Customer Reviews: Canon PIXMA MG5420 Wireless Color Photo Printer (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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Canon PIXMA MG5420 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier

[11/01/2015 UPDATE: I put out a review for the MG7720, which I suggest if you are looking at the MG5420. The MG7720 is the replacement for the MG7520 ]

[12/11/2014 UPDATE: I suggest also looking at the Canon PIXMA MG7520 if you are interested in the MG5420]

[12/13/2013 UPDATE: I suggest also looking at the Canon PIXMA MG7120 if you are interested in the MG5420]

[12/22/2013 NOTE: I added a section below noting why the MG5420 is superior to the MG5520 in my opinion]


If you don't care about having GRAY or ETHERNET, but want great PHOTO QUALITY in an inexpensive all-in-one style (copier, scanner) ink jet printer, this can be a quality/value sweet spot for you in the Canon PIXMA line giving you a lot of bang for the buck. This is the replacement for MG5320, only available since December 2012.

If this seems right for you, consider looking at the slightly more upscale Canon MG7520 features (made starting Fall 2014) or its predecessor MG7120 (made starting Fall 2013) before committing as the cost difference isn't that much.


- A well regarded consumer magazine considers these MG5000/MG6000/MG8000 series printers the best photo quality for all-in-one (copier, scanner) ink jets. This model is the entry point into this line.

- The new ink tanks for the MG5420 (and the new MG6320 and newer MG7120) now also come in an XL size which can reduce the page cost significantly. The inks themselves in the new tanks are the same formula. This was not available for the predecessor MG5320/MG6220 models.

- The MG5420 (and MG6320/MG7120) has 2x the number of black ink nozzles as their predecessors MG5320/MG6220. This allows more efficient use of black ink and greater dot accuracy.

- It is a bit shorter/squatter than its predecessor MG5320, which for some is a nicer form factor if on a desk, for example. I think they both look fine, but it is clear from reviews that the new look has gone over well.

- Like the newer MG6320/MG7120 (and unlike the last generation MG5320/MG6220), this has the new handy separate 4"x6" and 5"x7" photo paper drawer at the front.

- For copying/scanning the top comes off easily (unlike the previous generation MG5320/MG6220).

- With 10+ years of having a number of their products I have always found Canon to have great customer service, which for U.S. customers appears to be based out of Maryland and Virginia.


- 5-15% faster printing than last generation depending on b&w vs. color, quality, etc.

- Can print directly from CF memory cards unlike the last generation, if that is important to you.

- Wider selection of devices that can print directly to it than the last generation.


- Like its predecessor (MG5320), this has one less color than the next step up MG6320/MG6220, it does NOT HAVE GRAY, which is for improved black and white art and photo results and to better darken colors. I can't tell the difference gray makes with color pages, but some reviewers can.

- Like its predecessor (MG5320), there is NO ETHERNET connection like the next step up MG7120/MG6320/MG6220 has. Ethernet allows a solid, simple shared/network wired connection that stays up even when computers are down. I personally think getting this is worth the relatively small additional expense for a MG7120/MG6320/MG6220 if you have more than one user on the network, but that is just me.

- Does not have the option of coming in white, which the MG7120/MG6320 ones do.

- As of 2014 this is no longer new (end of 2012) and as such one hopes most issues found with it would have been fixed by now. However, if you are buying a used one, this may still be a concern.

- The inks for this model (and the other newer ones, the MG6320/MG7120) are relatively new and different than for the previous generation before that (MG5320/MG6220) and thus can be harder to find in stores, however enough time has passed now as of 2014 it is no where near as tough to find as only a year ago.

- For copying/scanning, the lid telescopes up for books only to the thickness of around a cellphone (like its predecessor the MG5320). On the other hand the top COMES OFF easily now with the MG5420, just like the newer MG6320/MG7120.

- This doesn't come with the MG6320/MG7120's touch screen content-sensitive interface which is getting rave reviews, however, I find this older interface style just as easy.

- No built-in fax, if this is important to you in an all-in-one. Perhaps you want to get a dedicated one of your choosing near a phone line anyways, however if you are looking for a built-in fax the MX922/MX892 printers do. This comes at a cost of not getting the higher end scanning of the MG models, though this may only matter to you if you are scanning negatives, MX922/MX892 scanning meets most other needs including most graphics needs, just as well.


- When doing text, choose the HIGH QUALITY setting (and perhaps set it as the default) in the printer page set-up, it really makes a difference.

- See below consideration to select it not to automatically shut-off to reduce ink wastage.

- Consider choosing to print black & white or grey scale when color isn't necessary, otherwise the printer may choose to layer colors to get black instead. Canon feels the black is better with the color layering though, you decide :).

- If you need something NOW that you will use a lot NOW, and the GRAY and ETHERNET is potentially useful you might consider looking at the older MG6220 since it uses inks that are easy to find at stores and online. The MG6220 is pretty cheap now, too, since it is being replaced.

- If you need something NOW that you will use a lot NOW, and you don't care enough about GRAY or ETHERNET, you might consider looking at the older MG5320 since it uses inks that are easy to find at stores and online. The MG5320 is pretty cheap now, too, since it is being replaced.

- If the color GRAY or ETHERNET connectivity (they come with MG7120/MG6320/MG6220) is potentially useful to you, you might consider looking into the MG7120/MG6320/MG6220, which are otherwise somewhat similar.

- Use Canon paper when you need optimal results with their ink, and test matte vs. glossy. Matte is much less expensive and may meet most of your needs. Let me know in comments if anyone finds a comparable quality and yet significantly less costly photo paper for this printer, I'd like to test it out.

- In case of POWER OUTAGE, it is sometimes necessary to unplug it for A FEW MINUTES and then plug it back in. This allows capacitor discharge.

- The Canon site has lots of easy to find product comparison information for these inkjets, you might consider reviewing it before committing on a model.

- As soon as you can after getting your printer, print samples of full color, b&w, borderless photos, print on a DVD if that's important to you, etc. Determine if you have a lemon before you get too busy with other things so you can exchange for a good one while it is easy to do. These are complicated machines with lots of parts.


Anyone researching the ink jet printers will likely be concerned about ink costs. Here are 5 things you can do to mitigate this with the MG5420:

- Buy the XL versions of the ink, this is supposed to reduce the cost per color page to a very competitive 13-14 cents per page (vs. 16-19 cents).

- As noted above, choose to print black and white or grey scale when that will do just fine to avoid black made from layers of colors. Canon feels the black mixed from colors is better, you be the judge.

- Turn off the automatic shut-off. Standby mode uses 0.9W, so on standby even all year uses around 8kWh/yr., so around $1/yr depending on where you live. This can help lessen the number of the longer cleaning routines after start-up and often at shutdown. It runs the cleaning other times, too, which is good as it keeps things from clogging.

- Avoid printing pages with solid or heavily colored background in color when possible.

- Some fonts use 20-40% less ink than others. According to a leading consumer magazine, Times uses much less than Arial which uses much less than Calibri, for example.

NOTE #1: If there is no printing or cleaning routine at least once a month or so, select it to run a cleaning routine (easy to do) or turn it off and on to force it to once a month or so to keep the nozzles unclogged. If they clog talk to Canon support for what is often an easy solution.

NOTE #2: The MG6220, which is in the same family of products as this MG5420 (though part of an earlier model line up), has a low ink early warning bug. For example, when I take ink from a MG5320 and put it in a MG6220, the low ink warning bars show the ink as vastly lower. This helps exaggerate the appearance of high ink usage. Actual ink usage is high enough that this bug is pretty unwelcome. If it wasn't for a leading consumer magazine's highest photo quality rating for all-in-ones and their estimated page cost that wasn't crazy, and lots of other favorable reviews, I think this bug could have been much worse for MG6220 sales and other models in the family. This might make you feel a little better about ink usage in the model family 5000/6000 after reading the ink comments for the 6220.

NOTE #3: Just an informative, probably not very useful factoid :). This model range of Canon inkjet doesn't do a big cleaning/purging after it prints, you are usually hearing head realignment. However, it does quietly "prime the head" to keep the heat from ink clogging the print head and this uses a little ink (even for B&W). This is much less ink than with the big cleaning/purging routine that is much rarer if you set the printer not to auto shut-off.



As it is pretty difficult to find, here below is Canon's published Page Yield per Document numbers (I rounded a little) for MG5420.

I'm not sure how much of the difference between these numbers and users experience is due to the cleaning routine, difference between test and real world usage, etc.

Here at least you can see real world expected usage ratio between standard and XL cartridges and compare to costs to determine the better value.


Mixed Text/Graphics, A4/Letter, Plain Paper, Adobe Reader 10
ISO/IEC24711 Test Method, ISO/IEC24712 Test Pattern:

PGI-250 __ 300 pages
CLI-251 BK 1800
CLI-251 C_ 330
CLI-251 M_ 320
CLI-251 Y_ 340

PGI-250 XL __ 500 pages
CLI-251 XL BK 5500
CLI-251 XL C_ 700
CLI-251 XL M_ 680
CLI-251 XL Y_ 700


Color Photos, 4"x6":

PGI-250 __ 2400 pages
CLI-251 BK 380
CLI-251 C_ 120
CLI-251 M_ 130
CLI-251 Y_ 130

PGI-250 XL __ 5600 pages
CLI-251 XL BK 1130
CLI-251 XL C_ 260
CLI-251 XL M_ 310
CLI-251 XL Y_ 270


vs. MG5520:

Here are some of the more notable differences in MG5420's favor:


- Print Color Resolution: 9600 horizontal x 2400 vertical dpi
- Print Most Granular Dot: 1 picoliter
- Scanner Resolution: 2400 horizontal x 4800 vertical dpi (optical)
- Print 4"x6" Photo speed: 21 seconds
- Copy speed (FCOT): 14 seconds
- Printing on DVD/CD's


- Print Color Resolution: 4800 horizontal x 1200 vertical dpi*
- Print Most Granular Dot: 2 picoliter
- Scanner Resolution: 1200 horizontal x 2400 vertical dpi (optical)**
- Print 4"x6" Photo speed: 44 seconds (110% slower)
- Copy speed (FCOT): 20 seconds (40% slower)
- No printing on DVD/CD's

*The MG5520's 4800 horizontal x 2400 vertical max dpi COLOR PRINTING will meet MOST NEEDS. The Pro photo inkjet printers (PRO-1/PRO-10/PRO-100) even max out at 4800 horizontal dpi (though have finer vertical stepping capability), for example. Be sure to use specially designed paper (for example, enter "canon paper_guide" in a search engine) to really see the difference of the higher resolution. Also, print from an application in which you can choose the profile for that paper (ex: many Adobe products) if possible, too.

**The MG5520's 1200 horizontal x 2400 vertical max dpi SCAN will meet MOST NEEDS (though it is too low for some film/slide scanning needs especially if you plan to enlarge). For example, even a 2.5"x3.5" paper photo scanned at 1200dpi may enlarge to 8x10 comfortably, though frankly you will be fortunate if that amount of info is even available from the photo. It is therefore also moot to argue enlargement benefits of over 1200dpi scanning of paper photos as the detail is likely not there for over 1200dpi.

Some Pros of MG5520 over MG5420:

- MG5520 will automatically turn on if it is off when a print request is sent.
- MG5520 doesn't require a wireless router to print from a mobile device, it has an Access Point Mode which allows direct printing to the printer without need for a wireless router.
- MG5520 allows you to print directly (no computer needed) from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, DropBox, Evernote, and more, via apps downloaded to the printer.


I don't think the few ancillary pros of the MG5520 outweigh MG5420's superior features, though the info is there to make your own call. And if you want your cake and to eat it, too, the MG7120 for a bit more money will give you the benefits of the MG5420 plus the MG5520 benefits, plus the GRAY toner tank and ETHERNET to boot.


For folks not as familiar with printers, I created this section to help delineate when you CLEARLY DON'T want a Canon ink jet printer in the popular 5320/5420/6210/6220/6320/82XX model range at all. Perhaps it may help you find a good starting point to meet your needs.


Consider checking these:
(per a leading consumer magazine and reviews)

- Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II
- Canon Pixma Pro1
- Canon Pixma Pro10
- Canon Pixma Pro100
- Epson Stylus R2000


Consider checking out these lasers
as a starting point:
(per a leading consumer magazine or reviews)
- Samsung Xpress M2825DW
- Brother HL-2270DW
- HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401n/M401dne
- Samsung Multifunction Xpress SL-M2875FW
- Canon imageCLASS MF4770n/4890dw

- Canon MX922
- Canon MX892

SPEND FOR A PRO-100/10/1

- Canon MX892 (released 2012)
- Canon MG6220/MG5320 (released 2011)
- Canon IP8720 (released 2014)
- Canon IX6820 (released 2014)

Hope that helps someone :).
4545 comments| 965 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 24, 2013
First let me start off by saying I was a die-hard HP printer guy for the better part of 20 years. I had a horrible experience with my last HP and decided to look in to a new multifunction. By chance I happened to see this Canon MG5420 at Best Buy. I loved the design, very low profile if not a little wide but that's not a big deal. It's almost "elegant" looking. As much as a printer can be I suppose anyway. I took a look on Amazon to check pricing and more importantly, reviews. None! Did a search for other reviews and they proved to be very hard to find as this is a new product. I took a chance and ordered it anyway, couldn't be any worse than my HP I was replacing.

Can I describe this in one word? Yup...WOW! This is by far the best printer I've ever owned...and for $110? You've got to be kidding me! My biggest areas of importance were the scanning and obviously the print quality.

Scanning: Fast and great quality. Scanning a 4x6 photo is completed in a very short period of time, 20-30 seconds would be my guess from hitting the scan button to complete. The photos were clear, color was pretty accurate and detail was crisp. I'm very happy with the scanning abilities of this machine! Set up to a default of 600 DPI for photos it does a fantastic job. Far better than the 3 year old HP it replaced.

Printing...Can you say fast? Photo printing of all sizes is QUICK! Doesn't matter if it's a 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. Under a minute and BOOM, it's done. The colors are gorgeous and the detail is pro quality. As a reference, I printed a copy of a photo I had printed at a local shop. You can't tell a difference. Seriously, the MG5420 is that good. I also tested this with a photo of one of our cats, who happens to be black. Black cats are hard to photograph, let alone print...I can see virtually every hair on her. The clarity and detail is exceptional and impressed me beyond expectations. Oh, if printing photos is something you'll be doing I'd also try the Pro Platinum paper. I got the 8x10 pack and my prints are absolutely stunning. There are two paper trays to use, one for normal every day 8.5x11 and another for photo paper and envelopes. Not really a huge selling point but it is pretty convenient to be able to keep two different kinds of paper loaded at all times.

Ink usage: This is the one area that left me disgusted with the old HP. This Canon however, from my experience so far, is excellent. I've printed 11 4x6 photos, 2 5x7 photos and 4 8x10 photos and three of the cartridges still register as full and two show only a small decrease in usage. If this is the norm for this printer then this ink will last me a long, long time.

Ease of use: While not a touch screen (wish it was but it's a minor complaint), the menu system is very easy to navigate. You get 3 rows of 3 options (9 menu options total) and use the hard keys to choose and go deeper in to the selected menu. It's no-nonsense, straight forward and easy as pie to get around. Couldn't be happier. The output tray folds in to the machine when not in use and automatically pops out when needed. That's a nice feature since you can just tuck everything back in to the printer for a really clean look.

Set up: Super easy to install the included software and drivers. Took about 10 minutes or so and I was up and running with no issues at all. I am NOT using the wireless feature so I can't say how that works but via USB it is flawless.

In conclusion, I would recommend this print/scan/copy machine to anyone. The quality it puts out, combined with the price, make this little baby a real winner. Being this was a first experience with Canon printers, they've sold me. I couldn't be happier. If I left anything of importance to you out or you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment. I always try to help out where I can. And again, this little gem deserves very strong consideration.
1212 comments| 291 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 2, 2013
Now after-market ink refills are available.

I don't want to be redundant and tell you the same things everyone else is saying in their reviews. I want to add something to this review column that has not been addressed in depth yet from a new point of view. This printer quality is a bargain at the $99 I paid for it and this review is about how to keep all your printing costs also at a bargain. Is that not related to you printer purchasing decision?

In ebay I searched "MG5420 ink" There are several refill options to add new ink to your existing cartridge.

In the early 1994 I bought my first canon printer specifically because it had individual ink cartridges so you could replace just the one color you were out of, instead of the multi color cartridge. I did NOT WANT to have to throw away the other color inks that I was not out of just to get a refill on the one color I was out of. In 1994 Canon was the 1st home based ink-jet with individual color cartridges for each color. Instantly I fell in love.

So now I could buy just the color cartridge I was out of. SWEET. But it didn't take me long to figure out I could buy ink in bulk and refill my cartridges and save a ton more of my precious money. Canon always advised against using ink they didn't manufacture and sell themselves as they said it would harm the printer and destroy the quality of the print and void the warranty. I always found them to be full of shi... Of course they wouldn't admit to us that we could give our money safely to another instead of them. What company will admit that? Those that do tend not to stay in business long.

Since 94 I have drilled tiny holes in my cartridge tops with the included finger drill bit that comes with the refill kits, used a syringe and added plenty of ink, wiped up my own mess as its easy to spill a few drops of the super messy ink.(expect a little mess and then you'll be ok. Don't expect it and you will be unready and disappointed)

After adding ink to my existing cartridge, I cork the little hole with the included corks from the refill kit, or just put tape over the hole and keep on printing for several more months. After about 6 refills per cartridge, I will buy a new cartridge and start the process over for another 1-2 years. Since most print heads are built into the cartridge itself, the print head will wear out so eventually that cartridge will get replaced.

On some of my canon printers, the print head was separate from the cartridge and the cartridge merely fed an ink supply to the print head. In this case the cartridge was infinitely (Well much longer at least) reusable although periodically the print heads needed replacing. They were expensive. Usually it was that time to upgrade the printer to a newer more modern level anyhow than pay 70% of the cost of a new printer just to replace the print head on an old outdated printer.

Depending on which canon printer model I owned at the time, some cartridges were easier to figure out exactly where to drill the hole to be most effective. Think about that for a moment before you drill your hole. Its ash ame to figure it out via the road of regret. But I have.

Most cartridges held liquid in a see through tank. I loved that. Some cartridges I could not see into and figured out it was full by when it begins to spill over. But I was ready for the mess in advance so to me it was no big deal. I was wearing junk clothes and working atop of a plastic garbage bag under my newspaper. In case your not aware, that ink is a pretty permanent mess on most surfaces and all clothes and barely washes off your hands with lots of scrubbing if your smart enough to NOT let it dry on.

On one canon model printer, the ink cartridge was see through, but the cartridge was full of cotton wadding. I didn't like that cartridge as it didn't seem to hold much ink, and was very slow to refill because it had to be absorbed slowly as you slowly filled it. You just plain could not fill it quickly. Add a little and wait, add a little and wait. Times 8. Thank God that model is gone.

With buying the largest volume of replacement ink available, which is the most cost effective for the long run, it brings my cost of printing an 8 x 10 full color photo down to about 5 or 10 cents per page. Now the canon printer becomes very affordable to use so I use it much more and have lots more fun printing photos.

I do believe you will notice the noise level of any printer to be related to the print speed capability. The faster they print, the louder they are. Try one photo at best quality which is a slow print and listen carefully. Then try a page of text at draft settings (fast print) and listen. Notice the difference.

Then realize with any printer models, some are inherently faster noisier, and some are much slower and quieter.
This printer is known for its speed of print which people want and are willing to pay for, but the inherent side effect is noise increase with print speed increase.
Thats what I have noticed. Your welcome to your own observations and if they are not the same as mine, I don't want to hear from you.

So knowing this in advance of buying a printer, I realize my choice is slow and quiet, or fast and noisy. Which do I want? I want fast. I'm ok with hearing the printer work its little ass off for me as I know how inexpensively its working on my dirt cheap ink refills while I'm getting great quality prints. For me, thats all I want. If I want quiet, I cant have quiet until I get a divorce, and thats a cost I'm not ready for. So I'm used to noise. My woman makes this printer look very quiet. I haven't figured out how to unplug the females vocal cords yet.

Since widows xp, I never install the print drivers that come included with the CD and photo software they include. Its always bloated and sometimes unstable. Go to canons website and you can download the naked driver by itself without all the bloat-ware. Then its a very small file.

Win 7 will automatically download the print drivers and update your computer for you as soon as it detects the usb print connection. I'm still waiting to find out if the wireless connection will operate without the bloat-ware. I will know in a few more days. I may update this.

Via control panel, printers, you can initiate a scan without installing the bloat ware. But sometimes there are functions you can not gain access to without installing the bloat ware. Oh well, thats life. In my little world, I've never been able to get everything I want, so I don't expect to begin now. Life is a bowl of trade-offs.

If you want a perfect printer, then be ready to put several thousands of dollars down at the register. Then you'll complain its too big. There is no such thing as a perfect printer. There is a printer that meets your priorities better than other printers. And for that you will have to know your priorities and do lots of research as I have done.
Hope I have helped you save some money on ink. See ya...
UPDATE 4-6-2012
It arrived and I set it up with the quick guide. After the automatic print head alignment, the printer asked me if I wanted it to scan for a wireless network. I pushed the ok button and didn't expect it to find my wireless laptop since I hadn't installed the printer software on the included CD. But 60 seconds later the printer gave me the message a network had been found and it was now connected. To my surprise it found my wireless router which connects my laptop to the Internet. That was not how I expected it to hook up, but I was ok with it.

Anxious to test it out, I went to my laptop to print some test. But my laptop didn't show the new canon printer as an option. So I went to control panel in windows 7 and clicked add a printer. Win 7 began scanning for a new printer and found the canon and asked, IS THIS THE PRINTER YOU WANT TO ADD. I clicked yes and it began installing it automatically. Then win 7 said it would update the drivers via microsofts update website and did so automatically. 90 Seconds later it said it was installed and updated and did I want to do a test print? Win 7 also installed the scanning software automatically.

I clicked yes and the canon spit out a fine test print. Now when I wanted to print anything, the canon is my new default printer in win 7. From any print menu, I can choose options and find my printer settings to adjust the photo ink quality, or clean the print heads, and many other options. I never even put the canon CD software in my laptop as I wanted to avoid that headache.

I like good quality photos but don't necessarily need the best quality photos all the time . Printing with BEST quality doubles the ink consumption and I dont need that 90% of the time. Only for my best photos. But for most photos I print them at standard quality and I'm happy with them.

Photo paper is nicer than standard document paper (for pictures), but it costs so much more. I'm just not willing to pay a $1- a sheet for glossy photo paper. Not when I expect to print 50-100 8x10"s of them per month. So I found an alternative. Hammermill Color Laser Gloss Paper, 94 Brightness, 32lb, Letter Size, 300 Sheets per Pack (16311-0) 300 sheets of semi gloss paper that has rave reviews. Its about $8- for 300 sheets. Its photo print quality is about 70% of that of photo paper which is a dollar a sheet. Now its not exactly real photo paper, but its close and so much cheaper it just gives you so much bang for the buck you can afford to print tons of good photos super inexpensively.

I bought 300 sheets of this when I ordered my new canon printer. So I was ready for a real test. I picked out a good photo to print, added the new semi gloss paper, and set my print settings at standard print, NOT HIGH quality. Wow, very nice considering between ink and paper it was somewheres less than ten cents per 8x10". I was happy with the print canon did.

Now if it was a special picture, one of those very rare ones, I might use (real) photo paper with photo print settings set at best (and it would make a GREAT PHOTO). But 95% of the time that is just over kill for a ordinary picture and not cost effective if your going to print lots of them, say 30 a month or more. Remember I bought this printer because I wanted the ability for good to great photos at super cheap ink costs via refilling my cartridges myself. Photography I do for part of my living selling on ebay. I understand the difference between ordinary and special and just wont pay special costs for ordinary pictures. Quality usually depends upon the photo itself, not its print. But special pictures do make an exception and I understand that to.

I want tons of very good photos, and some great photos and I want it dependably and super inexpensively. This canon printer is perfect for my priority's. What are your priorities?

One thing I liked about this printer, is its very large ink cartridges. This means I don't have to refill them as frequently as other brand printers small cartridges, assuming its color ink is not all in just one cartridge. However these ink cartridges are NOT see through so i cant see the level changing as I'm refilling it. So when it drips or pours over I will know its full and to stop adding refill ink. I can live with this. And I know I'm going to make a mess refilling them so I will be prepared. But first I have to use up some ink before I can refill these new cartridges. So I will stop writing here and go do some more printing.

Oh by the way, go to ebay and search for item "321044164949" OR the title "5x4oz Refill ink for Canon PGI-250 CLI-251 PIXMA MG5420 PIXMA iP7220 1Pig.+4Dye". Search either of these in ebay. This ink is designed for this canon printer and I bought 5 bottles of ink that contains 4 oz of ink per bottle for $26- Thats about 10-12 refills for each ink cartridge. Thats a super bargain. Do you know what it would cost you to buy all 5 cartridges times 12 times?

Hey, if enough of you people leave a comment asking me to, I will take a video of the cartridge refill process and post that video here on amazon. I've done it a hundred times. Ive learned all the tricks.

Hope I showed you how to get the most bang for your buck and save money. See ya.

UPDATE: 4/20/2013
The speed of this printer is very slow and very fast. Hhhmmm...your thinking.
For printing just one page, you add the 1-2 minutes of warm up time and it makes it a very slow print for just one page.

However each page after that takes 3-8 seconds for text depending upon DRAFT, STANDARD or BEST settings you have chosen. Personally I use draft as it uses the least ink and prints the fastest, and the quality is definitely fine for normal reading standards. I print my ebay postage/shipping labels at standard and the print is still better than my last HP printer that was given to me when it printed at its best setting. I am so glad that HP is gone. But it was free... Still nearly not worth it.

If most of your prints are 30 pages and up, you would call this a very fast printer. If most of your prints are one page jobs, you will call this a very slow printer. The print speed is very fast, but by the time your done adding the warm up time to the 1st page, your opinion may vary.

I do lots of one page prints. But I'm rarely in a hurry so I have no problem paying a penny a page for draft text prints. Again, the cartridges in this printer are the largest capacity I have ever seen canon put in a printer. I wish my car had a larger gas tank. These cartridges are about twice the size of past canon cartridges. So if your considering the cost of replacement cartridges, remember your also purchasing double the ink quantity in a cartridge over past cartridges. Yah the price is up there, but so is the quantity of ink your purchasing.

The comments are growing, I'm inclined to make a video of me refilling my cartridges. Keep adding comments and I'll keep using my ink up so I have a need to refill them.
UPDATE 10-05-2013
I have finally run my ink dry in blue and text black. The others were quite low. So out came the refill kit I bought from ebay. I did take a video of it but it came out to be over 30 minutes worth and since amazon wont let me upload more than 10 minutes worth, I am in the process of editing the video cutting out the junk and adding voice over narration explanations. To do a video edit to my satisfaction takes about 6 hours so it may be a while before I'm done with it.

In the mean time since the process turned out much easier than expected, I will give a quick text explanation for you die hard fans of the refilling process.

The drill that came with my refill kit sucked. It was so dull it would not drill a single hole. This was the 1st refill kit I ever bought that had an insufficient drill.
So I heated a paper clip with a lighter and melted a hole. That was too easy. Much better than expected. I should of been doing that years ago instead of messing with the drills. While refilling my 1st cartridge through this melted hole, when the cartridge became full, ink began pouring out the bottom of the cartridge.

The bottom of the cartridge has a large sponge opening where the ink soaks into the print head when the cartridge is installed in the printer. Seeing how fast ink could run out of the sponge hole opening made me realize it would also soak in as fast as it could run out, which was very quick.

So on all the rest of the cartridges, instead of melting a injection hole for the needle on the syringe, I just flipped the cartridge upside down and squirted the ink into the (bottom) opening with the sponge exposed. I was very pleased to see the sponge did indeed absorb it as fast as I could squirt ink out of the syringe. Actually, this thrilled me.

The top of the cartridge which is now upside down at this point, has a vent hole beneath the full length sticker on the cartridge. The sticker does not seal this hole so air can go in as ink drains out of the bottom of the cartridge so you don't get a vapor lock vacuum. When the cartridge becomes full from squirting ink onto the sponge, excess ink will quickly drip out the top (which is now upside down) through the vent hole which informs me the cartridge is now full and to quit filling it. At the 1st sign of ink dripping out from the sticker area, quit refilling it. A couple more drops drip out and then it stops its draining process and the cartridge is now totally full.

Now it is safe to turn the cartridge upright to its normal install position and no more ink will drain out from the sponge opening on the bottom. However it will continue to hold all the ink you have added without it dripping out.

I install that cartridge back into the printer and grab the next empty one. I flip it upside down and fill it through the bottom opening that exposes the sponge. When a couple of drops of ink drips from the sticker area (vent), I'm done filling that cartridge and move on to the next.

A syringe will hold more ink than what a cartridge can absorb, so any leftover ink I squirt back into the bottle it came out of. I then label that syringe with a sharpy magic marker what color it was used for so next time I have to refill my cartridges many months later, I can use the same syringe for the same color it was used on last time. This is because when I squirt the left over ink back into the bottle, there is always a couple drops left in the syringe and I would not want it to mix with a different color ink later when I reuse that syringe. That would surely degrade the print quality.

I only work above a spread out plastic trash bag so no ink drips get on anything valuable and I can throw it out when I'm done. Don't trust a newspaper. Ink soaks thru it quite quickly. With a green scrubby for pans, I wash and scrub the ink off my fingers with dish soap when I'm done and it all comes off in about 1 minute. Maybe 2. I'm kind of sloppy and don't use rubber gloves. Theres more in life to worry about than do I have to wash ink off my fingers.

The ink kit I bought was in large bottles. There was 5 of them. And it came with 5 separate syringes that worked super well. Better than most that come with a refill kit.

Now this next piece may be the most important so pay attention. Each bottle of ink has a letter on the top/cap/lid that denotes its color. Since this model canon uses 2 separate black inks, there is 2 bottles of black ink. One for text and documents, and the other for photo printing.

Heres the challenge. Both bottles of black ink look nearly identical to each other. This stumped me for a few minutes. Which is for photos and which is for text? Here is how I figured it out. The three colored bottles have exactly the same size letter on their cap. Obviously they are for photos and not text. One of the black bottles has the same size letter on its cap that the colored bottles have on their cap. And one black bottle has a slightly smaller letter on its cap than the colored do. Both blacks have the letter "K" on the cap. One -K- is the same size as the letters of the colored bottles and the other -k- has a slightly smaller size. Do look carefully!!!

The smaller -k- is for the text and the larger -K- is for photos. All the photo inks have the same exact size letter on their cap and the text black has a slightly smaller letter on its cap. That is the only identifier on the blacks to differentiate which is which. Thats assuming you buy the same exact refill kit that I did, and I highly recommend it because when it was all done, it all worked perfectly and was such a bargain. Value VERSUS Cost?

Now that I know to fill the cartridges through their sponge hole in the bottom by flipping it upside down, I can refill all the cartridges in about 5-7 minutes.

Where to buy the best ink at the best bargain?

I don't know positively because I have not tested all the different ink refill kits that are for sale out there. What I do know is that the ink refill kit I chose worked so perfectly, I will not buy any other brand out there as I don't want to gamble my known success on a maybe.

Oh by the way, go to ebay and search for item "321044164949" OR the title "5x4oz Refill ink for Canon PGI-250 CLI-251 PIXMA MG5420 PIXMA iP7220 1Pig.+4Dye". Search either of these in ebay. This ink is designed for this canon printer and I bought 5 bottles of ink that contains 4 oz of ink per bottle for $26- Thats about 10-12 refills for each ink cartridge. Thats a super bargain. Do you know what it would cost you to buy all 5 cartridges times 12 times?

Its easiest to just search for the item # and you will only get one search result.

After my refilling was done, now was time for the test. I dug out a 8x10 photo I had printed with the original canon ink. The photo I selected was full of high level intricate detail with a good mix of all colors.

I went on my computer and found the digital original and reprinted it with this new refilled ink. It was flawless. I could not tell them apart. They looked exactly alike and thats why I will not buy any other brand of refill ink. This is as good as it gets and this is what I am sticking with in the future.

I don't believe you can buy more ink for less money than what I have found. And I'm sure the quality of ink available to buy canNOT get any better than what I have found as it prints exactly like canons original ink does. But you buy what you want.

To me its pretty insignificant but there is one minor downside. After you have refilled the cartridges, the printer NEVER does recognize they are full and the printer will continue giving you the low ink, or out of ink message. However this never stops another perfect print from popping out. So from here on in I just ignore all ink messages and when a print finally pops out with vacant lines through it, then I will know its time to refill them all again. Most ink messages on your computer screen you can hit cancel or ignore and they go away. However when you find that one of a kind message that wont go away no matter what you do on your computer, then its time to go directly to your printer and hit the ok button to acknowledge it and then you can be allowed to print more.

I only got that super stubborn message once. But nothing I did on my computer would make it go away. I fiddled with it for ten minutes before it occurred to me to go walk up to the printer itself and see if it could be acknowledged from there successfully.

Ok, go refill your own and just spray it in through the bottom sponge and have fun. Forget about refill holes and plugs.

Let me know if this review helps you. And I will work on editing the video for future viewers.
UPDATE 10-06-2012
Hey, I have found the ink I buy on amazon now. It appears to be the same exact refill kit. ND TM Brand Dinsink: 5 X 4oz Refill Ink for Canon PGI-250 CLI-251 PIXMA MG5420 MG5422 MG5520 MG5522 (K/k/c/m/y) Compatible with OEM/Genuine Ink Cartridge. The item with ND Logo!

HOWEVER at the time of this writing, amazon charges $5.49 for shipping as its not eligible for prime or free super saving shipping.

It has the same purchase price as what I bought off of ebay, but in ebay the shipping was free priority mail 2 day speed.

UPDATE: 10-31-2013

I discovered a secret about Canon. They make so much money from us buying their ink replacement cartridges, that canon has actually implemented a strategy to prevent us from using off brand cartridges or refilling our own cartridges. The 1st thing they did was to install a computer chip on the bottom of each ink cartridge. The printer through this chip will talk with the ink cartridge. If the cartridge cannot talk to the printer properly, the printer will refuse to print even though your full of high quality ink. It is canons way of stopping us from buying off brand cartridges and depriving canon of the chance to rob us blind on the exorbitantly high ink costs that canon prices way to high.

This chip also lets the printer know how much ink is in a cartridge so the printer can warn us when its getting low, or when its out. Canon has designed the chip in such a way when a ink level drops the chip remembers that level and the chip refuses to identify a level higher than the lowest level the chip has identified. So when we add more ink, the printer is not allowed this information because the chip wont tell the printer the truth so the printer continues telling us we are low on ink even if we just refilled it to the top.

So far this is just a nuisance as we have to deal with the messages of low ink. Its canons version of a nag screen. If we are going to deprive them of the additional profit, then they will throw nag screens at us to annoy us. The nag screens were not significant in my opinion and they didn't even slow me down.

HOWEVER canon has also taken this to a whole new level with even more safe guards.

Now you have to understand being low on ink is not the same as being out of ink. Up till today I always refilled my cartridges when I thought they were low. Today is the 1st time I actually let the printer run out of ink and now I see a whole new evil side of canon.

Today I had 50 8x10" color portraits to print. So I decided to let it print for as long as it could and running out of ink was ok with me because I have tons of ink refill ready and waiting. At about the 10th picture the printer gave me the message it was out of yellow ink and the cartridge must be replaced. So I took the cartridge out and refilled it. The chip remembered that cartridge had been 100% empty and when I put the refilled cartridge back in, the printer identified I was putting in a cartridge that had been 100% empty and canon knows why we will use the same cartridge over and over instead of using brand new cartridges that don't have the chip that remembered it ran out. Its because we are refilling them. Canon has figured out how to tell if we refilled a totally empty cartridge. So far canon can not tell we are refilling cartridges that are only low.

When I put the empty/refilled cartridge back in, the printer told me it could not identify the level of ink that was in the cartridge currently. It asked did I want to continue printing anyway and it warned me printing on an empty cartridge could ruin the print head. Over the years I've run many print heads totally dry and after refilling the cartridges printing always resumed perfectly. So I clicked yes.

Printing resumed and the pictures were perfect. Later I ran out of yellow again as I was doing lots of beach printing with yellowish sand. Again the printer told me it was out of yellow and again I refilled it.

Now canon recognized this is the 2nd time I have put the same totally empty (by canons standards) cartridge back into the printer and told the printer I want to continue printing with this cartridge that has not been replaced, but refilled obviously.

NOW HERE IS WHERE IT GOT INTERESTING. After I told the printer to continue again, a new message popped up. This is what it said: "Printing with cartridges that have been refilled can damage the print head and this will void any warranty. Do you still want to continue? " I clicked yes. Now canons printer has it in memory that I agreed to void the warranty. As soon as I did that, the yellow stopped printing but the other colors continued printing. Canon shut off my yellow at the flip of a switch. It was totally dead.

But I didn't know this so I let it continue printing the 50 pictures. Now they lacked yellow. Later one by one I ran out of blue and red also and repeated all these steps with each color. Again one by one canon would instantly turn off that color. I wasn't looking at the pictures as they came out so I didn't figure it out until they were all done printing. But once a color was shut off every picture after that lacked that color. At picture 45 all that was still printing was only black. At picture 47 black ran out and I repeated these steps for black as I refilled that one also. Picture 48-50 printed blank as even now black was turned off by the printer.

BEWARE: once you agree to void the printer warranty, canon will sabotage the printer rather than let you give ink money to someone else instead of them. Maybe canon thinks they sold us a printer at cost so they could later make a profit on the ink. Maybe canon makes no profit on the printer alone. Maybe canon is just being an ass thats willing to chase away their long term customers like me that buy canon after canon. Those answers I don't know for sure.

What I do know for sure is this. If you refill a cartridge that is just low on ink, the printer will let you continue doing this repeatedly and will not shut off the print ability. HOWEVER when you refill a cartridge canon knows for sure was totally empty, canon will not let you print until you click yes at the screen where you agree to void the warranty. As soon as you agree to void the warranty, canon instantly totally shuts off that color so that color can no longer print.

WHAT I DON'T YET KNOW IS THIS. If I buy a new cartridge from canon that has a new unused chip in it, will the printer then become able to print again? Or has canon totally destroyed the printer in their effort to teach me a lesson? I will let you know as soon as I figure out this next step. Now I'm off to buy a new canon cartridge with a new chip in it for my test purposes.

I like this canon printer enough I will buy a new one if I have to. My refill costs for them are about $1-$3 per refill.
UPDATE: 12-03-2013
I did an experiment. I bought a chip resetting machine to reset the chips in the cartridges I am refilling. Although these machines are labeled to work on the canon MG5420, they didn't. Canon changed their chip in the mg5420 and now this is the only cartridge than can NOT have its chip reset to full. The machine works on all other canon printers, but just not the mg5420.

I have learned though that buying a new cartridge, my printer will unlock that color and it begins printing again perfectly. Absolutely no print head clogging issues as canon threatened would happen just before canon turned off my color printing ability. If you refill your cartridges, don't let them go 100% empty or canon will realize your refilling them and will turn off your print ability out of spite, until you buy a new cartridge. The new cartridges I am buying are clear/see through so I can monitor its fill level visually. Now its easy to see when the need for a refill is near without having to run out totally to find out.

You can buy the new full clear cartridges at These cartridges have the correct chip in them so they communicate just fine with the canon printer and they work perfectly.
6868 comments| 287 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 27, 2013
I have to say I'm a little disappointed with this printer. I had a Canon MP610 for a few years and last week the print head went out. Based on several recommendations,but against my better judgement, I decided to get another Canon. The MG5420 was on sale so I decided to get it.
This printer is very noisy. You turn it on and there's about 50 sec of whirring and grinding and shaking. To print something there is another minute of the same noises. It takes a good couple of minutes before the printer actually starts printing! When you turn the printer off, there's another minute of whirring and shaking. The other thing is the use of ink. No lie, I have printed 3 4x6 pictures and a flyer and already two of the cartridges have have gone down one level. Not a good sign.
On the positive, the prints are very good with great colors and it's really nice to make a print directly from my phone and from my tablet.

Here's a quick update on the ink usage. It's not quite as bad as I thought. I moved the photo setting from "high" to "standard." The quality of the photos does not seem to be effected and the ink tanks are holding their own. Maybe it's not an "ink hog" after all.
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on November 27, 2013
I spent a lot of time going through reviews between various printers before deciding on this one. One drawback that several had warned about was that this printer guzzles a lot of ink for no apparent reason. I decided to look past that because, besides that complaint, this printer seemed to have a lot of features and great performance. So let me explain what this printer is now. A very heavy and large paper weight occupying my desk. I leave it unplugged because otherwise it runs random cleaning cycles which, for some unbeknownst reason to me, drains ink. And when you ultimately have to unplug it to avoid this issue, it runs an even longer cleaning cycle when it turns back on. I have printed maybe 5 CDs and a few pages and two of the ink cartridges are already depleted. It's unreal how awful this printer is at driving you back to Canon for more ink. I don't recommend this printer or any of their printers in this price range
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on August 22, 2013
I bought this printer to replace an older HP inkjet photo printer. I wanted a wireless printer with automatic two-sided printing and the ability to print on DVD discs. After research and reading the reviews (particularly those on Amazon) I settled on this model. I'm very pleased with my choice as this printer meets all my requirements. Set-up and wireless connection went smoothly following the included Getting Started sheet. The actual manual will be installed on your computer from the included CD. Although several reviews fault the printer for being very noisy, I find it very quiet even when printing. I've set the power setting so that the printer remains on. That means there is no delay in printing while the machine warms up. Although several reviews state there is no USB port on the printer, it is on the back of the printer so it will work fine even if you don't have a wireless connection. A USB cable is not included. The printer has two trays. A lower tray holds paper (either letter and legal size), large photo paper and envelopes. Legal sized paper is loaded by pressing a release button on the tray which allows the tray to extend. The upper tray holds 4x6 and 5x7 photo paper. The tray to hold the DVD or CD is stored underneath the upper tray. Remove the upper tray, turn it upside down and slide the DVD tray off.

Although the on-screen manual is pretty complete in most areas, it is very incomplete regarding printing on a printable DVD or CD disc. The manual does show how to place the DVD in the tray and load it into the printer. What it does not tell you is that you need to download a separate free program (Easy-PhotoPrint EX) from the Canon website. This program is not included in the CD that comes with the printer which is a stupid mistake by Canon since people buy this printer to print on DVD's. Easy-PhotoPrint EX is an excellent program that contains many templates, all of which can be customized regarding text placement, background, etc. I've printed one DVD using a photo with text and it came out beautiful.

I'm very pleased with the printer and would recommend it to anyone needing a combination printer, scanner, copier able to print on DVD/CD discs. I haven't yet printed a photo so I can't comment on that aspect.
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on June 30, 2013
Three models in a row and they all have the same issue with the notorious "paper jam" error. All other printers are designed so when this happens, you simply open up the cover and remove the paper except these models. Follow all the instructions and look high and low to figure out where the heck the paper is jammed and you won't get anywhere. No paper is visible anywhere when this crap happens. On top of that why should a printer go through a jam so often on its own? The third printer has to be discarded for this reason. Also, the moron software confuses the back and bottom trays all the time, even when you tell it to always feed paper from one or the other.
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on September 30, 2013
Easy setup and that's all. Takes forever to boot up. Doesn't automatically print. Lots of buzzing, whirring, spinning, and clicking while it's brain prepares to print......and then doesn't print! Sending back and will buy another Brother.
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on November 2, 2013
Ridiculous printer. Im using this with Windows 8 Dell desktop. The printer takes forever preparing itself to print. As long as 5 mins. Its rotating its wheels while you wait, then it stops, starts, silence, then starts printing and sometimes it doest. I should have made the investment for an additional $100 and got something better. Stay away from this nonsense. Time is money.
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on July 2, 2013
I was going to buy the ip7220, but I got this MG5420 instead. The mg5420 adds a LCD screen and a color/black&White copier/scanner feature. mg5420 has 125 (sheets) lower paper tray capacity compared to only 50 sheets for the ip7220 lower paper tray capacity. upper paper tray is for photo paper only. mg5420 is a better value than ip7220. These painters use quality ink. Canon inks are better quality than HP and Epson printers. I have been using Canon printers for 15 years. I purchased an Epson printer and returned the Epson printer because it gave bad text printing. These Canon printers use PGI-250 XL (PIGMENT INK for TEXT PRINTS ONLY) which gives you 500 page yield for very little money. If you use the Canon MG5420 for only text printing than you will save more money than a laser printer. The software, firmware, and drivers in these Canon Printers are high quality and excellent. The wireless printing works flawlessly on the MG5420. When the printer is off the printer turns on by its self and the printer's door opens by its self. Japaneses people are geniuses when it comes to designing electronics, cars, and machines.

P.S. I upgraded from a Canon PIXMA IP4300 printer made in 2007 because I needed wireless printing and this Canon PIXMA MG5420 really feels like a true upgrade.
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