include coloured text and some graphics. Photo-wise, it would be for learning purposes, so I am just going to take very wild guess here. Around 50 per month, I suppose.

From the comparison pictures by The Hat, the dye print appears to be just a tad vibrant, but nothing that would bother me. And that just goes on to show how much of a beginner I am. I can't tell much difference really.

Does the quality of photo print from a 5/6-ink photo printer change a lot with compatible ink in an obvious way? Or will that change be only perceptible to printing experts?
 
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